Pan by Gina L. Maxwell is the first book in the Neverland series. I had already read Hook, and multiple people had been raving about this one, so I had to get my hands on it. I see what all the fuss is about now.
TRIGGER WARNING: child abuse, sexual assault
Courtesy of Goodreads:
Once upon a time, in Neverland, North Carolina — I fell in love.
I was twelve when Peter first climbed up to my balcony.
Thirteen when I sneaked out to see him at the School for Lost Boys.
Seventeen when his touch made me fly,
And eighteen when his words made me cry.
We were magnetic, drawn to each other from that very first night, and what I thought would be forever. But when it came time for me to leave, he wouldn't come with, so I left town with a map for my future and a shattered heart.
Ten years later, I've returned to Neverland, hoping to find a man in place of the boy.
Peter was partially right, growing up is no fun. After quitting my fancy career that sucked the magic out of life, I'm now organizing the fundraiser of the year. In a move that could make or break the event and my new company, I've hired Peter, master mechanic and owner of LB Automotive, to help me pull this off--trusting him to rebuild a classic car for the auction that could help hundreds of foster kids in need.
I thought I was prepared, but the boy who refused to leave is now a man hell-bent on getting me to stay, and as sparks fly between us, that undeniable fire flares back to life, deeper and hotter than ever.
But that ripped body doesn't mean Peter's matured enough to make us or this event work, and not everyone in Neverland is happy about my return.
Not every wound heals.
Not every heart can be fixed.
Not every boy grows up.
And after all this time, the love we found might be lost to us again...this time, forever.
*Pan is an adult contemporary romance retelling of Peter Pan, complete with Wendy, Hook, Tink, and all the Lost Boys as sexy mechanics. There are no fantasy elements in this world, other than the "magic" that happens between the sheets. ;)
I love how the classic tale of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys was moved from London, England and the fantasy realm of Neverland to the more practical and close-to-home setting of London and Neverland, North Carolina. The sexual tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife, and it was realistic — while a ten-year gap in a relationship doesn’t mean the attraction fades, it also means that hurt feelings don’t just disappear either.
Gina is a master at creating female characters who are believable, flawed, and so incredibly NOT perfect. She’s even better at making men who are amazingly attractive, funny, resilient, and perfectly imperfect. But I think her real strength lies in her ability to write a story with a plot that is funny, emotional, and swoon-worthy all at the same time. Beyond that, she’s also one of my favorite authors to engage with on Twitter. If you don’t already follow her, you need to start right away.
I happened to finish reading this exactly one year to the day of it’s publication date, which I found pretty cool. It couldn’t have been a coincidence — it had to be fated for me to read this exact book on the day I did. After reading Hook, I didn’t think I’d love a Neverland book more than that one, but this one managed it; and the fact that Gina wrote a character who is more than a little reminiscent of Jason Momoa definitely plays a role. I’ll consider that an early birthday present.
[gif of Jason Momoa looking sexy ... who am I kidding, he ALWAYS looks sexy to me.]
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn't an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 2
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars