Friday, October 28, 2016

The Secrets in My Scowl by A.E. Via Blog Tour

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.

Author’s Note: This story ends in an HEA and does not end on a cliffhanger.

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A Word from the Author

Hello Friends!

Thank you for coming over to take a look at my new contemporary romance, The Secrets in My Scowl, releasing today! Reviews are flooding in and I couldn’t be happier with the responses. It was fun stepping away from the chaos and commotion I love my alphas to cause in my usual cop and military action novels and settle into a good ole’ fashion wooing the brash man that’s all attitude and bravado. However, I can’t fully stay away from alphas. Jacob – my scornful attorney – is big, angry and definitely a take charge man. He’s been very unlucky in love, and it’ll take a unique but strong man to break through the concrete barrier that surrounds his heart. So I hope you’ll enjoy reading his story. I want to thank Wicked Reads for hosting me again on their site, it’s always a pleasure.

Jacob and his client walked through the small waiting area and into his conference room to wait. He’d called the meeting after his private detective came through with the images that now made their case a slam-dunk. He didn’t make small talk with his client. They weren’t friends. Actually, none of his clients were. He did his job, collected his fee, then cut them lose. He looked out the window of his first floor office. He didn’t have a large practice with multiple partners. He worked alone. He’d tried working in a firm right after he graduated five years ago, but his cutthroat work ethic, his attitude and standoff persona didn’t go over well with the staff. He had more complaints than any other attorney about persistent rudeness and unbecoming conduct. He’d told the senior partners repeatedly that he wasn’t there to be friendly, he was there to make him, and them, money.

“We’re a family here, Jacob.”

“But you’re not my family,” Jacob replied coldly. His face in the scowl he consistently wore. “I have no family.”

“We can be, if you lighten up.”

“I don’t need a damn family, John. I need a place to practice law. That’s it. I make you a lot of money, do I not? I have the highest win record amongst your senior staff, amongst your entire staff… do I not?”

“That’s not the point, Jacob, even the judges and clerks are complaining about your attitude. It reflects badly on the firm and gives us a negative reputation, and no matter how many cases you win, our reputation is worth more to us than money.”

That same day, Jacob cleaned out his desk and began looking for office space to open his own practice. They’d probably thrown a celebration party after he left. It wasn’t long before he became well recognized in Domestic Relations court. He may not be the richest divorce attorney, but he was the most infamous and he’d never lost a case. He went to extremes to win and get his clients the maximum possible settlement, even if it meant showcasing a little underhandedness, but he stopped just short of breaking the law.

The door easing open jolted him out of his thoughts. His client stood up next to him, but Jacob didn’t bother to receive the other attorney or his client so formally. He was familiar with the opposing counsel and it was no secret Jacob didn’t show much respect to others in his field. It was dog eat dog in his area of practice. His client’s soon-to-be ex-wife took her seat in front of his client and eyed him with an evil glare. “You are not getting a single dime of my money, Kevin. I told you that.” She was almost thirty-five years older than his client, claiming they’d fallen in love at first sight. Jacob rolled his eyes. There was definitely no love there. She’d bought him, and his client damn sure didn’t love her. She placed one wrinkled hand over her expensive pearls and clutched her Minkoff bag with the other.

“Mr. Snowden. I hope you have a good reason for calling this meeting. Our court date is in three days. I don’t see what could’ve happened in that short a—”

Jacob tossed the pictures across the solid oak table, waiting for the attorney to pick them up and look through each one. “The infidelity clause in the pre-nup is now applied. Your client, it appears, was having an affair.”

All my client’s asking for is five hundred thousand, that’s three hundred thousand less than stipulated in the pre-nup… or you can take your chances in court and we’ll go for the full amount, plus attorney costs. Or would you rather risk the chance of some sordid publicity when these pictures hit the local paper?”

Opposing counsel leaned over and spoke in the woman’s ear and Jacob waited impatiently. He tapped his pen on the table while the woman shot daggers from her eyes. After a few more stern whispers, she snapped an irritated “Fine, then” and stood up, lifting her silk scarf over her long silver hair. She stuck her nose in the air and looked down at him. “It’s customary to stand when a lady enters and leaves the room, Mr. Snowden.”

Jacob cut his dark eyes to her. “If and when I’m in the presence of a lady, I’ll be sure to do that.”

