Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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.
I continue to love all the books I have read by this author and this one was no exception. Bishop and Edison have been hurt by life in different ways. Bishop doesn’t feel he is worthy of pretty much anything, having grown up in a gang and going to prison and being illiterate makes him feel like less of a person. Edison grew up as an outsider and it doesn’t seem to have changed as an adult but he still longs for a special connection with someone.
I hated to watch Bishop struggle with his inability to read and how important he put that in his life. I understand that his ex hurt him badly when calling it out to everyone but he does have great support from his dad and Trent. He just has to take the step to make himself feel worthy enough to be with Edison.
I never quite understood why Edison allowed Skyler to continually get under his skin and even believe him to have changed at times. I know some of it was Edison’s hope for friendship but at the same time we begin to see Skylar’s true motives as he sees Edison finding happiness. I was so glad that Edison and Bishop stood by each other through thick and thin even if there was some drama associated with it. I look forward to more stories in this series to see their relationship continue and even see Trent find someone.
The cover art by Jay Aheer is great and I love the visual of Bishop.
ebook, 395 pages
Published: September 30, 2019 by Via Star Wings Books
Edition Language: English
Series: A True Lovers Story #1