Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Review & Excerpt: PROMISES: THE NEXT GENERATION by A.E. Via (Promises #5)

The Next Generation
Series: Bounty Hunters Series, Book Five
by A.E. Via

Edited by: Sue Laybourn
Cover Artist – Jay Aheer
Release Date: August 31, 2018


Duke Webb has run the most successful bail recovery agency in Atlanta for over twenty years. That’s because he has a team of trained, competent hunters backing him up to keep his name feared on the streets. But Duke knows that nothing can go on forever. His hunters are in committed relationships and ready to settle down, and so is he. That’s what leads him to start his new training program. 
“That’s the new vision for Dukes. Veterans operating and tracking behind the scenes with a new powerhouse apprehension team on the streets.”
Brian and Quick are the first to offer up two new recruits. 
Kellam Knight has studied martial arts under his sensei, Quick, since he was eight years old. A tossed-out reject from high-society, Kell has a problem fighting on the right side of the law. If he sees an injustice, he has to correct it. He doesn’t have to run and cower from his enemies anymore, he’s a fighter who can protect himself and others. When Quick offers Kell the opportunity to join Duke’s training program, he’s all in. Except he’s not prepared for the straight, over-confident, extremely disciplined, sexy man Brian has recruited to be his partner. 
Tyrell Jenkins’ world was flipped upside down when his father never returned home from his last deployment. He’d been Ty’s teacher, mentor, his guide to living a righteous life as a good man. His father didn’t raise him to be like every other young, stereotypical male in Atlanta. Instead, he’s been taught to be respectful, to speak the language of real men. When Brian King – his father’s most trusted comrade – finally comes to him with the truth, he doesn’t come alone. He comes with trained men hidden in the shadows… and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a brotherhood unlike any other.
This novel is a part of a series but can be read as a standalone. No cliffhangers.
Trigger Warning: This story contains mild acts of bond recovery agent violence. 

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Ty met each of their eyes before he spoke. “My name is Tyrell Jenkins. My father served with King most of his career. That’s how he and I met when I was still a boy. I’ve lived in Atlanta all my life. I’ve never thought of being a bail recovery agent before, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not interested. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t.” Ty went over and stood directly in front of the man who was to be his partner. Either for training, or permanently. “Good evening, you can call me Ty for short. And you are?”
Instead of an answer he was met with a silence that was more amusing than awkward. The man was watching him. Not arrogantly, but curiously. Ty waited while the small man sized him up. He stood stock-still as those silvery eyes started at the soles of his shoes and didn’t stop until they lingered at the top of his head. Ty smiled inside.  This man is bold. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been studied, dare he say, so appreciatively. Those damn eyes were full of intrigue and light. He’d never experienced that before. As he moved on his block, females would turn and glance at him, wink, shake their asses harder, or flirt shamelessly to see if they could bait him to turn in their direction. He’d automatically get the feeling they were working an angle on him. This man wasn’t doing that, he was sure of it.
Blue-green eyes narrowed, then widened when Ty stepped closer. He was enjoying the man’s reaction to him more than he cared to admit. “Will you make me guess your name?” 
“Kellam Knight,” the man said in a voice that was sure, but slightly muffled by the scarf. “Kell for short. I’m one of sensei’s… I mean I’m, one of Quick’s students. I’m doing the program with you.”
Sensei? So he is into marital arts. Is he really a ninja?
“I see,” Ty said, watching the interesting man who’d yet to remove his fitted beanie and hood. Even his thick scarf still rested over most of his face as if he hadn’t warmed up yet from being outdoors. Ty felt a fascinating stirring in his stomach when he tried to picture what his new partner—this ninja—looked like beneath all the garments. His pulse raced at the unknown. He was confused by his reaction, but it didn’t stop him from whispering for only Kell to hear, “Show yourself to me.” 
Ty heard the slight gust of breath at his words as Kell continued to stare at him. No one moved or spoke behind them, but of course all the hunters were there, watching, seeing if they clashed. Ty wasn’t sure the smaller man would do as he asked until Kell slowly raised both hands to his face. With nimble fingers, he gripped the top of the scarf and pulled it down until it was beneath his chin. Ty unconsciously licked his lips while Kell moistened his slim peach ones. The visible half of his face was youthful with not even a trace of stubble Soft. Ty waited patiently to see if Kell would remove the beanie and hood right after.
He didn’t.
Ty wasn’t upset, he was charmed. For some reason, he wanted to see more. Perhaps his new training partner felt Ty hadn’t earned that right. Who was Ty to demand the man reveal himself to him? No wonder he remained covered.
I’m no one to Kellam Knight… yet. 

Carra's Review

If you’re like me and have been following this series, you’ve probably grown attached to all of the guys that have been introduced so far.  They’ve become like a family, and so my interest was piqued when I read the synopsis and realized that things were going to take a new direction.  And while this author is very well known for the powerful alpha male characters she brings to every book she writes, The Next Generation takes things down a decidedly different route.

If you’re expecting to find a bunch of macho alpha-types who exude strength and masculinity while hunting down their bounties…well, Duke, Quick, Dana, Ford and Brian are still here ;-)  But Ty and Kell are quite different from them on many levels—though just as qualified to do the job of a bounty hunter…if not quite in the way you might expect.  I liked that they didn’t fit the classic A.E. Via alpha male mold but still possessed their own skills and experiences that made them both uniquely qualified to handle the job.

I really liked Kell’s character a lot.  He has the requisite crappy family past before being taken under Quick’s wing, and I loved that instead of brute strength or military training, he has an incredibly strong martial arts background.  Ty was not as easy for me to warm up to.  While his old-fashioned values and his attitude towards love and marriage are admirable and something to which everyone should aspire (in a more utopian world, sadly), it did feel a bit much to me, mostly in how it was repeatedly referred to and the words and phrasing he used—which didn’t always match the rest of his speech patterns that sometimes reflected more where he lived than the educated, more sophisticated man he really was.

There’s something deep down in both Kell and Ty that almost immediately recognizes the other as their perfect match, their soulmate and the one they are meant to be with.  Here though this translates to things between them moving fast…a bit faster than you might expect though not quite insta-lovey.  For me it was a bit too fast, I needed more time for on-page relationship development to become comfortable with where their relationship wound up heading.

Another thing that was different about this book compared to the others in the series was the amount of action.  This story is far more focused on Kell and Ty, the background of their characters and their interactions, so there’s not anywhere near as much action and suspense as you might expect, especially if you’ve read the rest of this series.

This is an interesting direction in which the author has decided to take this series as things evolve for a younger generation of agents, and I’m curious to see where things go from here.  While you probably could read this book without reading the others in the series first, I personally would recommend reading them in order so you have the full background of the other characters you’ll see as the supporting cast here...and don't go into this story with any preconceived notions based on the rest of the series.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

About the Author

A.E. (Adrienne) Via has been a best-selling author in gay romance for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over twenty years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this beautiful genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple of 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 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.
Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone and explore with different tropes, but she never pushes herself into a whole other genre. 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! https://goo.gl/GbfCyk or 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 on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Check out the other books in the Promises series!

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