Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Nevermore Bookstore by Kerrigan Byrne, Cynthia St. Aubin
Series: Townsend Harbor #1
on March 28, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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.
I have loved Kerrigan Byrne’s historical romance so when I saw she was dipping a toe into contemporary romance I was excited to try it out. Nevermore Bookstore is the first book in the new Townsend Harbor series written by Kerrigan Bryne and new to me author Cynthia St. Aubin. This is definitely a book for those who like quirky broken characters, strange word combinations and imagery, don’t mind a little minor stalking and well, really just want to have a good time in a small town interesting characters.
Cady is broken…not so much emotionally, but there is some of that but physically. She has a spinal condition that causes her to have severe back pain, mobility issues and real use of only one hand. Cady inherited the bookstore from the aunt she lived with after her parents died. Just a few problems. She can’t find the deed to the bookstore, she is grieving the loss of her aunt and the thing she is most excited for every week is a call from some mystery man to order books. Her Pollyanna attitude to look on the bright side of things was something I really connected with and I loved how she really tries to have that positive mindset. So I liked Cady but there will be those who just don’t get her.
Fox, the mystery caller. Lets get this straight up front. I love the broken hero, the guy that has all the baggage, the guy trying to overcome or even thinks he can’t overcome until some one pulls him out. I’m a sucker for that guy. So I love Fox! But, if you struggle with that type of character that lurks in the shadows to be unseen and at times seems a little on the stalker side of life, watching the world but not being a part of it you are going to have huge issues with this book. I like him and all of his struggles. He likes Cady, he wants to protect her, wants to see her, but never expected her to see him. So when Cady’s bookstore is broken into and the line goes dead, Fox heads into town to protect this angel he has only spoken with on the phone and make sure whoever has targeted her can’t get to her.
I enjoyed this book a lot. It took me out of my head and I liked they wrote about characters with real issues, Cady and her back problem and Fox with his severe PTSD. They were more real to me because of this. Cady’s friendships and banter with her friends I found hilarious but it will be extremely hit or miss for readers I think. We also both love Ice Planet Barbarians (Blue Alien’s with interesting tooling), definitely in my Yum column.
Overall this is a fun story, with an unexpected villain and the HEA we always expect from a romance novel. I like this duo authorship and look forward to seeing the characters of Townsend Harbor again.
“I should probably ask because… Well, people will ask me if I checked… But you’re not a serial killer, right?”
He shrugged. “More of an oatmeal guy.”
“Just like Willoughby when he found Marianne on the moors,” Cady said dreamily, gazing out at the pewter-bellied storm clouds rolling in.
“As if. I’m an officer and you have daddy issues,” he pointed out. “We’re solidly in Colonel Brandon company.”
“That may the sexiest thing a man has ever said to me.”
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