Archive

BOOK REVIEW: Hook (Neverland #2) by Gina L. Maxwell

BOOK REVIEW: Hook (Neverland #2) by Gina L. Maxwell Hook (Neverland #2)
by Gina L. Maxwell
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

THEY CALL ME HOOK</b

I'm Captain of the Pirates; a villain by design and a loner by nature.

I don't need anyone. More than that, I don't want anyone. Especially Officer John Darling who insists on seeing the good in everything, including me. If there was ever any good inside of me, it was snuffed out long ago.

I've avoided him for years, but now I need his help to save my brother's life and take down Fred Croc, the monster from my childhood and my current employer.

Now Darling is undercover in my crew, living in my loft and forever working out shirtless. Taking Croc's operation down from the inside is dangerous as hell, but Darling's probing gaze and the natural way he defers to my dominant side might just be the end of me.

But I've lived in the dark for too long, and no amount of light can save me. Not even one as bright as Johnathan Darling.

HE CALLS ME DARLING

I'm a Task Force Officer with the FBI; a protector of the innocent and a man in love with a villain.

Before I was even old enough to understand it, I had a crush on the broody teen called Captain Hook, following him around like a puppy and hoping he'd show me the slightest bit of attention.

He never did, though, not for years. Not until I became his only viable option for getting his crew member back and throwing Croc behind bars. Now he can't ignore me, and he can't hide the desire burning in his eyes when I sink to my knees, eager to serve my Captain however he needs.

But secrets are hard to keep in close quarters, and when I discover the darkness lurking in his past, eradicating the evil in Neverland is no longer my only mission. Come hell or high water, I'll make Hook see that he's never been the villain of this story...he's the hero.

*Trigger Warning for readers sensitive to characters with sexual assault in their pasts. Please read the Author's Note in the beginning of the book for more details.

Review:

Hook was an emotional book that was filled with hope, healing and redemption.  But pain also filled the pages and it was etched so deep that my heart hurt reading this story.  Right from the prologue we were brought into Hook’s world and we got to see how dark and desolate it was.  Life could be so harsh and brutal.  But with John Darling in the picture, love and peace of mind tried their hardest to continually add light to Hook’s life.  So if you love opposites attracts and stories that will pull at your heart, then definitely add this one to your tbr.

“Damn your hero complex all to hell,” I mutter to myself on the way back to my room. “The Pirate doesn’t want to be saved, and you don’t belong on the dark side.”

We met Hook in Pan, and I just knew his story would slay my heart open.  You definitely don’t have to read the previous book to follow along with this one, but you’ll connect and understand the characters on a much deeper level if you do.  So Hook and his crew of pirates dealt drugs for Croc.  Hook was dealt a shit hand and was trying his best to help others, even though it dragged him into doing illegal activities.  And then there was John Darling, Wendy’s brother. He was a cop and the complete opposite of Hook.  Since they were kids, there was always something between them.  And now that they were older, it turned into something that was scorching hot.

He is my Captain. And for as long as he’ll have me, I am his.

John Darling was such a smart, caring, gentle hearted man.  He was so honest and the reasons why he became a cop blew my mind.  John was all heart and patience and I loved that no matter how high Hook’s walls were, he kept trying.  He saw the good in Hook and John slowly gave him pieces of his own heart.  John cared so deeply for him that it made my heart soar.  We alternated between John and Hook and I loved that we got to see what each of them thought about the other.  It added so much depth and understanding to their story.

Finally, he reaches me. As he stands between my spread legs, I focus on keeping my breaths even, determined not to show him how much his nearness affects me. I am a rock. An island. I don’t need him. I don’t need anyone. – Hook

The tension between John and Hook had me begging for them to be together. And when they did *fans face*, it was extremely hot and addictive. Moments between them were sensual, but there was also heart in it all.  So I kept hoping that each time they touched, that it helped knock down Hook’s walls. Because emotionally, John was there for Hook.  And we also got to see how physically he did everything he could to make his Captain happy.  They had such a beautiful, slow burn relationship.

Hatred— for Croc, for myself, for a system that failed us as kids and set all this in motion— rips through me from the bottom of my black soul until I let out a deafening roar and tear the visitor’s phone off the partition wall to whip it across the room.

Just like John, I loved Hook.  He had already captured and broken my heart in Pan.  In his story, those broken pieces got shattered even further and scattered all over the floor.  Don’t worry, they got pieced back together in the most beautiful of ways.  But still, I had a very hard time with Hook’s story.  His past was too much for me to handle.  I struggle with rape, especially when it comes to kids. I knew about his past, because of what we saw in Pan, so I thought I could handle it.  I was wrong.  I sobbed for Hook.  Even if it didn’t go into details, you still understood exactly what happened and the darkness was too much for me.  Thankfully one of the chapters had an alternative way to read it, on her website, and I did that.  But still, this story was too hard for my heart.

