Audiobook Review: Hanging the Stars (Half Moon Bay #2) by Rhys Ford

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.

Listening Length: 7 hours 41 minutes
Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Greg Tremblay is always magical in narration, and I have not listened to an audiobook yet where I didn’t love his performance. He has a pretty impressive range, and his character presentation is always unique from one character to the next. This book was no different. Five Hearts for narration.

This story was pretty fun to listen to. The first in the series took a while for me to warm up to, but I’m glad I have that backstory before listening to this one. It is pretty much a requirement. I don’t think this would be half as enjoyable without reading book one. So if you haven’t read/listened to Fish Stick Fridays, go and do that now.

Angel was a great character, and I loved how he was portrayed. Strong, independent, but somewhat vulnerable, Angel was the star in this story for me. His rough past has certainly created a core of steel within, but he is still open to life, and making sure his brother gets whatever he can give him. He is loyal, and determined, with a heart of gold, and the life experience to know when to give it out, and when to keep it concealed.

West is introduced in book one, as Lang’s twin brother. He is surly, stiff, and unapproachable, with a hidden mischief and warm heartedness. He was more subtle in his character development, and warmth. It was a battle to like him, and not eyeroll at his stiff upper lip. I did like him as I got to know him more. I enjoyed his progression in this relationship, but he had to win me over a lot more than Angel did. I didn’t quite understand the past interplay, or the reasoning behind their separation (yes, it is stated, but I wasn’t wholly convinced), but I reminded myself that they were teenagers, and teenagers are still bound by the parental trap of guilt, fear, and loyalty.

The mystery in this was a lot cleaner than the one in the first book. I appreciated that, and I think other readers will enjoy the simplicity of it too. It took more of a back seat in this book than I felt it did in Fish Stick Fridays. I was able to enjoy it more and keep all the clues in mind, while I got stuck into the reunion between West and Angel. There are some twisty bits, but it still made sense, and worked as a whole. Of course, this is action movie drama, so expect some outrageous gun-fire in the beginning to set the tone of the story.

Rhys Ford has earned my loyalty with the rich characters and descriptive nature of the world building in all her stories, and while Fish Stick Fridays was not one of my favourites, Hanging The Stars made an impression on me, and I’m interested to see where this series takes me.

A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion

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