Thursday, December 13, 2018

Book Review: Nothing Special VI (SWAT Edition) by A.E. Via (Excerpt+Series Review)

Author A.E. Via
Title: Nothing Special VI (SWAT Edition)
His Hart's Command
Series: Nothing Special
Book Six
Edited by: Sue Laybourn
Cover Artist – Jay Aheer
Release Date: November 30, 2018


Lennox Freeman (Free) is one of the best hackers in the world which has caused him to spend most of his life on the run. Never able to put down roots, he couldn’t trust anyone not to take advantage of him, even his own family. If it wasn’t for his best friend, Tech, shielding him, Free’s father would’ve sold him and his skills to the highest bidding crime family when he was still a student at MIT. Free owed Tech his life; so when his friend called for him to come to Atlanta to work with him, he couldn’t say no. However, he wasn’t expecting the overprotective group of detectives that made up Atlanta PD’s most notorious task force. And he certainly wasn’t prepared for the large-and-in-charge SWAT Captain that was responsible for their safety.

Ivan Hart has lived and bled one creed all of his life: To Serve and Protect. His intense focus and determination in law enforcement has led him to finally commanding his own team. He’d worked hard to put together a squad of badasses capable of backing up a very dangerous team of detectives. Being God and Day’s last line of defense came with a lot of responsibility that he took very seriously.

After his divorce was final Hart turned right around and remarried his job. He had his good friends there in the office with him every day, so it was easier to ignore the few quiet hours he spent at home alone each night. He’d settled well into his new routine and was comfortable with it. Then God decided to disrupt everything by hiring another tech specialist for his department. A man whose brains, trendy looks, and voice would leave Hart tongue-tied and captivated at their first introduction.

Free quickly awakens a passion in Hart that he long thought was dead. An attraction he didn’t know existed. He couldn’t fathom that the sexy cyber genius could be interested in an over-sized, big-bearded brute that served criminals the bottom line for a living. No matter what his best friend, God said.

A future with Hart could be potentially dangerous and often times full of terrifyingly close calls; but little did he know that so could falling for the most hunted hacker in the world. All Lennox Freeman wants in life is security, love and protection… Hart had all that to give and more.

This novel is a part of a series and contains previously mentioned characters, but CAN BE read as a standalone. No cliffhangers.

“You don’t think you’re moving a bit fast, Ivan? I told you yes, be assertive in asking for what you wanted but damn… I didn’t think you’d move him in.” God shook his head, then lined up his shot. “Six ball, corner pocket.”

“He’s not moved in. He still has his own place,” Hart countered for the second time. He was sick of convincing his friend that he and Free were not living together. I don’t think. Even though he hoped he was waiting for him in his bed when he got there, and not in his RV.

“Where’d he sleep last night?” God stood taller, bracing the cue on the floor in front of him. “And the night before that?”

In my arms. Instead of saying that, Hart took a long gulp of his beer.

“Mmmhmm. Like I thought,” God mumbled.

“It’s all good, man. We’re getting to know each other.”

God shrugged, “Yeah. Freeman’s cool. I can see why you like him. But, don’t rush it.”

“He is nice and laid back.” Hart laughed humorlessly. “I thought he’d be a guy who’d be hung up on looks and status because he’s so sexy, but he’s not. He’s just regular.”

“And a certified genius.”

“Yeah, that too.”

“Isn’t it a little scary dating a guy that could basically wipe you from existence and never have to get up from his desk?” God laughed.

“Fuck you. That’s not funny.” Hart shoved him on his way around the table. “Hell, Cash at this point, I just want someone who’s gonna be kind to me. You get what I’m saying. He’s not like Reese.”

“That’s ’cuz there’s only one wicked witch from the southwest. No one could be like that.” God sank his next shot as well, then finished with the nine in the side pocket. He came and sat beside him, ordering another round.

Nothing Special: 3.75 stars

This book was a bit of a wild ride. There was constant banter between pretty much all of the characters and just enough drama to keep things interesting. I enjoyed the dynamic between God and Day. Their friendship just seemed easy; it was clear that even from the beginning they understood each other really well. I do wish we could have seen more of the building of their working relationship and their friendship. We meet them both briefly, the same time they meet each other, and then there is a time jump. I wanted to see them grow a little bit into the guys we met in that first chapter because their chemistry was entertaining.

