A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Out in the End Zone (Out in College #2) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Out in the End Zone takes place concurrently with the first book in the series, Out in the Deep End and explains where Evan’s been going while Gage has been hanging out with Derek at their house.

Evan is Derek’s roommate, a happy-go-lucky football player with a good family background. He’s fulfilling his dreams of playing football at a small SoCal college because a deadly accident four years ago took his friend and his dreams of playing pro ball. Now, for some reason, he’s attracted to a guy at a party and not attracted to most of the girls there, including Nicole who is avidly pursuing him, and Amanda, Derek’s ex. The guy is Mitch Peterson, an out-and-proud cheer crew leader who lives with his gram and has a strong Internet following for his vlog. Evan surprises himself by agreeing to help Mitch on his senior project, which will measure the influence of social media on relationships.

They will be fake boyfriends, but the question viewers need to vote on after each video session is whether or not they are real or fake. Seems simple but doesn’t include the fact that Evan is really bi and falls head over heels for Mitch. All the ensuing chaos and happy romantic times are what makes the story interesting. It’s not all as readers may anticipate, and it is a fun book to read. I particularly enjoyed Mitch’s character and even now, a few days after finishing the story, I can clearly picture him and his wide, sunny smile. Evan was great as well, but as is typical in these stories, he dragged his feet a bit too long in coming out to his family and team and that’s hurt Mitch so I’m sure other Team-Mitch readers like me will feel as I felt and want to kick Evan in the pants—a few times!

Lane Hayes does really good character sketches for young adult/new adult stories. This was an amusing premise—a different play on the fake boyfriend trope. It’s nice that it wove in and out with the first book in the series as well. Not everything in life falls in line smoothly and this proves that point well. All in all, this is a sweet and enjoyable new adult story and I recommend it to those who like the fake boyfriend theme.

The cover by Reese Dante features a torso shot of Evan that is quite attractive.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published October 7th 2018 by Lane Hayes
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOut in College #2

New Release Blitz for Out in the End (Out in College #2) Zone by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Out in the End Zone

Series: Out in College #2

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: October 10

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 44000

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, College romance, Football, Coming out

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Synopsis

Evan di Angelo is an upbeat, good-natured goofball who loves his friends and family… and football. A traumatic accident may have ended his hopes of playing professionally, but he’s made the most of his four years on the field at a small Southern California college. He’s learned the hard way to embrace change, take chances and try things outside of his comfort zone…like agreeing to play fake boyfriends for someone else’s senior project.

Mitch Peterson knows that being his authentic self is the path to true happiness. He’s grown from a shy, quiet kid from a broken home to an out and proud budding internet sensation bound for grad school. An awesome senior project is the key. It’s unlikely anyone will believe the hunky, straight athlete is Mitch’s new lover, but it’s worth a shot. However, as their tentative friendship blossoms into unexpected attraction, the lines between reality and fiction blur for both men. Evan is forced to face old demons and decide if he has the courage to take the next step and come out in the end zone.

Excerpt

Mitch scoffed. “Cooperate, please. This is your intro. Maybe you should put your arm around me and kiss my cheek.”

“Now?”

“Yes. This is a rehearsal, so…go for it.”

I moved to his side, slipped my arm around his waist, and kissed his cheek. His scruff threw me off stride. It wasn’t noticeable because his facial hair was blond, but I could feel it. He smelled and felt different from anyone I’d ever kissed before. Sure, I’d kissed male relatives. I was part Italian. No one in my family shied from physical contact. But a hug and kiss on each cheek from my Uncle Gianni was different from kissing an attractive man. I caressed his cheek impulsively and then leaned in to sniff him the way I’d wanted to since the party. “Mmm.”

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“You smell good. I’ve never kissed a guy I wasn’t related to who had a five o’clock shadow.”

Mitch gave me a funny look. “You kissed me yesterday at lunch.”

“Yeah, but you haven’t shaved since this morning, right? The texture is like sandpaper but in a good way. I like it,” I assured him.

