ARC Review by Jude + Exclusive Giveaway: Counterpoint by Anna Zabo


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.

Goodreads | Carina Press | Amazon
Release Date: September 24th

Don’t miss our interview with Adrian and Dominic!


*A free copy was provided via NetGalley

4 stars

Readers of Syncopation, book one in Zabo’s Twisted Wished series, will surely have fallen as in love with Dominic “Domino” Grinder, the lead guitarist of his breakout band Twisted Wishes, as I did. I devoured Syncopation (Ray and Zavier’s chemistry? Holy Moses YES PLEASE) in part because I was so interested in knowing more about Dominic, whose off and on stage personas are so wildly different from each other.

From the opening pages of Counterpoint, Zabo sets the tone for what is a lush, sensual story tied to an emotionally complex couple, both of whom are about to enter transitional moments of their lives. Dominic’s intense need to keep his two personas separate informs the emotional thrust of the book for his character. He lives in fear of the public finding out who he really is for a number of reasons—unlike his bandmates, he’s been able to enjoy more privacy and freedom in public spaces due to lack of recognition. Domino, the persona, began as a way for Dominic to cope with his anxiety and stage fright, and over the years, became an outlet for Dominic to express a part of himself and his music, free of those fears. Additionally, Dominic carries with him the fear that if the fans were to know who he is when he’s not performing—bookish, quiet, and geeky—they may no longer relate to or love Domino.

Adrian has his own struggles to carry in this book, namely a dissatisfaction with his job and learning to live with deep family rifts stemming from his mother’s death. I think that Zabo did a good job laying the seeds for Adrian’s dissatisfaction, and the resolution of that storyline satisfied. However, I did find his story less compelling than Dominic’s, and this created an imbalance that I really began to feel toward the middle of the book.

As Adrian and Dominic’s relationship begins to really transform and deepen, so do Dominic’s anxiety and self-doubt. It made sense, initially, for him not to tell Adrian, then to be reticent and want to protect this new wonderful thing – their relationship – from his other life. Adrian in this respect was beautifully written; it’s clear to both of them from the start that Dominic has secrets. Adrian is so respectful of them though that it would be impossible not to fall for him. As a reader, I also began to hurt for Adrian when I saw their relationship progress to the point where, under normal circumstances, someone you’re falling for, who seems to have fallen for you too, would be sharing more of themselves than Dominic is. Adrian truly has no idea that Dominic is Domino, so his continued reticence to trust him does hurt even as he tries to understand.

By the time Dominic’s truth was revealed, even I was becoming bit frustrated with what felt like a merry-go-round of thoughts, doubts, and hopes on his end. Initially this frustrated me, but upon reflection, what Zabo did was give us a character whose fear spoke louder than any other evidence contrary to that fear. Which felt very human. I love, love, loved the way that the moment – Adrian finding out about Dominic and the confrontation – played out because it allowed for a very real, very betrayed emotion on Adrian’s part without sacrificing the serious nature of Dominic’s anxiety and fear.

I found this to be a satisfying and enjoyable. Zabo is a go-to author for well written kink, and Counterpoint does not disappoint.  Readers will savor this sensual and tender story. From the food to the burgeoning physical and emotional intimacy between Dominic and Adrian, Counterpoint was an utterly delicious book.


*graphics were used with the authors permission*


And now we have something super fun for you!

One winner has the chance to win a signed paperback copy of Anna Zabo’s Heiße Übernahme and Entfesseltes Spiel, some super cute buttons with Justin and Eli on them and bookmarks! These are the German translations of Takeover and Just Business, published by Cursed Verlag!

The giveaway is open in Germany only.

Entering this is super easy: simply comment on this post with the title of your favorite queer romance which you would love to see translated!

The giveaway will run until midnight, October 31st.

Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Gay Orientation: Pansexual Pairing: M/M Publisher: Carina Press Review Tag: Age-Gap Tag: Celebrity / Famous Person Tag: d/s Tag: Part of a series Tag: Rockstar/Musician

Jude Sierra View All →

Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother who began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”. Jude began writing long-form fiction by tackling her first National Novel Writing Month project in 2007.

Jude is currently working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for Queer Books Unbound. Her novels include Hush, What it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary queer romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. Her most recent novel A Tiny Piece of Something Greater was released in May of 2018. Shadows you Left, a co-written novel with Taylor Brooke will arrive spring of 2019 from Entangled Press.

Twitter: @JudeSierra
Instagram: /judemsierra/

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