Release Day Review: The Mystery of Nevermore (Snow & Winter #1) by C.S. Poe

It’s Christmas, and all antique dealer Sebastian Snow wants is for his business to make money and to save his floundering relationship with closeted CSU detective, Neil Millett. When Snow’s Antique Emporium is broken into and a heart is found under the floorboards, Sebastian can’t let the mystery rest.

He soon finds himself caught up in murder investigations that echo the macabre stories of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, Sebastian’s sleuthing is causing his relationship with Neil to crumble, while at the same time he’s falling hard for the lead detective on the case, Calvin Winter. Sebastian and Calvin must work together to unravel the mystery behind the killings, despite the mounting danger and sexual tension, before Sebastian becomes the next victim.

In the end, Sebastian only wants to get out of this mess alive, and live happily ever after with Calvin.

Being that this book is obviously Poe-ish, I expected something a little darker, a little more melancholy, a little more . . . emo. What I got was some seriously endearing characters with great banter, a fun, if not a little simple, mystery and the setup to what looks like a great series.

Sebastian Snow is an antique dealer at a crossroads with his live in and VERY in-the-closet, cop boyfriend. Sebastian isn’t one to hide and the imbalance in their relationship is taking its toll. The author did a really good job of handling the transition from one relationship and maybe, possibly into another. It’s still very early on, but obviously Sebastian and Calvin Winter have a future a-brewing.

The break up wasn’t too easy, clean or convenient and read very real. Both Sebastian and Neil (the ex/cop/closet dweller) were hurting and unhappy and while Calvin was there, he wasn’t the cause of the breakup and I appreciated how that all played out. No one was completely innocent and no one was completely at fault, just like real life, generally, and it kept the story grounded.

I really did like Sebastian. He’s extra snarky and being in his brain is a fun ride. Even when he’s doing something he shouldn’t and when he’s feeling all the feels, I just liked all his parts and how he worked through everything he had going on. Calvin, the detective on the case with all the Poe, is basically a walking wet dream for anyone with a cop/military hero fetish and especially if gingery freckles are your kink. So, yeah, I felt all the hots for Calvin along with Sebastian.

Sebastian has achromatopsia, a vision disorder rendering him completely color blind, extremely sensitive to light and with overall decreased vision. I googled. Everyday life is not always easy and his condition weaves into the story and his relationships very organically. Calvin has some real issues of his own and has kept himself walled away from relationships for a long time, so these two will really be well suited to one another in coming stories, I can feel it and I want it. Calvin is incredibly sensual and it’s obvious he has been starved for affection, because damn, when he starts in with the sexy times, that man’s mouth is something else. I felt like this book was a tease as to what he’s capable of when he and Sebastian get to know one another even better.

The start of the “relationship” between Sebastian and Calvin was pretty abrupt. It kind of came out of left field and I was as surprised as Sebastian. I wanted it to be a thing, so I went with it, but it was a little jarring. Being that we only reads Sebastian’s perspective, Calvin obviously had the thoughts of what was happening in Sebastian’s pants since they met, but as a reader, I wasn’t privy so I had a moment of “WTF?, seriously? We’re doing this? Well, OK, it’s pretty frickin’ hot, so I’m down. Please proceed.” 

The mystery wasn’t too overly complex, and the motive and villain were pretty basic, but it was still fun, especially if you’re a Poe fan. Sebastian’s dad is the bestest dad of all dads. He was supportive but empowering in that he offered advice when asked but never hedged in on Sebastian’s independence. I have to admit, I had a little daddy crush going on there too with him. I don’t think he was a ginger, so Calvin still holds my heart, but still, I dug him.

The ending was a little rushed and while Calvin is kind of all over the map with his feelings, it wasn’t like getting reading whiplash that can sometimes happen when a lot of change and momentum happens quickly. Calvin is in the closet, much like Neil, but there’s hope for them in his actions towards the end. I can tell there is going to be a lot for these two to work through in upcoming installments, but if the pace and honesty stay true like they did in this one, it will be very satisfying to read.

Head over to DSP Publications to pick up a copy of The Mystery of Nevermore.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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