REVIEW: Bishop by AE Via

The Official Description: At only thirty-two, Bishop Stockley has lived a hard-knock life. His gang was his family, the streets his home. Until the crew he’d always called his brothers betrayed him. 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. Illiteracy had never been an obstacle for him on the streets, he didn’t need to know how to read Moby Dick to survive, he needed to know how to read people… and that was a hustle he’d learned hard and fast. Now, he had to change his life.

Bishop’s only support system was a young, inexperienced dad who’d insisted he call him Mike all their life—since they looked more like brothers than father and son. And his hot-tempered, childhood, best friend from ’juvie, Trent. 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.

Edison hadn’t grown up the way most of his peers had. He’d been raised by a single father who’d owned an old-fashioned barber shop where Edison was taught how to not only shave with a straight razor, and shine shoes, but also how to treat others, to not judge, to be a gentleman, to be respectful and speak without profanity. But, the biggest lesson he’d learned, was to always be himself. His lack of friends and a social life wasn’t his fault. No matter how much weight he gained, no matter how many times his staff called him a square, Edison did not need to change.

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. Mike and Trent warned him not to mix business with pleasure and he didn’t intend to.

No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a very, very HFN. Warning:
This book is a M/M contemporary romance, a hardened man’s struggle to find real love. There are no police chases or doors being kicked in, in this one. But, don’t worry. Bishop is still intense enough to keep you on the edge.

Just the facts:  M/M Romance, redemption, opposites attract.

A lovely twist on the opposites attract theme… redemption, forgiveness and growing. – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit: Another great read in the M/M Romance genre. This story had me hooked from the beginning because the two main characters were quite unique and very interesting. There was great chemistry between them and I thank A.E. Via for that!

Let’s start with Bishop. He did five years in federal prison for a crime he didn’t commit and is back out and working for his father at a landscaping company. Bishop is a terrific character. He’s rough and yet open-minded and emotional. One of the most interesting things about Bishop is that he isn’t able to read or write but still has a love of stories. His father was very young when Bishop was born and wasn’t prepared to be a parent. As a result of his upbringing, Bishop was raised to think that street-cred and toughness were more important than school.

Once reunited with his father, Bishop finds himself with a new relationship. His father is attempting to support him in the way he should have when he was a kid.

The other main person in the story is Edison. He was raised by his gentlemanly father… to be a gentleman. But, his world is small. He goes to work with colleagues who don’t really show any interest in him then he goes home and disappears into the world of books. He is constantly body-shamed by a bully who he supervises at work but he puts up with it. He’s uncomfortable with the way he looks and lets that undermine his confidence when it comes to standing up for himself.

Honorable mention to Trent. He is Bishop’s childhood friend and is hot-tempered and fiercely protective of Bishop. The two men have a wonderful friendship. They’re expressive in their own deranged ways, they’re funny and they are as close to being brothers as two men can be.

Bishop and Edison end up together in spite of the fact that they are from different worlds. Edison is open to Bishop’s differences and grows fond of him very quickly. I loved the way Bishop thought of Edison… the way he thought his boyfriend was beautiful, the descriptions of Edison’s body were beautiful and loving.

They make a lovely couple. Edison reads to Bishop, Bishop insists on acting like a gentleman to prove that he cares about Edison, they spend more and more tie together and inspire each other to make changes. There is growth on both sides of the relationship and it’s really well written. I really enjoy reading characters who grow and change throughout the course of a story.

As much as this book is about love, it’s also about redemption. Edison and Bishop both have things in their pasts, things in their present that they must overcome. Everyone in this book is really working on “something”… and it’s a lovely journey. My hope is that this is the first in a series because there are a lot of characters in this book I would love to know more about!

4 stars from me!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 121,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Simply Defined Art

The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) mentions of violence, body shaming, bullying in the workplace, harassment, attempted assault, breaking and entering, descriptions of gang violence and affiliation.

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 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.

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Readalikes: Other similar reads you might like:

I received an ARC of Bishop by A.E. Via via Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review.


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