Book Reviews

Swann's Revenge (Dreamspun Desires) by Shira Anthony at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 22-February-2018

Book Blurb

Can a swan make peace with his ugly duckling past? 


Chubby geek Jimmy Zebulon’s heart broke the day his high school crush, Danny Parker, looked on as his teammates tormented Jimmy. Fifteen years later, Jimmy is long gone, and from his ashes has risen Graham Swann, a movie-star-handsome law firm owner. Graham thinks Jimmy and his past are long forgotten—until attorney Dan Parker shows up for his first day of work. 


Getting injured playing college ball was the best thing that ever happened to Dan. It turned his future in a better direction and allowed him to emerge from the closet that trapped him.


Graham wants to believe his childhood dream can come true, but he can’t bring himself to tell Dan who he really is—and their pasts might ruin any chance for a happily ever after….


Book Review

“Ugly ducklings don't turn into swans and glide off down the lake. Whether your sunglasses are on or off, you only see the world you make.” ~ Bonnie Raitt

Even though Graham Swann, of 'Swann's Revenge', changed his name and outward appearance, becoming a swan, he neglected to deal with the ugly duckling feeling inside, trying to forget it ever existed. The thing is, trying to ignore a problem rather than deal with it ensures that it never goes away. Even as far as Graham has come from his ugly duckling days, it doesn't take much to invoke the insecurities he had as an awkward teenager. Just when Graham thinks he's safe from these emotions, Dan Parker, his newly hired employee, walks into his office. In a flash, Graham becomes the ugly duckling all over again.

Dan is a widower with a four-year-old daughter and, since Graham last saw him, has come out as gay. He doesn't recognize the “bright, shiny man” before him as his old classmate, Jimmy. Graham does nothing to enlighten him. Graham is a bit intimidated by Dan because he seems to have his life together. Far different from Graham who acts tough and aloof but is hiding behind a mask, always vigilant, afraid someone will see him for the fake that he sees himself as. Graham tries to be tough with Dan in order to keep his distance but, between Dan's excellent work as a lawyer and Dan’s unrelenting feelings it is beyond difficult. Yet Graham has never forgiven Dan for not standing up for him when he needed help. He decides to keep his identity a secret and see what happens, half-heartedly thinking of a way to avenge his past humiliation.

Not knowing that Dan is gay, it takes Graham a while to realize that the “other woman” in Dan's life is his little daughter. Graham doesn't want it to make a difference in the way he feels for Dan, but he can't help it. Not helping matters is that before even knowing that she's Dan's little girl, Lacey, she completely charms Graham. Soon, she has him wrapped around her little finger, just like her daddy. In spite of himself, Graham's resolve slips. He truly enjoys Dan and his daughter's company and falls in love with both of them. He can't believe how good it feels to relax and enjoy life for a change. Graham knows he's being dishonest by not telling Dan who he is and, a few times, even tries to tell him, but never gets around to it. Later, during a heated discussion about a clear-cut discrimination case, one thing leads to another and the truth comes out. Dan is furious with Graham and decides that lying to him, leading him on until after Dan falls in love with him, is Graham's way of exacting revenge upon him. Dan storms out of the office and Graham doesn't follow him.

Shira has written a great romance combined with a lesson that reminds me that honesty is always the best policy. If Graham had admitted who he is to Dan, yes, things would have been rocky, but perhaps, as they got to know each other as the men they were at present, not the boys they were fifteen years ago, their relationship would have been a lot smoother. Lacey was absolutely adorable. As children and animals always do, she stole the show. I loved having her as a link between Dan and Graham. Graham could relate more honestly to Graham which made it easier to relax with both of them. If you enjoy stories with angst, secrets, honesty, deception, and hot sex, you may like this book. Thanks, Shira, for a romantic, endearing story with a happy ending.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreasmpinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 224 pages/51587 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 06-February-2018
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback, $9.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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