LAST YEAR I WAS READING…(November 9, 2022)
Here are the rules:
Take your current read and compare it to what you reading this exact time last year. Which one do you like better? What is different about the books? Any special facts/things you want to make note of or bring attention to?
One Line Reviews Of Some Books I Read This Year (April – June 2022)
This is a round up of the books I read on the 2st quarter of this year that I’m too lazy to do a full review.
RELEASE BLITZ: Nothing Special by Casey Cox (Giveaway)
EXCERPT REVEAL: Nothing Special by Casey Cox (Excerpt & Giveaway)
REVIEW: Swat Ed.: Fox & Bull by A.E. Via
Nothing Special: Swat Ed.: Fox & Bull – A.E. Via
A fox can set many traps to catch his target—but this one only needs one to catch his.
Dominic “Bull” Walker is used to the simpler things in life. Give him his own land to work, a strong horse, and twelve hours of daylight, and he is a contented man. But when someone threatens to take away the successful ranch that took him two years to rebuild, he’ll accept any help he can get to defend it.
Mandel “Fox” Tucker is a sixth-generation SWAT soldier. It’s embedded in his bones to protect and serve his community. So when he gets word of the vandalism occurring on the Walker Ranch, he quickly volunteers the free time he has, thanks to his recent suspension.
The brief visit Fox had with Bull four months ago had been a contentious—but powerful—encounter. Therefore, he’s not surprised when he shows up on his doorstep unannounced and has to pull out some of his best tricks to get past the six-foot-four, stubborn Texan.
Fox is only there to safeguard what’s most important to Bull. But being on the ranch brings an awareness to him that he embraces with both hands. Nature, peace… love—things he never found in the city.
This book contains the love story of two new characters. It is a part of a series but can be read as a standalone.
There are no multiple pairings or sharing. Ends in a very HEA.
Trigger Warning:Mild police violence. Scenes are not graphic.
I have always been a big fan of the Nothing Special series since the beginning. Admittedly, many of the books were messy. It wasn’t until the 6th book, His Hart’s Command, that the series hit its stride. The 7th book, Ex Meridian, is my absolute favorite. It continues its winning streak with the 8th installment.
Fox & Bull is the second SWAT Ed. The titular characters were introduced in the previous book’s epilogue. The two met for only a couple of hours but each made quite an impression on the other. Fast forward to the present time and we got Bull still trying to catch glimpses of his favorite SWAT soldier on the nightly news.
Meanwhile, Fox, tired of being disrespected and unappreciated when he was doing his job well, decided to take a break. He grabbed the opportunity to investigate a break-in at the Walker ranch just so he could see the unforgettable cowboy one more time.
Fox is a cunning, smart-talking cop who’s very good with a rifle. Bull is a hardworking man of few words. An astute businessman who built a successful ranch from the ground up after his old one was destroyed by a calamity. They are just a couple of guys who wants to love and be loved in return. Is that too much to ask?
Fox has gone through hookups and one-night stands with people who fantasized about dating a SWAT soldier. But when things get serious, they were actually too chicken shit to put in the hard work required in a real relationship. Bull was engaged at one point but the bastard left him to die during a flood. So I couldn’t really blame the poor man for not immediately jumping into Fox’s arms no matter how badly he wanted to or how charming the other man was.
The first scene they were together made me LOL. Bull got so tongue-tied and awkward at seeing his crush again, he tried to say three greetings all at once. He’s such a sweet guy! I was rooting hard for him.
There was a deadline hanging over their heads. Fox will be called back to work after a couple of months. The author did a great job making each moment Fox was in the ranch count. The passion and heat jumped off the page. But what I loved most was how the story was able to convey, in the cozy domesticity and everyday ranch business, the way the two cherished each other tenderly.
This is a wonderfully done opposites attract, slow-burn romance with a minor mystery, some action, and lots of humor. It’s more romance-focused than all the other books. There’s less action, with most of these scenes happening in the beginning and at the end. A huge chunk is spent with Fox building rapport with Bull’s employees, learning ranch work, and falling in love with a horse.
The book had a fluffier feel to it as well. All the books had a strong sense of family and camaraderie. With the previous stories, the bonds are formed among people who constantly risk their lives for each other. Here, there is still that strong connection but the dynamics has a softer vibe. This is perhaps because the bonds are formed among people in a safer, homier setting. (Not sure if I’m explaining this part properly. Sorry if I’m not making sense (^_^;))
The book is populated with lovable characters, both old and new. We see a lot of Hart and his boyfriend, Free, stars of the first SWAT Ed. Bull’s pop, Walker, and their housekeeper, Emma, were a riot! They are his biggest cheerleaders and all but claimed Fox their son-in-law the second he made his appearance at the ranch. Fox and Dale’s interactions were also hilarious. Bull’s best friend/ranch manager was very determine to cockblock Fox in the name of protecting Bull. Until Fox sicced a young, and very interested, ranch hand, Ridge, on the interfering idiot.
There was OTT ridiculousness near the ending when God and his squad bulldozed their way into the ranch. I was rolling my eyes at all the silly male posturing. It’s a thing with this series. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s just plain stupid.
Another niggle is Mercy, Bull’s horse. He said he had the horse since he was a little boy. He is now 33. Mercy is, what, more than 20 years old? I’m not sure about a horse’s lifespan but that horse is really old. And Bull is still working him hard.
Minor quibbles aside, I enjoyed this story a lot. Fox and Bull are great additions to Nothing Special‘s impressive roster of alpha males. As a couple, they light up the page with their fabulous chemistry and unwavering devotion to each other. Their romance was a building of trust, and a promise of commitment. These are two men who truly appreciated what a precious gift it is to find someone brave enough to stick around.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Soundtrack: Just Stay
Fox & Bull can be read as a standalone but is best experienced after meeting God, his husband, Day, and their merry band of troublemakers. Check out my reviews of the first seven books:
Nothing Special Books 2-6
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SWAT ED.: FOX & BULL
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