He looked flustered for a second but recovered quickly. “Well, that’ll make the real kiss easier then.”

“Right. When do we kiss, and what’s the intensity level supposed to be? G, PG, PG-13? Or are we going straight to the nasty?” I teased.

“Ha. G is peck on the cheek, which we just covered. PG is peck on the lips. So somewhere in between that and PG-13 works.”

“Got it. Maybe we should practice first,” I said.

“Um…sure.” Mitch turned around and gestured toward the bar stools at the island. “We can sit there, and I’ll set up the tripod a foot or so from where you’re standing now.”

“We don’t have to be in exact position. I just need to get used to touching you. It would be the same with anyone. Guy or girl.”

Okay, fine. I wanted to do it again. I’d thought about him nonstop since the party last weekend. And that throwaway kiss yesterday at the restaurant had opened a Pandora’s box. I was consumed now. I didn’t want to practice kissing him. I had to or I’d go crazy.

“Maybe you’re right. Um…okay. You can kiss me,” he said in a low voice.

“Well, you have to participate,” I chided as I stepped into his space.

“I’m…yes. Do you want to go first? Like…” Mitch set his hand on my hip and inched closer still. “This?”

I lifted my right hand and hovered it above his ear for a moment before threading my fingers through his hair. He suddenly looked nervous, which somehow worked in my favor. I held his gaze, then moved forward and gently pressed my lips to his. And fuck, it felt amazing to be here again. I tilted my head slightly, loving the intoxicating contrast of his soft lips and scratchy chin. Mitch closed his eyes and hooked his arms around my neck so we stood toe to toe and chest to chest. All the ways this felt different no longer applied. I knew what to do here. I was practically a fucking expert.

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Meet the Author

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 well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won First Prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Out in the Deep (Out in College #1) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Derek Vaughn is captain of his college water polo team, a competitive, type-A-everything-in-order sort of guy, plus he’s gorgeous and a natural leader. He rarely loses his temper, as he tends to think things through, but damn, put him in the water with Gabe Chadwick as his opponent and he sees red. In his opinion, Gabe is egotistical, a smartass, and willing to do whatever it takes to win—even if it means playing dirty. So when Gabe knocks away the ball Derek is playing, scratching Derek, and kicking him in the crotch while doing it, Derek sees red. And this means war. Unfortunately, it also means getting booted from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct. And thus begins this lovely enemies-to-lovers story.

There’s not much better than two muscular, athletic, gorgeous men who both swing both ways—though Derek doesn’t have his own sexuality confirmed until he drools over Gabe. When Gabe transfers to Derek’s college to be near the practice pool for the national team, which he’s made as an Olympics hopeful, the two finally decide to give friendship a shot. And along with that, they start to act on their sexual attraction and Derek discovers a side of himself that he’s never acknowledged—a side that turns his world upside down.

Neither wants to come out, and yet they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. The story is sweet, and even the angst and drama that one expects when two men are attempting to stay in the closet is fairly mild. But there’s something about the author’s writing style and the lovable characters she creates that hooks me every time. It’s like taking a vacation from every-day worries during the hours I spend reading the story: totally relaxing, mentally soothing, and bringing me to a happy peaceful place. If that interests you, by all means pick this one up. The guys do get their HEA, and I suspect they may show up in a supporting role in future stories of this series. I’m certainly looking forward to more.

The cover by Reese Dante features a gorgeous man in a speedo, representing one of the two MCs who spend a lot of their time on a water polo team. It certainly does grab attention.

Sales Links:

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CA: https://amzn.to/2BSj53p
AU: https://amzn.to/2wAplHl
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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 149 pages
Published August 26th 2018
ASINB07GVPNXKV
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOut in College #1

Release Blitz for Out in the Deep (Out in College #1) by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Out in the Deep

Series: Out in College

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: August 29

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 41K

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, College romance, Water Polo, Coming out

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Synopsis

Derek Vaughn is a little too serious. He’s a type A control personality with a penchant for order and a love of water polo. But he’s determined to enjoy his last year of college. The real world with a serious job and big expectations can wait for a few months. He’s going soak up every minute on campus with his friends and teammates before he moves on. The only possible kink in his plan is the new guy on the team… also known as his nemesis.

