Category Archives: Libby Drew

Review: Secrets of Neverwood Anthology

neverwoodTitle: Secrets of Neverwood by G.B. Lindsey, Diana Copland and Libby Drew
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Erotic, Paranormal (ghost), Romance
Word Count: 166,000
Book Rating:B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Three foster brothers are called home to Neverwood, the stately Pacific Northwest mansion of their youth. They have nothing in common but a promise to Audrey, the woman they all called mother–that upon her death, they would restore the house and preserve it as a home for troubled boys.

But going home is never easy.

Cal struggles to recover from past heartbreak, while Danny fears his mistakes are too big to overcome. Devon believes he may never break down the barriers that separate him from honest emotion.

On the path to brotherhood, they discover the old mansion holds more than dusty furniture and secret passageways. Audrey’s spirit still walks its halls, intent on guiding “her boys” toward true love, and an old mystery stirs up a new danger–one that could cost the men far more than just the house.

Secrets of Neverwood includes:

One Door Closes by G.B. Lindsey

The Growing Season by Diana Copland

The Lost Year by Libby Drew

166,000 words

Stories also available for purchase separately.

The Review:

The Secrets of Neverwood anthology is an outstanding novel about three foster brothers who return to their childhood home after their foster mother Audrey passes away and leaves them her estate. Consisting of three novels written by three different authors, each story focuses on a different brother as they work through their personal issues and find love while struggling to restore the dilapidated mansion so they can continue Audrey’s legacy of helping troubled boys.

One Door Opens by G.B. Lindsey
Word Count: 59,000
Book Rating: B

The Secrets of Neverwood anthology begins with G.B. Lindsey’s One Door Closes. Calvin “Cal” Ware kept in close touch with Audrey and in the aftermath of her death, he is overwhelmed by the financial burden of renovating the rundown Victorian home. Adding to Cal’s stress are his strained relationships with his foster brothers, and his renewed acquaintance with his first love, Will Cabot.

One Door Closes is written from Cal’s perspective but he is not an easy character to get to know. He is haunted by his unresolved relationship with Will and he finds it virtually impossible to talk about anything in his past, including the reasons surrounding their break-up. Cal’s secrets are alluded to on numerous occasions, but nothing concrete is revealed until nearly the very end of the story.

Cal’s interactions with his foster brothers are tense and often overshadowed by some of his bitterness for past events. He finds it difficult to ask them for help and since both men are as close-mouthed as Cal is, he has no idea what their intentions are regarding their inheritance. The tension between the men continues to mount until Cal’s resentment leads to a much needed discussion about the future of the house.

Both the paranormal and romantic elements of One Door Closes are understated for much of the novel. Audrey’s ghostly appearances are vague in the beginning and the reasons for her visits remain unclear until the story’s conclusion. Cal and Will eventually rekindle their teenage romance but this does not occur until very late in the book.

G.B. Lindsey’s One Door Closes is a fabulous introduction to the Secrets of Neverwood anthology. I am very intrigued by the glimpses of Cal’s foster brothers and I am very much anticipating their stories.

The Growing Season by Diana Copland
Word Count: 53,000
Book Rating: B+

The Secrets of Neverwood anthology continues in Diana Copland’s The Growing Season. Daniel “Danny” Redmond is the youngest of the foster brothers and he left Neverwood four years earlier and found nothing but heartache when he was betrayed by the man he thought he loved. Deeply saddened by Audrey’s death, Danny feels closest to her when working in the gardens they both loved and his role in the renovations is restoring the grounds to its former beauty.

Danny’s relationship with his foster brothers has improved, but he is quick to jump to conclusions with landscape architect Sam Ignatius’s unexpected arrival. Although the situation is quickly smoothed over, their relationship is uneasy and complicated by Danny’s unanticipated attraction to Sam.   Like his brothers, Danny has a painful history that he finds impossible to discuss and his unresolved issues quickly come between him and Sam.

In The Growing Season, the paranormal and romantic aspects of the storyline are much more prevalent.   Danny is comforted by Audrey’s presence and she takes on a much larger role in the men’s efforts to keep Neverwood.   The romance between Sam and Danny grows steadily throughout the story and it is an absolute joy watching love blossom between the two men.

The Growing Season by Diana Copland is a superb addition to the Secrets of Neverwood anthology. Although this story primarily focuses on Danny and Sam, glimpses into his brothers’ lives reveal how the changes in their personal lives are having a positive effect on their relationship as well.

