Author: Anna Zabo
Series: Twisted Wishes #2
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: m/m contemporary rock star romance (with a bit of kink)
Quirks/warnings: Contains D/s and bondage. Also discusses anxiety and depicts a panic
Tropes/themes: Secret identity. Geeks in love. Hurt/comfort. Finding yourself behind the mask you wear for others.
Length: approx. 93,000 words
Twisted Wishes lead guitarist Dominic “Domino” Bradley is an animal onstage. But behind his tight leather pants and skull-crusher boots lies a different man entirely, one who needs his stage persona not only to perform, but to have the anonymity he craves. A self-imposed exile makes it impossible to get close to anyone outside the band, so he’s forced to get his sexual fix through a few hot nights with a stranger.
When computer programmer Adrian Doran meets Dominic, he’s drawn to the other man’s quiet voice and shy smile. But after a few dirty, demanding nights exploring Dominic’s need to be dominated, Adrian wants more than a casual distraction. He has no idea he’s fallen for Domino Grinder—the outlandish, larger-than-life rock god.
Dominic is reluctant to trust Adrian with his true identity. But when the truth is revealed prematurely, Dominic is forced to reevaluate both his need for Adrian and everything he believes about himself.
There's something about Anna Zabo's writing that I click with. I loved Syncopation, the first book in the Twisted Wishes series, and I loved this one too. Maybe not as much as I loved Ray and Zavier, but nonetheless a five-star read!
It started off a bit slow for me and there wasn't anything in the first couple of chapters that wow'ed me (in fact, I put it down a couple of times), but once I got past them, I was glued to Dom and Adrian and didn't want to put the book down ever again.
One of my favourite things about this series is that the main characters in both books actually talk to each other, so they have a maturity that's sometimes lacking in romance. It's a breath of fresh air! That's not to say that Dom and Adrian tell each other everything, because they don't. But each acknowledges that the other has secrets—they actually talk about the fact that they, especially Dom, are keeping secrets. But it's there, it's out in the open. They're up front with each other from the beginning.
I won't comment too much on the BDSM or D/s angle of their relationship because I'm not familiar with the scene other than what I've read in books, but I do want to say that I enjoyed that aspect of Dom and Adrian's relationship. It worked for them as a couple and as individuals. I don't usually read sexy scenes anymore, but these were so well crafted and served as a plot tool to move the story along, just like they did in Syncopation.
Dom and Adrian as individual characters were quite compelling. I loved seeing Dom interact with his bandmates, and I loved seeing Adrian with his friend Jackson or at work. But my favourite parts were the scenes where they were together and getting to know each other. They were perfect for together, and a great balance for each other, that it felt like they became my friends and I didn't want the book to end (which is also how I felt about Syncopation, which I also loved. If you care enough, you can read my review of that one here).
I can't wait for Mish's book, and I look forward to picking up more books by Anna Zabo. My only complaint about Counterpoint—if you can even call it a complaint—is that I would've loved to see Adrian give his boss and meddling colleague the finger!
Sunday, they cleaned the kitchen, went out for bagels and coffee, and spent the rest of the time in Adrian’s library, reading one another interesting snippets of texts until they succumbed to each other.
“I’ve never made love to anyone up here,” Adrian murmured, his mouth skimming over Dom’s now naked back.
“There’s always a first time.”
That earned him a laugh. Adrian also laid Dom out on the daybed in the reading nook and took his sweet time making them both come.
Sex and books. Dom could get used to that. So fast. So much.
About the author:
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.
Anna uses they/them pronouns and prefers Mx. Zabo as an honorific.
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