This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
About The Book
He wants revenge, but he wants her more.
Once Upon A Time, there was a little boy.
His belly full of laughter, his life full of joy.
Until one day, something changed; stripped his innocence away.
The hole inside making space for the devil to come and play.
His dreams gone forever, he grew up way too fast.
An endless night of crocodiles, and watches made of glass.
He grew into a villain, the taste of vengeance on his tongue.
Craving to make his enemies pay for the misdeeds they had done.
Instead he found a darling girl, and refused to let her go.
For what better way to make the man pay, than to steal his little shadow.
*Hooked is a full-length, complete standalone and the first in The Never After Series: A collection of fractured fairy tales where the villains get the happy ever after. This is a DARK Contemporary romance (not fantasy) featuring mature themes and content that may not be suitable for all audiences. Reader discretion is advised.*
Just remember that whenever things feel bleak, all situations are temporary. It’s not your circumstance that determines your worth, it’s how you rise from the ashes after everything burns.
Hooked is the first book in the newest series by this author “Never After” and this series is based on darker fairytale retellings. I was really intrigued especially in seeing how this series has taken the book community by storm, and I knew I needed to pick these up and soon. So I grabbed up Hooked and I can tell you that I have zero regrets on that. This book just swept me away and it was so delicious. I really wanted something that was fun but a bit edgier and Hooked definitely filled out my expectations and more. The writing was so quick and addictive and its a story that will captivate you instantly. I was so drawn to the set up of the story and seeing these two connect to each other. Our hero isn’t a good man haha he is definitely the epitome of a bad boy, but this author offers so many depths that are so enriching to read about. I was so captivated by it all. I loved the various references to the “Peter Pan” movie and even though its not a full retelling, the quirks of it was so engaging.
Maybe people never change and it’s only our perceptions that alter the view.
Hook is a man to be feared in his territory and the man that he works for. Hook lost everything as a child, and Ru raised him and was his only true father. The only man he could ever owe any allegiance to. But his life changes when he meets Wendy, a graceful innocent young woman, and when he learns of her true identity and that she is the daughter of the man that is his nemesis and one who cost him everything, he is determined to get his revenge even if he has to use Wendy as a bargaining chip. So while his intentions for her aren’t honorable, his determination to use her for his own ends starts to weaken as he discovers that Wendy is so much more than a bargaining chip. She starts to see inside his soul and as the bond between them deepens, he will have to decide which is more important his vow for vengeance or the love he is cultivating with her. But all plans never end up the way you expect them to, and Hook and Wendy will be in for some true obstacles before they can reach their well-deserved HEA.
“You want to watch the world burn?” “Let me guess, you’ll set it on fire?” I ask. He chuckles, the sound vibrating through me and settling into my bones. “No, darling. I’ll hand you the match, and stand at your back, watching you become queen of the ashes.”
What I Loved
This story ……just pulled me in so quickly and I was always intrigued about a romance between Hook and Wendy and how exactly that would look like. I absolutely loved both characters, Hook is such a badass bad boy and definitely knows how to heat things up in the bedroom. Wendy is a strong yet sweet heroine. I love how protective she is over her brother and her willingness to stand up to her father. I really couldn’t get enough of the connection that Hook and Wendy have in the beginning, they are so drawn to each other . I enjoyed the aspect of them having an instant bond before the revenge plot comes forth from Hook. I really felt for Wendy, as she is the innocent in all of this, and I just knew when she learned the truth it would be devastating. And while it gets angsty in the second half of the story, I truly couldn’t get enough of seeing them overcome the challenges they need to face. Seeing Hook learn to trust in someone like Wendy was really beautiful. I adored the little moments that connect the story to “Disney’s Peter Pan” was so fun , like the ticking clocks that drive Hook crazy, or the spice was “chef’s kiss”. The romance was so delightful, while definitely super steamy, it had so many emotional depths to it that just cultivates a relationship you can root for.
“But I regret, with every fiber of my being, that for even one moment you suffered under my hands.” Her eyes widen, the beautiful shades of brown glossing over. “You are, without a doubt, the only good I’ve ever known.” I rest my forehead on hers, my shaky breaths ghosting across her lips, my thumb rubbing against her cheek. “So… don’t lie to me, Wendy, darling. Because my heart won’t survive it if you do.”
What I Struggled With
There honestly wasn’t too much I struggled with, it got pretty angst between Hook and Wendy in certain moments in the second half, so I think I would have preferred it not to last as long as it did.
Hooked is an enthralling dark contemporary that stuns the reader with its captivating romantic moments that bring such delicious treats to the one reading it. You can be assured that this story will addict you into the romance that was beautiful while also being packed with heart-filled struggles and human experience.
And to think, it all started with a little bit of faith. Misplaced trust. Missing pixie dust. And a villain who just needed to steal a little love.
Author: Emily McIntire
Genre: Contemporary Dark Romance
Source: Kindle Unlimited/Purchased eBook
Storytelling Quality: 4.5
Story Itself: 4.5
Character Development: 5
World Building 5
Feels + The Romantic Heart 4
Cover Art 5
Overall Rating of the Book
Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy
Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.
Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.
Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.
Hooked-Pub 2021-#1 in Series
Scarred-Pub 2022-#2 in Series
Wretched-Pub 2022 #3 in the Series