Reviewed By Tori
Favorite Quote: I took one look at you, and I felt like someone’d punched me in the face.
Deacon Reid spent his life on the wrong side of the law until his sister dies and he’s forced to fight for custody of his niece. Now on the fast track to respectability, Deacon buys a business and plans to settle in the small town of Half-Moon Bay. When he meets the local bookseller/landlord, Deacon feels like he’s finally come home.
Lang Harris is shocked when a tiny tornado dressed in a purple tutu and combat boots invades his bookstore, followed by her gorgeous uncle. Lang hasn’t been with anyone for a long time but Deacon tempts him like no one ever has before and he’s willing to take this chance at happiness.
As Deacon and Lang slowly take their relationship from friends to more, they discover not everyone wants Deacon and Zig to settle down happily ever after in Half-Moon Bay. Someone who’s willing to kill to get what they want.
Fish Stick Fridays is a sweet and spicy romance contemporary with some delicious suspense, a pinch of mystery, and some hot steamy loving. Watching two seemingly opposite people come together is a fun trope to read, especially when the author is as talented as Ford. Steady pacing, well balanced plot lines, witty dialogue, and dynamic characters grab hold and don’t let go as you sink into the story.
Family is the cornerstone of this story you learn as you get to know the protagonists- Deacon (Deke), Lang, and Zig. We learn that family isn’t always what you’re born into but who you choose to surround yourself with. It was refreshing to interact with two mature adults who have responsibilities that couldn’t be conveniently tossed aside until the protagonists need a reminder.
Deacon Reid hasn’t had an easy life but it didn’t harden him as you would expect. This lone wolf makes a 180 when he is thrust into parenthood with the custody of his niece. Selling off most of his belongings, Deacon sets out to make a better life for him and Zig by buying an auto repair shop in a place far away from the neighborhood that was slowly killing them both. He’s an interesting character. His rough exterior hides a heart of gold. He owns up to the mistakes he’s made in his life, making no excuses, and doesn’t see Zig as his chance at redemption. He genuinely loves her and wants to give her the very best shot he can at a better life.
“I won’t let you go. I won’t let any of you go.”
He has a unique style of parenting that will have you chuckling as he and Zig negotiate their way through punishments and discipline. She is a handful with a vibrant and strong personality and left me laughing throughout the book. Deacon gives her a very long leash. He doesn’t want to break her spirit…just help guide her in the right direction.
“No take backs. Uncle Deke says only assholes do take backs. Rule one of life is don’t be an asshole.”
Lang is the yin to Deacon’s yang. The bad boy and the nerd. *SWOON* A quiet, conservative, unassuming book seller and property owner, Lang is alive but isn’t actually living. Brutally attacked and left for dead, Lang has been essentially hiding while his body and mind heals. He too had a less than stellar childhood with his uninterested father and drama fueled mother. Lucky for him, he had a grandmother who understood Lang and tried to protect him. Meeting Deacon and Zig is like being hit with a battering ram. For the first time in years, he feels a sexual attraction for someone without the ever present accompanying fear. Lang’s cautious, as to be expected, but Deacon and Zip slowly absorb him into their world and give Lang a future to look forward to.
“I want things from you that scare me.”
The romance proceeds at a soft pace with Lang and Deacon debating the pros and cons of being together. There is a little bit of an “insta love” feel to it though I found the presentation acceptable. These are two adults choosing to pursue a relationship with no ridiculous melodrama or contrived misunderstandings. Ford has created real people with real issues. They are easy to relate to. Their joys, fears, wants, and needs are laid bare and we are allowed to share in their journey.The execution, offered in dual points of view, flows smoothly and gives readers the ability to see where their mindsets are at during key scenes. Dialogue is their foreplay-leading into some passionate love scenes.
Lang glanced up at him, a profane angel sucking the tip of Deacon’s cock, and he nearly came at the sight of his lover’s handsome face flushed with desire and lust.
A personable cast of secondary characters will steal your heart right along with our protagonists; each one a solid and necessary presence. Some familiar faces from other books are present while new faces appear and offer our budding little family the help and hope they need. Lang’s interactions with Zig are heartwarming. He doesn’t see her as competition or a way to win over Deacon. He genuinely cares for her as a person and grows to love her as much as he grows to love her uncle.
The conflict weaves in and out, heightening the tension and throwing a little shadow on Lang and Deacon’s relationship, as Ford keeps us in suspense as to who exactly the intended victim (s) are and why. The climax and reveal happen simultaneously towards the end, wrapping up the mystery and leaving readers secure in this family’s future. I look forward to reading more about this tiny town and it’s very interesting residents.