Gabe Chadwick has big Olympic dreams. His transfer between Southern California universities has nothing to do with scholastics. The degree is his backup plan. He’s not there to party or make friends. And he certainly isn’t going to announce his sexuality. But he can’t deny there’s something special about the uptight team captain. However, when an unwitting friendship and mutual attraction collide, both will have to decide if this is the real thing or if they’re about to lose it all in the deep.

Excerpt

Maybe I just needed a good night’s sleep. It had been a long day. And a weird one. I could never have dreamed up a scenario featuring Gabe Chadwick in my house after this morning. But here he was.

I gave him a thorough once-over as he walked into the kitchen. And again, the first thing that crossed my mind was, “Wow, he’s really fucking hot.”

“Nice place.”

“Thanks. Do you want some water or something?” I asked, awkwardly pointing at the fridge.

“No, thanks. I’ve had enough tonight,” Gabe replied with a laugh.

I should have said good-bye then and escorted him to the door, but I had a strong desire to keep him talking and maybe dispel the weird admiring thoughts going through my brain. Yes, Gabe was a good-looking guy, but I shouldn’t be fixating on his long eyelashes and the way the kitchen light framed him in a halo of sorts. I couldn’t let him go until my brainwaves returned to normal, and he was the same annoyingly smart and talented opponent I’d played against occasionally for years. The thing was, I didn’t really know him and at that moment, I wanted to.

“Where do you live?” I asked.

“About fifteen minutes away. I scored an apartment by campus. I have one roommate. Brent’s a volleyball player. We might get a third to cut expenses, but I don’t want to share a room, so that’ll be up to him.”

“Sharing a room gets old fast. Evan and I knew we wanted to live together, but I’d probably smother him in his sleep if I had to listen to him snoring every night a few feet away from me,” I said in a lame-ass effort to keep him talking.

Gabe chuckled. “That would be rough. Evan seems like a cool guy. Is he as neat as you? This house is spotless.”

“No, that’s all me. I can’t help it. I have a thing about order. Evan’s a slob. You should see his room. At least he tries in shared spaces. I don’t bug him about his unmade bed, scattered clothes, and random dishes he leaves on his nightstand as long as he keeps the bathroom and kitchen tidy. He’s been on the receiving end of a couple of classic Vaughn meltdowns,” I said with a self-deprecating shrug.

“A Vaughn meltdown,” Gabe repeated. “That must be a version of what I experienced this morning when you tried to drown me.”

“Fuck off.” I laughed, then looked away quickly when a rush of heat flooded my cheeks. Oh, my God. Please don’t let me blush. Not now. He’ll know something’s wrong with me.

Gabe stepped closer to me and cocked his head. “Are you blushing?”

Great.

“I don’t blush.”

“Whatever you say.” He winked and gave me a mischievous smile that turned me inside out.

This couldn’t be happening.

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AU: https://amzn.to/2wAplHl
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Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is finally doing what she loves best. Writing! An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. She is the bestselling author of the Better Than, Right and Wrong, A Kind of Stories and Leaning Into series. Lane’s novels placed first in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an empty nest.

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An Ali Audiobook Review: Leaning Into the Look (Leaning Into #6) by Lane Hayes and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.

Miles Harrison is a fabulous red head going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years. However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and leaninto the look.

