Title: Paris A to Z (Coda Books #6)
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Zach and Angelo, Matt and Jared, Cole and Jonathan
POV: Dual 1st person—Zach and Matt
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Rating: 5
Zach Mitchell and his lover Angelo Green are headed to Paris (along with their Coda friends Matt and Jared) to attend Jon and Cole’s wedding. Matt will have to face Jared’s former lover, and Angelo will have to spend an entire week with Zach’s ex-boyfriend.
Between Matt’s jealousy and Angelo’s temper, Zach thinks they’ll be lucky to get through the week without one of the grooms being punched. But Zach soon realizes he should worry less about Angelo and more about himself. Facing the bittersweet memories of his past and his own guilt over breaking Jon’s heart is harder than expected, but Zach will have to find a way to leave his past behind if he’s to have any hope of the future he wants with Angelo.
Oh, how I love the Coda men; and all the men together in Paris, the city that is synonymous with romance? Well, that’s pretty well my definition of insanely good reading.
If you’ve read the previous five books in this series (and I highly recommend you do), you’ll know that these men have histories that intertwine, either through long-standing friendships or past romantic entanglements. It’s those past affairs that create much of the conflict and emotional tension in Paris A to Z, the sixth installment in the series that travels to the City of Lights with all three couples to celebrate Cole and Jonathan’s wedding.
Is there anything that illuminates your past failings quite like spending a week with a man who, at one time, you had loved deeply but hurt irrevocably? That’s a harsh reality Zach and Jonathan must endure as, after twelve years, they attempt to reconcile the way in which their relationship ended amidst infidelity and rejection. There is a sublime poignancy to their storyline, as each man has moved on to find their perfect soul mate—the men who each have taught Zach and Jonathan that they can fly, yet still have their feet planted firmly on the ground, that their compasses will always point toward home, so long as the one they love is there.
While the story is told in alternating points of view between Zach and Matt—Matt, of course, having to come to terms with his jealousy and antagonistic feelings toward Cole—I honestly felt this was Angelo and Zach’s book. Their relationship is so entirely complex and so utterly glorious that I found myself missing Zach’s voice when the focus was not on him and his angel. Angelo’s evolution and by extension, the deepening of his and Zach’s feelings for each other was oh-so-sigh-worthy, causing frequent bouts of anxiety, mixed with episodes of sheer giddiness as their commitment to each other strengthens.
Zach and Jonathan’s relationship failed because Jon wasn’t able to accept Zach for who he was. Zach and Angelo’s relationship thrives because Zach loves Ang precisely for who he is, not for who he has the potential to become. Angelo has given himself completely to Zach, and there is no greater gift than that. It’s an unconditional love and understanding that makes their unconventional relationship work absolutely. I adore them both, which means, based on the ending of this one, I cannot wait until book 7 to see what Marie Sexton has planned for these two men next.
”You are the known place to which the unknown is always leading me back.” And I follow gladly.
Reviewed By: Lisa