The Lost Year by Libby Drew
Word Count: 54,000
Book Rating: B+

The Secrets of Neverwood anthology concludes with Libby Drew’s The Lost Year. Devon McCade is the oldest foster brother and he is definitely the most enigmatic of the three. Although he kept in touch with Audrey over the years through letters, he never returned to Neverwood after he left. While Devon is behind the renovation 100 percent, his career as a photojournalist requires frequently travel. Returning home after his most recent assignment, Nicholas Hardy asks for Devon’s help in locating his runaway son, Robbie.

The Lost Year is a little different than the other stories in the anthology since some of Devon’s story takes place away from Neverwood. He and Nicholas form a close bond during their search for Robbie, but both view their relationship as short term. Surprisingly, although he tends to be emotionally distant, Devon falls hard for Nicholas but he remains very wary of opening up and letting Nicholas completely into his life.

Like his foster brothers, Devon is still struggling to put his painful past behind him. He was one of Audrey’s first (and most difficult) foster children and she felt his loss the most keenly. The reasons behind his behavior and departure are deeply rooted in his dysfunctional childhood and it explains much about Devon, including his career choice. While his relationship with his brothers is much improved, the fact that he is not at Neverwood full time is still cause for uncertainty and they are very wary of his involvement with Nicholas and Robbie.

As with The Growing Season, the paranormal portion of the storyline is much more pronounced in The Lost Year. Each of the brothers experiences their encounters with Audrey’s ghost differently and her role in the storyline increases along with their fight to keep Neverwood out of the hands of an unscrupulous developer. The conclusion of this story arc is rather dramatic and extremely satisfying!

The Lost Year by Libby Drew is a marvelous conclusion to the Secrets of Neverwood anthology. It is well worth the wait to uncover all of Devon’s longheld secrets but it is watching him fall in love that is so incredibly gratifying.

Secrets of Neverwood is a wonderful collection of stories that is written by three very talented authors. Their writing styles are unique and quite distinct, but each of the brothers’ stories seamlessly flows from book to book. Each novel stands on its own and concentrates on an individual brother as he triumphs over his past and falls in love. But to fully appreciate the transformation of the three foster brothers and their relationship, I highly recommend reading all three books in the anthology.




Filed under Carina Press, Contemporary, Diana Copland, Erotic, GB Lindsey, Libby Drew, M/M, Paranormal, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Secrets of Neverwood

Review: Paradox Lost by Libby Drew

paradoxTitle: Paradox Lost by Libby Drew
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Sci-Fi, Time Travel, Futuristic, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Word Count: 84,000
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Author


Time-travel tour guide Reegan McNamara’s job–taking eager tourists to whenever they want to go–is usually a breeze. A trip back to 2020 to watch a world-changing speech seems no different, until a woman runs away from his tour group before the jump home. Now her tycoon husband is demanding her safe return–or Reegan will lose more than just his job.

P.I. Saul Kildare’s business is running on borrowed time. Due to a messy break with the police, he can’t get a referral to save his life. When an enigmatic stranger bangs on his door one night and promises a windfall for a missing-person case, it seems too good to be true. But the two men have an immediate connection, and Saul can’t pass up the chance to spend more time with Reegan, even if he’s clearly hiding something.

Saul knows he shouldn’t trust Reegan, and Reegan knows he can’t get involved with Saul. But as their attraction evolves into feelings neither can deny, will they have the strength to take a leap of faith–together?

84,000 words

The Review:

As a general rule, I do not read sci fi or futuristic stories but I just had to make an exception for Libby Drew’s newest release. A big fan of both time travel novels and Ms. Drew, I eagerly devoured Paradox Lost. With plenty of action, a bit of mystery and an incredibly steamy romance, this futuristic adventure is sure to be a hit with readers of male/male fiction.

Reegan McNamara escorts a group of time travelers back in time a little over 100 years to 2020 for a historic presidential speech. He has a bit of history with one of his travelers, Silvia Panitierre, and something about her puts him on high alert. He keeps a close eye on her once they travel back in time yet she vanishes when he is momentarily distracted. With his job on the line and Silvia’s angry and powerful husband waiting in the wings, Reegan enlists the aid of private investigator Saul Kildare to help him track down his wayward charge.

