May 24, 2011

Review: Never Again by Michele Bardsley

I got this book because the synopsis sounded interesting, but it was an impulsive buy because I didn’t know anything about the author or the book. I was pleasantly surprised because it turned out to be quite an interesting book.

Grey is a powerful wizard that has been betrayed by his wife, and I’m not talking about cheating, I’m talking about sacrificing him to a demon (and also cheating on him with said demon…). Fast forward ten years later and Grey is now living like a recluse who wants to be left alone.  

On the other hand we have Lucinda, she is the little sister of Grey’s wife, and is in real trouble. Her last hope is Grey, but when she asks him for help he adamantly refuses. Obviously Grey feels guilty and decides to help her but this might prove to be very difficult since Lucinda’s problems are bigger than they seem.

This book is an urban fantasy with a small town setting. It has the interesting premise of wizards and witches live among humans in a peaceful and harmonic way. The magic world has a slightly different set of rules and laws, but it doesn’t get in the way of regular humans. Now, to me the book lacked a bit on the epic-feel that I usually get from urban fantasy. The world-building was very interesting and fairly complex, but it wasn’t big on the action and the dark evil threat was missing. The book read more like a small-town romance with a suspenseful plot but with a magic twist. I liked it, but it wasn’t what I’m used to and it might throw you a bit if you are an urban fantasy fan.

I liked Lucy a lot. She was very spoiled when she was younger but due to a series of unfortunate events, and a curse that runs through her family, she had to mature a lot. She doesn't dwell on her misery and is just trying to survive. She was likeable, but was more like a regular contemporary romance heroine than an urban fantasy kick-ass one. Since I don’t particularly like kick-ass heroines I was perfectly fine with it.

Grey was also likeable. He had his heart broken and it took him some time to get over the betrayal. He was bitter and cranky. When Lucy asks for his help he realizes that he was being a selfish bastard. He was neglecting the town and his responsibilities towards it, as well as alienating his friends. It was nice to see how his character developed. What I didn't like was that he goes from hating Lucy to loving her in a matter of days. Overall the romantic aspect of the book was disappointing. There wasn’t really any conflict or any emotional struggle. Grey goes from grumpy wizard to protective alpha-male in the blink of an eye, and Lucy goes from independent witch to damsel in distress and perfect housewife even faster.

The secondary characters were as interesting as the main couple. Because this is a book set in a small town you know that we are going to get a lot of quirky characters. There is the sheriff who is obviously going to be the hero of the next book. There is the crazy evil woman who runs the dinner. There are farmers, a lot of gossipers, and everything else you might expect from a small town.

I liked the book. I think this series has a lot of potential, and judging by the little sneak peek that we get of the second book I think it will just get better and better. As I said is not your regular urban fantasy, but it was appealing. And I’m curious to see what’s coming next. If you are in the mood for a quick read, if you like books set in small towns and if you like wizards, witches and magic spells, then you should definitely check it out.

Review by Brie
Grade: 3
Sensuality: McSexy


Lucinda Rackmore is a witch cursed...Desperation sends her to the last place anyone would think to find her ... the small Dragon-protected town of Nevermore, Texas. To escape the wrath of her ex-lover, she must plead her case with the town's Guardian---the man her family betrayed a decade ago.
Gray Calhoun is a wizard scorned...Gray wants nothing to do with the Rackmores, especially not the spoiled younger sister of the woman who sacrificed him to a demon lord. But when Lucy shows up at his door begging for sanctuary, he can't turn her away.
Magic is love reborn...An infamous Rackmore witch isn't the only trouble in town, either. Someone's creating demonic mayhem---and murdering citizens. Only with Gray and Lucinda working together, can they hope to defeat the dark forces that threaten Nevermore. And maybe along the way, they'll find that love is the strongest magic of all.

Signet. March 1, 2011.

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