Blog Tour: Wood (A True Lover’s Story) by A.E. Via (Reviews + Excerpt)

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Wood: A True Lover’s Story

AE Via

M/M Romance

Release Date: 08.08.20

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Blurb

It’s been a long seventeen years but Herschel Wood Jr. is finally a free man and he’s looking forward to reconnecting with his old cellmate, Bishop Stockley, who promised him a place to stay and some help getting back on his feet. Wood had a good life once upon time when he’d owned one of the most successful tattoo shops on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront – until a fatal accident that was his fault cost him everything.

Now at forty-six years old, all Wood wants is to work in another shop on the beach and find a mature, easygoing man to settle down with. But when he gets to his new place and finds he has to share the small trailer with Bishop’s childhood friend, he wasn’t expecting a sexy, smart-mouthed brat that enjoys pushing a man to his limits.

Wood pressed in tight until there was only misunderstanding between them, his mouth mere inches from Trent’s parted lips. “You wanted to get a reaction out of me you annoying, immature little shit… now you’ve got one.”

Trent Armstrong has never been considered a catch. He’s a twenty-nine year old laborer, an ex-con, and not the easiest person to get along with. He’s used to being the one people cast to the side when they’re done with him. Everyone he’s ever cared about has walked out of his life without a backward glance, so he’s used to the loneliness. His foul mouth and quick temper are a great defense mechanism and an easy way to hide his hurt.

From the moment the tattooed, silver-haired man walked into the house there had been nothing but tension, side-eyeing, and sparks between them. Trent has always held back a side of himself that he’s terrified to explore, and without warning Wood’s voice, his maturity, that maddening scent, and even his damaged past all trigger feelings that Trent thought he’d buried deep long ago.

Trent went completely still when Wood dragged his nose over his forehead and down the side of his face. His voice was shaky, and his breaths were hot and swift along Wood’s throat. “What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m doing what you want me to do.” Wood whispered. “I’m playing your bullshit game, Trent.”

The True Lover’s Stories are connected standalones. Each title features a different couple but will contain previously mentioned characters.

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

Note: This is a steaming agnsty, age gap, new-to-love romance.

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/Wood

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Excerpt

“Are you fucking crazy?”Trent hissed through clenched teeth, but the nerve he’d had behind his earlier words were gone, now replaced with caution…and lust.

“I asked you politely not to call me that. Now, I’m telling you. Don’t. Do it. My name is Herschel Wood, Jr. No middle name. You can call me Herschel, or Wood, that’s it. I would’ve told you that if you’d bothered to ask.” Wood fumed. He had his forearm across Trent’s chest, pushing his back into the closet door at the end of the dark hallway. He couldn’t believe what he was doing, but how dare Trent drive him to the edge like this? Wood pressed in so tight until there was only air and misunderstanding between them, his mouth mere inches from Trent’s parted lips. “You wanted to get a reaction out of me, you annoying, immature little shit…now you’ve got one.”

Trent’s eyes blazed as he tried to shove off the door, but Wood held him in check with his mass. “Fuck you.”Trent grunted, his hot gaze lasered on Wood’s lips.

Wood gave him a smirk and enjoyed as Trent squirmed even more against him. “You think I don’t know the game you’re playing? Maybe no one else does—even though I taught Bishop better—but I can see right through your transparent ass, Trent. So damn clearly.”

Trent’s masked desires were obvious—Wood had seen it the moment he’d laid eyes on him. He knew he hadn’t been wrong. But he’d wanted to leave Trent off-limits. Bishop just wanted them to be friends, but Wood was afraid he was finally going to have to tell his buddy that it wasn’t going to happen. The four of them wouldn’t be hanging out together all the time. There was too much screwed-up shit going on with Trent, and Wood deserved some peaceful days. He didn’t have the patience to put up with crap from hesitant men anymore. He had no doubt that Trent was pushing his buttons…because he wanted Wood to push his in return.

“Wood,” Trent snarled, as he clutched tightly to his shoulders with both hands.

Wood’s answer was another cunning smile. Did Trent even realize that he wasn’t pushing Wood away, he was holding him close? Wood wouldn’t point that out just yet. If Trent wanted to have some fun with him, then fine. He’d entertain himself until it was time for him to leave. He should’ve known this setup was too good to be true. What Trent pulled on him was exactly the kind of typical mess Wood was used to. People judging and condemning him for no reason.

Trent went completely still when Wood dragged his nose over his forehead and down the side of his face. His voice was shaky, and his breaths were hot and swift along Wood’s throat. “The fuck are you doing?”

“I’m doing what you want me to do.” Wood clenched his teeth. “I’m playing your bullshit game, Trent.”

“I’m not playing anything,”he breathed.

“Oh yeah you are.” Wood released Trent suddenly, but he didn’t pull away. He leaned in until his mouth was against Trent’s ear. “But I’m about to show you I’m much better at this game than you are.” Wood slowly eased away, then cocked his head to the side, motioning to Trent’s punishing grip he still had on his shoulders. “Now let me go.”


5 Stars

Wow, this story is not for the faint of heart. Some pretty serious topics are broached and nothing is sugar-coated. Extreme homophobia, addiction, long jail terms and depression skirt the surface of this extremely moving book. The story deeply touched me at times but I want to warn the reader there are some very intense and heavy moments.

Wood has just finished a 17-year jail term and is floundering after his release. Prison does little to prepare these men for what awaits them back in their community. Reaching out to his friend Bishop, who he met while incarcerated, Wood learns that his buddy has moved in with his boyfriend and he can stay in Bishop’s old room. Unfortunately, this deal comes with Bishop’s old roommate named Trent. He instantly and openly dislikes Wood which seems to amuse the ex-con more than annoy him.

I was a bit surprised as to how well Wood adjusted initially to rooming with Trent. Being away for nearly two decades he seems to be doing well with working and embracing sobriety. Nothing lasts and his new world that includes a tentative friendship with Trent is at risk of being destroyed.

This wasn’t instant love but rather a fast attraction between the two. I was surprised to find out that Trent never acknowledged his interest in men before Wood. He recognized that part of himself but kept it under wraps for a long time. This epiphany of having strong feelings for a guy didn’t seem far-fetched as this writer brilliantly wove together the two men’s lives and emotions, so it felt very believable to me.

I truly enjoyed Trent. Extremely juvenile at first, especially with his numerous rules, he evolved into a rock steady friend and companion to Wood. The tired but still hopeful ex-con is a very complex individual that has a past that can make you weep and sadly it resurfaces, threatening to suffocate this man that just wants his life back. Artistic, intelligent and gentle underneath his worn exterior, Wood captured my heart. I also need to mention that there is an age gap between the two MC’s but honestly it never made me doubt or question their relationship. They simply worked!

The story was not only well written but left a lasting impression on me. I have already re-read sections as it’s hard to move on from this intense and at times ridiculous band of brothers that make a heartwarming family. Thank you, Ms. Via for this beautiful and steaming love story. You hit this one out of the ballpark. Happy Reading!

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement.***

 

~ * ~ Jos Review ~ * ~

5 Stars

AE Via’s books are about gritty guys with faults, who are tough or have had it tough. And they are real and human and you will fall in love with them as I do every damn time.

This is a great addition to a new series, although you don’t have to have read Bishop to enjoy this, you will go back and read it after if you haven’t, that’s a guarantee.

From the moment they meet, Wood and Trent start a dance which can end up only in one direction. It is full of snark, flashes of temper, and innuendo but the chemistry between them is something neither can deny. What is more important is whether it will be more than a meeting of flesh. What the author does so well is let their stories come out naturally through the book. There is no “I’m Wood, I did this, I’m broken, fix me.” This is a story of two guys feeling their way to a future, tentatively, aware that they are not perfect, have their own fears and weaknesses but that in each other they have found what they need. It takes a crisis to get them to jump but wow when they do, just wow.

I loved these guys, Wood for his sarcasm and take it or leave attitude that hides the emptiness of what he’s lost; Trent for his “come on then” persona that hides his vulnerability. They made me laugh, made me cry and made me go hot all over (they are explosive together).

Don’t be put off by their criminal pasts; yes, they’ve done wrong but they own it and are moving on from it. These are ordinary guys living ordinary lives finding extraordinary love. It’s a must-read book as far as I’m concerned. If you’re new to the author you’re in for a real treat – when you’ve read these, go find her Nothing Special series, You’ll love me forever for telling you to.

** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***


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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! 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 peek at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

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