Monday, April 9, 2018

Syncopation by Anna Zabo

There’s no resisting the thrum of temptation in this male/male rock-star romance from genre-favorite author Anna Zabo!

Twisted Wishes front man Ray Van Zeller is in one hell of a tight spot. After a heated confrontation with his bandmate goes viral, Ray is hit with a PR nightmare the fledgling band so doesn’t need. But his problems only multiply when they snag a talented new drummer—insufferably sexy Zavier Demos, the high school crush Ray barely survived.

Zavier’s kept a casual eye on Twisted Wishes for years, and lately, he likes what he sees. What he doesn’t like is how out of control Ray seems—something Zavier’s aching to correct after their first pulse-pounding encounter. If Ray’s up for the challenge.

Despite the prospect of a glorious sexual encore, Ray is reluctant to trust Zavier with his band—or his heart. And Zavier has always had big dreams; this gig was supposed to be temporary. But touring together has opened their eyes to new passions and new possibilities, making them rethink their commitments, both to the band and to each other.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I found this to be an absolutely compelling read. I am so happy that it is the beginning of a new series, and that we will get more of Twisted Wishes, as a band and as a group of fabulous individuals. I read a lot of rock star romance novels, and there is often a lot of angst over addiction, whether drugs, groupies, or other band members. This was far more about the mental challenges of needing to keep everything working, and for Ray, being severely bullied and abused.

As well as the story of the band, which was fascinating, there were lots of little details which brought the whole book to life. I loved how Ray described how he sees music, and his need of his notebook. The detail of Zav's tattoos, the change which Dom underwent between stage and private life. We got so many details, and yet never was it too much.

This book focuses on Ray, singer and band leader, and his crush since high school, drummer Zavier, who auditions to join them on tour when their drummer goes to rehab. It is a beautiful story of two men who are in very different places in their lives and yet who, if given the chance, have a lot to offer each other. The elements of D/s are introduced in a measured and effective manner and have an important role to play in the way they and the band move forward. The passion, the care, and the trust that develops between them feels so natural and so important. It lays a wonderful foundation for a lasting and deep connection, which grows on every page.

I don't want to say more. because as I am reflecting on scenes and elements within the whole, I don't want to spoil the freshness for you. I will definitely be reading this book again and cannot wait for the next installment, as I am most certainly invested in the band members' futures.

I love a good rock star romance and Ray and Zavier’s story is fabulous. I loved the colourful musicians in Twisted Wishes and I enjoyed the chemistry (and the touch of kink) between Ray and Zavier. And the music is wonderful. The story is full of scenes of writing, practicing, and performing music.

Twisted Wishes started as a high school collaboration, and Ray and Zavier’s adult relationship is coloured by their teenage interactions. I love the contrast and complement of Ray’s raw talent with Zavier’s classical training. The relationship between them is a kind of ‘friendship caught fire’ and I enjoyed the departure from traditional romance tropes. The band is special, and I hope to see more of the band members in a sequel (or series?!).

While I really enjoyed the book, there are a couple of things that irritated me about this story. For the first half of the book, Ray seems a little bit too hung up on his high school feelings for Zavier. I didn’t completely believe that such a successful musician would hold onto so much anger and insecurity. The band’s relationship with their manager seemed equally implausible from the start – without any spoilers, the whole storyline didn’t really work for me.

Anna Zabo is quickly becoming one of my auto-buy authors. I love both the quality of her writing and the inclusivity of her stories. For me, this story is good fun but a little more dramatic and a little less relatable than others I’ve enjoyed by Ms. Zabo.

Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. They live and work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.

Anna grew up in the wilds of suburban Philadelphia before returning to their ancestral homelands in Western Pennsylvania. As a child they were heartily disappointed to discover that they couldn’t grow up to be what they wanted (a boy, a cat, a dragon), so they settled on being themself whenever possible, which may be a combination of a boy, a cat, and a dragon. Or perhaps a girl, a knight, and a writer. Depends on whom you ask. They do have a penchant for colorful ties and may be hording a small collection of cufflinks. They can be easily plied with coffee.

Anna has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where they fell in with a roving band of romance writers and never looked back. They also have a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Connect with Anna

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Syncopation (Twisted Wishes #1) by Anna Zabo to read and review.

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