Review: One Door Closes (Secrets of Neverwood #1) by G.B. Lindsey

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

One Door ClosesYears ago, Calvin Ware was one of many of the foster children that Audrey Elizabeth Rasmussen brought into her home, Neverwood, to shelter, comfort and raise.  Following the death of his foster mom, Calvin has returned home to Neverwood to try and save the house and continue his mother’s mission to give shelter to those children most in need of a home and compassion.  However, it’s not just Calvin to whom she has left the house but two other foster sons as well.  Devon McCade, Calvin Ware and Daniel Redmond each held a special place in Audrey’s heart and now its up to them to save the house they were raised in and honor their mother.

But the house is mortgaged up to the rotting roof and a ruthless builder is giving them only a short amount of time to come up with the money needed to restore the mansion or have it repossessed and condemned for development.  Calvin, Devon and Daniel haven’t seen each other in years as each went their own way after turning 18.  Only Calvin remained close and in touch with Audrey.  That reality, plus resentment and the fact that they can’t agree on the restorations needed is keeping them divided and the house in danger of falling down around them.

All the boys have secrets between them and one of Calvin’s turns up on Neverwood’s doorstep as a contractor looking to help restore the mansion.  Will Cabot, Calvin’s high school crush, remained behind in town and is now an accomplished contractor.  Will offers to work on the mansion to restore it but Will and Calvin’s past is acting as a barrier to any new relationship between them.  Old secrets must come forth before any of the boys can move forward towards happiness, love and a new chance for the home they call Neverwood.

One Door Closes is the first book in a Secrets of Neverwood trilogy written by 3 different authors.  Available individually or as a complete collection, the trilogy is focused on three foster brothers,  Devon McCade, Calvin Ware and Daniel Redmond, who were brought to Neverwood by Audrey Rasmussen to live until their 18th birthday.  Upon her death, the three men learn their foster mother has left them the house equally and now must work together to restore Neverwood and continue her mission of sheltering unwanted children.  One Door Closes by G. B. Lindsey is Calvin Ware’s story.

I love the idea behind the Neverwood stories.  The trilogy plot of three foster brothers, each with their own closely held secrets, is an engrossing concept, one that is easy to connect with.  None of the brothers were  particularly close when they lived at Neverwood and only Calvin appears to have remained in touch with Audrey after leaving foster care.  Told from Calvin’s perspective, you get the viewpoint of the child he was when he arrived at Neverwood and that of the returning, grieving adult.  Calvin is a man on overload.  Burdened by secrets from his past that he has never dealt with as well as some closely guarded issues in adulthood, Calvin is suffering from a combination of guilt, resentment towards his two other foster brothers, pressure from an unscrupulous developer and mired in a financial quagmire left by Audrey’s estate.  The impact of all those problems upon Calvin weighs as heavily on the reader as it does on the character due to the beautifully scripted moments that highlight scene after scene.

Lindsey has filled her story full of poignant characters and unresolved issues that stem from childhood angst and trauma.  This is a story full of grey, a matter of  muted tonality and shading instead of darkness and light.  It feels realistically written with scenes and plot lines that radiate authenticity and a certain amount of desperation due to the situation Calvin and his brothers find themselves in and the chilling nature of their backgrounds that brought them to Neverwood.  However, instead of the drama and high impact one might expect from such a storyline and the anticipated revelations that  comes from long buried secrets, the  grey scale of the narrative continues throughout the story.  Its as it the very vivacity of life has been removed under the burdens they all carry and even the secrets uncovered make a much smaller impression upon the reader than they should.

I appreciated G.B. Lindsey’s approach to her story and the well-rounded characterizations that include many human frailties as well as a certain hopefulness as well as the ability to forgive and be compassionate.  Calvin’s battle to overcome a shared  event from his past  as well as his quiet, loving regard for Audrey make Calvin a most admirable character.  But, as with real life, it takes a while to pull up some of the issues that are alluded to continually in the story. That dragged out admission as well as others bogged down the narrative making it painfully slow at parts and  almost at a standstill at others.  How well you deal with this type of slow reveal and tempered be calmed storytelling will impact your enjoyment of this story.

I intend to read all three novellas that make up the Neverwood trilogy and I can’t wait to see how each author handles the remaining brothers stories.  It should be exciting and informative.  If you are looking for a romance, then this might not be the story for you.  There is a halting relationship here but its buried under layers and only emerges at the very end.  But as a marvelous character study and to appreciate an author’s well crafted approach to her story, then I recommend One Door Closes to you.

Cover art not credited.

Buy Links:     Carina Press              ARe                            Amazon  One Door Closes

Books in the Neverwood Trilogy include:

One Door Closes (Secrets of Neverwood #1) by G.B. Lindsey
The Growing Season (Secrets of Neverwood, #2) by Diana Copland
The Lost Year (Secrets of Neverwood, #3) by Libby Drew
Secrets of Neverwood Collection by Libby Drew

One Door ClosesThe Growing Season Neverwood 2 coverThe Lost Year Everwood 3 coverSecrets of Neverwood Trilogy cover







Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 149 pages
Published June 30th 2014 by Carina Press
edition languageEnglish
seriesSecrets of Neverwood

Book Blast: The Secrets of Neverwood Anthology (contest)




Contest: To celebrate the release of The Secrets of Neverwood Anthology, an eBook copy of this anthology is offered as a giveaway.  To enter to win, visit the Rafflecopter link below and be over the age of 18.  

Book Name: The Secrets of Neverwood Anthology
Authors Names: G.B. Lindsey, Diana Copland, Libby Drew
Author Bios:

G. B. Lindsey was born and raised in California, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Literature and Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz. Her first love has always been writing: as a child, she cultivated such diverse goals as becoming “a cowgirl and a writer” or “a paleontologist and a writer.” 

Aside from her salacious and ongoing affair with the horror genre, she loves to write sci-fi, romance, historical fiction, and short stories. Other hobbies include playing the piano, reading voraciously, the occasional period drama movie night, and devouring scary film after scary film. She recently moved back home from Newcastle upon Tyne, where she earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing, and now lives in Sacramento.

Diana Copland began writing in the seventh grade, when she shamelessly combined elements of Jane Eyre and Dark Shadows to produce an overwrought Gothic tale that earned her an A- in creative writing, thanks entirely to the generosity of her teacher. She wrote for pure enjoyment for the next three decades before discovering LiveJournal and a wonderful group of supportive fanfiction writers, who after gifting her with a “Best New Author” Award encouraged her to try her hand at original gay fiction.

Born and raised in southern California, Diana moved to the Pacific Northwest after losing a beloved spouse to AIDS in 1995. She lives in eastern Washington with four obnoxious cats and her ninety year old Dad, near her two wonderful adult children.

Libby Drew glimpsed her true calling when her first story, an A.A. Milne /Shakespeare crossover, won the grand prize in her elementary school’s fiction contest. Her parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.

Today she lives with her husband and four children in an old, impractical house and writes stories about redemption, the supernatural, and love at first sight, all of which do exist. She happens to know from experience.Libby’s STATE OF MIND received rave reviews for being fast, clever, and relentless and was nominated for a Bookie Award for Best M/M Novel of 2011. 40 SOULS TO KEEP, Libby’s third novel, has been described as intense and heart-poundingly good and was praised by Publishers Weekly for maintaining a high level of suspense.

An avid supporter of gay rights, Libby donates her time to the Trevor Project and organizations that work to support marriage equality.


Publisher: Carina Press
Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 431 pages
Expected publication: June 30th 2014 by Carina Press
Secrets of Neverwoodedition languageEnglish
series: Secrets of Neverwood #1-3

Blurb(s): Three men with vastly different lives are called home to Neverwood, the stately Pacific Northwest mansion of their youth. The one thing they share is 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. And a benevolent spirit lingers in Neverwood’s halls, intent on guiding her foster sons away from the mistakes of their youth and toward true love.

On the path to brotherhood, they discover the old mansion holds more than dusty furniture and secret passageways. An old mystery stirs up a new danger, one that could cost the men far more than just the house.



Buy Links: 

Secrets of Neverwood: One Door Closes\The Growing Season\The Lost Year :  Amazon



Tour Dates: June 16 – July 11WillPride

Tour Stops:
SoNBadge3June 16: Kimi-Chan
June 17: MM Good Books
June 18: Iyana Jenna
June 19: Up All Night, Read All Day
June 20: Parker Williams, Cate Ashwood
June 23: Prism Book Alliance
June 24: Hearts on Fire
June 25: LeAnn’s Book Reviews
June 26: It’s Raining Men, Velvet Panic
June 27: Boy Meets Boy Reviews
June 30: My Fiction Nook
July 1: Top2Bottom
July 2: Dawn’s Reading Nook, Michael Mandrake
July 3: Love Bytes
July 4: Jade Crystal, Jane Wallace-Knight
July 7: EE Montgomery, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,
July 8: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Because Two Men Are Better Than One
July 9: Fallen Angel Reviews
July 10: Nephylim
July 11: Amanda C. Stone

Contest: Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Rafflecopter Prize: An E-copy of the anthology

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