Edwin Steele is a former marine and a cop out of Oakland. To say things aren’t going well would be an understatement. His uncle (an Atlanta city councilman) manages to get him a spot on Atlanta’s elite drug task force. At first, Steele wants no part of it, preferring to brood and be constantly angry. However, he sees a video of the Atlanta team and knows he should definitely be with these men.
Shawn Murphy is nicknamed “Tech” by the guys on the task force. If it involves computers, gadgetry, or hacking, Tech’s your guy. The team heavily relies on him and what he can do from behind his desk. However, Tech wants more. Even though he’s smaller than the other guys, he longs to be out on the streets catching bad guys. He’s been secretly training for this, and he’s just waiting for the right time to show the other guys what he can do.
When Steele and Tech first meet, it’s not exactly friendly, but that’s not all. The other men on the task force aren’t thrilled to have a new guy in their midst, especially because they’re being made to take him. Steele is going to have to prove his worth to the team and to Tech.
I have to start off with how much I love, love, LOVE this series. I read the first four books in a matter of days when I first discovered them. They all have quite a bit of action, suspense, humor, and (Squeee!) hot alpha men. Each story has focused on two men from the task force falling for each other, and the romances are as hot as the men. Nothing Special V is no different.
At the forefront of the book, we have Steele and Tech. They get off on the wrong foot, but their attraction to each other is very strong. I liked how their coming together was more of a slow burn than jumping right into bed. Their chemistry is fantastic, but the build up was every bit as sexy as when they finally got there. I was also very pleased at the amount of respect they had for each other. Steele was bowled over by Tech’s…well…tech skills, and Tech is impressed by Steele’s strength. Also impressive was how well Steele fit in with the team, and how all the guys went from being cautious to accepting him.
The smexytimes between Tech and Steele were awesome! Tech may have been smaller, but he definitely wasn’t a wallflower when it came to sex. A.E. Via has a way with words in a love scene, and it definitely showed. The combination of dirty talking, physical interaction, and romantic love was perfect. What I liked the best was how they called each other by their real first names. They weren’t Steele and Tech. They were Edwin and Shawn, and I think that may have been the most romantic part of Nothing Special V.
Along with Steele and Tech’s story, there is a secondary plot. The two main characters from the first book, Cashel Godfrey and Leonidis Day (God and Day to everyone), leaders of the task force, have been engaged for awhile, but Day is starting to feel like God doesn’t want to get married. He’s always trying to avoid talking about anything to do with a wedding. Thing is, God does want to get married. He just doesn’t want a big to do with it. He wants to marry his man in a quiet ceremony and have a small party with their family and friends rather than having to worry about venues, caterers, florists, and the rest of the hullabaloo that goes along with a big wedding.
I liked this plot well enough. I will say, and this is just my personal opinion, I think it may have been better off as a stand alone. Perhaps a short story or novella. It was fun reading about their relationship again, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I just felt like my head and heart should be with Steele and Tech.
It was also nice to read about the other characters from the other books as well…especially Ruxs and Green from Here Comes Trouble, book three of the series. They’re the team’s enforcers, and Steele joins with them. One of the comedic highlights of Nothing Special V was with the three of them and a Burger King. I don’t want to give it away, but I laughed my butt off.
I do have a few complaints. They’re not huge, but they did kind of take me out of my enjoyment of this story. The first is that the book seems to be a bit long. There was a period where I thought it seemed like it was dragging a little. Next is what felt like an unnecessary sub-sub plot with Day’s best friend, Prescott, the famous chef, and his two men. No spoilers, but, once again, maybe this could have been done as a short story or novella, rather than include it in this one. I had already been feeling like not enough of Nothing Special V was devoted to Steele and Tech, and this didn’t help that feeling at all. Finally, an old friend of Tech’s shows up in the final third of the book. Once again, no spoilers, but he’s come to Atlanta for a reason. He feels a strong pull to another member of the team, and I think more attention was devoted to that than there should have been. Obviously, it’s a set up for the next book, and that’s fine, but maybe a simple sneak peek would have been a little better.
Those are my only knocks, and they’re not even major enough to have made Nothing Special V less enjoyable. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be reading it again. The whole series is in my re-read pile, and I’m anxiously waiting for any new books A.E. Via will be writing.
Just a quick note. While you can definitely read Nothing Special V as a stand alone, I don’t highly recommend it. There is plenty of exposition, but because there really are a lot of characters, I think it would be easier if you started from the very beginning. It’s worth it in the long run.