Hooked Book Review, A Never After Novel by Emily McIntire

In “Hooked,” the first book in Emily McIntire‘s “Never After” series, a dark contemporary romance unfolds, steeped in mature themes and a fractured fairy tale retelling of Peter Pan. The story revolves around the intense and addictive love affair between Wendy Michaels, the sheltered daughter of a wealthy, cold father, and James Barrie, aka Captain James Hook, a man consumed by a taste of vengeance.

The narrative begins with Wendy, Peter Michaels’ twenty-year-old daughter, leading a cloistered life under the shadow of her wealthy father. Her life takes a dramatic turn during a spontaneous night out, leading her to James’s bar, where she meets the enigmatic and dangerous James. Unbeknownst to Wendy, James has a vendetta against her father, planning to use her as a pawn in his perfect plan for revenge. However, as their relationship intensifies, James’s perception of Wendy shifts from a mere instrument of revenge to someone he genuinely cares for, complicating his long-held desire for retribution.

James, portrayed as a dark and brooding character, is the embodiment of a villain in this dark romance. His life is marked by a past filled with loss and betrayal, shaping him into a figure driven by revenge against Peter Michaels, Wendy’s father. Despite his sinister intentions, James finds himself irresistibly drawn to Wendy, leading to a tumultuous relationship marked by passion, danger, and emotional complexity.

The novel explores mature themes, with its narrative rich in dark elements typical of a contemporary romance with fairy tale influences. The story delves into the psychological depths of its characters, particularly James, whose complex personality is a blend of menace and vulnerability. The relationship between Wendy and James is fraught with tension, navigating the murky waters of desire, manipulation, and the potential for redemption.

“Hooked” offers a unique twist on the classic tale of Peter Pan, reimagining the story’s characters and themes in a modern, mature context. The book juxtaposes the innocence and longing for familial love in Wendy’s character against the dark, revenge-driven world that James inhabits. As their paths intertwine, the narrative challenges the notions of villainy and heroism, blurring the lines between right and wrong.

The book, while part of a series, stands alone in its story, offering readers a complete and immersive experience. Its blend of dark romance, complex characters, and a fresh take on a classic fairy tale makes it a compelling read for those intrigued by such narratives. However, due to its mature content and themes, reader discretion is advised.

“Hooked” ultimately portrays an addictive love affair that transcends the boundaries of a typical romance, delving into the deeper aspects of human emotion, morality, and the transformative power of love, even in the darkest of circumstances.

Hooked Main Characters

Wendy Michaels

Peter’s twenty-year-old daughter, Wendy Darling is depicted as a naive and sheltered young woman, craving her father’s attention. She finds herself drawn into a dangerous and intense relationship with James Barrie (Captain Hook), initially unaware of his true intentions. Wendy’s character evolves from innocence to a more complex persona as she navigates the dark world she’s been thrust into.

James Barrie (Captain Hook)

The main character, James Barrie, also known as Captain Hook, is portrayed as a vengeful and dark figure. Motivated by a deep-seated desire for revenge against Peter Michaels, James’s life is defined by his criminal activities and leadership in his organization. His character is complex, marked by a combination of ruthlessness and unexpected vulnerability, particularly as he develops feelings for Wendy.

Peter Michaels

Wendy’s father, Peter Michaels, is characterized as a wealthy, cold, and distant figure. His relationship with Wendy is strained, and he appears to be more focused on his business endeavors. Peter becomes the target of James Barrie’s revenge plot, setting the stage for the central conflict of the story.


Peter Michael’s girlfriend/assistant, plays a peripheral role in the story. Her character seems to be more of a background figure in the unfolding drama between the main characters.

Hooked Book Review: Writing Style

As I delved into “Hooked” by Emily McIntire, I found myself enveloped in a writing style that is dark, intense, and emotionally charged. This dark romance, a contemporary reimagining of the classic Peter Pan tale, skillfully blends fairy tale elements with mature, complex themes.

The narrative tone of the book is strikingly immersive. I was drawn into the psychological and emotional landscapes of the characters. The writing is sultry and intense, capturing the dark and brooding world they inhabit with a vividness that’s almost tangible.

In terms of characterization, I observed a deep and complex portrayal of the main characters, Wendy and James (Captain Hook). Their emotional turmoil, desires, and internal conflicts are vividly depicted, offering me a rich exploration of their personalities. The scenes in “Hooked” are handled with a mix of drama and suspense. The romantic and intimate scenes, in particular, are steamy and intense, often bordering on the erotic. The narrative doesn’t shy away from depicting the darker aspects of the characters’ relationships and their inner demons.

The pacing of the story varied. The first half of the book seemed more engaging to me than the second, which appeared rushed and less satisfying in terms of character development and plot resolution. The book incorporates typical elements of dark romance such as moral ambiguity, complex and often toxic relationships, and a brooding atmosphere. I found that these elements were woven into the broader story arc effectively, maintaining a balance between the dark themes and the development of the romance.

The overall reception of the book seems to be polarizing. Some readers, like myself, appreciate its dark twist on a classic fairy tale, while others may find it uncomfortable or lacking in certain aspects. However, the unique approach to retelling a well-known story and the depth of character portrayal are aspects that I, along with many others, found to be well-received.

In conclusion, my experience with “Hooked” is characterized by its dark, intense writing style, complex character portrayals, and a mix of suspense and romance that reimagines a classic fairy tale in a contemporary setting. The exploration of mature themes and emotional depth sets it apart, offering a unique reading experience.

Hooked Book Review: Final Verdict

As I read through the reviews of “Hooked,” I could discern that the intended audience for this book is quite specific and unique. It caters to those who have a penchant for dark romance, drawing in readers who are not just seeking a typical romantic storyline but are more inclined towards exploring the darker, more intricate facets of relationships and human psychology. This book, with its layers of complexity and intense plot, is particularly appealing to individuals who relish the nuances and challenges that are emblematic of dark romance novels.

Moreover, lovers of fairy tale retellings would find themselves drawn to “Hooked.” It’s not a literal retelling of the classic Peter Pan tale, but rather, it creatively uses elements from the story to craft something entirely new and geared towards an adult audience. The book’s modern twist on this beloved story is intriguing, offering a fresh perspective to a familiar narrative.

The portrayal of the tumultuous relationship between Wendy and James in “Hooked” provides a deep dive into emotional and psychological complexity. This aspect of the book is likely to attract readers who prefer stories that delve beyond surface-level romances, exploring the more profound and sometimes darker aspects of love and human relationships.

Lastly, the book is clearly intended for an adult audience, given its mature themes and explicit content. It touches upon sophisticated and potentially challenging subjects, necessitating a level of maturity and understanding from its readers.

In essence, if I were a fan of intense, dark romances that challenge traditional narratives and explore deeper human emotions and relationships, “Hooked” would undoubtedly be a compelling read. The book’s combination of a modern fairy tale twist, complex character dynamics, and mature themes makes it an intriguing choice for readers who are drawn to this genre.

Author Profile

Susanna Nicholson
Susanna NicholsonReader, Writer
I spend my days immersed in the world of books, finding solace in their pages. In my spare time, I transform into a critic, penning reviews that unravel the magic and mystery of each story. This passion for reading is not just a hobby; it’s a part of who I am.
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