Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: Guitars and Choices
SERIES: Guitars #2
AUTHOR: Layla Dorine
PUBLISHER: Encompass Ink
LENGTH: 265 Pages
RELEASE DATE: May 26, 2017
Asher Logan has been a lot of things: runaway, guitarist, cage fighter, cowboy, but the one thing he’s always avoided was being a father to his young son. Now faced with returning to his family’s ranch, he’s forced to deal with the knowledge that the move would put him right down the road from Shawn. Still, it’s better than staying in the city, with drunken, bitter older brother Cole, whose anger and prejudices have made him difficult to be around.
Add in the fact that Asher’s new boyfriend, Conner, is eager to make the move with him, and there’s little argument that he can make against it. But returning home means facing demons, and the barn he’s avoided since the day his father caught him and his first love together in the hay. Speaking of his father, when the old man finds out Asher is back, he knows it will only be a matter of time before he demands Asher come to the prison to see him.
Moving means facing a buried past and truths long hidden, but staying in the city isn’t good for anyone, least of all Asher’s young nephew, Rory. It’s a hard road to face, filled with tough choices, and an old secret that just might provide more questions than answers.
Guitars and Choices might just be the most necessary sequel that I’ve ever read. Although the first book in the series, Guitars and Cages, left us on a hopeful note…it was a drop in the ocean when compared to the tsunami of tears that had already been shed. This second book isn’t a standalone, it is definitely a sequel. For those readers who like to indulge in a lot of angst, here is my review of Guitars and Cages. The following review may contain spoilers from the first book.
Unlike the previous story in the series, this second book offers the reader a glimpse into the minds of pretty much every character who plays an important part. Obviously Asher is still the focus, but we also hear from Asher’s brother and sister, Asher’s father figure, the mother of Asher’s child and most importantly, we finally discover what the ever patient Connor is thinking. I can’t stress enough that all of this head hopping benefitted the story and at no time did I become confused. Without these different perspectives, I don’t know if I ever could have truly gotten over the fact that Asher abandoned his child. And I know for certain that I never could have been made to see Cole as a sympathetic figure rather than an unsalvageable douche, without glimpsing the confusion of love and anger he was dealing with.
Finally, finally, Connor and Asher share their first kiss, but don’t expect a whole lot of sexing to suddenly present itself on the pages. As Morgan points out, the sex part is easy, and it really is a good idea for the two men not to rush. They need to get to know each other first. Actually, Asher really needs to get to know himself before he adds anyone else to that equation. But there’s no more fighting, and no more selling himself. Don’t expect a speedy end to his self-loathing though; the author makes him work hard for every bit of recovery he makes. While the mood of this book is altogether lighter, well, there’s still nothing light about it. I did say the first book in the series wasn’t a romance, and I’d also hesitate to label this one as anything so pleasant.
I have to assume that this is only a two book series, considering the first editions of the Guitar books were released a couple of years ago, and I’ve yet to see mention of a third book. This story ends in a much better place than the first, but still…I’d definitely be in line to read another tale about Asher and Connor.