Erryn reviews ‘Bishop (A True Lover’s Story)’ by A.E. Via. This book was released on September 27, 2019, and is 440 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Tor Thom. It was released on March 31, 2020 and is 13 hrs and 10 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I really enjoy A.E. Via books.
At only 32, Bishop Stockley has lived a hard-knock life. After doing five years in a federal prison, Bishop is back at his dad’s trailer and working for his landscaping company, thrust into a legit world where he’s no longer the alpha – a world where a criminal record is the least of his disadvantages, because Bishop can’t read or write.
Bishop already had the deck stacked against him, but he wasn’t afraid of hard work to change his situation, and he did want to change. Especially after he encountered Edison Scala, a kind-spirited office manager who didn’t hesitate to come to his defense…a man that saw past Bishop’s grass-stained coveralls. A man who wasn’t intimidated by his stern features and his silence.
Bishop knew Edison was off-limits. He’d made personal vows to himself when he was released from prison, ones that he never intended to break. But, when Edison asked him about providing landscaping services at his home, there was no way he could refuse. He hadn’t expected Edison to feed him, praise him, encourage him, and look at him the way he did – as if Bishop was somebody.
Bishop Stockley served five years in jail partly because he refused to snitch. People he’d trusted had put him in a bad spot and instead of ratting them out, he chose to serve his time. His friend Trent did the same time and now they’re out. Trent isn’t always following the straight and narrow, but Bishop is and he’s trying to keep his friend out of trouble as well. Seeing as the first time we see them they’re in the drunk tank, they’re off to an auspicious beginning. Then Bishop feels the need to confront someone from his past and I knew that wasn’t going to go well. And it didn’t.
The bright spot in Bishop’s life is his job. He works with a landscaping firm and although he started as a laborer, he’s moving up. His designs are impressive, his knowledge extensive. It’s that job which first brings him into Edison Scala’s sphere. Edison is young, bright, and successful. He runs the office for a bankruptcy law firm and he’s the supervisor for many people. People who don’t always appreciate his desire for order, meticulousness, and promptness. Man, I’d get irritated supervising that many people who didn’t take their jobs seriously. Edison’s work ethic is strong, but sometimes he’s clueless in the romance department.
When Edison and Bishop meet, it’s in the work environment, so both men are skittish. It’s only later, when they randomly meet up, that things get interesting. Edison decides he needs his backyard landscaped and although Bishop knows it’s a really bad idea to work for someone he’s attracted to, he goes for it.
This is a slow burn book. Each man has his own issues why he wants to take things easy. Edison doesn’t do this often and Bishop’s been in prison. He knows he’s going to have to come clean with Edison – about everything. And Edison has a few secrets of his own. A couple of times I wanted to urge the guys to just tell the truth, but that might’ve shortened the book. I’ll be honest, if the book holds my attention, I have no problem with a longer story. This is a book where a lot of the backstory is revealed but since it showed the vulnerability of the men, I was okay with that.
I fell in love with each man for very different reasons. For Bishop, I wanted him to find redemption. To move beyond his gang affiliation and into a new life where he could be proud of himself. That involved a lot of hard work, but it was clear he was up to the task. For Edison, that meant moving beyond his books and putting himself out there emotionally. He couldn’t have been in better hands because Bishop recognized the wounded soul and was there to support and even comfort.
Tor Thom narrated this book and I’m glad he did. He has the perfect voice for Bishop – gravelly and deep. He differentiates well between the men which I appreciated. He suits the story, which is basically two guys overcoming their vulnerabilities and opening themselves up to love. A universal story told in a unique way. I enjoyed this very much and wouldn’t mind if there were more books in the series.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen 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 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 hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push 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! 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 at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.