eARC Review: Counterpoint by Anna Zabo– A Romance of a Rockstar with a Double Life and Learning to Show His Real Self

39675785Summary: 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.

Rating: ★★★★★

Rep: gay main character with anxiety, pansexual main character, m/m romance

Content warnings: sexual content, BDSM, panic attacks

Release date: 24 September 2018

I received an arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Counterpoint is the sequel to Syncopation and I was really excited about its release. I was not even a little disappointed.

Counterpoint follows the guitarist of a band called Twisted Wishes. On stage he’s the rock star, Domino Grinder. Off stage he’s the quiet bookish nerd, Dominic ‘Dom’ Bradley with a type for intellectuals. Domino is a persona that Dom created to have off stage and to keep his personal life separate from his public life. He takes it really seriously, and tries his hardest to not let his personal life get out. Meeting Adrian made this really difficult due to him showing Dominic to him after being so used to being Domino.

Adrian is a computer programmer who hates his cooperate job. He and Dom meet at a bar, and are very draw towards each other. It goes off really quickly, and they slowly get closer and closer throughout the book. However, Dom does have some difficulty due to conflicted feelings. Around Adrian, he can be who he really is, which he doesn’t get to do that much. The book does really well at portraying how Dom struggles with maintaining both parts of him, and how he is so open with Adrian. Adrian doesn’t know who Dom is, and due to the makeup that comes with Domino, Don’s mostly unrecognisable if he keeps his tattoos covered.

A big reason Dom created Domino was due to bullying he’d dealt with in high school when he and his bandmate Ray started the band. Due to being more nerdy, he wasn’t taken seriously. He also had a history of experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, especially before shows.

Adrian hasn’t been in a relationship for some time. So when he meets Dom and they quickly start to develop feeling for each other, he’s hesitant at first. He slowly allows himself to commit to Dom and to take more control of his life. He and Dom both make each other better throughout the book, Dom hides not only his real self but his sexuality, and Adrian forces himself to stay in a job he hates. Their relationship helps them both get better and grow.

They also had amazing chemistry. Dominic goes by Dom, but Adrian calls him Dominic. Which is a trope I love. And from the second they start flirting, they have a spark between them, which only increases the more they get to know each other.

Needless to say, I loved this book. I wasn’t able to stop reading it that I read it in a sitting. It’s definitely one of my favourite romances, and this is definitely one of my favourite romance series.

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