Title: Fish Stick Fridays by Rhys Ford
Half Moon Bay Mystery Series Book One
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Erotic, Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Length: 204 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author
Deacon Reid was born bad to the bone with no intention of changing. A lifetime of law-bending and living on the edge suits him just fine—until his baby sister dies and he finds himself raising her little girl.
Staring down a family history of bad decisions and reaped consequences, Deacon cashes in everything he owns, purchases an auto shop in Half Moon Bay, and takes his niece, Zig, far away from the drug dens and murderous streets they grew up on. Zig deserves a better life than what he had, and Deacon is determined to give it to her.
Lang Harris is stunned when Zig, a little girl in combat boots and a purple tutu, blows into his bookstore, and then he’s left speechless when her uncle, Deacon Reid, walks in hot on her heels. Lang always played it safe, but Deacon tempts him to step over the line… just a little bit.
More than a little bit. And Lang is willing to be tempted.
Unfortunately, Zig isn’t the only bit of chaos dropped into Half Moon Bay. Violence and death strike, leaving Deacon scrambling to fight off a killer before he loses not only Zig but Lang too.
The first installment in Rhys Ford’s new mystery series, Fish Stick Fridays, is a delightfully heartwarming romance. The mystery aspect of the storyline is compelling, but the marvelous cast of characters is what makes this novel such an outstanding read.
From the wrong side of the tracks with a bit of a sketchy past, Deacon Reid turns his life around after his sister dies so he can become his niece Zig’s guardian. Deacon is WAY out of his comfort zone when it comes raising a little girl, but he is determined she will have a better life than he or his sister did. Deacon is patient but firm with Zig and although she tries to keep an emotional distance between them, he does a pretty good job giving her the stability she needs to heal from her traumatic past.
Bookstore owner Lang Harris is everything Deacon isn’t: refined, wealthy and privileged. However, this does not mean that his life is any more perfect than Deacon’s. Lang has been hurt in the past and he is still trying to move on from a disastrous relationship that left him both physically and emotionally shattered. His relationship with his family is also strained but Lang is quite happy with the life he has made for himself in Half Moon Bay.
Zig is a precocious but lovable eight year old who steals every scene she stars in. She is tough, scrappy and swears like a stevedore but behind all her bravado is a scared little girl who is trying to cope with a painful past. Deacon will do just about anything to protect her and it is incredibly touching watching him go the extra mile to try to make the transition to their new life together easier for her.
The mystery element is understated but it is still an integral part of the storyline. Clever misdirects and a few red herrings make it impossible to figure the perpetrators’ identity until nearly the end of the novel. This aspect of the plot is action packed, intriguing and quite suspenseful.
Fish Stick Fridays by Rhys Ford is a heartfelt novel of love and family that I highly recommend to fans of gay romances. It is a perfect blend of sweet and sexy with just a hint of danger. The characters are beautifully developed with slight imperfections that add to their overall appeal. This well-written and fast paced novel is the perfect beginning to the Half Moon Bay series and I cannot wait to read the next installment!