Reviewed by Kat
TITLE: Zac’s Mulligan
SERIES: Guarding the Gods (Book 1)
AUTHOR: Ann Lister
PUBLISHER: SleighFarm Publishing Group
LENGTH: 379 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 9, 2016
Zac Mulligan is a former Marine now providing personal security for the infamous rock band, Black Ice. Seeing all the guys around him in committed relationships reminds him of his childhood best friend . . . the only person Zac has never managed to get out of his head or his heart.
Ben Holland is an artist. Falling deeply in love with his best friend in his teens, Ben is left alone when Zac leaves him for the military. Ben heads off to college and lives his life “out and proud” as a gay man and creates a brand name for himself with his artwork. Throughout all the years that pass, Ben never forgets his childhood friend, Zac, or the feelings they once shared.
Zac realizes a decade is too long for Ben not to have a presence in his life and finds Ben living on Cape Cod where they spent their summers as kids. Meeting each other as adults stirs up a lot of memories for both of them.
Zac is looking for a mulligan, a “do over,” with his childhood best friend. The question is: Can Ben find a way to put aside his old hurts and fully open his heart to Zac for a second time? Or maybe the past is something better left buried on the beach where it all began.
To say that I have been waiting eagerly for this book is an understatement! I came to the “Rock Gods” series late in the game so I read straight through and couldn’t inhale them fast enough. Then the wait…but it was sooooo worth it!
“A Mulligan, in a game, happens when a player gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action; usually due to lack of skill or bitter luck. A ” Do-Over”. Like getting an ” Extra Play” in pinball due to sinking the ball before obtaining an arbitrary amount of points.” If there was anyone who deserved a mulligan in life I think that it should go to Zac Mulligan. I mean, even his name screams it. Finding love in your teens can easily be missed or taken for granted. Add in a father who figures out what’s going on and steers you away “for your own good” and it has disaster written all over it. But with age can come wisdom and that is exactly what Zac is figuring out after his conversations with Lincoln, Black Ice’s bass guitarist and Zac’s “primary”. He is heading back to the states after his severe knife injury from when Sebastian came after the guys in the band. He has down time to heal before he starts physical therapy and he needs to make contact with the one man who made a difference in his life…Ben, his best friend growing up and the object of his thoughts. But will Ben even speak to him all these years later? After the night he slipped away without so much as a good bye? “Zac’s Mulligan” is the story of what happens when these two men meet back up again. Is there ever such a thing as a mulligan in life?
As I stated, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book and I was definitely not disappointed. This book took us through the ups and downs of Ben and Zac getting reacquainted and it was a bit rocky at times. Both men had been through a lot in their years apart. Zac was in the Marines and serving his country through some pretty hellish conditions and situations. Then he went on to provide security for one of the top rock bands in the world. Ben, a very successful artist, has had some very rough times too. Life is not always easy to be out and proud. But you just knew that these wonderful and courageous men had to be together. Ben had every right to be furious with Zac. He literally up and disappeared with not so much as a note. Hearts can be trampled by less than this. Trust was a major problem with Ben, and Zac knew it. He has blown the best thing in his life because of juvenile naive beliefs and putting his trust in his father’s guidance.
Oh how I wanted to slap the ever loving crap out of Zac’s dad if I ever met him. His attitude and actions almost cost Ben and Zac the love they deserved. All because of misguided beliefs. And how disappointed I was to learn of Ben’s troubled times while attending college here in Oregon. That was a particularly hard piece to swallow.
As promised, we got to see our favorite Rock Gods mixed into the book and that was a true treat! These guys never cease to entertain and enthrall me.
Ann Lister takes us through some pretty tense and nail-biting scenes that literally had me holding my breath. She doesn’t do nice and easy but gritty and nerve-racking is more the path. Of course she treated us with some pretty tender moments and some scorching ones as well. It would be one of Ann’s books if she didn’t.
I bet you can guess my reaction to this newest spin-off series. I freaking loved it!!! And I can’t wait for the next in this new series. Hold on to you seats because we’re off on another wild ride and you won’t be disappointed, trust me!