Series: Twisted Wishes: Book Two
Author: Anna Zabo
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 292 Pages
At a Glance: Counterpoint is a gritty story that will tear at your heartstrings and make you appreciate the battle that every person dealing with performance anxiety and identity crisis undergoes.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: 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.
Review: Once again author Anna Zabo takes us into the fascinating world of the rock band Twisted Wishes, this time focusing on the lead guitarist, Dominic Bradley. On stage he is a force to be reckoned with—sexy, confident, aloof and talented. That is the persona of Domino Grinder, but the real man beneath the make-up and bravado is a shy, intellectual, sensitive man who wants nothing more than to find someone who will take control and see the real Bradley he keeps hidden most of the time. Done up in button-down shirts and bowties, Bradley has used the money from the contract buyout to buy a home in New York and retreats there between touring and sessions, in the studio where he must always bury his true self under the guise of rock star. When Bradley meets Adrian Doran at his favorite watering hole, he’s unaware that his life is about to change dramatically.
Adrian’s life is finally getting back on track after the death of his mother, which caused a rift between him and his siblings. After trying to chase the various online start-ups on the West Coast, he has finally returned home to New York and is settling for writing code for a rather staid but secure financial institution. Adrian splits his free time between the gym, where his best friend tortures his body into excellent shape, and dabbling in the BDSM scene. Never turned on by hard core sadism, Adrian is a ropes man who likes to take control in the bedroom but is also willing to switch things up should the right man come along. When he spies the nerdy, quiet bookworm at his favorite bar, he is instantly drawn to the man. But this is a guy with secrets and, while Adrian feels Bradley is entitled to those until they establish the trust needed to be open with each other, there is something Bradley keeps hidden that will blow their fledgling relationship apart and perhaps end it before it can even get started.
Anna Zabo lights up the page with their fantastic, character driven novel Counterpoint. Delving into the heart and mind of an anxiety-ridden introvert who only finds personal courage when parading as his alter-ego on stage is no easy task, and yet, this author makes it appear so from the very start of this story. The compassion that Adrian has for Bradley and the care he takes in making sure the submissive man is always safe in whatever they get up to in the bedroom is really beautiful to read. Poor Bradley is a tortured soul, and the author chooses to make this a realistic portrayal of a person that is on the brink of being torn apart by the need to hide and safeguard the real man behind the stage act. In doing so, we are privy to Bradley’s mental turmoil and the struggle he goes through pushing himself into the rock star mold that wars constantly with his meeker side.
Anna Zabo makes their men work for every piece of ground they gain in coming to trust each other. Counterpoint is a gritty story that will tear at your heartstrings and make you appreciate the battle that every person dealing with performance anxiety and identity crisis undergoes. It is a compelling novel that will capture your interest immediately and keep you in its thrall to the very end.
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