Monday, March 26, 2012

Never Again (Wizards of Nevermore #1) by Michele Bardsley

Welcome to Nevermore, Texas, population 503, where witches and wizards live side by side with humans. Lucinda Rackmore never would have been caught dead in a town like Nevermore. Of course, that was before the "great reckoning" drained the family finances and her former lover, ruthless master wizard Bernard Franco, snuffed out Lucy's magical abilities.

But can Lucy really expect protection from the Guardian of Nevermore, her ex-brother-in-law, Gray Calhoun? Gray wants nothing to do with her--and Lucy can't blame him. Not after her sister sacrificed him to a demon lord. Still, with everyone in town looking to settle a score with the Rackmores and Bernard bend on dragging Lucy back into his clutches, Gray might be her only hope for survival...

Type: Paranormal Romance, Wizards
Heat: 2.5 out of 5
Rating: 3 out of 5

A while back I read Michele Bardsley's Broken Heart Vampires and figured this would be a similar light, cheeky series. Yeah, whew, not so much. Never Again was a much more serious, gritty read about a small Texas town that's falling apart right along with their absentee Guardian, Gray Calhoun. Be prepared for a good information overload. There's a LOT of the "Billy Joe's wife's sister used to run the feed shop and her brother used to date Sally who's kid is living out in California and that's why the bookstore is closed now" eye crossing kind of information. Very small town gossipy stuff where you don't really know anyone involved or care all that much. Yesh.  But it did get across the way small towns feel with everyone knowing everything about everyone. Since it was the first book in the series there's also a good bit of background information right at the start on how the world of witches and wizards was organized that had my head spinning. But once you get past these little bits it's easy to get lost in the world and enjoy the story. You just have to stick it out for a little while.

Gray and Lucy Rackmore are quite the pair of tortured souls. What they've gone through just grips your heart. They'd both been hurt badly by others and deserve so much better. I may hate the name but I loved Lucy. This is a woman who has been beaten down and is desperate. She's lost everything, no one will help her or is even kind to her. and she's still a kind woman and will risk her life to try and save another. She's a wonderful heroine and I just wanted to reach in and hug her. Gray was a little rough at the start and pretty much an ass turning his back on Lucy just like everyone else. He's been selfish and a recluse for years as his town falls apart and evil tries to take over. He had a great come to Jesus kinda moment after turning Lucy away and finally snaps out of it and starts trying to put everything to right again. He's pretty great once he stops wallowing and a hero you can look up to. I loved getting to watch Gray and Lucy start to heal and their relationship grow from one of need/convenience to something real.

One of the things I thought was fantastic was the villain and figuring out who they were. I love not being able to figure it all out until the very end and Bardsley did a fantastic job of keeping me guessing. I'd be certain I knew who it was one moment and the next I couldn't see them as the villain at all. Loved it! While Never Again wasn't at all what I was expecting I thoroughly enjoyed the read and wish I already had book 2 on hand.

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