Rating: 5 stars out of 5
This is the best of Lane Hayes! I loved this story. Actually, I loved the storyline, the main characters, the secondary characters, including Zeke’s father, the sweet romance, and the very, very sexy times between these two men who should have been oil and water, but blended beautifully.
Zeke Gulden is a ruthless stockbroker, self-assured, wealthy and driven to succeed. He’s totally obsessed with revenge over real and perceived injustices done to him in the past, presently mainly centered on his cheating ex-boyfriend and the guy who he cheated with—a married man who works in Zeke’s office. But secondary to that, or in addition to it, he’s got a huge resentment toward his father, who made Zeke’s life hell when he was a teen and first came out. Even now, though his father is loved by friends, family, and the customers at the family-owned bagel shop, Zeke refuses to spend any more time with him than necessary. He’s just not interested in the old man.
Benny Ruggieri is currently holding down two jobs while trying to break into the fashion industry. He works at the bagel shop, and for his own family at their Italian restaurant. He’s bright, funny, and very, very flamboyantly gay. He’s exactly the type of guy Zeke avoids at all costs. But Zeke’s dad is determined that he and Benny are perfect for each other so they agree to one date, and one date only. The problem is that after that date Zeke can’t forget Benny, and when Benny needs a fake boyfriend to take to a family wedding, Zeke volunteers. From that point on they agree that they will be boyfriends for the sake of their families, but privately, they’ll just be friends with benefits, with no acknowledgment of any attraction—physical or emotional.
That’s, of course, not going to happen—not in this romantic romp. Let me just extend a caution here that the scene in the limo when they first get together may require use of a personal fan. I know I needed one. Just sayin’. There are also some scenes requiring tissues, especially those that involve visits between Zeke and his mother, who has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t recognize him at all anymore.
This is the story of the romance between Zeke and Benny, one that is not simple and straightforward because Zeke can’t seem to speak what’s in his heart. Nine times out of ten, what comes out of his mouth is such bull that Benny feels the need to pull away before his heart is broken. However, the story is so much more than the love of one man for another. The author explores the relationships between family members, both one on one and collectively as a clan. And then there’s the relationship between Zeke and his sweet mother, and finally, the very necessary healing of the relationship between Zeke and his father.
I highly recommend this one. If I could give it more than five stars, I would. Contemporary, humorous, opposites attract, and family drama, all rolled into a wonderful package.
Cover art by Aaron Anderson is perfect.
ebook, 234 pages
Published June 6th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634773233 (ISBN13: 9781634773232)
Series: A Kind of Stories #2