My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Title: Nevermore Bookstore (Townsend Harbor, #1)
Author: Kerrigan Byrne & Cynthia St. Aubin
Format: eBook (NetGalley)
Publication Date: 3/28/23
Publisher: Oliver Heber Books
Categories: Romance, Contemporary, Mystery, Dark Romance
Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
Thank you to Oliver Heber Books for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Cadence “Cady” Bloomquist knows two things for sure: First, shelving books at her shop, Nevermore Bookstore, totally counts as cardio. Second, staying late every Thursday night to take a certain mysterious customer’s order is not the same as waiting by the phone for some man.
Until the calls with the man who identifies himself only as “Fox” last for hours, and become the highlight of her week. Which leaves her to wonder, if his jagged velvet voice can kindle her fire over the phone, what sort of alchemy might it inspire if they met in person?
There’s nothing Roman Fawkes wants more than the brilliant, beautiful bookstore owner, but Roman Fawkes knows it can never happen. Secreted in his mountain hideaway high above sleepy little Townsend Harbor, his hermit’s existence shields him–and those around him–from the pain of his past.
Until one of their weekly calls is interrupted by a break-in, and Fawkes is powerless to protect the woman who has become his one link to the world. Orchestrating a trap for the fool who dared harm her, Fawkes finds himself not just ensnared, but beguiled by her. Now so close to Cady, he discovers she’s fallen for “Fox”, and yet he’s unable to reveal her heart’s desire is closer than she thinks.
Can Fawkes resist the temptation to get between Cady’s covers, knowing they’ll never have a happily ever after?
Content Warning: PTSD, torture scenes in a memory
What caught my eye for this book was the cover and title. I’d say this is one of those instances where the cover made me think this would be a rom-com. Here’s what I thought:
+ Yes there are fun, light-hearted moments in this book but that’s mostly with Cady. She has ankylosing spondylitis and suffers from the pain of it but despite that she’s a sunshine girl. Cady is positive and living life. Whereas her romantic interest, Fox, is the opposite. Grumpy? YES. But with so much baggage, trauma, and suffers from major PTSD. His character threw me off in the beginning and I was wondering if this was a paranormal romance and he was a werewolf or something! Boy, was I wrong, but Fox is almost feral in this book. But opposites attract in this one and there is no shortage of chemistry between them.
+ I love the small town and how Cady runs a bookstore. She and Fox actually bond because of their love of books. But I love Cady’s friends Gemma, Myrtle, and Vee, they were all so funny together.
+ The romance between Cady and Fox was really heart melting after all the kinks they had to iron out. And it was a lot – it’s heavy, because of Fox’s PTSD. But I like that Cady fought to keep this guy, there is something beautiful about fighting for love. I like that these two people, strangers over the phone really, are each fighting their own battles and in the end decide they want to fight together. Also their sex scenes are steamy and hot!
~ This is a dark romance because Fox goes through some bad stuff and he dreams about it. I really couldn’t figure him out in the first part of the book, I couldn’t understand what the deal was with him. He’s a hermit in the woods, he seems like he’s on the verge of going out of his head – hence why I thought maybe he was a werewolf and this was a paranormal romance! There isn’t anything wrong with him dealing with PTSD, I just wasn’t expecting how hard he would deal with it. I really felt for him.
~ Because of the way they meet, and Fox is basically some guy in the woods – when he does come to be around Cady to protect her, it comes off a little suspect, like he’s stalking her. He doesn’t disclose who he is because he’s not good for her, but he sticks around a few days to make sure she is okay. He even watches her through binoculars so if that bothers you then this story isn’t for you.
~ The mystery part in this book I think didn’t flow as well for me? I was invested in Cady and Fox and the mystery of who HE is. But some things were happening at the bookstore that I felt like wasn’t something pushed to the forefront of the story. So by the time it’s dealt with at the end, it’s just some loose end that needs to be tied up and it is taken care of nicely.
Tropes: small town, sunshine girl/grumpy broken guy
Why you should read it:
- set in a small town, at a bookstore owned by a sunshine girl with an autoimmune disease
- fun secondary characters – Cady’s best friends
- Cady and Fox’s romance – and how they try to help themselves and one another by the end of the book
Why you might not want to read it:
- it’s darker than the cartoonish cover lets on! I liked the spotlight on Fox’s PTSD but it’s not a light-hearted read – I think it was trying to toe the line between light-hearted and dark. It worked for me but may not work for everyone.
After the initial rocky start of the book (mostly because Fox), I think I fell in love with Cady and Fox – especially when the truth comes out. Cady’s life in her small town, her book store and her close knit friends was perfect for her and her personality. Fox fit his surroundings also, because he really was on the edge of giving up, and he was going to give up in the woods but I didn’t know that until later. So like Cady, I didn’t understand him, until he let his guard down. But I loved the two of them together and glad they have a happy ending. The story is like a balance between light-hearted and dark romance and I enjoyed it. It looks like this is going to be a series so I hope the next love story is Gemma’s or Ethan’s? I look forward to reading more from this duo.
4 thoughts on “Nevermore Bookstore by. Kerrigan Bryne and Cynthia St. Aubin | ARC Review”
I’m not a fan of the misleading covers. I’ve had my eye on this one, though. Great review!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Great review! Yours is the second review I’ve seen for this book and the concerning elements you mentioned sound a little weird but I do think this sounds interesting overall. Plus, I’m keen to read more books about books/book lovers! I’ll be keeping my eye out for its release 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person