Author A.E. Via
Promises Part 4
Series: Bounty Hunters Series
Edited by: Sue Laybourn
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Page Count: 315
Release Date: March 9, 2018
Men found him attractive, interesting even. He was like a fascinating experiment gone wrong that men liked to investigate. He’d get a date - or two, if he was lucky - but it wasn’t long before Brian’s darkness showed, and the men were running from him.
Brian King was honorably discharged from the United States Navy five years ago. He’d left with the highest honors a man can receive in his country, but he’d paid the ultimate price to earn them. He was considered one of the best; an Intelligence Officer in a Joint Special Operations Delta team that’d been a twelve-man wrecking crew. They’d thought they were invincible… until they weren’t. Brian was the only member that survived the ambush. He survived ten months of pain, of torture, only to emerge on the other side a warrior. A POW survivor. He’d returned home with all his limbs, his right mind, and with his only brother Ford, at his side. But, one thing had been lost, maybe for good… his voice.
Now, being a bounty hunter is Brian’s only means to satisfy his need to calculate, track, and capture. His only outlet to the stress caused by his silence. He was good at what he did. But, all work and no play for a forty-four year old man was taking its toll. Brian wasn’t a faulty experiment. He missed companionship, he missed communicating. So, when he met Sway Hamilton – in the most unconventional means – he’d been surprised at his special way of understanding Brian’s every look… and touch.
Sway grew up in the rough part of ATL, trailing behind his twin brother Stanton and his best friend, Dana. He and his brother had a bond only twins could understand. So when Stanton’s life was taken during their sophomore year in college, Sway didn’t think he’d ever recover. He finally finished school, got his masters in nursing, worked hard, and focused on taking care of his mother. However, Sway knew there was more to life than heartache, and caring for others. There had to be. But he didn’t know what any of those things were until he met a dark hunter that blew his mind… and the intense man had never uttered a single word.
Brian and Sway can feel the powerful connection between them. It was there from the start—but both of them have battled with loss and anguish for so long, neither understand that love can ease all of it. Do they have the courage to battle through it together? Sway has to learn to trust in love, and Brian has to believe that Sway will always understand him even if he never speaks again.
Sway held him tight around his neck, “I don’t need you to talk, Brian. I can hear you just fine,” Sway whispered softly, kissing his throat.
This novel is a part of a series but can be read as a standalone. No cliffhangers.
Trigger Warning: This story contains acts of bond recovery agent violence. Mention of war zones and descriptions of war prisoners. This story DOES NOT contain overly-described acts of torture.
“I missed your arms around me,” Sway admitted, falling onto Brian’s chest. Sway leaned against him heavily as if he’d been waiting on this one particular moment all week.
Brian had to show Sway he was feeling it too. He’d missed him as well. He bent and brushed his lips across Sway’s moist ones and slowly mouthed. ‘Hey, baby.’
“Mmmm,” Sway moaned against his mouth. “Hey.”
They didn’t say anything else for a moment, letting their tongues and touches do the talking. Using their hands to quench the longing. If it wasn’t for Brian’s stomach growling loudly they probably would’ve moved their re-familiarizing to the bedroom.
“Hungry?” Sway laughed in Brian’s mouth.
Brian smiled and nodded, mouthing, ‘Always.’
“I am too.” Sway took over drying himself off when Brian regretfully released the towel. “I didn’t really get a chance to eat lunch, or take a break for that matter.” Sway followed Brian, talking continuously about his day. “The first trial patients came this week so all the nurses are tripping over themselves to do a good job and in turn making some thoughtless mistakes and overlooks. Hopefully next week, we’ll have worked the kinks out and—”
Brian had been so caught up in the domestic vibe that he’d mindlessly removed his dark jeans and sweater, changing into a pair of plain Nike sweats and a taking out a white, wife-beater. He noticed Sway had stopped talking while he stood with his back to his tall dresser. Realization hit Brian like a hammer to the skull. He went to turn slowly, terrified of the look that he knew would be all over Sway’s face. What had he been thinking? He never removed his shirt in front of anyone—at least not from behind.
“Brian,” Sway whispered reverently.
Brian jumped at Sway’s close proximity. He wanted to move, deflect, something, but his legs were frozen in place. Warm, nimble fingers caressed his rigid shoulders before shakily moving towards the center of his tight blades.