I’m a big fan of this series and I keep thinking there’s got to be one I don’t like but so far it hasn’t happened.  I really like this group of friends and the guys they fall for.
We’d met both Grant and Miles numerous times in previous books so we already had a bit of a feel for them.  This story is told from Grant’s point of view and we learn of all his insecurities and the expectations (from his family and from himself) that he deals with each day.  He’s a complex character and one I thought was well done.
Although we don’t get Miles’ point of view I still felt he was a well fleshed out character and one we got to know well.  Miles is a lot and I wasn’t sure I was going to like him from his scenes in the other books but I ended up really liking him.  He was a bit of a mess but he was a good guy and he and Grant somehow ended up being perfect for each other.
I liked the overall plot as well as the characters.  The romance was touching and sweet and I was rooting for these two the entire time.
This audiobook was narrated by Nick J. Russo who I thought did a very good job.  I’m not a big fan of the same narrator doing all the books in a series if they’re about different couples.  It makes me think “Oh such and such MC sounds like such and such MC”.  Overall though it wasn’t a problem.  This series seems to be going back and forth between Mr. Russo and another narrator.
So….another really good book in this series and another really good narration.
Cover:  I thought the cover was lovely.  I like the covers in this series.  They’re all nicely done and they are uniform in a way that immediately lets you know that they’re all part of the same series.
Sales Links:  Amazon
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 9 pages
Published June 18th 2018 by Lane Hayes (first published March 21st 2018)
Original TitleLeaning Into the Look
ASINB07DPTPJ7Q
SeriesLeaning Into #6

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Forever (Leaning Into #7) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The best of one of my favorite series, by far, this one features our favorite queen, the Broadway tunes-singing Geordie, co-owner of Conrad Winery. Geordie appealed to me since we readers first met him, long before this story, but I totally fell head-over-heels in love with him here. And the man the author picked to love him back? Levi Yeager couldn’t be more perfect for him. 

As the blurb states: “Geordie de la Rosa is a legend among wine lovers in Napa Valley. His ultra-fabulous style paired with a penchant for leading impromptu sing-a-longs has made him a star attraction at Conrad Winery.” Four years after the death of his life partner, Mike, the man who originally founded the winery with Wes Conrad, Geordie still spends time in Mike’s secret garden, talking to him and mourning his loss. He can’t contemplate ever moving forward and is content with his life as it is. 

So when Wes asks him to take on a special project—consulting with the new owner of the vacant restaurant not far from the winery—he’s hard-pressed to refuse but isn’t terribly excited, especially when he learns the man is a former pro-baseball player. Ho hum. Even when he meets the gorgeous owner, Levi Yeager, and is surprised by his sudden desire for the man, he hesitates. But over time, Levi shows him a new side of himself and he accepts Geordie exactly as he is—show tunes and all—and it’s been four years since Geordie had that level of acceptance in his life. 

I won’t go into multiple details here but there’s so much about this story to love. There’s humor, much of it centered around Geordie’s OTT excitement about the pink Vespa Levi is driving. Yes, it’s his sister’s vehicle, but the fabulous Geordie grabs the pink helmet and enjoys every moment hanging onto Levi as they get around. There’s also plenty of humor between the men over their taste in music and Geordie’s sense of style, but under it all is Levi’s strong and steady wholehearted acceptance of the importance of Mike in Geordie’s life. 

I appreciated the fact that the author allowed the relationship to develop slowly. Slow burn is one of my favorite themes, as is older men, and Geordie finally admits he’s forty-three to Levi’s thirty-seven. Call me in heaven. I love these two together. Their dynamic was smooth and easy, and even when Levi’s ex came to town and when Geordie struggled with the J word and eventually had to admit he had feelings for Levi, the scenes were beautifully done.  And lest I forget, yes there are sex scenes and they do indeed sizzle, but they are not overdone. I’m coming to a new appreciation for authors who know when to stop and don’t put extra gratuitous sex scenes in a book just to titillate. 

The story is solid and Ms. Hayes had the perfect mix of emotions in this one. Geordie’s final words to Mike were both heartbreaking and heartwarming and had a small touch of humor. Just perfect! There’s definitely a HEA in this story and a chance for another story if Levi’s ex gets an opportunity to settle in the area, but if this is the end of the series, that’s fine. Leaning Into Forever was the best of the best. Very highly recommended. 

