Friday, May 22, 2015

ARC Mini-Review: Never More

Never More (The Gray Court #6)

By Dana Marie Bell


Amanda Pierson’s long-overdue holiday at the Dunne farm unexpectedly turns into a working vacation when she’s roped into throwing together a last-minute dream wedding for Michaela Exton and Robin Goodfellow. No biggie for one of the best party planners at Fantasy Events, Inc., right?
A monkey wrench lands with a thud when the groom’s son—who’s been watching her every move—declares they were meant to be together. Raven Goodfellow is everything she doesn’t want in a lover. Brash, bold and goth. Yet there’s something almost . . . magical about their attraction.
The moment Raven saw Amanda’s picture, he had suspicions. Now that he’s seen her in person, he’s certain. She is his truebond, though it will take a delicate, feather-light touch to bring her into his world.
Love takes wing faster than a bird in flight. But when the Dark Queen sends agents to destroy him, Raven finds himself in a desperate fight to protect all he holds dear . . . or the Dark Queen may succeed where so many others have failed.
Themes:  magick, paranormal, Fae
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
 A wonderful story of redemption for a man that once fully embodied the dark side of life, not necessarily by his choice, but that has finally found his way to the Light (for the most part at least) and has earned a truebond to balance his darker urges.  The story is one I have been looking forward to for the past two or three reads in the series, about the dark and deadly son of Robin Goodfellow, the prince of the powerful Gray Court. The way that Raven blew onto the pages during Robin’s courting of his mate was one that could have destroyed the known world, as Robin’s anger is nothing to be underestimated and discovering he had many grown children that have been turned to the Black, was certainly life altering.  As we got to know more about Raven in his subsequent appearances on the scene, I began to really root for him to find his very own truebond to keep him level and bring him the happiness he was denied for so many centuries at the hands of the Dark Queen. If you are a fan of this series and/or Shakespeare’s tales of Oberon and Titania you will still never be prepared for the full extent of this strange and varied group of people that have come together as a family. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series as I have a strong feeling I know who will get his HEA next and couldn’t be more thrilled to read that story.
Raven and Amanda’s story is one of emotional turmoil, battles for their lives, and of course the sweetness of Robin and Michaela’s wedding.  Amanda is a wedding planner that has gotten pushed not just into the deep-end but into the damn Marianna Trench of Weddings, and she also finds herself with a new man drawing her attraction and desire.  She is determined to give Robin and Michaela the wedding of their dreams, but with one of Robin’s sons telling her she is his mate and another out to kill them all, she’s in over her head, especially when she learns that almost every member of the wedding party and Robin’s little “family” are not even human.  I loved Amanda and her ability to embrace the absurd, keeping her from becoming the type of character that all women hate, a TSTL heroine.  Instead Amanda handles all the crazy changes to her reality and her life with a beautiful aplomb and quirky sense of humor.  I loved that she decided that Raven was taking too long and decided that she was going to take the bird by the feathers (sorry couldn’t resist) and seduce her man.   Raven himself was a different type of character, though we have seen the tortured hero character many times before, his ability to embrace the beauty around him, even when he was fully Dark sets him apart in my mind.  His sensuality and sweetness are apart in equal measure and it became obvious immediately that he will be a perfect mate for his Amanda and will treat her like the princess she will become, even when he is making her scream his name.  I also enjoyed his apparent intelligence and ability to outmaneuver his opponents when they tried to frame him and ultimately destroy his entire family. 
Characters, plots, setting, and continuation of the series ARCs make this story one of the most fulfilling in the story, bringing some relationships to a crucial step, expanding the Gray court to include some interesting new folks, and even bringing a few humans into the mix.  I am really looking forward to the next story and hope it is the one I think it is.   If you are a fan of Bell’s work, her Gray Court series is not to be missed, but I would definitely start at the beginning and read them all, maybe a marathon read weekend would be in order, because only by having an understanding of all the stories will you appreciate the true greatness that is Oberon and his people.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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