All I see is him in front of me, all I hear are his steady breaths, all I feel is his strong yet gentle touch. It’s both the most calming and unnerving thing I’ve ever experienced.
It’s where I belong.
I’ve never wanted and dreaded something so much in all my life. – Hook

So if you aren’t triggered like me, definitely pick this one up.  Yes you’re going to have to suspend your belief from time to time, just like in Pan.  But Hook was such a beautiful story about hope, love and persevering.  I was rooting for Hook and John from the very beginning.  Not only for them to be together, but their individual journeys too.  There was also all of the side characters we got to love and hate.  And then this book ended with an epilogue that dreams are made of.  So if you pick this one up, I hope you love it way more than me, this book deserves all the love!

BOOK REVIEW: Pan (Neverland #1) by Gina L. Maxwell

BOOK REVIEW: Pan (Neverland #1) by Gina L. MaxwellPan (Neverland #1)
by Gina L. Maxwell
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

From NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Gina L. Maxwell, comes a brand-new series with a fresh twist on an old classic.

Once upon a time, in Neverland, North Carolina--I fell in love.

I was twelve when Peter first climbed up to my balcony.
Thirteen when I sneaked out to see him at the School for Lost Boys.
Seventeen when his touch made me fly,
And eighteen when his words made me cry.

We were magnetic, drawn to each other from that very first night, and what I thought would be forever. But when it came time for me to leave, he wouldn't come with, soI left town with a map for my future and a shattered heart.

Ten years later, I've returned to Neverland, hoping to find a man in place of the boy.

Peter was partially right, growing up is no fun. After quitting my fancy career that sucked the magic out of life, I'm now organizing the fundraiser of the year. In a move that could make or break the event and my new company, I've hired Peter, master mechanic and owner of LB Automotive, to help me pull this off--trusting him to rebuild a classic car for the auction that could help hundreds of foster kids in need.

I thought I was prepared, but the boy who refused to leave is now a man hell-bent on getting me to stay, and as sparks fly between us, that undeniable fire flares back to life, deeper and hotter than ever.

But that ripped body doesn't mean Peter's matured enough to make us or this event work, and not everyone in Neverland is happy about my return.

Not every wound heals.
Not every heart can be fixed.
Not every boy grows up.

And after all this time, the love we found might be lost to us again...this time, forever.

Pan is an adult contemporary romance retelling of Peter Pan, complete with Wendy, Hook, Tink, and all the Lost Boys. There are no fantasy elements in this world, other than the "magic" that happens between the sheets. 😉

Review:
I stare into his blue eyes sparkling in the lamplight, promising unexpected adventures and stories untold.

Pan was a fun and whimsical adventure!  It had so many references to the Peter Pan I fell in love with as a child.  But this time around, everything I craved as an adult was there too.  And while this book is contemporary, just know that you will need to stretch what is believable.  For me that was effortless to do, and I loved how the story unfolded.  So if you’re looking for a romance novel, that is also a retelling, then definitely give this one a chance.  I’m so glad I did!

“Okay,” I whisper.
Hope and excitement flash in his eyes. “Okay?”
“Yeah, okay.” Taking a deep breath, I utter the words that will begin our story. “I’ll go with you to Neverland, Peter Pan.”

We started the story off when Wendy and Peter were just kids.  From there, we alternated between Wendy and Peter, while they were in the past and the present.  It was all done so seamlessly and I loved seeing every aspect of them.  I loved watching them forge a friendship so easily and then becoming the best of friends.  Their younger years felt so innocent, and you couldn’t knock the smile off of my face.  Especially when there were scenes like the thimble, oh my heart!  But slowly they evolved into something more.  Well, until Wendy moved away and Peter was left in Neverland.

Then I claim her lips like I once claimed her heart—fully, almost desperately. Even growing up as I did, I’d never needed anyone. Not until Wendy. Not until I asked her for a kiss, and she gave me a thimble. From that moment on, I needed her like I needed air.

While I absolutely loved peeking into their past, the present would sweep me off of my feet too.  Wendy has returned, ten years later, and I loved seeing where their lives had taken them.  Even though years had passed, their deep and beautiful friendship was still there. Plus there was also this amazing sexual tension between them!  While Peter and Wendy definitely had a lot of stuff to work through, I had hope since Wendy had a huge heart and I loved how Peter saw her.  They were both each others biggest champions and their love felt eternal.

With a smile on my face, I follow Peter into oblivion and dream of our happily ever after. It’s perfect and amazing, and everything I ever hoped for…except for that tinkling bell that won’t stop echoing in the distance.

But the story wasn’t just about Peter and Wendy.  All of our other favorites were there too, and my favorites so far…..besides Wendy and Peter……were Tink and Hook.  Tink was as feisty as ever.  That girl has so much fire in her.  And Hook broke my heart and I may just be rooting for his happily ever after the hardest.  I love that there are so many fabulous stories this series can tell!  Pan was one of the most creative and unique retelling I’ve ever read, so I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Reaching up, he cups the sides of my face, his fingers slipping into my hair as his blue eyes stare into mine. “I’m yours, Wen. Always have been. Take what you want, and I swear, I’ll give you all that I am.”

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

© 2020

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