Series: Never After #1
Genre: Retellings, Dark, Contemporary Romance, & Fantasy
Published: September 7, 2021
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)
A dark and delicious fractured fairy tale reimagining of Peter Pan.
He wants revenge, but he wants her more…
James has always had one agenda: destroy his enemy, Peter Michaels. When Peter’s twenty-year-old daughter Wendy shows up in James’s bar, he sees his way in. Seduce the girl and use her for his revenge. It’s the perfect plan, until things in James’s organization begin to crumble. Suddenly, he has to find the traitor in his midst, and his plan for revenge gets murkier as James starts to see Wendy as more than just a pawn in his game.
Wendy has been cloistered away most of her life by her wealthy cold father, but a spontaneous night out with friends turns into an intense and addictive love affair with the dark and brooding James. As much as she knows James is dangerous, Wendy can’t seem to shake her desire for him. But as their relationship grows more heated and she learns more about the world he moves in, she finds herself unsure if she’s falling for the man known as James or the monster known as Hook.
This was picked for our book club. Seen it before and it seemed interesting, but never picked it up.
This is a retelling of the classic 'Peter Pan'. James, aka Hook, has always had one agenda...destroy his enemy Peter Michaels. When Peter's twenty-year-old daughter, Wendy, shows up in his bar...he finally has the perfect plan. Seduce the girl and use her to help unfurl his plan. It goes perfectly until things in James's organization begin to crumble. There is a traitor in his midst. On top of that, his plans for revenge get a little more complex when he starts to see Wendy as more than just a pawn in his game. Wendy has been cloistered away most of her life by her absent father. She is pretty much the mother of her little brother. When she agrees to a spontaneous night with her new friends, she finds herself in an intense and addictive love affair with James. He is dangerous and the world he lives in is dangerous...but she can't stop herself.
This was certainly intense at times. James isn't messing around with his charms and good looks, plus Wendy is the perfect victim so it wasn't too hard for him to seduce her. She has been emotionally abused and neglected by her father after her mother died. She's been alone and taking care of her little brother for years.
I felt so bad for Wendy. She was a pawn for her dad and then, for a time, a pawn for James. The girl has a heart of a saint. She was never allowed to stick up for herself. Joining James in his dark world does toughen her up a bit and helps her find her voice.
And maaaan this version of Hook....dang. He reminded me of the 'Once Upon a Time' version, but darker and more tragic. This James/Hook went through some stuff especially because of his Uncle. He is damaged and angry....as we all would. And then what Peter did? Oof! You can't help but root for Hook here.
There was one twist that angered me. I mean...it was good and surprising...but it made me really, really sad. I can't say because it literally is the big reveal near the end. Sobs!
I will say the resolution of the conflict was....too easy. I wasn't a fan. I feel like it was anti-climatic in a way. And I feel like a certain character wouldn't do what they did and be okay with it at the end of the day. Just didn't sit well with me.
The epilogue had me "aww"ing the whole time. It was perfect.
All-in-all, I did like this. It was certainly a dark retelling so be warned! I liked Hook and Wendy was certainly a darling. The ending resolution was too easy and I was bummed with the big reveal/twist because it made me super sad/mad. Other than those couple of things, I liked this. It was fun and steamy. If you like darker romances and retellings....I suggest this one. I'll give it 3 stars.