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Posted September 15, 2012
4.5 Stars from Between the Bind
Firstly, do you SEE this cover?! Lovin' it! This is exactly as I pictured Leif - all German-goth-tastic and delicious. This was my first M/M and I really enjoyed it. Hainted was the perfect mix of sexy restraint, honest relationship building, and unique paranormal situations - engaging even the most well-read paranormal reader.
Dan, a straight-laced southern farm worker tried to get away from home and his family's haint-working ways but is now paying penance for his selfishness by refusing to openly acknowledge his homosexuality. Although he claims it's because he could lose custody of his brother and sister, the reader soon realizes that along with his responsibility to his them, Dan doesn't believe he is deserving of true happiness.
In drives Leif, a rich, city boy who's avenging a fallen friend by tracking a necromancer, a haint-worker who raises spirit instead of putting them to rest, who is terrorizing the dead and murdering innocents in the process. Leif has made many terrible choices throughout his life and he knows that stepping over the line by involving himself with someone who has as much to lose as Dan does, would just be going to far, so he vows to keep his hands to himself.
I really enjoyed both of our characters and the depth that I was able to uncover page after page.
What surprised me the most about the book is Ms. Hawk's descriptions of "haints" - which literally spooked me! I was a *little* afraid I'd be getting some nightmares from her grotesque details, but it was necessary for the story building. I completely understood why Dan wasn't a haint-worker. This is no Long-Island-Medium kind of spirit fighting.
I really enjoyed Dan's brother and sister's role though the story. Virgil cracked me up with his typical teen angst and sarcastic commentary and Bea's responsible sister role added another layer to this family dynamic. Moreover, I really enjoyed badass girl haint-fighter Taryn and am hoping that Ms. Hawk writes a *second* book more focused on her.
Overall, Hainted was a wonderful read with fantastic storytelling, captivating characters, and a unique refreshing take on the typical paranormal romance.
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