We saw everything in this book, from family drama, gunfights with criminals, sexy times with more than just the two MCs and some cheesy lines from both MCs. It was a bit of an over-the-top story but I was still into it.

There were a few things in the book that were a bit distracting. It seemed like both MCs had multiple names that they went by. It was a bit much for one MC to go from Godfrey to God to Cash (very briefly) to God again, especially as the blurb refers to him as Cash. I also felt like God and Day were a bit on the d-bag side. Some of the things they said made me want to smack them! However, there were many other things in the book that showed they were good guys but I think their egos need a bit of a downsize.

Embracing His Syn: 4 stars 

This book was similar to the first in that there’s a bunch of different things happening. Even though Furi and Syn start quickly, we get to see their relationship/dynamic development, but with that, we also get a couple of fights, murder mysteries and some nice sexy times. I like when authors go against stereotypical positions in bed with their characters. And seeing Furi and Syn come together was hot, especially with all the dirty talk.

Like in book one, there was a bit of overload on the macho fever but I think Furi helped break that up a little bit. There were a few laugh out loud moments in this story that I appreciated, mostly with Day being Day and Syn being exasperated af by him. There was a lot of serious stuff going on, so I enjoyed getting a bit of humor here and there. I do wish we got to see the investigation play out more; I was interested in that storyline and hope it gets picked back up in the next book.

Here Comes Trouble: 4.25 stars

I just loved Ruxs' and Green's chemistry! It was obvious early on that they were best friends and cared a lot about each other. This was probably my favorite book so far of the series. Everything flowed really smoothly and the pacing of the story worked well. Even though Ruxs and Green were a bit macho when we first encountered them, it was not much of an overload, which I appreciated. Just like the other books, the sex between these guys was crazy hot and the dirty talk was present again.

I loved the storyline with Curtis and how much Ruxs and Green were there for him. He showed just how sweet they were and I liked getting to see where Curtis ended up after meeting him in book one - even though we only encountered him briefly, his story struck me and it was nice to see how far he had come. Though it threw me off at first, I liked getting Curtis' POV for that short time at the end of the book and seeing his potential love interest. I am hoping more of that unfolds in future books.

Don't Judge: 4 stars 

I am all about a book with some sexual tension and this book had it in spades. There was a lot of sassy banter that kept things interesting between Judge and Michaels. Just like the previous books, the egos were a bit through the roof but at this point, that is pretty standard for this group of guys. It was nice to see that Michaels had come into his own a bit with being on the task force. When we met him in the previous book, he seemed to be a little bit ‘overeager puppy’. But clearly joining the taskforce with God and Day and being able to show off his talents resulted in some character development because he went from overeager puppy to angry dog. I am happy that we got the epilogue and were able to see him and Judge in a calm setting and how sweet they were with each other.

I always enjoy the side stories in these books, i.e., the catching of criminals, seeing the characters doing their jobs, and the obstacles they have to work through that we don’t normally get in romances. It shakes the books up a bit.

Nothing Special 5: 4.25 stars 

Day and God have grown on me more and more throughout this series, so seeing that part of this book was in their POVs, and their story, made me pretty happy. It helped break up the tale and had me wanting to keep reading. I love a nerdy character and Tech was just that! I liked seeing him with his complete opposite in Steele; the author did a good job of character development with both. We see Tech set out to be more than just a computer guy and he succeeds in doing that. And when we first meet Steele, he is depressed, drinking his weight in alcohol and has a chip on his shoulder. Once he joins the task force and starts being a part of the team, his entire demeanor changes.

There was a little bit of drama between the main characters but nothing that was too distracting. This book just reinforces how much this group of guys is a unique little family. I like getting so much of all of the past characters and seeing Day and God move towards being married.

The hints of different characters' POVs was great. When I saw that initial interaction with Hart and Free, I knew I needed to read their book. So once I got to a chapter from Free's POV I was pretty much giddy to see how things were going to play out. I also loved the bonus chapters of Gen and Curtis!

Nothing Special 6: 4.25 stars

Free and Hart were both easy-to-like characters. I liked how genuine they were and that they were a little bit of a break from the usual macho MCs in these stories. They were still confident in themselves but they each had vulnerabilities that made them that more endearing to me.

