Series: Never Again 01
Author: Edward Kendrick
Genre: Contemporary Historical / Paranormal
Length: Novel (212 pages)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (April 27th, 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2.5~3 Hearts
Blurb: Having lost Rawleigh during the Civil War, Joseph vows never to love again. Then he meets Cal, a homeless veteran of the Iraq War. Antipathy becomes friendship. Now Joseph must decide if he can once again allow himself to love.
During the Civil War Joseph Moncure, shifter and newspaper owner, lost the only man he ever loved and he vowed it wouldn’t happen again.
Cal Gilbert, a homeless veteran of the Iraq War, found a purpose in life when he created Rebuild NOLA, an organization which refurbishes derelict houses for the homeless.
Joseph, tired of purveying the news, decides it’s time to find somewhere else to channel his time and energy. When he learns about Rebuild he joins the organization, despite the instant antipathy between him and Cal.
Antipathy turns to grudging respect then friendship between the two men. Now Joseph must decide if he can once again allow love into his life after swearing ‘Never Again’.
Review: Never Again is what Joseph thinks over and over in his head for over one and a half century when he loses his lover during the Civil War. Never again will he let himself fall for a human, never again will he feel the pain such loss causes. But he doesn’t count on Cal, a man who irritates him and challenges him and eventually crawls under his skin. Before he knows it, Cal is what his heart desires and his life revolves around making him smile. But when life throws you the good stuff it also throws some bad for good measure, and Joe must make up his mind, help his lover and thus revealing the truth about what he is and risk losing him in the process, or let it go and see him hurt along the way?
This book was actually nice and the story appealing in many ways. I liked it that it started as a historical with Joe falling and losing his first and only love. I liked it that the author didn’t simply state that fact but made a quick short story and let us have a look at Joe’s past. And the contemporary follow-up was very nice as well. The core of it was very engaging, the statement loud and clear about how things are in many cities when it comes to homeless people and what’s being done for them. I liked it, takes things into perspective a bit.
As for Joe and Cal, they made two very interesting characters. Joe being a shifter who ages very slowly and has been around for over a hundred and fifty years and Cal a war veteran who came back to pretty much nothing and faced the difficulties he did before deciding to do something about it. As I said very interesting indeed, but that is where it stops for me, because the plot left behind holes. Too many questions came up throughout the read that were left unanswered and that is too off-putting for me.
The fact that Joe is a wolf shifter is enticing, the fact that there’s not much about it makes me shake my head. No family in the grand scene, where did he came from, what happened to the rest, how, why? Why was he alone with only his sister? Why didn’t they live with other shifters in the vicinity? What happened to his sister in the present day? How did she pass away? Do the gene carriers live as long as the pure shifters? These are simple examples of the many questions accumulated and just on top of my head from this book.
Moving on there was the “human’s” reaction to Joe revealing his secret. Both Rawleigh and Cal reacted a bit, hmm how should I put this? As if ok, Joe is a shifter, I love him, let’s move on. No screams, no panting, no great disbelief, no “what the hell ever” exclamations. Ok, I’m being a bit unfair since Cal did make an effort at freaking out, but come on that was way too easy. In addition there wasn’t many attributes given at the human side of the shifter, no superior strength, although it was hinted at time, it was not shown in action really. And right there at the end, when Joe finally shifts and we get to see him in action a) the action was at best lukewarm and b) teleportation? Really? And the author left that fact unexploited? Such a shame.
So what I’m trying to say with so many (perhaps unnecessary) words is that while I loved the romantic parts, both historical and contemporary, I really felt the paranormal one was left unexplored and that took the joy from this read quite a bit for me. That being said, I still would recommend this book as it is quite romantic in so many beautiful ways.