Never Again by Edward Kendrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Not your everyday shape-shifting story, Never Again will warm the heart and fill it with hope and love.
Never Again by Edward Kendrick is the story of Joseph, who finds love the second time around after risking his heart to the obvious outcome from loving a human.
Having lost Rawleigh during the Civil War, Joseph vows never to love again. Then he meets Cal, a homeless veteran of the Iraq War. Antipathy becomes friendship. Now Joseph must decide if he can once again allow himself to love.
During the Civil War Joseph Moncure, shifter and newspaper owner, lost the only man he ever loved and he vowed it wouldn't happen again.
Cal Gilbert, a homeless veteran of the Iraq War, found a purpose in life when he created Rebuild NOLA, an organization which refurbishes derelict houses for the homeless.
Joseph, tired of purveying the news, decides it's time to find somewhere else to channel his time and energy. When he learns about Rebuild he joins the organization, despite the instant antipathy between him and Cal.
Antipathy turns to grudging respect then friendship between the two men. Now Joseph must decide if he can once again allow love into his life after swearing 'Never Again'
How many of us have sworn this to ourselves, especially after experiencing the trauma of love lost or unrequited? How many of us have gone to forget that promise when the right person comes along? This is what Never Again is about: how one's brain may say something logical and protective while the heart ignores and says "Come to me, I am open for love."
The complications of the story does not stem from the love between Joseph and Cal, it comes to how Cal would accept the obvious fact that if Joseph allows himself the relationship to grow, Joseph will still be young looking and alive while Cal grows old and eventually die. Not to mention the shape-shifting part.
At first glance, the blurb told me that this was just another run-of-the-mill shapeshifter/human love story but simply because the writing style of Edward Kendrick is never to be missed, I grabbed on to the opportunity to borrow this book from a friend who had pre-ordered it.
I loved the way the author did not use multiple flash-back scenes when writing about his lost love Rawleigh. In fact, the book starts out about his relationship with Rawleigh and goes on until around Chapter 6 or 7. Then it leapfrogs to the present day and it was so blatant in the way the language of the writing became so different that I took a little time to adjust. In the first six or seven chapters, the language was of the age: formal and more like listening to a lecture of a professor. When the story shifts to contemporary times, it became more informal, especially around the way the characters spoke.
There is one thing that I must say disappointed me with this book, and I am happy to say that it has nothing to do with the author's writing. The editing was a bit sloppy towards the middle and the end. I could point out several typos, several grammatical errors that were hard not to miss. Editing missed out on this one and it was a bit distracting. Thankfully it did not mess up the story.
No, Never Again is not the usual shapeshifter/human love story. The author takes the readers to a different time, opens their eyes to the dire situation in New Orleans and is just basically a great read that warms the heart.
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