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.
Standalone gay romance that ends in an HEA and no cliffhanger
I’ve loved the other AE Via books I’ve read so I jumped at the opportunity to read a new one. This book was a different genre from what I was used to from her and a really slow burn, so at first I was surprised.
However, that surprise turned to enjoyment once I understood why she structured her book the way she did. The first few chapters are backstory. Now arguments could be made that the backstory could have been dealt with as flashbacks – but I think they were more powerful as they were. Even if it took a third of the book before we met Wylde.
Jacob has tried love, but every time he gave his heart, he was stomped into the ground. So he became a curmudgeon that didn’t let anyone close. He’s the quintessential Scrooge. However, through the book we come to understand just how thin that veneer is, how vulnerable he is.
And when Wylde comes into his life, that veneer is blown wide open.
For all his scowls, Jacob is a character I adore. I get him. I understand protecting one’s self and shutting others out to do so. I was a little worried that there would be a relationship trouble from within. Thankfully there wasn’t. Jacob’s insecurities were enough to ride the book along.
The title comes from something one of Jacob’s past lovers did. Jacob’s reaction to it throughout the book shows his change of heart.
There were typos and head hopping. Enough to make me mention it.
All in all. A good book. 4 stars.
He hadn’t realized how late it was until his receptionist asked if he needed anything else before she and his paralegal left.
“I have a Mr. Sterling here, requesting to see you.”
Who? Jacob didn’t like drop-ins and he was sure he didn’t have any appointments this late. “Send him in.”
Jacob was completely unprepared for Wylde to come through his door and flood his space with that goddamn scent, but he walked in with a swagger only he could pull off. Damnit. Jacob was glad he was sitting behind his desk because, for whatever reason, his cock loved that scent. He’d must’ve been staring at Wylde too hard last time to remember his last name.
“Good evening, counselor. I hope I’m not disturbing you,” Wylde said in his deep timbre.
Ugh, god. The way the man said counselor made Jacob’s balls draw up. He just refrained from closing his eyes and blew out a calming breath. He closed the large Code of Virginia law book on his desk before asking, “How can I help you, Mr. Sterling?”
“Why don’t we try a first name basis, neighbor.” Wylde kept progressing toward Jacob and smoothly eased his tight body in one of the chairs in front of his desk and brought his black suede boot up and propped it on the opposite knee. Jacob inhaled again, immediately wishing he hadn’t. From across the office he could barely see the gold hoop in Wylde’s bottom lip, but up closer, the dim lights made it shine beautifully, as well as the tiny gold barbell in his brow. He smiled, showing off pretty, white teeth. “I just wanted to come over and apologize about the discarded boxes in the hall. I didn’t mean to disrespect the building and I certainly didn’t mean to upset you.”
“I wasn’t upset.” Jacob’s voice was raspy, just shy of husky, and he was sure the wedding planner picked up on it.
Jacob watched him cock his head to the side, his smooth forehead wrinkling. “Wow, if that’s you not upset, then I certainly don’t want to see you when you really are.”
Jacob didn’t think that needed a response, and since he felt a little tongue-tied at the moment, he just maintained eye contact. Light brown eyes stared back at him, and Jacob wasn’t sure if he saw a subtle wink or if it was an eye tick. What bothered Jacob the most was he couldn’t get a good read on the man. He had no clue if he was gay, straight, or bi, because he didn’t have a look that screamed his sexuality. Jacob hated to admit it, but he was enraptured by the wedding planner’s look. His was a style all his own. He had on camel-colored slacks with a matching V-neck sweater; however, it was the black suede dress coat and the suede boots that made him look sexy as fuck. He was caught staring again and the man had sat there and let him. Jacob knew he was busted because there was that smirk again. The one that meant, “Yep, I caught you staring and I bet your dick is at least half-hard.”
His neighbor buttoned his jacket when he stood. “Well, I’ve used up enough of your time. I’m sure you’re a very busy man. You have a good evening.”
Jacob needed to say something, for heaven’s sake. “You as well, Mr. Sterling.”
The man’s back stiffened as he opened the door. He turned, looking Jacob dead in his eyes. “You can call me, Wylde. I don’t care much for formalities. I hope that’s alright with you, Mr. Snowden, or may I call you…?”
It had to be at least five long seconds while Wylde stood there in his door waiting for him to respond.
In a voice that came out rough and too damn soft, he finished Wylde’s sentence, “Jacob.”
Wylde’s lips curled up into a devastatingly seductive smile and he responded in an equally rough and deep tone, “Goodnight, Jacob.” And Wylde gently closed his door.
Jacob had fallen for it. Fallen for the trap that Wylde set with those piercing eyes and sexy charm. Jacob felt like a fool for taking the bait, and Wylde reeled him right in. This time he was positive there was a wink at the end, and Jacob was most definitely fucked.
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 http://authoraevia.com 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
Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com
A.E. Blog: http://authoraevia.com/blogfann.html
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor
Facebook (Friend me): https://www.facebook.com/authoraevia