There's a reason Jordan L. Hawk is one of my favorite authors and this is juts another example of why. I don't like historical romances. To say I hate them would only be slightly too strong. They are definitely my least favorite sub-genre of romance. Yet I loved this book.
Like I've come to expect from Jordan's books, this is a story of love and passion intermingled with an excellent story that could stand on its own. There is plenty of action, excitement, danger and suspense. She's created unusual monsters that are unlike those seen in other paranormal books. There's even an emotional and personal component to the hell that the characters face which makes it that much more intense.
Her heroes are damaged people with baggage but they're also strong and likeable. Here we have two complete opposites in Whyborne and Griffin. Both, especially Whyborne, grow over the course of the book. I love how Whyborne learns how strong he is and has been all along, what a good person he is. I really felt for them and how difficult their lives were as gay men in that era. (That is one of the reasons I hate historical romances, although far from the only reason.)
The female characters are intelligent, the mother being strong in heart and the Egyptologist Christine strong all over, including physically.
I felt the book started off a little slowly, although something sort of exciting happened at page 20. After that, though, I couldn't put the book down. Thrills alternated with romance which alternated with other emotional and/or research scenes. I didn't even look at page count as I went which is something I do with all stories.
I felt the name of Whyborne's childhood crush a bit too obvious, but perhaps that is my own study of classical history. It's certainly a beautiful name.
All in all, I loved this book and understand why it's done so well. I highly recommend it even for those who do not like historicals and I look forward to reading the second in the series.