Nicole Field's Reviews > Syncopation

Syncopation by Anna Zabo
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really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley

Oh goodness, I love band romances, and I loved this novel. To me, this had all the best parts of other band romances: The Trouble and The Love Song of Sawyer Bell.

Ray is the front man for the band Twisted Wishes. Immediately before the start of the novel, he had to kick his drummer out due to his drinking habits. As a result, they need a new drummer, as they are just about to go on tour.

Enter Zavier. Ray and Zavier once went to high school, about a decade ago. Back then, the age difference between them mattered. He turned Ray down, both for joining his band and for anything else. In the time since then, he's attended Julliard, been on world tour with the orchestra and, on a personal front, has realised he's aromantic.

Sparks immediately get going when Zavier auditions for the position of drummer in Twisted Wishes, but he's clearly the best (maybe only) choice. The friendships that build between him and other band members Dominic/Domino and Mish are loads of fun. I'm already hoping that Mish ends up with her own story, and that the love interest in that book is Zavier's mentor Nadia. (Also hoping if such a book occurs, that there is very positive sex worker rep!)

As well as just being all round good, it had some of the best BDSM representation I've read before. Zavier knows he's a dominant but Ray hasn't been a submissive before. And, unlike many other stories where this is the dynamic, this worked perfectly. Loads of consent culture and check ins between the two men.

The only thing that made it difficult to read at times were basically any scene that Carl, the awful band manager, was in. His actions were basically sociopathic all the way through, and I didn't feel as though what happened to him, or the reason for his extreme behaviour throughout, paid off enough in the end.
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Reading Progress

May 19, 2018 – Started Reading
May 19, 2018 – Shelved
May 19, 2018 – Shelved as: netgalley
May 19, 2018 –
13.0% "He was quiet for a while, eyes open now. He met Zavier’s gaze. “Me. I’m the shithead.”
Now there was something Zavier liked: Ray’s self-awareness when he calmed down."
May 20, 2018 –
16.0% "When he turned around, Ray still had that devilish grin, so Zavier gave in to half his need and cupped the back of Ray’s neck, drawing him close enough to speak into his ear. His thumb pressed gently against Ray’s throat, enough to feel him swallow. “You did exactly what I told you to do. I’m very pleased.”"
May 20, 2018 –
17.0% "Zavier had touched him—not just a friendly pat on the back, but an intimate clasp that nearly put him on his knees in front of who knew how many fans. Bet that photo was already making the rounds."
May 20, 2018 –
19.0% "“You mean that.” Zavier lifted his head.
“Yes.” He spoke it like a command, and it had the same effect on Ray as it would’ve had on any of the subs he’d played with. A flush and a melting, that little hint of subspace.
Ah, hell. He shouldn’t have done that, because now he wanted more."
May 20, 2018 –
23.0% "Give your soul over in words and notes and beats, and the fans gave you their souls right back in tears and screams and outstretched hands yearning for a single touch."
May 21, 2018 –
38.0% "“Submission is an exchange of power. It’s a gift. You have to be in control of yourself to release that to someone else.”"
May 21, 2018 –
82.0% "Zavier knew who he was, knew his own tastes and needs and desires, or lack thereof. But Ray threw him. There was so much about Ray he enjoyed, and not only the sex and the kink. The friendship. The music. His smile. Every damn thing. Watching him closing in on death’s door? That had been too much. Far too much.
He needed Ray. Didn’t want to be without Ray."
May 21, 2018 –
82.0% "Zavier knew who he was, knew his own tastes and needs and desires, or lack thereof. But Ray threw him. There was so much about Ray he enjoyed, and not only the sex and the kink. The friendship. The music. His smile. Every damn thing. Watching him closing in on death’s door? That had been too much. Far too much.
He needed Ray. Didn’t want to be without Ray."
May 21, 2018 –
85.0% "Breathe. There was Zavier’s voice again. He obeyed, too. Because it helped. Those little tricks and the leather around his ankle."
May 22, 2018 – Finished Reading

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