The Wrong Man by Lane Hayes
Author Lane Hayes Bio:
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles both be men! Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow lab ever in an almost empty nest.
An Author Q & A
Q There are so many great elements here. Firefighters, long ago love, lovers reunited and then there’s the dog element. How do you pick what elements will go into a story? Elements and characters first? Or story?
The story always comes first for me. Since Brandon had already been introduced in The Right Words, I knew my character but not necessarily the story elements. Those came together later. I only knew Brandon was a special character and whoever captured his heart had to be worthy of him. He had to appreciate Bran’s unique strengths and his fabulous sense of self. I think Jake is definitely that man!
Q. Dogs/pets can be a tricky element depending how they are handled. If there is an element of angst concerning the pet/dog and its not handled carefully, it can be a real turn off for readers. Handled well, and it can make a story. WC Fields said never to work with children or animals because they steal the story. Do you think that happened here?
No, I don’t. I was very cognizant of how much time Mack had in a scene. Dogs can be scene-stealers for sure! The trick with Mack is that he’s 13 years old. He plays the role of catalyst but he also serves as a constant reminder of the passing of time. As Bran gets to know Mack, he becomes open to the simple life lessons: appreciation, gratitude, kindness and acceptance. In short… Mack is no ordinary dog!
Q Why include a dog? why not a parrot or cat?
The reason I included a dog rather than another kind of pet is that I have a 13 year old yellow Lab with diabetes… just like Mack. Writing his part of the story is a sort of catharsis for me. Our Mack has been with us since he was 8 weeks old. He’s a beloved member of our family who has honestly grown up with our three kids. He’s old but very dear. And unfortunately, we know he won’t be around forever. This is my tribute of sorts to my own beautiful, sweet dog. (The book is dedicated to him. :))
Q. You now have had The Right Man, now The Wrong Man, I almost hesitate to think what title comes next?
LOL! The Right Time. Look for it this summer!
Q. What pulls at your heart when writing, creating a main character?
Weakness, redemption, self discovery with a dose of humor. I’m drawn to characters who are just like you and me. There may or may not be some catastrophe in their past but who they are now and how they muddle through with the defenses they’ve built are what make them interesting.
Q. Do you have a favorite character of yours?
That is almost impossible to answer. I adore Aaron from Better Than Good and I’m crazy for Brandon in The Wrong Man. But I have to say…. Alex is up there for me too! 🙂
Q. What’s next for Lane Hayes?
I’m finishing Book #4 in Better Than Stories then it’s on to a new series!! Woohoo! I’m still at the mental creative chalkboard but it will be fun to get to know a new set of guys from a brand new city!
Where you can find Lane:
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Successful owner of an upscale boutique in fabulous West Hollywood, Brandon Good swears by his personal edict to “live in the present.” After a bad break-up, he agrees to dog sit to keep his mind off his ex. Never did he expect the dog to belong a man from his past, the only man to ever truly break his heart.
When Jake Westley relocates to join the WeHo fire department, the last thing he anticipates is reuniting with his secret high school love. Thrilled with the prospect of reconnecting with Bran, Jake feels no guilt in using his charming old dog as an unwitting matchmaker. As they rekindle their friendship, it becomes clear the intense attraction they once felt is stronger than ever. But as hard as they try to leave the past behind, painful memories resurface. Bran will have to confront his fears and consider the possibility that the man he swore was absolutely the wrong one might be perfect after all.
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Romance
Again, I questioned my sanity. Something was odd in my world for sure. My heart was beating double time when he finally turned onto my street. A quick escape was my best bet. I had my fingers wrapped around the car door handle and was ready to rip my other hand from his grasp when he slowed down. He must have sensed my intent to bolt, because he held on to me until I was forced to give him a “what the fuck?” look.
“Let me walk you to your door.”
“Jake, let’s not do this. Please. I really don’t want this evening to get any weirder than it already has been. Thank you for tonight. For dinner and pretending to—”
“Hey, nothing is weird here. It’s dark, and I’m walking you to your door—”
“I’m a big boy. I’ve got this.” I detached my hand from his grip and opened the door.
When I reached the sidewalk, he was waiting for me. The man obviously was hard of hearing.
“You are stubborn.” I gave him my best evil eye before I trudged up the path ahead of him.
“Me? You’re the difficult one. I’m trying to be nice—”
“You don’t have to prove you’re nice to me. I get it. That doesn’t mean—suit yourself.”
I fished my key from my pocket as I approached the well-lit front porch.
“Here I am, safe and sound. No need for worry,” I said flippantly as I turned to Jake.
I swallowed my words. He was closer than I expected. Much closer. I felt the warmth from his body but wasn’t prepared for the hunger I saw in his eyes. I licked my bottom lip nervously. I knew what was going to happen, and though I wasn’t sure it was a good idea, I wasn’t going to stop him. He bent slightly and brushed his nose against mine. I felt his breath on my lips as I waited for him to close the distance between us. Neither of us moved. He smelled delicious, that intoxicating combination of soap and a hint of musky cologne I’d noticed the morning he hugged me in my kitchen. I could have happily buried my nose in his shirt or in the curve where his neck met his shoulders. I closed my eyes and leaned in the tiniest bit closer, expecting him to take over. He still didn’t move.
“Aren’t you going to ki—”
And then he pounced. He crashed his mouth over mine and snaked his arms around my waist, fusing our bodies together. His hands traveled up and down my back while he licked a sensual line across the seam of my lips, requesting entry. I heard myself moan as his tongue danced and collided with mine in a lustful assault. I arched into him instinctively. Jake lowered his hands to my ass, drawing me in tightly as he thrust his hips forward. The friction was hot, and his demanding kisses had my head reeling. This was nothing like our frantic make-out sessions years ago.
Just as that errant thought surfaced to remind me whom I was grinding against like a teenager on my front porch, Jake turned his full attention to my mouth. I was painfully hard, but he was right. We shouldn’t be doing any of this. But I couldn’t seem to stop myself. I bit at his jaw and then licked my way to his ear, flicking the lobe gently with my tongue until I felt his teeth at my neck. I made a strangled sound and went limp in his arms. He was overpowering in a subtle, almost unexpected way. I was two seconds away from ripping his shirt when a car went down my street blaring hip-hop music at an obscene volume. I pulled away and rested my forehead against his shoulder. We stood quietly catching our breath for a moment.
Then Jake pressed a soft kiss on my cheek and stepped away. “Good night, Bran. Thank you for… well, just thank you. I’ll see you soon.”
I stared after him like an idiot, watching him open his door and start the SUV. I heard the familiar hum of distant traffic and smelled the fragrant sweet star jasmine from my neighbor’s garden. Everything looked and seemed to be in place, but something was different.
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