Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
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 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.
Hanging The Stars, the second book in the Half Moon Bay series, had a obstacle to overcome that most Rhys Ford books don’t start out with. I wasn’t crazy about one of the main characters right off the bat.
West Harris was a minor character in a close-to-my-heart book, Fish Stick Fridays. A twin in appearance only to Lang Harris the bookstore owner and wonderful MC of that story, much like Zig (really you have to read that book) I was ready to write this fellow right off. Skedaddle, out of here! Nope, Ford was determined to put West on the road to redemption.
Well, its a hard road, I’m telling you. I wasn’t ready to accept him right at the start.
What’s not so hard to do? Fall in love with Angel Daniels and his brother Roman. Ford loves her down on their luck men. When she writes about them, builds their characters, something special happens. A magical spark ignites, a personality pops into place and boom, there rides into the story a layered, hunted man. Tortured past, looking to better himself for any number of reasons, trying to escape the demons running so close behind him. That Angel Daniels. In this case, its Roman his young highly intelligent brother that’s pushing Angel to get them a better life. A few scenes, snappy dialog, and hints of their awful past. and there you are, rooting for these two to make it happen.
Then West Harris enters the picture. I swear most of the time I wanted to swat him one. Mostly because I was that irritated with him.
Turning around a prejudice towards a character is a hard thing for an author to have to do. Making that turn here, well, it didn’t happen as smoothly for me as I think the author might have hoped. I guess I thought certain connections should have been made far sooner than someone as bright as he was supposed to be. Maybe it was because I adored Angel and Roman so much that they shone so brightly that took longer to connect with West. That entirely possible. I was certainly more emotionally engaged in the dynamics in the relationship between brothers first, and then between Angel and West.
Then all three, Angel, West and Roman, began to meld into a unit. That’s when this story took flight. I loved it when all three started to come together as a whole. West became more layered, more a functioning human being. The scenes as West and Roman discussed candy spreadsheets? Priceless! If Zig is focused on world domination, then Roman is be her CFO. Rhys Ford should seriously consider writing a book filled with Zig’s and Roman’s and fantastical creatures and libraries bursting at the seams with books full of mystical things. I’d buy them and hand them out on the street. She writes children and pretweens like no one’s business. I recognize them as I have one just like them in my family. How much they enrich these stories can’t be measured.
Hanging the Stars pulled the mysteries together and the murderous reign of terror to an end in a totally satisfactory manner. Yep, happy at the end. Ford left me wanting more as she always does. And as we are all likely to get more…Half Moon Bay is a wonderful place. I can’t wait to see who and what is coming next.
I recommend this story. And the one before it. The author too. S’marvelous…all three!
Grab up the first and wait for this to come out. And don’t be so hard on West Harris as I was. He had Lang Harris (and 2 cats) to overcome. That’s a tough one in any case.
Cover Artist: Reece Notley. I think its perfect for the character and in keeping with the series.
Sales Links – Pre Order
ebook, 206 pages
Expected publication: December 5th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Series Half Moon Bay: