NEW RELEASE REVIEW: Syncopation by Anna Zabo

Author: Anna Zabo
Book: Syncopation
Series: Twisted Wishes #1
Page/Word Count: 295, 102K words
Categories: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 9,2018
Publisher: Carina Press

Blurb:
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.

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reviewericon-natalie

5✨s – I do have a soft spot for rock star romance, so finding one written by Anna Zabo thrilled me! They captivated me with the “Takeover” series and Anna brought their skills, as well as their style of kink, to this literary music fest. Zavier is making the leap from symphony orchestra to rock band; an easy musical change but not so much a personal one. Ray’s lingering resentment of Zavier for his Juilliard background, plus guilt from losing the first drummer is added to the pressure he’s under from the band’s hostile manager, and his temper frays badly. Ray and Zavier do slowly find balance and develop a friendship but sexual tension builds too, both initially holding back for the sake of professionalism. Ultimately, Zander can’t resist helping Ray find an outlet for his tension.

The pacing of this novel is phenomenal, the feel of the slow burn and UST visceral, the payoff outstanding. Character building is some of the best I’ve read, with band members and friends, Dom and Mish, equally vested in the narrative without distracting from either the plot or the romance. And it is a romance, in spite of the fact that Zavier is aromantic. Being aro is different for everyone, but doesn’t prevent someone from having a strong relationship. I’m aro but enjoy reading romances, and this representation was marvelous. Depictions of performances, writing and composing, and fans, the record label executives, all made strong impressions and rounded out the plot nicely.

The penultimate scenes, for my smutty little heart, were the kinks! Anna writes some of the best BDSM imo; intense without becoming too esoteric. There’s no formal club or special furniture, just a few toys, a bed and an Amazon order. The emotional satisfaction that both Ray and Zavier get from the exchange is shown and expressed beautifully. It’s not a TPE and I considered the BDSM fairly moderate but if it’s completely new to someone, it might be uncomfortable. This is going on my best of 2018 list for sure. If you love rock star romance, a little angst, oodles of lust and a helping of kink, this is the book you want!

About Anna 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.

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