I finally read Emily Mcintire’s new Never After novel, Crossed and it did not disappoint.
The Never After novels are dark twists on popular stories/fairytales and Crossed is a twisted dark romance take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Now, of all the Never After novels this one is the one I’m least familiar with. I think I watched the movie only once when I was younger so I don’t really remember it. But it doesn’t really matter since this is a different take on the story anyway!
The novel follows Amaya, a 20 something young woman who lives in a Festivalé, Vermont – a town with french roots. She is the guardian for her 6 year old brother, Quinten who requires a lot of care as he is on the autism spectrum. Amaya barely gets by as a stripper because she is in debt to her mother’s ex-boyfriend, Parker Errien, a very wealthy and powerful man.
Cade Frederic is a priest in his 30s with a troubled past. Cade grew up in Paris and was an orphan, then abused, homeless, etc., until he is taken in and mentored by a priest. Now Cade has been assigned to be the new priest at the church in Festivalé. He may be a devoted priest during the day, but at night, Cade goes around to punish people with dark hearts or who sin with no remorse. When he meets Amaya he is immediately enthralled by her and doesn’t know if he wants to punish her or abandon his vows to God and be with her.
This wasn’t my favorite Never After novel, but I did really like it. I really liked Cade and Amaya, though found Cade’s self-flagellation a bit much. Although this is sort of a stalker romance, there was something nice about how much comfort Cade brought to Amaya. But that’s what makes it a dark romance! The first half was a little slow with not a lot happening, but the second half picks up and overall I really liked the book. The tension filled slow burn was really good and the payoff was worth it.
Read this if you want a spicy, dark romance with the forbidden romance and stalker romance tropes.
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