Reegan is a fabulous character and as someone who loves history, I was jealous of his ability to journey back in time 🙂 On the surface, he seems to have an enviable life-he has a lucrative career he loves and the modern conveniences he takes for granted are simply ingenious! But Reegan’s position at Blast in the Past Time Travel Tours is precarious and leaving Silvia behind is simply not an option.

Saul is also a great character and of the two, he is the most flawed. He has been in a downward spiral since the loss of his job on the police force. He is also crippled with guilt about the circumstances surrounding a personal loss and he is struggling to maintain his sobriety. Reegan’s case is a welcome diversion for an unhappy anniversary and although skeptical, he is soon immersed in the missing persons case.

The case soon takes an ominous and perilous turn when Saul and Reegan discover that they are not the only ones hunting for Silvia. They are quickly enmeshed in pulse pounding and exciting chases as they outwit the nefarious thugs that are hot on their trail. They are also in a race against time to avoid the dangers that could befall both Reegan and Silvia due to their time travel.

In between following leads and evading foes, Saul and Reegan find time to explore their unexpected attraction. There is plenty of sexual tension between them and with little free time, their sexual encounters are brief but incredibly hot. Although their sex scenes are quick, they are highly sensual and exquisitely detailed.

I typically read historical time travel novels so it was quite fascinating to delve into the futuristic world created by Ms. Drew. The changes and inventions are realistic and easy to envision. The whole time travel concept is always intriguing and I appreciated the creativity that went into creating a believable explanation for traveling to different historical eras and places. I also liked that there could be negative consequences attributed to trips back to the past and into the future.

Paradox Lost is an all around terrific read with a marvelous cast of characters, an incredibly unique storyline and amazing creativity. I honestly had no idea how two men who live in completely different eras were going to find their happily ever after, but I should not have been concerned. The ending is absolutely perfect and all of the loose ends are neatly wrapped up. If you are not reading Libby Drew then you are missing out an unbelievably versatile and gifted author.


Filed under Carina Press, Erotic, Futuristic, Libby Drew, Paradox Lost, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sci Fi, Time Travel

Review: Bending the Iron by Libby Drew

Title: Bending the Iron by Libby Drew
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Length: 40,000 words
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Michael feels trapped. In his conservative, poor hometown where he has to keep his sexuality hidden. In his dead-end job. In caring for his alcoholic grandfather. Everything changes when he meets Eric, the new curator for the railroad museum. His curiosity about the passionate man quickly gives way to an intense attraction–one that Eric happily returns.

Carefree and refreshingly confident, Eric guides Michael to places he’s forgotten, reminding him that it may not be too late to follow his dreams for something more in life. But the truth is, Eric knows exactly how it feels to be stuck in a bad situation. A failed relationship has left him with personal demons that may hurt his connection with Michael.

To give their future a chance, they both must fight being trapped in the past.

40,000 words

The Review:

Bending the Iron by Libby Drew is a sweetly romantic yet sensual novella about following your dreams even though they seem tantalizingly out of reach. Firmly grounded in reality, the setting and unique occupations of the main protagonists, make this a standout read in the m/m genre.

Michael’s situation is not unique in today’s world and it is very easy to relate to him. Stuck in a small, dying town, working a dead end blue collar job and caring for his alcoholic grandfather, Pete, Michael’s dreams of a career in architecture have fallen by the wayside. Michael does not resent helping his grandfather, but he sees no way out of his current life. A chance meeting with Eric becomes the catalyst for both Michael and Pete to make some much needed changes in their day to day lives.

Michael and Eric are well-rounded and three-dimensional characters. Their relationship begins with an intense attraction that they are quick to act on, but there is also an emotional connection between them as well. While Eric is the more upbeat and positive of the two, he does have emotional baggage from a previous relationship. Eric has plenty of confidence, but he is a bit hesitant when it comes to his and Michael’s relationship. As the two men grow closer, Eric sees the potential in Michael and he gently encourages him to go after his dreams.

Never bleak or depressing, Libby Drew paints a vivid picture of life in small town America. It is a gritty and accurate portrayal of the hopelessness that Michael feels about his financial and family situation. But it is also quite hopeful as Michael and Eric find love and Pete rediscovers his self-worth as he aids Eric in the train museum renovation.

A beautiful story of second chances, Bending the Iron is an emotionally gratifying romance that I highly recommend.

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Filed under Bending the Iron, Carina Press, Contemporary, Erotic, Libby Drew, M/M, Rated B+, Review, Romance