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on April 9, 2011
reasons to like this book
1. female protagonist was very likable and i really felt sorry for her circumstances.
2. the town itself was like another character...very small town with a mystical undercurrent / called a goddess fountain.
3. if like wiccan parallel universes with the Goddess being the main religious entity.
4. satisfactory ending with a surprise twist and the main ending wrapped up the plot but left an opening for future other couples being the stars.
5. there is some world building but no real description of how they use their magic.

reasons not to like the book
1. the chemistry just wasnt there for me... the main couple got together because of dire circumstances... not related to love.
2. the towns people... i just didnt really identify with them and when the POV changed to them often i would lose interest.
3. the bad guy was just not that evil and seemed a light weigt.

the premise and set up was outstanding but the the romance was a little too sweet and sappy for me. i also wish there was more descriptions of magic using instead of just saying i used magic and did a spell.
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on March 2, 2011
Never Again by Michelle Bardsley
Paranormal Romance- March 1st, 2011
4 stars

Lucinda Rackmore is witch from the House of the Raven. She is on the run and looking for help. Lucy has finally journeyed to the magical town of Nevermore. It is here she hopes to ask her ex-brother-in-law and wizard, Gray Calhoun to marry her so that she can be under his protection. However, he still has a grudge against her family since her sister betrayed him and literally took him to hell and back. So she isn't surprised when he says no. Her life is certainly dismal due to the fact that as a Rackmore, her entire line has been cursed since an ancestor made a pact with a demon for power in the past.

But trouble is brewing in the town of Nevermore and Lucy soon discovers herself in the thick of things. There's an evil plot to undermine the power base in Nevermore. Lucy finds herself trying to save a young girl and is caught in another curse. But surprisingly Gray comes to her rescue and proposes marriage. But what will she do when she find herself falling in love?

This is a fun and clever story set in a magical and quirky little town. This is the first book in a series called the Wizards of Nevermore and I think it will be a hit with paranormal fans who love humorous stories with surprising twists. The heroine is courageous and sympathetic. I liked how she gave the hero a much needed kick in the pants. Gray is more of a beta hero, who was disappointed in love and transforms when Lucy comes. She not only changes him but also the town. I enjoyed how Lucy breathes new life and rejuvenates the town and Gray. I also was intrigued by the different Houses (Dragon, Raven, Wolf, Shark etc.) which each have their own personalities. I can't wait to read about all of the them!

Bright and mischievous, this is great book to take your mind off your worries.

Reviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
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on April 12, 2011
As a fan of urban fantasy, I tend to get paranormal romance books recommended to me, despite the fact that I'm not really a fan of romance novels. Just to be clear, this books is in no way urban fantasy; nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised with the book. On a whim, I decided to give this a try, since it was generally getting very positive reviews.

I ended up being glad that I did. Characters are well-developed and have detailed back-stories, and there's plenty of world-building that takes place. Though a large storyline consists of romance, there's a strong plot that exists beyond an excuse to get the two main characters together. Strangely enough, the book contains one of my least-favorite plot devices ever (the two characters absolutely must get married in order to protect someone/save the world/etc!), but though the author toes the cliché line a couple of times, she never actually goes over it. Though the rest of the author's novels look a little too romance-y for me, I plan to keep my eye out for the next book in this series.
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on March 3, 2011
Lucinda Rackmore is desperate for help which is the only reason she finds herself standing on her ex-brother in-law's porch begging for his protection. Lucinda is on the run from her lover, Bernard Franco who has bound her powers and has outcast and cursed her. She can't think of a single other person to help her than Gray Calhoun. But Gray was betrayed by Lucinda's sister, Kerren in the worst way possible.

In this world, both Magicals and Mundanes (those without magic) populate this world. There are five Houses in which Magicals can belong to - Dragons Sharks, Ravens, Hawks and Wolves. Gray Calhoun belongs to the House of Dragons. When his wife, Kerren kills him (she made a deal with a demon), he goes into the depths of Hell, but eventually comes out alive. As the reader, you do not know right away how he survives or changes because of that betrayal.

Now Gray is living in Nevermore, a town in Texas. He is the head Guardian of this Dragon town, in charge of everyone magical. But he is very bitter over events in his past, and has basically let the town down over the years, choosing to be a recluse. When Lucinda shows up at his door, all he can think about is his hatred for his former wife, and slams the door in her face. But he knows Lucinda is a Rackmore, and the Rackmores are outcasts in the wizard world. He knows she is in danger walking the streets, and his guilty conscience makes him go after her.

Things are won't be as simple as giving her protection and some money. Lucinda is being pursued by Bernard, and another is out to gain the power of a Guardian in a most evil way.

Never Again is the first book in the new Wizards of Nevermore series by Michele Bardsley. What really intrigued me in this book is the town of Nevermore. It is a small, poor farming town in Texas, yet full of people with magical abilities (to varying degrees). The Calhouns have always been Guardians there although in recent years Gray has slacked on his duties. We don't just meet Gray and Lucinda but many of the town residents. This town and its people are far from perfect and it creates a nice dynamic in the book. People die, evil things happen - this book has a very dark tone to it which I really liked. It has a small town feel, and although a lot of people have magical abilities, that doesn't necessarily take precedence in the book. There is the mention of demons and gremlins, but it is not overloaded with the paranormal aspect. It is more about betrayals, and the judgments passed upon others and how they are perceived. The town residents really take center stage in this one. Michele Bardsley introduces us to many people, and gives us the time to get to know them.