“I can imagine you are one lonely man, Mr. Snowden. Anyone as mean and deceptive as you are must surely be hated by all.” Mrs. Zabinsky looked at Jacob’s client, who was still sitting, stunned, his mouth sealed shut. “You fool. You know I didn’t cheat on you. But it’s fine, it’s over now. I really loved you, boy, but rest assured, I will find love again.”

Jacob barked a laugh that held no humor. “Next time, might I suggest you try loving a grown man, although I doubt you’ll find love there, either.”

Mrs. Zabinsky had just lost five hundred thousand dollars but she looked at Jacob like he was the one deserving of pity. Didn’t matter. He was used to that look. He just focused on the law, like always. “I’ll have my paralegal draft the agreement. Once your client signs it, I’ll forward the order to the judge.”

The pissed attorney yanked up his briefcase. “Those pictures were bogus, Jacob. You know that.”

“It’s not about what I know, Gill. It’s about what I can prove in court.”

“All dogs don’t go to heaven, Jacob.”

“Nope, you’re right. But I’ll happily go to hell with the five hundred thousand-dollar settlement I secured despite an iron-clad pre-nup.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I really enjoyed the book. My heart broke for Jacob and everything he went through. I instantly loved Wylde, how could you not really? There were only a few things that I didn’t like, it seemed to take forever for Jacob and Wylde to get together, I wanted to see more of them together. We saw so much of Jacob’s journey before that, at times I just wanted to get to the good parts (meaning the mushy love stuff). Then I kept expecting Jacob’s first love to pop back up at some point too. The timeline was kind of messed up as well, past, present, five years later, then the epilogue was the future, that was all a little messy. However, I really liked the story, I think Wylde was perfect for Jacob and I am glad he made him get rid of some of those “scowl” lines.

Characters: Well written and loveable
Sex: Yes
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Not sure
Genre: M/M Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

This is a very different story from AE Via. It is a simple love story between two very ordinary men who forge an unlikely romance. There is no violence, there are no explosions, and there is very little humour in this story. Instead, we get a raw, sweet, and emotional love story between two older and quite jaded men.

The first part of the book tells Jacob’s past. Jacob isn’t a warm character and he really isn’t easy to like. For me, this was a little too slow and more than a little too dark. I struggled with the timeline of his life. Either there were inconsistencies or I just wasn’t following it too well. Even at the end of the book, I wasn’t convinced this long introduction added anything to the central romance.

The premise of a wedding planner falling for the divorce attorney next door is brilliant. The story definitely picks up when Jacob and Wylde meet. If Jacob is a miserable, Scrooge-like character, Wylde is an effervescent breath of fresh air. I loved him and I loved the clash of personalities, the flaring tempers, the dramatic encounters. Together, Jacob and Wylde are wonderful. Their chemistry is exquisite and their dialogue had me genuinely laughing out loud.

If Jacob is a modern day Scrooge, his story has hints of Dickensian moralising. I enjoyed watching his character transform as he learned to trust and care again. Wylde reforms slightly – but he was already more functional than Jacob when we first meet him.

I really enjoyed this by the end. If I’d known I wasn’t going to miss much, I’d probably have skipped the story of Jacob’s formative years and jumped straight into the romance – but the end is more than worth a little hard slog at the start.

I really enjoyed this book, that said it started somewhat slowly, and certainly made a good job of not making us like Jacob all that much, or rather seeing him fall into a scowling and lonely place. Possibly most sadly, I think most readers will be able to think of someone rather like him.

Wylde is a wonderful character and he just exudes positivity and happiness. Watching his magic work on Jacob is like seeing a caterpillar first become a resistant chrysalis, before finally emerging as a butterfly. Once they get truly close, it is a really hot and sexy relationship. There is some great humour too, and the writing smoothes out and the pace is great.

Matching a wedding planner with a divorce lawyer is a crazy idea, but it works so, so well. I recommend this to you; it will brighten up your day.

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.

Go to A.E. Via’s official website for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Secrets in My Scowl by A.E. Via to read and review for this tour.


  1. LOVE her books! Can't wait to read this one!

  2. I love your books and can't wait to read this one too.

  3. Wow! Another lovely excerpt! Defended his client like a true lawyer, huh? Great job, Jacob! <3


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