The Secrets in My Scowl
Author A.E. Via
M/M GAY CONTEMPORARY / STANDALONE
Edited by: Tina Adamski
Cover Artist – Jay Aheer
PAGE COUNT – 312
Release Date: October 28, 2016
Sparks ignite and tempers flare when a sexy, optimistic wedding planner moves his business in across the hall from a jilted, divorce lawyer’s practice.
“Look smart ass. This is the last time I’m going to remind you about breaking sections of the lease. If there’s a next time, I won’t stop until you and your frilly, white wedding shit is thrown out of here. Do you got it?!”
Wylde looked in Jacob’s pained eyes and answered in his deep voice. “Yeah, counselor. I got it.”
From high school, up until he became a successful attorney Jacob Snowden was convinced that love had it out for him. “Everyone left,” were the words he lived by. His mother, his high school sweetheart, his father, and his fiancé, all left Jacob just when he felt it was safe to let down his guard. Not any longer. Jacob was a determined man, set at keeping people at a distance. If his six foot one, military-made body didn’t scare people off, his permanent scowl surely did. At almost forty, Jacob’s social life was non-existent, but he told himself his work fulfilled him. He helped people get out of their loveless marriages. Jacob Snowden was one of the best divorce lawyers on the east coast and was damn proud of it. So, imagine his disdain when a wedding planner moves into the suite directly adjacent to his… an insanely masculine, male wedding planner.
Wylde Sterling had made quite a name for himself in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, working for a wedding planner that catered to the elite. He was known for his charm and impeccable taste. Yep, he was incredible at giving couples the wedding of their dreams. But he wanted nothing more than to plan his own. After striking out in love more times than he cared to admit, Wylde decided to start his own business in a new city, hoping Richmond would give him a fresh start. Things started out wonderfully – until he started to piss off the angry divorce attorney next door.
Wylde could see past Jacob’s mean scowl, knowing there was a reason for it. It was the man’s defense mechanism, his means of keeping people away. Everything in Wylde told him to stay away, but he believed Jacob just needed to meet a man who had been hurt as badly as he had.
This story ends in an HEA and does not end on a cliffhanger.
This book is highly in depth and extremely hard to put down! It needs to come with a warning that putting it aside for real life is dang near impossible once started. The book had a bit of a slow start to the romance part but I loved that because it let us get to know Jacob and helped us understand who he was and why he is who he is. I have to say Jacob is my favorite character and I can certainly see why Wylde was so drawn to him. And then also I could see why Jacob was so enthralled with Wylde. These two men are seriously dynamic characters. This author has done a brilliant job building these guys into flesh and blood men that I felt a huge connection to. When the pain hit I felt it in the tightness in my chest and the breathlessness squeezing my lungs as I read the words that not only crushed the characters but also me. I felt the lust and even the love. This was a fantastic read. Because of all of the feelings it provoked, the descriptive writing, the full bodied characters, a plot that was highly unconventional, and so much more I have to give it a 5+. It was just beautiful and moving. I absolutely loved it. This book is highly recommended by me.
Jacob looked at his watch. It was after six thirty already. Because he skipped lunch, his stomach had been growling for the past two hours, but he was ignoring it until he finished the final divorce decree for the Zabinskys. He wanted to turn that in to the clerk tomorrow after he’d, hopefully, wrapped up another case. The attorney for the other spouse was persistently unprepared, motioning for continuance after continuance. At Jacob’s insistence, the judge finally issued the other counselor a stern warning that he’d better have a damn good reason if he caused another delay. Jacob prided himself on being prepared and was irritated by anyone who wasn’t.
He heard some laughter outside on the sidewalk and pushed his chair back to peek through the vertical blinds covering his large window. He kept them open during the day so he’d have natural light in his office instead of turning on the bright fluorescents, and at night, he didn’t mind watching the foot traffic if he worked late. There was a group of young people walking past, joking and fooling with each other. He wondered briefly where they were going, since this street was packed with clubs and many different types of restaurants for the experienced palette.
He rarely regretted he didn’t have more of a social life since he had a very fulfilling professional one. It was unfortunate he hadn’t made any friends during his adult life, but he didn’t trust anyone. Trying to make a friend or getting involved with a boyfriend would only result in betrayal, so why bother. He’d only had one constant man since his last year of college, and that was Patrick, because the guy was too bullheaded to leave Jacob alone, but he kept even Patrick at a safe distance. When he’d moved the couple hours away to Richmond, he’d thought it was perfect. Their relationship could remain what it was… strictly physical. He turned up the side of his mouth, thinking about the handsome devil. It was about time for them to see each other again. It’d been about four months.
Jacob turned off his computer and packed his briefcase with a couple new cases to review. He often had a hard time sleeping in his king-sized bed, so work was a pleasant distraction. Sometimes he’d run on his treadmill or lift some weights to take the edge off his loneliness. Jacob was lonely, although he’d never admit it to himself. Meeting someone would be fun and entertaining for a short while, then eventually end in loneliness again.
On his way to the door, he stopped and glanced down at the expensive chessboard on the cherry wood table positioned between two mahogany wing-backed chairs. The game was still in progress and it was Patrick’s move. They would play an hour or so before they left to fuck, liking to leave the game unfinished. Jacob stared at the board. In just a couple moves, he’d have Patrick beat and they’d start all over again.
He walked out of his office into the waiting area. He did a slow turn, making sure the space was spotless. All the magazines arranged neatly, the wood in the waiting area was polished and gleaming. His secretary’s and paralegal’s desks both had to be clutter-free and clean at all times, since they could be seen from the waiting area. The conference room door was closed but he checked it anyway, ensuring his secretary had returned the water pitchers and glasses to the proper place. Of course, she did. None of them risked pissing Jacob off.
His office might be small, but minimal overhead allowed him to pay his staff well and keep his private detectives well compensated. It wasn’t easy catching an image at the exact moment that it could benefit his case. His stomach growled again, so he shut off the dim lights and walked out the door. He turned and locked it behind him. He looked across the narrow hall at the recently bought office space, wondering who his new neighbor was going to be.
Meet the Author
A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children. Adrienne Via has tons of more stories to tell, but she really would like to hear yours. Via Star Wings Books is currently accepting submissions for established and aspiring LGBTQ authors.
Visit my site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next
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