I was less fulfilled in the romance department. Gray starts off with such hatred from Lucinda and her family due to the betrayal from Lucinda's sister (Gray's former wife). He wants nothing to do with Lucinda. But all too soon he falls for her. Yes, he realizes she is not the same person as her sister, but her sister was such pure evil, I just think he accepts Lucinda too easily. I would have liked to see him keep his surly tone with a her little longer or even some mistrust throughout the book. But they very quickly become a couple and with no further conflict between them. It all fell into place too perfectly for them.

The villain had me guessing until the end. There are some nice twists and Michele Bardsley doesn't give you all the information up front. She really gives us a very full, rich world with lots left to explore.

I think we have only tipped the iceberg with the amount of evil left to bring into play. I definitely look forward to Now or Never, coming out next.

Rating: B
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on April 29, 2011
eXtremely well written. FAscinating story line. MY only question is when is the next nevermore story cominf out?
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on October 11, 2011
This is the best Michele Bardsley book I've read to date. Her Broken Heart, OK books are relatively lighthearted fun (I read them when I'm in the mood for mindless), but this book really shows the breadth of skill Ms. Bardsley had. This book is not light-hearted, but it is amazing. When I finished this book my first thought was 'I really loved that book!'

The characters are well planned and written, the emotions are easily conveyed, you can really feel Lucy's despair and hope, Gray was uber sexy and his turmoil and guilt were very strongly felt. The characters had a life to them that was evident in every page.

This book far surpasses any of her previous work
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on May 12, 2011
Michele Bardsley's world building talents at their best, it was easy to enjoy this first book of her new series. She created a dark and complicated world where magic is a part of everyday life, and has a politics all its own. Colorful characters pulled me in and grabbed hold of me at the very first page. A bit darker and heavier than her Broken Heart series, this was a fresh perspective on witches, warlocks, and magic that I am sure to keep reading.
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on July 8, 2012
This the first and only book so far that I have read by this author but it will not be my last. It has a lot of action, and romance. The writing is excellent with no discernable typos and the characters are interesting and believable. By the end of this book I was sad to see them go! I look forward to reading more in this series!
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on July 7, 2012
Never Again is the first book in a fun series by Michele Bardsley. Based in the Texas town of Nevermore it tells the story of the town's Guardian Gray Calhoun and a Rackmore Witch Lucinda Rackmore.

Nevermore is a town in trouble, it's a place that holds the goddess fountain and holds true power. It was founded in the 1800's and has been a dragon town since its founding. A Calhoun has always been it's guardian. The mundanes who choose to live there, live there only on the guardian's sufferance. I liked this little town and am more than half inclined to get myself to Texas and try and find it..

Gray Calhoun, at a young age he had everything. He was in love with his beautiful, sexy Rackmore wife, he had advanced far in his career in Wizard politics and he came from a strong dragon family. UNTIL, the word on the Rackmores was out.. They had earned their wealth 500 years earlier by dealing with a demon and now.. well the truth is out and the Rackmore's will loose everything. Gray vows to stand beside the wife he loves.. only she has other plans. Kerren was what we would call an evil.. well witch.. yeah that's not what we call it and she had already made a deal with Kahl, the Rackmore's favorite demon. All she had to do was deliver to him the heart of a dragon. On that fateful day when the Rackmore's lost all, she led Gray to his death and offered his heart to Kahl. Only Gray didn't die.. he survived.. a changed man. For ten long years he hid first during recovery then as the guardian of Nevermore.. doing only what needed to be done.

Lucinda Rackmore, younger sister to the ever loverly Kerren. Left to find her own way after the suicide of her father, death of her mother and her sister's escape into hell. Struggling to survive she thought she had found love and became the lover of a powerful man.. of the Raven House.. only he too was out to betray her. Desperate she escapes but has been cursed. Now not only can she never hold on to any money.. the sentence of the council to the Rackmore's she can not use her power without incurring horrendous pain. At the end of her hope she comes to Nevermore.. asking Gray to marry her of all things.. like that worked out well the last time he married a Rackmore sister.

Gray and Lucy must somehow find a way to join forces, together they are set upon a journey to save Nevermore. Someone is trying to weaken the magic and free Kahl. Driven to make his miniscule magic into something he can use. A secret force, ready to kill anyone in his way. Even those he loves. Determined to someday rule Nevermore because surely, he would do a better job than Gray Calhoun. Hiding in plane site he works his evil plans.. finally reaching out the the one man who holds Lucy's curse.

Like I said in the beginning this was a fun book.. It had shades of darkness, you know that there is something out there. Those things that go bump in the night. Ready to destroy all that is good and true. And yet it is balanced by strong characters, a wonderful cast of secondary characters that I am sure Ms Bardsley has plans for. If you are looking for a worthwhile book, something to enjoy as you wind your ways through the dog days of summer.. then this is most definitely a book for you.

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on April 17, 2012
Michelle Bardsley is one of my favorite authors and I am glad that she has branched out into a new direction in her writing. This series is right up there with her other series and I will be looking for more to come.
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