‘Hanging The Stars: A Half Moon Bay Mystery’ by Rhys Ford #LGBT #Review

Bethany reviews ‘Hanging The Stars’ by Rhys Ford.  Published by DSP on December 5th, 2016, 206 pgs.

Why I read this book: Is “because it’s Rhys” enough?  No?  Then because I read book 1 in this series and was excited to continue with this book.

NOTE: We were provided a copy of this in exchange for an honest opinion.

Read Sam’s review of ‘Fish Stick Fridays’ here: ‘Fish Stick Fridays: A Half Moon Bay Mystery’

picHalf Moon Bay: Book Two

Angel Daniels grew up hard, one step ahead of the law and always looking over his shoulder. A grifter’s son, he’d learned every con and trick in the book but ached for a normal life. Once out on his own, Angel returns to Half Moon Bay where he once found… and then lost… love.

Now, Angel’s life is a frantic mess of schedules and chaos. Between running his bakery and raising his troubled eleven-year-old half brother, Roman, Angel has a hectic but happy life. Then West Harris returns to Half Moon Bay and threatens to break Angel all over again by taking away the only home he and Rome ever had.

When they were young, Angel taught West how to love and laugh, but when Angel moved on, West locked his heart up and threw away the key. Older and hardened, West returns to Half Moon Bay and finds himself face-to-face with the man he’d lost. Now West is torn between killing Angel or holding him tight.

But rekindling their passionate relationship is jeopardized as someone wants one or both of them dead, and as the terrifying danger mounts, neither man knows if the menace will bring them together or forever tear them apart.
Cover Artist: Reece Notley

Review

I received this book as a review copy a while back, but as we sometimes know life happens.  I lost a family member so I needed to put this on hold till I was in the right headspace to read again.  I never thought there would be a time when I didn’t NEED to read.  So I put it aside till I could focus, and I am glad I did because this book needs your full attention.

I love Rhys’ books, all of them; I’m not sure I’ve found one that I don’t adore.  And this one was just like the rest.  As I read book one in this series I REALLY didn’t like West.  I’m not sure why, he just rubbed me the wrong way, maybe cause I know people like the character he portrayed.  Stuffy, snoody, and with more money than they know what to do with.  So going into this book I wasn’t sure I could get over that and fall for him at all.  But you know what they say about judging a book by its cover?  Yeah, I shouldn’t have done that with this book, because just like all the other Rhys books I have read, West shut me down and made me love him like I love so many of her characters.

Rhys writes murder, mayhem, and mystery.  And with every book of hers I read I go into it thinking: “I’m going to figure it out at the beginning,” and this one was no exception.  I thought early on, like a few chapters in that “yeah, I got this; I know who it is.” Then BAM! In true Rhys fashion she grabs me by the throat, throws me against the wall and cackles “guess again.”  And I am once again left with the feeling of a scolded dog trying to rush my dinner.  So again I have learned that with any Rhys book, DO.NOT.RUSH the process.  I will get there but ONLY when Rhys says I should.

Like I said before – I wasn’t a big West fan in book one, but when a character can redeem himself so completely like he did in this book, then that my friends is a sign of a truly brilliant writer.  I didn’t want to like West, and I still don’t; I love him.  He was so wonderful in this book, I was afraid with his company and the amount of money he has that he would try to overpower Angel, but that was never the case.  In fact, I felt like he knew that Angel was a proud man and would want to do things his way and on his own time.  He never pushed (much), and he never made Angel feel like he couldn’t handle things his way.  No, he made Angel feel like he wanted to be a part of his life, a part of Angels brothers life, like he wanted to be part of a team instead of a boss.

But please don’t ever think that Angel is the pushover type, far from it actually.  He is strong, more grown up that most men his age.  I can’t imagine being handed a kid so close to hitting puberty and saying “hey, have fun raising him without totally screwing him up.”  But you know what, Angel does it, and he does it all while fighting the kid’s demons and fears.  Fears that his brother will abandon him just like their con artist father did.  Fears that Angel will get tired of him and not come home.  Roman reminds me a lot of Zig from book one, and I guess that is why those two get along so well.

I loved seeing the relationship between Angel and West build again, as if more than a decade hasn’t passed between them.  In true Rhys form, there is that initial resistance, but once they get past that, lets just say they set the roof on fire.  I adored the ease that Roman and West seem to get along.  Watching these three become a family was spectacular.  It’s not an easy feat raising kids, much less a kid that’s not biologically yours.  Book one was the first book of Rhys that I read with kids, and she manages to hit this one out of the park as well.

I could go on and on gushing about this book, but I will rein it in now and just highly urge you to get this book.  While technically it could be read as a stand alone I really suggest you get book one first, they will both be worth it, I promise.

pot-of-gold-10special

Where to buy: DSP ~ Amazon ~ Audible

AuthorBio

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats, a black Pomeranian puffball, a bonsai wolfhound, and a ginger cairn terrorist.

Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

But mostly to the coffee maker.

Find Rhys here: Rhys Ford

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