There was a little bit of insta-love with these guys but I was okay with it. This author knows how to write a steamy sex scene with good dirty talk and Free and Hart displayed that as well. I also liked that a lot of the focus was on the two of them. I do enjoy the back stories of the different cases the characters are working on, but I appreciated getting more of just the two of them since they did commit to each other fairly quickly. I feel like Fox's story is going to be hilarious and steamy and I am eager for him and his cowboy to get their HEA!

*** Copies provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement.

Nothing Special: 5++ Stars

GOD AND DAY – Holy crap this book is so ridiculously stupid HOT.

God and Day are police who have been partnered for years. Both are total alpha personalities but God is definitely top dog when it comes to making decisions and keeping everyone he cares about safe. This is a one-handed read for sure. Everything about this book is great. I’ve read this book several times at this point and I still enjoy every single part, the characters and the storyline. God and Day top my list of favorites when it comes to book boyfriends.

OK... So... <<Possible Spoiler Alert Ahead>> Hover with your mouse over the blank space or mark the space on your phone to read. Proceed at your own risk! ;)

I know some people love this book and some people have some major issues with the plotting and how the story ends up between God and Day and them both being super possessive about each other but still being able to “play” with their two close friends. And I would like to explain why I see no issue with that. It doesn’t come out of nowhere… They have a very obvious connection and bond with the other two guys, Rownowski and Johnson. They all talk about it ahead of time and know where they stand in their relationships together and separately. So I personally see nothing wrong with couples playing if they are all on the same page and open about it. And honestly, the four of them playing together is HOT. God and Day have a great working and personal partnership together with off-the-charts chemistry throughout the entire book.

The scene with God and Day and God’s declaration towards him is some damn good writing (any editing issues aside). This book is a fantastic start to the series and I am totally obsessed with all of these guys starting with this book.

Embracing his Syn - 5++ Stars

SYN AND FURI - another set of HOT guys in this series!

I loved how we met Sydney “Syn” and his introduction and addition to the Task Force Team; that was one of the best parts of this book. When we meet Furi though… He is hands down one of my favorite characters…

The fact that Furi’s side job is so hot, and all the guys basically fall in love with him right from the start, is just an awweeee moment that lasts through the whole book for me. The way he is described as a person and his personality in general - I just love him! I hate that he has to deal with all the drama with his horrible ex, and brother in law, and all the stupid girls from the studio, but I am so glad that he found Syn and the guys to have his back fully at all times; he instantly becomes family to them.

Some parts of the book regarding some of the “bad guys” were a little over the top stupid, but I think it all meshed well together overall. I absolutely Loved Syn and Furi’s dynamic and how once Syn decided he wanted Furi, and once he let go of his control, he was all-in for their relationship, in and out of the bedroom.

I love these guys just as much as I loved God and Day. This is one of my favorite series of all time.

Here Comes Trouble - 5+ Stars

Ruxs and Green: Detectives on the Task Force. Partners. Best Friends. Definitely Trouble.

Once these two figure out their issues after years of being thick as thieves as partners on the force, they both realize they have stronger feelings for each other than just as friends and partners. These men have some seriously explosive chemistry together and I love how this author describes them. I love their relationship and I love Ruxs and Green as characters; they are both funny and outrageous and totally loyal.

I think that the way they handled Curtis and the drama that surrounded him was great. They both really stepped up to make sure it all worked out so that Curtis felt safe and secure with them, no matter what happens.

Ruxs’ mom is a horrible person who makes bad decisions over and over and I loved that Green took control of that situation and made sure that Ruxs was taken care of and didn’t have to deal with her drama and crap anymore as well. You can see their strong feelings for each other in every single thing that they do; they fully have each other’s backs.

Don't Judge - 5+ Stars

Judge and Michaels

OK. So you have to remember Michaels from Ruxs’ and Green’s book, “Here Comes Trouble”. He’s the sweet beat cop who was always trying to get onto the Task Force and who made it onto the team at the end of their book.

Well... I totally fall in love with him in this book. He’s got all this pent-up rage and emotions that come barreling out of him when Judge pushes all his buttons. He is a total Power Top & Bottom - it literally blows your mind with how seductively dirty he can be. But I didn’t see that side of him coming. Uggghhh.

