Title: The Secrets in My Scowl
Author: A.E. Via
Length: 311 Pages (Kindle)
At a Glance: Overall, this was such a good book. It was fast paced without feeling rushed. Jacob and Wylde were such great characters, I won’t be forgetting them anytime soon. Highly recommended.
Reviewed By: Lynn
Blurb: 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 title is a standalone that ends in an HEA.
Review: I’m a huge fan of this author and have always enjoyed her stories. This was no exception.
Here we have two men who really shouldn’t have anything in common, but manage to get under each other’s skin. Call it what you like: pheromones or lust at first sight. Whatever it is, it’s about to get very interesting. You see, Jacob has been emotionally scarred. Starting with his dad, then his high school sweetheart, and then his fiancé. It’s no wonder he’s put up walls and is now just a bitter, angry man.
Wylde, who just set up his wedding planning shop across the way from Jacob’s law practice, is the total opposite. He’s outgoing, full of life, has great friends, and is a genuinely nice guy. He hasn’t been too lucky in the love department, though. Well, that’s about to change.
What I love about this author’s stories is that they aren’t all black and white; it’s never going to be easy. Her characters are complex and sometimes so flawed it takes some time to “fix” them. That’s if they get fixed at all, and that’s okay. I never like quick solutions for the sake of a happy ending. Keep it real. I love that the characters have to work hard to make it stick.
Having read all of Ms. Via’s books, I noticed there was something a little different with this one: this is a romantic love story. Now, for those who are familiar with A.E. Via, you know she’s known for her action packed reads. This isn’t action driven. It’s more character driven. I thought it was nice to see another side to this author’s writing. Did I miss the action bits? Not at all. I enjoyed taking the time to get to know Jacob and Wylde. I loved watching Jacob come out of his shell, open up to be the man he was meant to be before life made him hard, seeing him get less grumpy with each encounter with Wylde. I loved the patience Wylde had with Jacob, seeing past his gruff exterior and knowing underneath it all was a man he could definitely fall in love with. You don’t need the action scenes when you have this great love story.
I enjoy the flashbacks and back stories in books that I read. I think it gives the reader a better understanding of why the characters may act a certain way, or say certain things, but not everyone likes them. Some reviews I’ve read stated they didn’t like the time flips, or that they were confusing. I never had a problem with them.
Overall, this was such a good book. It was fast paced without feeling rushed. Jacob and Wylde were such great characters, I won’t be forgetting them anytime soon. Highly recommended.
You can buy The Secrets in My Scowl here: