Thursday, March 12, 2020

Ex Meridian by A.E. Via Blog Tour

Police Lieutenants God and Day are under intense pressure from the chief to take back control of Atlanta’s streets. The last thing their task force needs is a pair of trained killers in town with a personal score to settle.

Take a man and strip him of his ability to feel compassion, empathy, remorse, or any of the emotions that make him human, but leave the ones that ignite rage and aggression and you have the perfect killing machine—now imagine two of them.

Code names Ex and Meridian are synonymous for guaranteed death to international terrorists. Two broken men from the same crooked streets, recruited into an unsanctioned government program that few know about. Trained to operate most efficiently—lethally—together.

When Ex returns from an op in Bolivia to learn his little brother has been accidentally killed in a feud between drug gangs, he’s stateside before he can consider the rules he’ll be breaking, and of course Meridian is right beside him. There’s mayhem on the streets of Atlanta and the police are losing control. If Godfrey and his elite team of detectives can’t get the job done then they’d be happy to lighten their caseloads for them. And Ex nor Meridian care about doing it quietly.

“I know who you are.” The man grunted when Ex turned to leave. “You’re the fucking devil.”
Meridian walked past, glaring one final time. “Say that loud enough… maybe God will save you.”

But after their first run-in with the big lieutenant and his protective husband, Day, Ex and Meridian start to reevaluate their own relationship. Wondering if they could be even deadlier if they let loose the feelings for each other that they’ve been forced to suppress for years.

Meridian’s dark eyes stayed locked on his, “A man who can fight beside the one he loves doesn’t make him weaker, Ex—it makes him more dangerous.”

No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a HEA.

Note: This title focuses on two new characters in the series. And while it can standalone, there are appearances from prior main characters.
Note: This is a partners-to-lovers, out-for-you, action romance.
Note: There are depictions of violence in this novel.

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Book 7
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“I knew you were still on this earth, Xavier. I could feel it,” she whispered. “It wasn’t because they said there was no body to recover, but because I’m your mother and I know your spirit would’ve come to me if you’d died.”

Xavier glanced at the cross around her neck.

“But you have to leave now.” The tears had started to fall again and Ex flexed his hands when he had a foreign feeling to reach out and touch her. His mom looked tired and much older than her sixty-one years. “This city is in a war, and infested with drug gangs and violence. It’s no place for a disciplined man. I don’t know what you do in the military. Evan would never say much. But he said you were important. Don’t linger here, especially not for me. I’m gonna be moving to New Haven with John.”

He already knew this. He’d seen when Mr. Harold had been promoted to the New Haven district manager position at his Amazon job, and was able to put two and two together when she’d put her house on the market a week later.

“I just can’t take it here anymore. I think there’ve been thugs outside my home because I went to the police all those times. Trying to scare me. As if taking my Ev wasn’t enough,” she gasped as if struck by an immense pain in her chest and before he knew what he was doing, he’d reached for her hand and held on. She seemed to gather a bit more strength when she glanced at their connection then clutched him back. “I’ll leave a forwarding address with the post office.”

“Don’t,” Ex said. “I’ll find you.”

His mom swallowed, her gaze darting to Meridian who hadn’t made a move, but Ex was very aware of him. “Even the cops couldn’t help me. Or any of us who’ve complained that still live in my neighborhood. There’s a big-time police drug task force here that the mayor put together a few years ago, but they refused to help me. Or they couldn’t help me. Their hands were tied, I don’t know. But my son’s killer roams the streets freely, enjoying his life while I—”

Are the police corrupt? He saw the subtle shift in Meridian’s posture. He was obviously thinking the same thing. How could it be so difficult to get an arrest when Evan was an innocent victim of a drive-by that had happened in broad daylight? Where were the eyewitnesses? Had there been no one on the street at the time? Were all of the street cameras broken? Ex let out a long breath, releasing his rage.

His brother’s murderer had gotten off scot-free.

His mom looked damn near frantic as she begged him. “You have to leave Atlanta. You’re all I’ve got left. Please. Go and never come back here again, Xavier.”

He couldn’t stomach being the one to cause her more grief. He did what he did easiest. He lied without feeling the slightest amount of guilt. “I will, Mom.” As soon as we’re done here. He’d leave after they’d delivered everyone responsible for terrorizing the neighborhood into a grave just like his brother’s. And he wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

With one last hug to last her another eight years, his mother was out of the limousine and gone in her vehicle back to her youngest son’s funeral repast. As they exited the garage, Meridian retrieved his phone from his inside jacket pocket and dialed their driver’s cell. Slade picked up on the first ring.

Meridian’s voice gave Ex chills down his spine. “Get me everything you can on a police drug task force here in one of Atlanta’s precincts.”

As always, they were thinking the same thing, “If the police are corrupt. We’ll take care of them too.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The author states you can read this as a standalone, but I highly recommend the entire series. We see several characters from past books and it just enhances the enjoyment of this one. I love Ex and Meridian, they are so good together. The book moves so fast, you are on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next with not only the storyline but with Ex and Meridian's relationship. Ugh... I just love this series, this new couple, and this author.

This is such an unexpected treat! This book takes the Nothing Special series to a much darker place. Ex and Meridian are elite dark ops agents with a personal interest in one of God and Day’s cases. While it might seem impossible, the two assassins have an even more ruthless and violent approach to crime solving than God and Day’s team. The result is a rather tense and somewhat gruesome catch up with the Nothing Special team and the introduction of two addictive new characters.

I’m not sure I could have managed a whole novel from Ex and Meridian’s perspective but moving between their tense, angst-filled narrative and lighter moments with God and Day’s team was a good balance for me. Ex and Meridian are wound tight and their scenes are tense and completely lacking the humour we’ve always had from God and Day. However, with God and Day’s team crippled because of corruption and bureaucracy, the two lethal operatives who work without any rules or accountability is almost a relief. I’m not sure it’s possible to like Ex and Meridian but there were certainly moments when I felt their humanity and wanted them to emerge from their mission unscathed. I’m also not sure these two are wired for romance, so while the relationship that builds between them is sexy, it’s not exactly romantic. The romance in this book comes from the established pairs in God and Day’s team and the chemistry on the team is as electric as always.

I have to admit that I didn’t expect much from this catch-up novel and I was happily surprised. Instead of a formulaic Christmas party, beach holiday or similar, this book actually offers a properly exciting story and some fresh new characters I’ll find hard to forget. The action is fast paced and very tense and while this sits somewhat outside of the main story arc, it does lead readers into the next book about the team. Obviously, this story doesn’t stand alone. Readers need to start with the first Nothing Special book.

A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for six years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay literature for over twenty years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great, new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.

A.E.’s novels 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.

She’s recently celebrated her 20th book anniversary, and is well-known for her hardcore, love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date!

Connect with A.E.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Ex Meridian (Nothing Special #7) by A.E. Via to read and review for this tour.

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