Guitars and Cages (Guitars book 1)

Title: Guitars and Cages (Guitars book 1)
Author: Layla Dorine
Publisher: Encompass Ink
Release Date: May 25, 2017
Genre(s): Closeted gay, coming out, acceptance, self harm, forgiveness
Page Count: 200 pages
Reviewed by: Tosh
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Asher Logan is a bartender and a pretty wicked guitar player, when he isn’t wrecking his hands fighting in a cage. With a past he keeps hoping to outrun, Asher’s been on a downward spiral for longer than he can remember. When his sister-in-law leaves Rory, his eight-year-old nephew, in his care, Asher is forced into two things he’s never been good at: sobriety and responsibility. As he struggles to care for Rory, his own life begins to unravel.

When Asher’s brother, Alex, turns up, presenting as a girl and announcing her new name is Alexia, it further complicates matters, as does the arrival of his new neighbor, Conner. Both, in their own way, compel Asher to look at his own closely-guarded views on sexuality.

When the siblings’ older brother, Cole, reacts violently to Alexia, Asher is placed squarely in the middle of a family conflict which compels him to confront who he pretends to be versus who he really is.

Asher must choose who to trust and who to finally walk away from.

This book is one of those books that is best described as a somewhat dark read. The reason I say this is because the main character is unstable for most of this read. I do not mean this in a bad way. I mean that as far as self harm both emotionally and physically he is definitely unstable.

Asher has not had an easy life in the least. The thing is some of it is not his doing and then the rest most definitely is. Asher is constantly fighting demons within and unfortunately he keeps coming up short. I truly believe that Asher is his own worst enemy. Asher is the type of person that even though he has done some things that he regrets as a teen, he cannot and will not forgive himself for. Not only can he not forgive himself for his part in what happened to Gage but he does not believe that Gage ever would either.

So he lives his life in the most destructive way possible and in more gen one occasion he has almost lost what little of a life that he has. When his brother comes back into his life as a woman named Alexia, Asher has a hard time accepting The change but he does so and then when his older brother Cole comes back into the picture and he too does not react well to the change, all hell starts to break loose.

Asher’s life is imploding and some of it is of his own doing. If something does not happen soon then Asher may not make it to see the next day.

This book was a dark read in the aspect of how Asher treats himself. He is not kind to himself at all and it affects the others around him. At times it was hard to read some of the things he does but I pushed through and I am glad I did because it was a great, heartbreaking read. I look forward to the next book in this series when it comes.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Guitars and Cages (Guitars book 1) provided by Encompass Ink in exchange of an honest review.


Hello, I am an avid reader of male/male books. I do not have a favorite genre when it comes to male/male books because I love all of them from romance, dark reads, paranormal, shifter, threesome, whatever I see that catches my eye at the time. I read books about rock stars, CEOs, military, cops, and just the original plain old good boy types of books. Basically when it comes to a book, I read whatever I am in the mood for at the time. So my tastes varies from day to day and sometimes even hour to hour.