“Relax, please. It’s okay.” Sway spoke in a voice that Brian wanted to desperately believe was reserved only for him. “Brian,” he whispered so softly.
He finally managed to bring his brain online. To convince himself that Sway was not mortified by what he saw. He was touching him, touching them. My scars. Up and down his back and the backs of his thighs. His dense black chest hair hid the ones in the front but not the ones on his back. Countless raised angry welts from the frayed whip that sometimes woke him. Jagged scarring from hurled stones while they had barked at him to confess America’s secrets. Numerous healed over scratches from debris after being dragged across a cave floor for many grueling months, marred his skin like an ever-encompassing reminder of that time. Even now he still couldn’t believe he’d held out that long… even after Jenkins died.
Brian began to shake. He didn’t want Sway to see this yet. Goddammit. Every time they tried to have an evening, something heavy weighed on them. And, unfortunately it was always Brian bringing the weight. F*ck! If he didn’t stop dumping all this heavy sh*t so fast and so soon, he was going to lose this one. But, Sway, Sway was trying so hard and Brian was screwing it up.
“Brian!” Sway’s voice was louder than before, but Brian was hardly hearing him, even when he started to yell it. “Brian! Oh God. Honey, look at me. Please look at me.”
Brian could feel his legs weakening. Grunting roughly, he wanted to stop it, heaven knows he did, but he knew he was going down. As his oxygen lessened, his head spun, and his ass hit the floor with a loud thud. He could hear Sway’s frantic pleas, but he couldn’t control his body. His breathing became more and more difficult as he thought of how he sabotaged everything good in his damn life. His mission, his career, his life… now this. Sway wasn’t supposed to see those ugly things, at least not yet.
From the moment Brian and his brother Ford popped up in this series, I—along with plenty of other fans—wanted both of their stories. In part 3, we not only got Ford’s story, but a naughty and tantalizing taste of the start of Brian’s…and from that moment I was chomping at the bit for Brian and Sway. The wait for their story? Torture…although so very worth it for the incredibly emotional book that details their journey.
Brian has lived through things in his military past that no person should ever have to, and they have left physical, mental, and emotional scars—one of which is his mutism. His situation, from the flashbacks that are described, to how he deals with others, to how he heals…they are all handled carefully and written so the reader can understand, empathize, and sympathize. For me, I became deeply invested in Brian’s healing process and the journey his character has gone through, and continues to go through. He is far and away my favorite of this author’s characters, and the one I most wanted to see get a happily ever after.
Sway is completely suited to his career as a nurse. He has an almost limitless capacity to nurture and care for others, which makes him an ideal match with Brian. Sway has an uncanny ability to understand exactly what Brian means by his touches, facial expressions, and every other non-verbal cue Brian makes. As Sway says,
“I don’t need you to talk, Brian. I can hear you just fine.”
And he can. Sway and Brian are completely in tune with each other, creating a deep emotional bond between them. That of course carries over into the physical, and their intimate scenes are passionate and sexy.
One of the great things about this book? The supporting characters. We get all of the guys from the previous Bounty Hunter books, plus cameos from the Nothing Special series (!!!), and if that wasn’t enough, there’s Tweetie. Oh, how I loved Tweetie. A bit inappropriate, and at times unintentionally getting things wrong—to my utter amusement. She brings some great comic relief, while at the same time providing another mother figure for Sway. But the most important character outside of Brian and Sway themselves is Ford. While Brian and Sway might be the couple of interest in this story, and the primary focus for most readers, the part Ford plays and the familial bond between him and Brian are even more important, and play a huge role in this book (though you may not realize it until near the end).
Bottom line…this is a 5-star absolute must-read, and gets a Top Recommendation from me. While you could conceivably read this as a standalone, my personal opinion is that you should at least read part 3 first to get the introduction to Brian and Sway—believe me, you want that intro ;-) Promises Part 4 is strictly meant for readers 18+ due to adult language, sexual content, and some difficult subject matter that may be a trigger for some readers; be sure to read the full blurb before starting the book. And then sit back and enjoy, because you’re going to fall in love with Brian and Sway!
Check out The Bounty Hunters
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.