Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: Now or Never by Michele Bardsley

In Nevermore, Texas, witches and wizards live side by side with humans in harmony. But when a woman with magical powers is taken hostage, the residents of Nevermore find themselves at odds....

Lenore Whyte’s blood might be able to open a portal to the underworld, but she doesn’t understand how to wield the powerful magic bound within her—knowledge that would have come in handy when she was kidnapped and set to be sacrificed.

...and Haunted
Tormented by nightmares of a woman’s death, Sheriff Taylor Mooreland is shocked to find the woman from his visions chained to an altar in the woods. Even though he barely knows her, Taylor is determined to protect the mysterious Lenore no matter what. Even if it means dealing with magic.

And when an investigation into a series of suicides leads Taylor deep into the town’s past, he discovers that the key to saving both Lenore and Nevermore may require the ultimate sacrifice…

I liked the first book of this series, Never Again, so I had hoped I would enjoy this new take on paranormal romance.  Now or Never, I think, just had too many aspects pulling the narrative in varying directions.  

We are reintroduced to Sheriff Taylor Mooreland, who has murder and/or suicide to solve.  He's irritated because (1) the gun found at the scene of the crime should be under lock and key and (2) he's the man with the key.   Add to this mystery the strange dreams he's been having, and Taylor is imbibing more coffee than he's like to stay awake and keep his mind focused.

Gray Calhoun, the Guardian of Nevermore, expects a visit from his mother.  Gray plans to formally introduce his wife, Lucinda, to his mother, so he doesn't want a murder investigation adding more tension to what he assumes will be a very tense visit.  When Taylor discovers Lenore and an altar in the woods near his home, he turns to Gray for help, meaning Gray has to juggle his mother, his wife, and protecting Nevermore from possible invasion.

The various plot threads and secondary characters bisect one another, which makes it difficult to keep the action 100% straight.  And the romance between Taylor and Norie is firmly in the background, perhaps a distant second (or third) to stopping whatever evil force is coming for Norie.

I am disappointed in Now or Never.  I'm even more disappointed in and frustrated by the cliffhanger I fear I won't learn more about until March 2013 when the third and final book is released.       

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