The cover by Reese Dante is similar to others in the series in that it features the torso of a man.  In this case, it’s a bare-chested, muscular chest and the background is the Napa Valley.  It’s the perfect depiction of Levi, who opens his restaurant next to Conrad Winery and falls in love with co-owner, Geordie. 

Sales Links:

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON AU 

Book Details:

ebook, 225 pages
Published June 29th 2018 by Lane Hayes (first published June 26th 2018)
Original TitleLeaning Into Forever
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLeaning Into #7

Blog Tour for Leaning Into Forever (Leaning Into #7) by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Leaning Into Forever Tour Banner

LEANING INTO FOREVER

Leaning Into Series Book 7

LANE HAYES

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 06.26.18

Leaning Into Forever Cover

COVER ARTIST: REESE DANTE

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON AU 

BLURB 

Geordie De La Rosa is a legend among wine lovers in Napa Valley. His ultra-fabulous style paired with a penchant for leading impromptu sing-a-longs has made him a star attraction at Conrad Winery. Co-owning a well-respected winery was never Geordie’s aspiration but he likes the niche he’s made for himself. He won’t deny that his job and his friends have helped ease his heartache and grief after the death of his longtime partner.

Levi Yeager excels at the art of reinventing himself. He’s been a minor league baseball player, a college coach and now a restaurant owner. The problem is he doesn’t know anything about the food business. And when his chef quits unexpectedly, he’s afraid his new venture is doomed. But Levi isn’t a quitter. It may be the only thing he has in common with the beautiful, sassy man from the neighboring winery who agrees to help get his new business up and running. Neither man counts on their fast friendship or the wild attraction they feel for each other. However, they know they won’t stand a chance until they let go of the past and lean into forever.

Leaning Into Forever Teaser 1

Leaning Into Forever Teaser 2

EXCERPT

“I can’t decide what to sing. The Sound of Music is always a winner, but perhaps I should try—”

Grease,” Levi suggested out of the fucking blue. He chuckled when I jumped, and then he handed me a napkin to clean the burgundy liquid that sloshed over the rim of my wineglass.

“Where the hell did you come from? And why are you always sneaking up on me?” I asked irritably as I wrapped the napkin around the stem of my glass.

“I didn’t sneak up on you. You asked for a music suggestion, and I gave you one.”

“I wasn’t asking your opinion,” I huffed without heat. “I was talking to myself.”

“Again?”

“I’m always talking to myself.”

I lifted my glass to my lips to hide my involuntary hum of approval. Damn, he cleaned up nicely. His slicked-back hair and close-shaven hint of a beard went well with his white oxford button-down shirt, houndstooth blazer, and snug designer jeans. And holy hell…cowboy boots.

“People are gonna think you’re weird if you keep that up,” he singsonged playfully.

“I hope so. Weird is the ultimate badge of honor.” I raised my glass in a mock toast then gave him a lascivious once-over that was too flirty to be taken seriously. “You look very handsome. I wouldn’t think to pair a sophisticated jacket with ranch chic and yet, somehow you’ve made it work.”

Levi crossed his arms and leaned against the wall with a slow-growing grin. The latent sensuality in the lazy upturn of his full lips fascinated me. Or maybe it was the cowboy boots.

“Thanks. I think.”

“Anytime. I should go.” I shoved my glass into his free hand then flung my yellow scarf over my shoulder and pinched my cheeks to add a touch of natural color before bowing theatrically. “Adieu. My audience awaits.”

“Hang on.” He stepped in front of me before I could escape. “I want to talk to you for a second.”

The billowy sleeves of my black tunic fluttered as I motioned for him to hurry. “What is it?”

“I didn’t have a chance to thank you for helping me out today. The stuffed jalapeños were a hit. And they went well with the wine.”

“You’re welcome. I know my peppers, and I know my Pinot. You were smart to print out a sample menu for La Vid. The font was all wrong, but it was still a nice touch,” I enthused. “Now excuse me while I—”

Levi grabbed my elbow to stop me. “La Vid?”

