Heart, Haunt, Havoc by Freydís Moon (The Gideon Testaments #1)

Laced with romance, gothic imagery, Catholic mysticism, diaspora, and horror…

When lonely transgender exorcist, Colin Hart, finds himself challenged by an unruly haunted house in Gideon, Colorado, he’s kept awake by ghosts, demons, ghouls, and the handsome nonbinary owner of the house, Bishop Martínez.

Unlike the simple hauntings Colin is accustomed to, Bishop’s house is a living beacon, attracting a plethora of inhuman creatures, including a vengeful wolf-headed spirit who might be the key to quieting their sleepless nights.

But as a heartbreaking mystery unravels, Colin comes face-to-face with the past Bishop tried to bury, opens a closet full of bloody skeletons, and trips into an accidental romance.

As paranormally skilled as Colin might be, this particular haunting may be too messy for him to handle…

COVER ARTIST: M.E. Morgan
PUBLISHER: Self Published
YEAR: 2023
LENGTH: 159 pages
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Horror, Romance
RECOMMENDED: Highly

Queer Rep Summary: Bi/Pan Main Character(s), Genderqueer/Nonbinary Secondary Character(s), Trans Main Character(s).

*I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review of this book. 

HEART, HAUNT, HAVOC is a captivating story of horror and connection, beginning when a trans exorcist starts falling for his nonbinary client. Things escalate as the only way to remove the spirits plaguing them is to dig into the client's painful past. 

I like the relationship between Colin and Bishop. I rarely get to read romances where both characters in a relationship are trans and/or nonbinary, so I was excited to read this and very pleased with how it's handled. 

As the first book in a series, HEART, HAUNT, HAVOC resolves the major issue of the haunting Colin arrived to handle. It also sets up the possibility of later appearances, though a quick glance at the descriptions of the next two books indicates that the main character won't be the same as the series moves forward. I like the story, I like the setting, and I'm interested in the idea of an exorcist who understands himself as abandoned by his god, but is still some relevant level of devout. Though the way the worldbuilding clearly establishes the presence of at least three spiritual/magical traditions in play, it implies the possibility of many more.

Moderate CW for grief, cursing, sexual content, dysphoria, blood, violence, injury detail, medical content, body horror, animal death, murder, death.

Minor CW for racism, alcohol, vomit, gore, colonization.

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Two faces, superimposed over a multi-story house with five pairs of gaping, bloody jaws reaching out of it. One person is white with reddish hair and tattoos on his neck, the other is dark-skinned, with close-cropped black hair. The second person's left hand is visible, it's covered in blood and they are wearing a gold wedding ring.


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