ARC Review by Annie: Close Quarter by Anna Zabo


On a transatlantic cruise to New York, sculptor Rhys Matherton struggles to piece his life back together after losing his mother, inheriting a fortune, and finding out his father isn’t his father after all. He spills a tray of drinks on a handsome stranger, then he finds himself up against a wall getting the best hand-job he’s ever had. And for the first time in his life, he feels whole.

Rhys enjoys the company of Silas Quint, but for the eerie way no one pays attention to them even while they kiss in a crowded bar. Silas explains he’s a forest fae able to glamor the room around them—and more importantly, that he’s on the cruise to hunt vampires. Rhys thinks Silas is full of it, until he discovers vampires are real, and he’s part of their main course.

Silas Quint can’t be distracted by a human lover, even one as lovely as Rhys. Stuck in the middle of the ocean, he has barely enough of energy to hunt the vampires he’s been sent to destroy. Rhys is full of the one thing Silas needs needs most—the element of living plants. Only sucking energy from Rhys would make Silas as soulless as the creatures he hunts. How can he keep Rhys safe, without becoming like the very monsters he hunts?

Goodreads | Amazon
(Re-)Release Date: August 15th


*a copy of this was provided by the author

Vampires. Fae. Angels. That’s all something I don’t usually read. I loved Anna Zabo’s Takeover series though, and the blurb just sounded too good – so I had to give it a try. I’m still mostly a contemporary kind of reader, but I’ve realised that with the right story I can also fall in love with paranormal romance. I definitely fell in love with Close Quarter.

What really appealed to me when I first heard of it, was the contained setting on a cruise ship and that Rhys seemed to not just be the helpless human that needed saving. I’m not a fan of the damsel-in-distress trope, so I was excited to see Rhys being able to help and protect Silas.

Rhys decides to go on a 10-day cruise to New York after his mother dies. He wants to escape the media for a while, and a cruise ship seems to be the perfect place for that: a place with no photographers or journalists, where he can just enjoy the quiet and piece back his life. Although it doesn’t stay quiet for long ;). He accidentally spills his drink on another passenger – Silas. And while Silas brushes him off the first time they meet, he can’t resist him when they meet a second time.

If you’ve been following this blog then you know that I am not a fan of insta-love. I said it again and again that the slow built-up of feelings is my absolute favourite thing about romance, but it turns out that I can love insta love stories too. For some reasons it just worked for me here. Probably because Silas as a fae so he does not have to abide by human conventions and, well, without giving specifics, there is more to Rhys than the eyes can see.

From the beginning they had a delicious chemistry and a palpable pull toward each other. Their sexual encounters were hot and very well written. I really enjoyed their give and take. I was a bit worried it might be imbalanced because of Silas being a fae who his god-knows how old, but I never felt like they were less than equals.

While sometimes it can drag a story if it’s only set in one place, I really liked how Zabo handled this here. Close Quarter kept me on the edge of my seat until I had read the last page. The world-building is fantastic and makes you find out more about everything.

My favourite aspect of Close Quarter was to see Rhys grow into his powers – as well as he can do that within the short span of time in the book. I’m excited to see his progress in the next book, because I’m sure there’s still lots of room for him to explore his powers. What I’m most looking forward to in the next books though, is to see more of Vasil. I fell a little bit in love with him and am excited to see more of him.


Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.

Anna has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where they fell in with a roving band of romance writers and never looked back. They also have a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Anna is represented by Jennifer Udden of Barry Goldblatt Literary.

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Genre: Contemporary Genre: Paranormal Orientation: Bisexual Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Review Self Published Tag: Age-Gap Tag: Insta-Love / Insta-Lust Tag: Part of a series

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