“It’s just a suggestion, of course, but I think a touch of Spanish flair would be well-received. Every other business in this town has the word vine or wine in it. La Vid would stand out. Think about it.”

“I will. What was wrong with the font?” he asked, furrowing his brow.

I grabbed my drink from his hand and took a small sip. “You used Helvetica, Levi. That’s almost as boring as Times New Roman.”

It didn’t seem possible, but his forehead creased a little more as his frown deepened. “At no point in my life did I ever think I’d ask this question at a party but…what font would you suggest?”

“Andale or Century Gothic. Or better yet, Monaco,” I replied without hesitation. “Something classy yet understated and sophisticated. That’s what you’re going for with your restaurant, correct?”

“Yes. Exactly. Wes told me you’re responsible for the overall aesthetic at Conrad Winery. Are you a budding designer on top of being a cabaret singer?”

I grinned at his teasing tone. “Yes and no. I have zero training in either endeavor, but I’m pretty damn good at both if I do say so myself.”

“And modest too,” he quipped.

“Modesty will get you nowhere. If you want something, you’d better speak up before someone else swoops in.”

“Agreed. I want something.” Levi inched closer, seeming suddenly larger than life. His shoulders were broader, and his expression was more intense.

“What do you want?”

“You.”

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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 well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

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Audiobook Release Blitz for Leaning Into the Look (Leaning Into Stories #6) by Lane Hayes and Narrator: Nick J. Russo (excerpt ad giveaway)

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Title:  Leaning Into the Look

Series: Leaning Into Stories, #6

Author: Lane Hayes

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Original Release Date: March 23, 2018

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes

Genre: Romance, friends to lovers, San Francisco, humor, businessmen

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.

Miles Harrison is a fabulous red head going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years. However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and lean into the look.

Listen to an audio excerpt & purchase at Audible

Excerpt

I stopped short when we reached the other side of the street and then backed him against the brick façade of a bank building and pressed my lips over his. It was a bold move and not one I’d ever tried on any man in public before. But I couldn’t help myself. It felt oddly freeing to share one of the bleaker parts of my past with him. I wanted to thank him somehow but that seemed awkward so I kissed him instead. I held his head and glided my tongue alongside his, loving the moment when he flung his arms over my shoulders and responded with fervor. When we broke for air, I rested my forehead on his and grinned.

“Your ass is pretty spectacular too, Mi.”

He chuckled good-naturedly. “Thanks.”

“No really. I think I’m love with it.” I lowered my hands down his back and squeezed his cheeks as I molded his pelvis to mine.

“That’s kind of romantic. But if you’re thinking about falling in love with me too…don’t.”

I backed up slightly to get a better look at him. “Okay. I won’t.”

“Pinky promise.” He held up his right hand and wiggled his fingers.

“What makes you think you’re so irresistible?” I asked, wrapping my pinky finger around his.

“I’m not and you’ll figure it out sooner or later. But I like you and I want you and…”

“And what you’re really saying is you don’t want to fall for me.” I kept my tone light, hoping a jocular vibe would steer us from turning this into an uncomfortable conversation.

“Maybe.”

“Look, Mi. I’m not—”

“No. Listen. Don’t make this into a big deal. It’s not. We’re going to have a grand adventure. Just me and you. We’ll do incredible things and have amazing conversations and lots of sex. And when it’s time to say good-bye, we won’t ruin it by pretending we were ever in love. What do you say?”

Nothing. I had nothing to say. All I could think was maybe he really was crazy because who said shit like that?

But when I looked past the lighthearted swagger I saw the cracks in his armor. He was scared and battered and raw on the inside. Kind of like me. And somehow I had a feeling it wasn’t an ex-lover that made him so cautious. I only knew he was right. We were a couple of oddballs who unexpectedly found ourselves inhabiting the same circle. Temporarily.

But love? I should have walked away. Or at the very least, laughed at his wild leap. Instead I cocked my head and squinted. “What kind of adventures?”

