ARC Review: Reverb by Anna Zabo

Reverb

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Twisted Wishes bass player Mish Sullivan is a rock goddess—gorgeous, sexy and comfortable in the spotlight. With fame comes unwanted attention, though: a stalker is desperate to get close. Mish can fend for herself, just as she always has. But after an attack lands her in the hospital, the band reacts, sticking her with a bodyguard she doesn’t need or want.
David Altet has an instant connection with Mish. A certified badass, this ex-army martial arts expert can take down a man twice his size. But nothing—not living as a trans man, not his intensive military training—prepared him for the challenge of Mish. Sex with her is a distraction neither of them can afford, yet the hot, kink-filled nights keep coming.
When Mish’s stalker ups his game, David must make a choice—lover or bodyguard. He’d rather have Mish alive than in his bed. But Mish wants David, and no one, especially not a stalker, will force her to give him up.

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I still haven’t read the first book in this series but after enjoying Counterpoint so much, I knew I had to read Mish’s story. And this was a fun read for the most part and I quite liked the slightly mysterious part of it too.

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Mish Sullivan is a badass and hates showing her vulnerable side to anyone. She can seem bull headed at times, but I liked knowing the reasons for the way she is. She is confident and amazing and totally in her element on stage, she enjoys her interactions with fans but there is also a good deal of unwanted attention. The author does a great job of showing us how even fans or people in general treat female artists differently when compared to their own male band mates. The way everyone feels entitled to tell Mish how she should behave or what clothes she should wear or even questioning her sexuality (though she is pretty open about being pan) is a testament to how women in general are constantly questioned for making their own decisions. I really loved Mish for never backing down, despite being stalked but I also really liked that gradually, she let her friends take care of her a little.

David is a bodyguard that Mish doesn’t want, but he is extremely respectful of her decisions while also making sure she is protected. The attraction between them is crackling right from the get go and it was wonderful to see both of them never backing down. I especially loved the emphasis on consent and asking each other about their preferences every time they got together – it was written with such beauty and thoughtfulness, it was great to read. His being trans is also never an issue between them but we can see that he had issues in the past, but he is in a better space now. The author manages to capture the conflict that David feels about protecting Mish as a job vs because of his relationship and his worry about how his feelings might affect his job. He is really hard on himself and while everyone can see that, he can be a little adamant too. While it felt like the relationship moved into serious territory pretty quickly, it felt very organic and David and Mish were just so good for each other.

My favorite part of this book and the series in general is still the band. They are an amazing group of people who love their music, their art and their fans but they mean so much more to each other. It’s a perfect found family dynamic and I love how everyone of them is always there for each other. Mish might not want to show any vulnerability, but Zav and Ray are always ready to shoulder her burdens or just let her express her feelings. I also loved seeing Adrian become such an inseparable part of the group and his budding friendship with David was a delight to read. It’s pretty evident from the beginning that David fits in perfectly with the group and I absolutely adored the scenes where they were all together just goofing off.

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This is only my second book by Anna Zabo but I’ve quickly realized they’re awesome at writing banter. The back and forth and conversations in this book are flirty, sweet and heartfelt and I had a big smile on my face for most of it. The situations in the story also feel very realistic and it felt like a good depiction of the darker side of fame and social media. The writing was also very easy to read and I finished very quickly. It would have been a solid 4 or maybe more but the conflict after about 70% felt so irrational and pointless to me. David had his reasons but just like Mish, I couldn’t agree with them and it just shocked for me for a while. But I’m glad the author didn’t drag it out a lot and the ending was really sweet.

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This is a nice love story which works well as a stand-alone but I thinking reading the previous installments gives it more depth. If you love badass female rockstars who are never afraid to punch someone who deserves it, you should definitely check this out. This series also has some of the best friend groups I’ve read in recent times and I am totally in love with Twisted Wishes.

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