He and Judge have the best chemistry, and I think it makes the book better that they don’t have an instant love connection. They have to both work for it. They have to work at even liking each other to start, and then work at being partners on the job before they can be anything else to each other.

This book is great. I love the storyline and I love these guys. Judge’s dog, Bookem, is awesome too. I love that he is an added character in this book.

Another great addition to the series.

Nothing Special V - 5 Stars

This book was formatted a lot differently than the previous books. It doesn’t just focus on the main couple but instead jumps around to all points of views from previous and current characters. I think this was pretty genius on the author’s part and exactly what we needed.

We get to see the drama and angst between God and Day, some random stuff around the other characters from previous books, as well as an appearance from some spin-off characters. And we get to see the smoking-hot connection being made between Tech and Steele. These two men were an unexpected pleasant surprise and they get down and dirty in the most delicious way. I loved this book.

Steele is a super-hot Ex-Special Forces guy who has some serious baggage going on, and doesn’t really trust easily. I think I might have swooned a bit when he and Tech met for the first time, it was just that explosive.

Tech is awesome. He is a super smart computer/technical nerd, totally cute, and has been working hard at getting a place on the team, in the field, out from behind the computers.

Every part of this book and series has been amazing so far, and I have loved every minute of every book and I really need more of these men in my life. I can’t even count how many times I’ve re-read all of these books at this point.

Note: Make sure you read to the very end… You will get to see a small snippet for Curtis and Genesis.

His Hart's Command - 5+ Stars

After a ton of anticipation…

And waiting for what felt like forever…

We finally get Free and Hart’s book...

And OMG, it does not disappoint!

We met Lennox “Free” Freeman in the previous book when he came to the Team to help Tech. Free and Tech are best friends going back years. Free has all kinds of fears and some hidden twists to his past we learn about in this book. I do wish we could have gotten more regarding those aspects, as it kind of felt like we learned about them and then they were pushed aside and not mentioned again. It would have been great for his past to be incorporated into the story more. Anyhow…. Free was a great character. I loved his personality and loved how he interacted with the team, and I ultimately loved his pretty instant connection to Hart.

Hart has appeared in previous books as well. He is the SWAT team leader who works directly alongside God and Day’s tactical team. Hart is like a big protective teddy bear who is instantly drawn to Free. It is absolutely hilarious how tongue-tied Hart is when it comes to Free at first: he has zero game since he was previously married to the Wicked Witch of the West… Hahahaa… But once he makes the decision to make Free his, it’s pretty much ‘game over, no passing go and no turning back’; he is all-in.

This book was great. The characters were sweet and pretty adorable together. But it was still fully action packed like the first five books were. I really think A.E. Via is on a roll here and I would literally read every single book she wants to add to this series. I also did notice the lack of editing errors in this book compared to some of the previous ones; obviously, the editor did not fall asleep on the job with this one!

Fantastic addition to this series and I just really want and need more, and will wait any amount of time necessary to get my hands on the next book.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

4 Stars

His Hart’s Command is the sixth book in A.E. Via’s Nothing Special series, and the first in the SWAT Edition spin-off. I am a big fan of the Nothing Special series. I love God, Day and their crew. These are bada$$ good guys!

This book is about tech genius Lennox “Free” Freeman who was introduced in the last Nothing Special book, and Ivan Hart, God’s best friend and SWAT team captain. When we left Free, he’d just replaced Tech as the technical specialist for God and Day’s task force. Since joining, he’s had a massive crush on Hart and the interest was definitely reciprocated. But, unfortunately, due to a bad marriage (Hart) and bad childhood (Free), both these men were terribly insecure about acting on their feelings, to the point it was almost hard to read their interactions, both socially and sexually, as the book got going.

This book is a clumsy and super slow burn. Then it gets inferno hot when the MCs learn to trust each other and the book makes a hard turn into undying devotion and love on both their parts. Both MCs were completely likable and adorably awkward. I found Hart’s persona, bada$$ on the job, abused ex-husband at home, a bit incongruous. Despite both the men being relationship amateurs, I enjoyed seeing them get their HEAs.

I will admit that the numerous sex scenes got a bit repetitive and tedious to the point I started skimming past them to catch up on the story. This book bordered on being 20 sex scenes strung together by a loose action plot. The very best part of this book is revisiting the guys of the task force and SWAT teams.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. *

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