Book Review: Syncopation by Anna Zabo

Syncopation

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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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After reading the ARC of Reverb and meeting all the rockstars of Twisted Wishes again, I finally decided to pick up this first installment of the series. I really wanted to know the beginnings of Ray and Zav’s story despite already knowing about their marriage and this was such a wonderful book to read.

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Ray is such a talented singer/songwriter and his passion for his art and love for his band really reflects off his page. But he is also a product of the class divide and seeing him question his talent and abilities and taking all the blame for any issues made me so sad. When Zav joins the band, it was a delight to watch him become a part of this family. He has such a cool head on his shoulders and the calm that he brings to the chaos of touring felt like a breath of fresh air. The immense trust and friendship that builds between them slowly is a joy to read about and I really loved every scene that they were in together.

The band itself is another major plus point for this book. They may all be popular rockstars but first and foremost, they are family and their dynamic is beautiful. Ray, Dom and Mish always have each other backs and I felt like I was getting to be a part of this wonderful group of friends along with Zav. Mish is always ready to fight for their group whereas Dom has a very shy personality. But their trust in each other is complete and I liked that there were no professional issues between them at all.

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There is just something about the writing in this book that made me feel very good. As someone who loves the emphasis on friendships in books, the story and characters in this book felt like catnip to me. The author also treats Zav’s aromanticism in a way where he is just who he is and he doesn’t have to justify or explain his feelings. And Ray completely understands it. This was probably my first book with an aromantic character, so I can’t really comment on the authenticity of the rep but I think it was done respectfully. The book also has some bdsm elements, but the overall feel is very sweet and I guess I wasn’t expecting that. My only issue really was the slightly caricaturish villain who really had no proper reasons for being so awful (even downright evil at time).

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I’m usually not someone who reads books out of order and I still don’t know why I did that with this series, but I would definitely recommend anyone to start from the beginning. If you like rockstar romances, but not on the darker side, then this is the series for you. This series is full of friendships and love, sweet and adorable with some kinky stuff mixed in and completely queer af. While I totally enjoyed Twisted Wishes on the whole and would love everyone to read these books, Counterpoint is still my favorite.

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