A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into A Wish (Leaning Into Stories #3.5) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This is a sweet romance, one that can be read as a holiday story or simply a continuation of the Leaning Into series.  It features Ryan Haskell, a secondary character who in the past had a relationship with Wes before Nick came along and who was actively trying to break up Josh and Finn in their story.  Ryan works in the Conrad Winery and is best at his favorite task: conducting tours and selling the wine that is now a part of his life’s work with a group of people he has adopted as his family. 

Each year the winery hires interns and this year, Danny Meyers, a straight jock with a wonderful outgoing personality is driving Ryan crazy. Why? Well on the surface it appears he just rubs Ryan the wrong way when he jokes around or even just brings his bright personality into a room.  Why should one guy be gorgeous, built, athletic, and personable all in one package?  And to top it off, he keeps flirting with Ryan, even though he’s straight.  Way to make a guy crazy! 

Off and on throughout the story, the subject of wishes comes up.  We learn Ryan’s greatest wish is to love and be loved in return.  And we learn the value of believing your wishes can come true.  When Danny realizes his own wishes and dreams are all centered in the Napa Valley and a career as a tennis pro is no longer really an option, he gets the help of Geordie, the co-owner of the winery, to help Ryan weave through the path of his own doubts so that Danny can help Ryan find that wishes can come true.

Though the story is short, the characters are well-developed and the situations are infused with humor and good intentions.  There’s plenty of opportunity for the relationship to develop and there’s a really sweet ending. 

This could technically be read as a standalone, since there are multiple recurring characters from previous books, but it will be a much better reading experience for those who have read one or more of the earlier stories. 

I highly recommend this one to all lovers of contemporary MM romance and if you’ve already read the others in the series, this one is a win-win.  Be sure to ask Santa for this sweet stocking stuffer. 

~~~~~

Cover art by Reese Dante features a bare-chested man—mostly a torso shot—similar to others in the series, and set against a background of fields of grapes—one vine decorated with a Christmas wreath. By the style of the cover, it’s easy to link this book to the rest of the series, and it’s certainly eye-catching. 

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 126 pages
Published November 20th 2017
ASINB077MYSF1S
Series Leaning Into Stories #3.5

In the Spotlight: Leaning Into a Wish (Leaning Into Series #5) by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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 Leaning Into A Wish Tour Banner

LEANING INTO A WISH

LEANING INTO SERIES, BOOK 5

LANE HAYES

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 11.20.17

Leaning Into A Wish Cover

COVER DESIGN: Reese Dante

BLURB

Ryan Haskell loves everything about the wine business. He’s fortunate to work at one of the most prestigious wineries in Napa Valley doing something he enjoys with the people who are like family to him. But he could do without the good-natured intern slash former jock with the wicked grin who always seems to be in the way. Ryan isn’t sure why the new guy is under his skin when everyone else loves him. Thankfully he’ll be gone after the holidays.

Danny Meyers can’t believe his luck when he lands an internship at Conrad Winery. It’s the perfect temporary gig to wrap up his graduate studies. He’s left his dreams of tennis stardom on the court to focus on a new career and a new life. However, he didn’t count on the spark of attraction he feels for his prickly co-worker. When their tentative friendship blossoms into something more than either man counted on, they may have to change direction and lean into a holiday wish.

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Leaning Into a Wish teaser 2

EXCERPT

“Nothing. Um…I need a few minutes to get ready,” I said. I didn’t bother moving. I still felt sluggish and half-asleep. I needed more caffeine before I could even think about swinging a racket.

“Take your time. The courts are empty. We’re good. Sit back, fuel up, and tell me about Batman, Nutella, and whatever else cranks your chain.” He snickered at my blank stare then added, “I’m just shootin’ the shit here, Ry. Just tell me about yourself. What came first…wine, music, or the Caped Crusader?”

“The Caped Crusader, of course,” I scoffed without heat. “I went through a strong Batman phase when I was a kid followed by my teenage music years. The wine phase came in college, but I still love all three. And Nutella.”

Danny let out an amused huff and sat back to observe me. God only knew what he saw. My curly hair had a tendency to do its own thing in the morning. No doubt it was wild. The stretched out, ancient concert tee, black boxer briefs, and bare feet screamed geeky bachelor louder than my superhero art.

“That’s cool. You know what you like and you stick with it. Seems like a good trait.”

“Thanks.” I studied him over the rim of my coffee cup then took a sip and set it on the table again. “What about you? What are you into besides wine and tennis?”

“Beer and football,” he quipped.

I lifted my brow inquisitively. “Honestly, that’s what I thought. You look like you’d be at home in a country bar guzzling brews with a bunch of beefy former jocks who hung up their shoulder pads for cowboy hats.”

“Damn, boy. You’ve got me all figured out, don’t you?” he asked irritably before reaching over to tug at my wayward curls. “Guzzle that there coffee, slick, and let’s get ourselves a court.”

The boxers with T-shirt combo surely did nothing to enhance my diva-esque moment but that couldn’t be helped, I mused as I rolled my eyes and stood. “I’ll be out shortly.”

Danny snickered in response. “Just hurry it up. If you aren’t out here in five minutes or less, I’m coming in there.”

“Is that a threat or a promise?”

“It’s whatever you want it to be, Ry.”

The low timbre of his voice sounded sexy as hell. Thankfully, my brain intervened before I made a fool of myself and offered him something he didn’t want. It was a close call. Closer than it should have been. Shit. I needed more coffee.

ABOUT 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 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.

Website: https://lanehayes.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008562883399

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaneHayes3

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7125719.Lane_Hayes

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/LaneHayesauthor

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Touch (Leaning Into Stories #3) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

When Josh Sheehan bumps into his former lover, Finn Gallagher, he knows it’s a bad idea to pursue the sexy Irishman, but his libido overrules his head and he jumps back into lust with very little thought for the consequences.  Once they satisfy their immediate needs, he knows he has to let Finn go again before they get too heavily involved.  And that works—until Josh’s father lays a heavy load of angst on him in the form of a secret he’s kept for over forty years. 

It’s Finn Josh thinks of when he needs to talk.  After all, Finn is intelligent, kind, humorous, sympathetic, and, most importantly, doesn’t know Josh’s dad, so he won’t give Josh advice based on emotion like his other friends might.  Actually, Finn is everything Josh wants in a forever man—except Finn is emotionally unattainable and he happens to be engaged to a woman. At least that’s what the society pages say. 

This story was so much better than I thought it was going to be.  At first, I was concerned that Finn was going to be one of those characters I couldn’t warm up to.  He held himself aloof and detached emotionally through much of the story.  Though he looked at Josh as if he cared, and he expressed many of his feelings through his actions—his own personal hurt and guilt laid on him by a strict Catholic father in Ireland years before and enforced with each visit home—he never made a commitment to the man who so obviously wore his heart on his sleeve and wanted him desperately.  But I hung in and I’m so glad I did because Finn was one of those damaged characters who was slow to reveal his innermost self, but when he did, he grabbed my heartstrings and wouldn’t let go. 

Josh was fairly easy to love right from the beginning but watching his struggles with his dad’s news, and his mom’s manic reactions to stress, while Josh is trying to decide his next career move now that his dream job is coming to an end gave us an intimate view of an interesting character who matures throughout the story.  His selfless comments and actions on Finn’s behalf sealed the deal and caused a few tears to roll out from where I was holding them tightly within. 

Though it can be read as a standalone, since there are multiple recurring characters from previous books, it will be a much better reading experience for those who have read one or more of the earlier stories in this series. 

Need I say more?  I highly recommend this one to all lovers of contemporary MM romance and if you’ve already read the others in the series, this one is a win-win.

