Title: Promises Part 3 (Bounty Hunters #3)
Author: A.E. Via
Publisher: Via Star Wings Books
Release Date: June 23rd 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 222 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A bounty hunter’s partners to lovers’ story.
The hunt is on… and he’s the prey.
Bradford (Ford) King was sure he had the rest of his life mapped out. Though he was no longer a SEAL Lieutenant, his brother was home safe and he had a job that still allowed him to satisfy his hunger for hunting bad guys. Life was simple, no distractions or complications – at age forty-six – that’s all Ford wanted. What he didn’t want was his work partner, sniper/watchman, Dana, giving him s**t all the time.
Dana Cadby had grown up labeled a roughneck from the wrong side of the tracks. He’d fought, scrounged, and survived despite a father that constantly told him he couldn’t. Dana pulled himself up by his own boot straps and made a name for himself in the marksman community. He’d been Duke’s bounty watchman for five years. It was his job to ensure their safety, watch their backs. At thirty-three, he was trusted, well respected by his peers, his bosses, his friends… so why couldn’t he earn the same respect from his partner?
Dana knew he was bisexual before he graduated high school. He also knew he was attracted to the huge, 6’3”, SEAL from the moment he and his brother came to join their team. It wasn’t easy for him to tamp down his immediate reaction to Ford’s thick muscles, full beard, and dark eyes. Still, Dana exhibited nothing but professionalism towards him, not wanting to make his ‘straight’ partner uncomfortable. So why did Ford constantly give him hell?
After Dana took back his ex-girlfriend, he’d noticed an intensification in Ford’s bad attitude. One that turned aggressive and downright antagonistic, and Dana was damned if he’d just lay down and take it. He was gonna make that man respect him if it was the last thing he did.
When Duke sends Dana and Ford out to track down their most dangerous bounty yet, they both embrace the fact that they make one hell of a team… but they fight tooth and nail against the powerful intimacy brewing between them.
Beware: If Ford and Dana connect completely, god help the fugitive who’s in the sights of the hunter and his watchman.
This story is a part of a series but can stand alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has a HEA.
A hard-headed 46 year old former Navy SEAL and a passionate 33 year old Sharpshooter/Watchman confront their attraction to one another while we sit back and watch the passion bubble over? Yes, please!
Bradford “Ford” King and Dana Cadby both work with Duke and Quick at Duke’s Bail Bonds and Recoveries in Atlanta, Georgia. After Ford and his brother Brian joined Duke’s team he was partnered with Dana and the sparks have been flying for three years as the two have tried to deny the feelings they have for one another, with both believing the other would never reciprocate.
Ford hides his attraction by being taciturn and gruff. Dana hides his attraction by dating women.
Dana is comfortably bisexual, but after getting burned by his last male lover ten years ago, he’s been reluctant to be romantic with another man…but he would gladly take a chance with rugged, alpha male Ford if he had any indication of reciprocated feelings.
There is a lot of UST between Dana and Ford. The two love and live to argue, snipe, and snark at each other to cover their feelings.
Now I don’t want to be all Complainer McBitcherson, but this does bring me to one of my only complaints about the story: Jessica.
Dana has an on again off again girlfriend for most of the story. Jessica, who is quite the piece of work, is constantly turning up uninvited. There’s a truly cringe worthy, awkward sex scene between the two that is, I guess, supposed to cement the reader’s dislike of this character. Which, for me, worked like a charm.
While Dana does break up with Jessica before he starts anything with Ford, it’s a sort of blink and you might miss it kind of thing, which felt odd considering how long Jess had been on page. And then you never hear from the woman again…which, let me assure you this did not seem like a woman who would just go gently into that good night, if you know what I mean.
Honestly, with the way she disappeared I didn’t understand why the character had even been introduced at all. IMO she did nothing to advance the story, and, in fact, paints Dana as a weakling who allows her to walk all over him. He’s only with her so “he’s not alone”, which doesn’t say a lot for Dana’s character.
Which got me to thinking how there have been very few positive female characters in A.E. Via’s books that I can recall. But I digress.
Once Ford and Dana acknowledge their mutual desire and finally act upon it it’s smooth sailing, romance-wise, to their HEA.
Slowly, his long fingers clasped the bottom of Ford’s shirt and instead of lifting the shirt up and off him, Dana closed his eyes and inched his hands underneath. Using his sense of touch to not only feel, but to see. He’d seen Dana do that in the field when his visibility was reduced. He’d close his eyes and listen, feel the movements in the air, then he’d fire and hit his target dead-on. Ford watched every expression imaginable flitter across Dana’s face: surprise, lust, appreciation, hope, relief… and then he saw what he’d prayed he would… happiness.
Told in multiple POV from Ford, Dana, and (including a really memorable and super hot sexy chapter) Brian, Promises Part 3 is classic Via with lots of action, a couple of sexy times, a nail biting crisis, and then the HEA.
I loved how cute it was to see that, at any age, you can be nervous and excited to be starting something new. Though a lot of the relationship building was off page and we’re treated to some time jumps, which, honestly, I would have gladly skipped the whole Jessica storyline to get some more on page time with Ford and Dana.
I also loved the glimpses into Brian’s world and his (hopefully) upcoming story. His romance is already making me swoon internally.
I’ll definitely be in line for the next one!