Monday, April 09, 2018

Release Day Review: Syncopation (Twisted Wishes #1) by Anna Zabo

syncopationTitle ~ Syncopation

Author ~ Anna Zabo

Publisher ~ Carina Press

Published ~ 9th April 2018

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, BDSM





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.
This book is approximately 102,000 words

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!
Carina Press acknowledges the editorial services of Mackenzie Walton


Debra’s Review

Twisted Wishes is a band on the rise. Singer and band leader Ray is overwhelmed with trying to make sure the band is doing well and that he’s not letting down his friends/bandmates. He is doing what he can to shelter them from the demands of their gods-awful manager while still focusing on the music. Things go from bad to worse when their drummer leaves and Ray’s forced into putting a spin on it that makes him look bad. As if that’s not enough, into their auditions walks the man he crushed on and idolized in high school, the man who turned down an invitation to join the band back then, a slight (and a crush) that Ray has never forgotten, classical drummer Zavier Demos. There’s no denying that Zav is just what the band needs and what Ray wants even though he won’t show it. The question is whether it could ever work?

Zavier’s admiration of Ray goes back a long way. He doesn’t realize the history Ray has carried about them since high school, but he is thrilled to be the drummer for Twisted Wishes. Things ended badly with his last orchestra job and the change was necessary. He sees how Ray works, how he takes care of the band and how the music and words sing within him and he wants to be a part of that. He also sees that Ray has some insecurities and that he needs to be able to let go of that control and worry before it destroys him, and while Zav would love nothing more than to give that to Ray, he’s learned his lesson.

This is absolutely a slow build. I loved watching Ray and Zav getting over their initial friction to work together as bandmates and watch them grow as friends. The tension between them is palpable both to their friends and to the reader. As they move into a friends-with-benefits relationship, Zav is very clear about being aromantic and what it means. This communication between Zav and Ray is a hallmark of their relationship and obviously quite necessary for their D/s dynamic, but it also allowed for the story to proceed without unnecessary angst and really focus on the characters.

Aromantic doesn’t mean Zav is incapable of maintaining a relationship and having long-term happiness, it’s just a matter of finding someone who understands. Zav and Ray find that they work in almost every way; they are friends, lovers, bandmates, Dom and sub, and most of all they respect and care for one another. I would say they have one of the healthiest relationships I've read in a long time.

Both characters have incredible growth. Zav comes to a better understanding of himself. Finding the right partner in Ray opens up a future he never thought about. In submitting to Zav, Ray finds what he needs to let go of frustrations and clear his head in order to work towards real solutions for his fears about the band's future. The kink includes denial, spanking and bondage. Zav has a bit of a sadistic side and Ray finds such comfort in submitting, it was a thing of beauty to read.

As their bassist, Mish tells them “there are all kinds of love” and while Zav may not feel or understand things about "romantic love" it’s very clear that the intense feelings of respect, want and caring fuel both of them and allows them to have a relationship on their own terms. And shouldn't every relationship be built on mutual care and respect and the desire to see your partner happy, successful and fulfilled?

The secondary characters of bandmates Mish and Dom are also very well-written and integral to the story. They have been Ray's family and they all look out for each other. Mish is still a bit mysterious at the end, but she is a strong female character who takes care of the boys when it’s needed, but doesn’t take any crap. Dom is a bit more fleshed out and there is quite the awesome contradiction between his public persona, Domino, and the real Dominic. I’m thrilled that the next book, Counterpoint, will be his story. Anna Zabo also captured the music side of the story just as well as the relationship side. From creating the music and lyrics and performing, to the down and dirty of the business side of things. I got a good dose of the life of a rock and roll band.

I adored the ending and where Ray and Zav were. Their relationship works so well and they are both honest to who they are and what they need and neither individual is lost within what they have, rather they just grow so much stronger and happier together. I highly recommend this story and will be going to check out Anna Zabo's other books as I wait for the next one in this series.

Purchase Links

carina press[5]



Connect with Anna Zabo

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

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.



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