Miles grinned. A slow-moving, gorgeous upturn of the lips that morphed into something celestial. He literally took my breath away. I hoped the dizziness faded before I gave him a reason to think it was a good thing he’d issued a warning about getting too attached.

“All kinds! We’ll turn this town upside down being one hundred percent ridiculous.”

“Okay…” I gave a half laugh and pushed a stray lock of hair behind his ear. “What do you have in mind? Dancing, parties—”

“No. More like Trivial Pursuit marathons, Netflix binge-watching fests in our Pjs, the compare and contrast game and—”

“The what?”

“Don’t worry. We’ll have fun. You’ll see,” he assured me earnestly as he laced our fingers together and pulled me away from the wall.

I glanced down at our joined hands and briefly thought about joking that he should be careful about giving me mixed signals. But I knew my limits. My comedic timing was crappy and the last thing I wanted was to push him away. I might not love Miles but I liked him. A lot. And holding his hand while we wandered through town under a sea of rainbow flags on a random Sunday felt special. The way new beginnings sometimes did.

Meet the Author

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 well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won first prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Meet the Narrator

Nick is an award winning narrator with a fan following for his work in fiction, specifically in the romance genre. His performances in two of Amy Lane’s books, Beneath the Stain and Christmas Kitsch, made him the recipient of Sinfully M/M Book Review’s Narrator of the Year – 2015. When he’s not in the booth, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, Jessica, and kids, (aka their beagle Frank and cat Stella), drumming in his cover band, exploring rural back roads with his wife on his motorcycle, or being enthralled in a tabletop role playing game with his friends.

 

 

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New Release Blitz for Leaning into Forever (Leaning Into Stories #7) by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Leaning Into Forever

Series: Leaning Into Stories, #7

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: June 29

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 75K

Genre: Romance, Comfort, Healing , Heartbreak, New Beginnings, Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis

Geordie de la Rosa is a legend among wine lovers in Napa Valley. His ultra-fabulous style paired with a penchant for leading impromptu sing-a-longs has made him a star attraction at Conrad Winery. Co-owning a well-respected winery was never Geordie’s aspiration but he likes the niche he’s made for himself. He won’t deny that his job and his friends have helped ease his heartache and grief after the death of his longtime partner.

Levi Yeager excels at the art of reinventing himself. He’s been a minor league baseball player, a college coach and now a restaurant owner. The problem is he doesn’t know a thing about the food business. And when his chef quits unexpectedly, he’s afraid his new venture is doomed. But Levi isn’t a quitter. It may be the only thing he has in common with the beautiful, sassy man from the neighboring winery who agrees to help get his new business up and running. Neither man counts on their fast friendship or the wild attraction they feel for each other. However, they know they won’t stand a chance until they let go of the past and lean into forever.

Excerpt

“My game is coming back. If I keep talking and you keep listening, you’ll eventually warm up to me. Where was I?”

“The psychology of alliterations,” I deadpanned.

“Right. Your tone is imperial, you use alliterations like a poet and you dress like a diva. You’re pleasant to strangers but you hold them at bay. You’re kind but controlled. Most likely you were an elite member of a royal family in a former life.”

“You’re probably right,” I said, amused in spite of myself. “Since you have me figured me, let me see if I can do the same.”

“Be my guest.” Levi made a sweeping motion with his left arm before resting it on his steering wheel. The casual gesture was ripe with potent masculinity. And I hated that I noticed.

I tore my gaze from his stubble jaw and cleared my throat. “You’re a newly out sports enthusiast at a crossroad.”

“Sports enthusiast at a crossroads,” he repeated with a laugh. “I guess that’s better than has-been athlete looking for a new gig.”

“As you said, I do have a way with words and I’m a firm believer it’s crucial to accentuate the positives.” I set my hand over his without thinking then pulled back when a familiar spark of awareness skittered along my spine.

Levi smirked. “You’re weird. I like you.”

“Thanks. I like you too. Platonically of course,” I added.

“Of course. What exactly is my crossroad?”

