Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: One Door Closes
Author: G.B. Lindsey
Series: Secrets of Neverwood #1
Heroes: Calvin & Will
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 59k words
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: June 30, 2014
Available at: Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and Kobo
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Years ago, Calvin Ware found a refuge in Neverwood, a home for wayward boys. Now, following the death of his foster mother Audrey, he’s returned to fulfill her request to restore the decrepit Victorian mansion to its former purpose.
Under the threat of repossession, Cal clashes with his foster brothers over restoration plans while fending off the unscrupulous developer who is breathing down his neck. Audrey’s well-meaning presence in his dreams does more harm than good as he struggles to cope with it all. What’s more, the contractor he hires to get the building up to code turns out to be Will Cabot, his high school flame.
As they begin working together, Cal finds he still has feelings for his first love. But his mistakes of years ago threaten their future, just as they ruined their past, and Cal knows he can’t withstand the heartbreak a second time.
When his foster mother died, she left the old mansion to Calvin and two of his foster brothers. Unfortunately, with inheriting the mansion comes a ton of trouble and stress, the least of which is having the property being threatened with repossession. Determined to keep the mansion and restoring it to its former glory, Calvin hires a contractor to fix it up who just happens to be Will, Calvin’s high school boyfriend. With a painful past between them, it’s far from comfortable to be around each other. But Calvin has more important things to worry about like trying to figure how he can afford to pay for the repairs and keep the pushy developer from claiming the property once and for all.
I will freely admit that I when I started this book, I really had no idea what it was about. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading it and was drawn into the story right away. Calvin’s an emotional mess to say the least. Diagnosed with clinical depression, he tries his best to cope with what’s happening. At first, he’s bitter and resentful towards his brothers for having a share in the house when they didn’t seem to care one bit about what was happening or trying to help keep the mansion. As the story progresses, the brothers do what they can to save the mansion and I loved that even though they had their issues with each other, in the end, they came together to save the thing that brought them all together.
It isn’t until about the last third of the story that the relationship between Will and Calvin starts to really pick up. Up to that point, there is the underlying tension between them, the hesitance and sadness over what they once had and lost. It was interesting to see them around each other with their past as a barrier between them but I also liked that they were able to push through that. Calvin had a lot of problems to get through. One of which is him talking about his clinical depression and why Calvin did what he did all those years ago. Will wasn’t as developed as I would have liked but, in the end, I loved that he was so beaten up about what happened between them in the past and how he still yearned for Calvin and while it’s never admitted, it’s obvious they both still love each other after all these years.
I loved this book but, for me, the fact that the dream-talking with Audrey was in a different tense than the rest of the story (first compared to third person) really through me for a loop. It felt a little awkward to go back and forth, especially since it wasn’t really a dream. Not to mention for a majority of the dreams, I was confused if it was Calvin reliving memories or actually communicating to Audrey’s ghost presence.
All in all, this was a fantastic story that had two major conflicts: saving the house that reminds Calvin and his brothers of their foster mother and overcoming his awkwardness around Will and sex. I loved that Calvin was so overwhelmed and stressed but also how everything ended up working out for the better. A great first story in the Secrets of Neverwood anthology. It made me intrigued for the other brothers’ stories, definitely looking forward to them!
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*