Publication Date: 3/1/2011
Imprint: Signet Eclipse
Gray Calhoun is the Guardian of Nevermore—a small Texas community where magickals and mundanes live peaceably. Embracing only the barest responsibility that his office requires, Gray prefers to be left alone so that he can continue to lick his wounded pride. Although it’s been ten years, he hasn’t gotten over the fact that his former wife tried to sacrifice him to a demon lord.
Lucinda Rackmore is a witch on the lamb. Her abusive, wizard ex-boyfriend, Bernard, has stripped away her powers and a family curse has ruined her financially. It won’t be long before Bernard finds her and drags her back to his lair. With nowhere else to turn, she seeks out her former brother-in-law for help.
At first, Gray can’t see past Lucy’s sister’s betrayal. He sends her away though in his heart he knows that what happened to him wasn’t Lucy’s fault. With guilt gnawing his conscience, he goes out looking for her and finds that the town he’s supposed to protect is terribly out of balance. If he doesn’t set thing right, Nevermore could be destroyed and Lucy along with it. When Gray makes an offer that Lucy can’t refuse, they risk their hearts and their lives to expose the dark forces at work in Nevermore.
Never Again is a great start for Michele Bardsley’s new series, Wizards of Nevermore. This story is a roller coaster of emotion with two people desperately trying to come to terms with the hand life’s dealt them. Gray doesn’t want to love again after having his heart cut out, literally. Lucy wants love, but every relationship she’s had has convinced her that she’s unlovable.
Multiple dangers surround a mystery sub-plot that accelerates Gray and Lucy’s emotional journey. However, when the POV changed to an unidentified mystery villain I became a little flustered. POV switches that move the story forward are fine and dandy, but I want to know whose head I’m popping into in a scene. The villain’s identity can remain a secret to the hero and heroine, but as a romance reader I don’t want to be in the dark. For me, knowing the villain, especially when he/she is sharing a scene with the hero or heroine, is more suspenseful because they are unaware of the danger.
There’s a great cast of characters living in Nevermore and I liked them all. Ms. Bardsley did a wonderful job creating these individuals and connecting them to one another without over-powering the central story line. It gave the read a real feel of a small town~ where everyone knows your name and your business. I especially loved the soul-imprinted books, Grit and Dutch. These guys were a hoot! And Ember, the Jamaican tea shop owner, who believes
“Life was about living…even in the tiniest moments. And life without love…Well, that was no life at all.”
Never Again isn’t a light-hearted paranormal romance. It’s dark and sinister but has some humor so that the reader doesn’t get bogged down with the weight of it all. I found it to be an entertaining read with a feel-good ending. I look forward to more intrigue and romance from the Wizards of Nevermore series.
GOLD COIN RATING: 4
HEAT LEVEL: Campfire
Reviewed for the March Edition of The Season.