“I’m not sure. Perhaps you quit your job to try a new venture with this lover who dumped you and now you’re heading to LA to woo him back—”

“Not a chance,” he snapped.

I raised a brow at his vehemence. “Or…you’re going on a fact-finding mission to salvage what you can of your original idea and determine what comes next.”

Levi nodded. “Closer.”

“Have you thought about selling the diner?”

“Yes. But I’m not going to.”

“Why not?”

“I have nothing to lose. And you know what? It’s kinda liberating. No net required ’cause I’m already free falling. Have you ever felt that way before, Geord?”

Every fucking day.

Silence fell like a blanket between us. Soft and warm and safe.  I didn’t want to break the quiet but I couldn’t allow myself to be pulled under either.

I licked my lips and whispered, “Yes.”

Suddenly, I couldn’t move and I couldn’t look away. Maybe I was a sucker for ruggedly handsome men who weren’t ashamed to reveal their vulnerable sides. I admired that he made free-falling sound like an adventure. I’d been doing it for nearly four years and my outlook was nothing like Levi’s. I worked my ass off to make sure no one knew how tired and raw and afraid I felt every damn day. I clung to the best parts of my past like a lifeline, hoping my ghosts would ease the inevitable ‘splat on the concrete’ nosedive I had coming my way.

Levi’s story was certainly different, but I recognized something in him I knew too well. A desperate spirit that wasn’t quite ready to give up. I’d like to think that sense of acknowledgment was why I leaned across the console, closed my eyes and pressed my lips against his.

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Meet the Author

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 well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won first prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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An Ali Audiobook Review: Leaning Into Touch (Leaning Into #4) by Lane Hayes and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Josh Sheehan is unlucky in love and now… newly unemployed. He’s not sure what to do next, but he’s sure he should give up on romance. Especially after last time. His friends warned him that falling for the hunky Irishman was a bad idea. Josh can’t help feeling torn even though he knows it’s best to move on. But when an unexpected dose of family drama blindsides him, Josh finds himself leaning on the one man he’s supposed to forget.

Finn Gallagher is driven by success. He makes no secret that building a name for his tech company is his number one goal. Finn left home a decade ago with a ton of regret, a heavy heart, and a vow to never repeat the same mistake twice. However, there is something undeniably appealing about the self-deprecating man with the silly sense of humor that makes it difficult for Finn to remember why falling for Josh is a bad idea. It soon becomes clear they’re both in deeper than they intended. There is no way to remain untouched. And there is so much to gain, if they’re brave enough to lean in.

I wasn’t sure about this book going into it.  Finn was portrayed in a pretty bad light in the previous book.  Then this one lets us know that Josh and Finn dated (but not officially) for six month and then Finn just disappeared.  A year later Finn and Josh cross paths and much to his dismay Josh is still terribly attracted to Finn.  Finn is still in a bad place when it comes to being in a relationship but the two men can’t seem to stay away from each other.
This story is told from Josh’s point of view and I adored him.  He’s a great guy and I empathized with the things he was going through.  Finn was a bit harder to connect with.  This was a book where the author probably should have done two points of view.  Finn is insecure and scare but we can’t really see that until the end.  For much of the book it seems that he doesn’t care for Josh anywhere near as much as Josh does for him.  I also found his reason for being scared of relationships kind of unrealistic.  
 I ended up really liking this one though. I thought the author did a great job though showing them falling in love and working through their issues. I think the author’s best strength is relationship development and MC’s that COMMUNICATE. I also liked how Josh’s relationship w/his dad was portrayed. That entire plot twist was done well.
The audiobook was narrated by Nick J.Russo who as usual did a very good with both of the main characters as well as all of the side characters.  I thought the narration added to the overall emotional feel of the story.
Cover:  I like the cover but it’s not my favorite of the series.  Nothing about the cover really stands out to me.
Sales Links:  Amazon Audible
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 8 pages
Published April 16th 2018 by Lane Hayes (first published October 4th 2017)
Original TitleLeaning Into Touch
ASINB07C5SZKZL
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLeaning Into #4