Author A.E. Via
Title: The Secrets in My Scowl
M/M GAY CONTEMPORARY / STANDALONE
Edited by: Tina Adamski
Cover Artist – Jay Aheer
PAGE COUNT – 312
Release Date: October 28, 2016
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.
This story ends in an HEA and does not end on a cliffhanger.
Amazon Buy Link: https://goo.gl/4oCCZH
Jacob loosened his light brown tie again while he sat in the parking lot, doubting himself for the millionth time. This was so unlike him. When there was something that needed to be done, he did it. Simple. But this was far outside of his comfort zone. He didn’t do friendly things, he avoided friendly.
You’re being a pussy. Jacob growled and got out of his car, slamming the door a little harder than intended. He needed to walk into Wylde’s office with confidence, not a scowl. He retrieved his gift and tightly held his briefcase in the other hand. Jacob walked quickly down the sidewalk, trying not to lose his nerve in the short distance. He dipped into his own office and set his briefcase down by the door. His employees looked quizzically at him, but he ignored them – no time to explain – and hurried across the hall.
He peeked inside and saw Wylde leaning against the woman’s desk that Jacob had fussed at before. He looked so carefree and playful as he laughed with his staff. He had on a plain white dress shirt and light blue jeans. The black studded belt and leather boots did nice things to his balls. For shit’s sake, he was dressed like one of the Outsiders. Jacob didn’t even know he was into that look. Fuck. The curly haired guard dog was standing there drinking a cup of coffee too, all of them looking like close friends.
It was now or never. Jacob tightened his jaw and opened the door. All heads turned his way and three mouths dropped open in shock. He guessed they recognized the tall, royal blue stock flower in his hand as he moved forward, his eyes glued on Wylde’s surprised smile. Jacob stood there; uncomfortably warm in his long black coat while he waited for some type of signal. Wylde gave him a slight tilt of his head, directing Jacob towards his office.
Thank god. He didn’t want to do or say anything out there in front of them. He knew they thought of him as the devil incarnate, but he wasn’t worried about what they thought… yet. He had to get Wylde on his side first. He followed Wylde into his office and as soon as the door closed, Wylde moved in close to him. That deep voice that he’d been yearning to hear all week was worth all the worry he’d endured.
“Where’d you get that?” Wylde said in amazement. “I can’t believe you remembered what I was talking about.”
Jacob handed Wylde the long, fragrant flower, their fingers brushed against each other and Jacob didn’t want to let go and lose the contact.
He cleared his throat, looking into Wylde’s light brown eyes, or were they hazel? His goatee was trimmed neatly and Jacob had a mind to rub his own stubbled cheek over it. “I have a client who owns a large property about an hour and a half from here. It’s not a business. But I told him your dilemma and he let me come out and take a look. He has greenhouses full of rare flowers. It’s non-profit, so he gives them away.”
“You did this for me?” Wylde whispered, moving impossibly closer.
Jacob’s confidence was waning, his eyes darting all around the office, but Wylde didn’t let him off the hook. “Jacob?”
“Yeah. I wanted to say thank you, um, for everything. Possibly for not having me arrested for destruction of property.” Jacob was trying hard not to start stuttering and backtracking like a flustered boy, but Wylde’s presence was strong and of course, that wonderful, clean smell was killing him softly.
“You already said thank you, and I said you’re welcome. Nothing else was needed. Now you come a week later with a completely out of season, custom sprayed flower.” Wylde’s gaze followed Jacob’s eyes everywhere as he tried to avert them. “I’ve never had anyone pay that much attention to my words.”
Jacob stopped feeling uncomfortable when he realized that Wylde recognized the flower for what it was. Jacob watched the expressions play across that handsome face while he confessed something Wylde probably already knew. “Not too many people go out of their way to help me, so I thought I’d return the favor, is all.”
Wylde leaned forward, and Jacob held his breath. He didn’t know what was about to happen, he wasn’t even sure if he was ready for it. For so much sweetness.
“Breathe,” Wylde whispered, and Jacob’s breath rushed out on a gasp that made his face heat in embarrassment.
He chuckled lightly. “You’re killing me,” Jacob confessed.
Wylde’s cheek was right there next to his, but neither of them were doing anything about the close proximity. Jacob didn’t know what kind of seduction this was, but he liked it.
“I helped you, you’ve helped me. You’ve apologized, I’ve accepted,” Wylde said softly against Jacob’s ear. “We’re square now, okay.”
Jacob bit the bullet and turned his head just an inch so he could coax a light touch out of him. With their cheeks scraping delicately, Jacob’s brain caught up enough to say “Okay.”
“Now.” Wylde smiled. Even though they were so close, their mouths inches from each other’s, Wylde’s deep voice vibrated inside Jacob’s chest. “Have dinner with me tonight.”
It’d worked! He’d taken a huge gamble, put himself out there and it’d worked. Jacob nodded and gulped hard when Wylde’s smooth lips caressed his jaw. “Seven?”
“Mm hmm,” Jacob said, trying not to moan. He had a lot of work to do today but he’d put off anything for more of Wylde’s sexy teasing. Jacob didn’t want to move but they couldn’t stay joined the way they were for the rest of the day.
Not stepping back an inch, Jacob reached inside his coat pocket and pulled out his client’s card with the address on it. “He’s expecting your call. There’s plenty more of those long ones. I saw them myself.” Jacob felt Wylde’s nod as he slowly tucked the card in Wylde’s back pocket. Careful not to creepily linger too long. If he just relaxed and wasn’t an ass tonight, there’d be plenty of time for more touching. Jacob just prayed it was soon.
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.
Visit my site to learn more! 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 peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next
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