~~~~~

Cover art by Reese Dante features a bare-chested man – mostly a torso shot – against the backdrop of the city of San Francisco at night.  Similar to others in the series, it’s easy to link it to the rest, and it’s certainly eye-catching. 

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 235 pages
Published October 5th 2017 by Lane Hayes
Original TitleLeaning Into Touch
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLeaning Into Stories #3

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Always (Leaning Into Stories #1.5) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Let me start by saying I love Lane Hayes’s work, so I immediately jumped at the chance to read this one for review. I was given three weeks, but I took less than three days to read it, savor it, and write this review. This story was delicious, delightful, and decadent. Better than a fine piece of chocolate!

Set in San Francisco, this story was originally part of an anthology and is now going to be the start of a new series. All I can say is “Sign me up!” because if the rest are anything like this one, I’m all in.

There’s not much I love more than a geek, so I was quite happy to find that Eric Shuster is that and more. He’s also cute, humble, sweet, and the type of person who sees to the needs of his friends before his own. His work partner and ex-lover, Nick, has announced that he’s getting married, but Eric can see immediately that he’s marrying for money, not love. The girl is the daughter of a wealthy investor and Nick is always on the lookout for more funds for their technology company, whether they need them or not.

As the story evolves, Eric finally faces the fact that he and Nick were really never in love, just friends and fuck buddies, and there’s no reason to grieve his loss. He ends up spending more time with his friends, especially Zane Richards, a handsome sportsman who loves his water sports, whether they be surfing, water polo, or sailing. In fact, Zane has his own company working with the wealthy who need an experienced yachtsman to simply sail or to race. Eric and Zane become closer than they’ve ever been in the dozen years they’ve known each other as they rediscover their likes and dislikes and explore a deeper connection than the usual surface level among friends.

I highly enjoyed watching their friends-to-lovers relationship develop. Ms. Hayes provided the perfect amount of heat and humor and even a little angst, though thankfully that wasn’t overdone. Just give me a love story that will cheer me up, make me break out my personal fan, and leave me feeling warm and fuzzy and you’ve made my day. This one made my day. I highly recommend it to all MM romance lovers, and especially to those who enjoy friends-to-lovers romances. Yummy!

~~~~

Cover art by Reese Dante shows a male naked torso against a scenic background photo depicting the Golden Gate Bridge with sailboats gracefully floating along below on the deep-blue water of the bay. It feels refreshing and is both attractive and pertinent to the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Lane Hayes
Original TitleLeaning Into Always
ASINB075CVSKG6
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLeaning Into Stories #1.5

RELEASE BLITZ Leaning Into Always (Leaning Into Stories #1 Part 2) by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Leaning Into Always

Series: Leaning Into Stories, #1, Part 2

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Self Pub

Release Date: September 5

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 30k

Genre: Romance, Bisexual, Established Couple, San Fran, Beach, Surfer, Geek, Opposites Attract, Friends to lovers

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Synopsis

Life is good for Eric Schuster. He owns a highly successful tech company, has a great group of buddies, and he’s about to marry the man of his dreams. Eric is pleasantly surprised to find the transition from friends to lovers has been easier than he thought. However, after running into an overly friendly ex-boyfriend on an impromptu trip to their shared hometown, Eric realizes things are about to get complicated.

Zane Richards is a quintessential California surfer dude turned professional sailor. His laid-back approach has helped him navigate difficult times in his life. Eric may not share his easy-going mindset but Zane knows without a doubt Eric is the one. However, carving a future together may require confronting a piece of the past Zane thought he’d left far behind. Both men will have to decide if they’re willing to risk what they know for a chance to lean into always.

Excerpt

“Hmm. I want to drop this, but…I have one last question. What did you mean about ‘being from here?’ I know San Francisco is home now but this is a nice place too. I always thought it would be kind of cool to move back someday so I could—”

“No. No way. Never,” I replied emphatically.

I tried and failed again to make a getaway. Zane pounced on me and held me down, snaking his arm across my chest to keep me next to him.

“O-kay…where’s this coming from?”

“I can’t explain it. You wouldn’t understand.”

“Try me.”

“It sounds stupid.” I met his patient gaze, hoping he’d cut me some slack, but he didn’t budge and I had a feeling he wouldn’t until I spit it out. “Fine. I was teased pretty mercilessly for being a geek from kindergarten through high school. I never fit in. I wasn’t blond, athletic, or particularly charming. I was smart. Smarter than I appear to be now,” I huffed.

“Who bullied you? I’m gonna kick some ass. No one messes with my man,” he said, nuzzling my neck.

I chuckled, running my fingers along his spine. “Thanks. I told you it sounded lame. I’m a perfectly well-adjusted adult when I’m not here. And I’m actually pretty good when I come for quick family visits, but this feels different. It feels like I’m being thrown back in time and forced to hang out with the cool kids. Today was a great example. I made a fool of myself out there and I made you mad. Yeah, I was jealous but that was only part of it. I also wanted to prove I’d grown up a little and that I wasn’t the same sunscreen-caked dork who’d sit under an umbrella and read when he went to the beach anymore. I guess I still am.”

“You seem to be forgetting one major detail, Er.”

I traced the laugh-lines at the corner of his eyes and pushed his hair from his forehead. “What is it?”

“I like you just the way you are. I don’t expect you to change and develop a sudden passion for things I enjoy doing. Just be you. And if that means you’d rather finish a chapter lounging in the sand than jump in the water, that’s okay by me.”

“Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me. It comes with the territory. I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life with you if I didn’t love all your weird habits,” he teased, pulling us both to sit up.

“Weird? Me? I bet you can’t name three weird things about me,” I declared as I sauntered toward the bathroom.

“I bet I can name ten. I’ll give you my list at breakfast. Jump in the shower while I call housekeeping and ask them to change our sheets.”

I stopped in the doorway and frowned. “Just tell them I spilled water on them or something.”

“Why lie? I’m going to tell them my boyfriend got jizz on my side of the bed and…”

I shook my head mournfully and turned on the shower to drown out his silly speech about being stuck with a messy lover and crusty sheets. I chuckled at his ‘put upon’ tone and called for him to join me before stepping under the spray. I stopped abruptly and backed up to look at my reflection. My cheeks were flushed, my eyes were bright, and my smile spanned my entire face. I was incredibly happy and if I said so myself, it looked good on me.

Purchase at Amazon

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 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.

Books by Lane Hayes:

Better Than Good, Better Than Chance, Better Than Friends, Better Than Safe, The Right Words, The Wrong Man & The Right Time, Leaning Into Love and Leaning Into the Fall, A Kind Of Truth, A Kind of Romance, A Kind of Honesty, A Kind of Home AND A Way with Words

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:A Kind of Home (A Kind of Stories #4) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Isaac is the only member of the band Spiral who doesn’t have a life partner, but Lane Hayes remedies that with this story. Isaac left home as a teen when his parents broke up and his (adoptive) father kicked him out for being gay. He was so done with Springville, his small PA hometown, and the only thing good he could say about it was the fun he had with his friend Ned McBride, Ned’s family, and Ned’s brother Adam. Though Adam was straight, Isaac always had a crush on the brawny football player with a sense of humor and a gorgeous smile.

When he returns home to his Manhattan penthouse after the latest worldwide tour of his phenomenally successful band, he’s surprised to find Adam McBride is there. Through Ned, he had given permission for Adam to crash at his place while Adam was recovering from his divorce and deciding what direction his life should take. Unfortunately, he worked for his ex-wife’s father so he lost the job along with the marriage and is currently working part-time at a bar and part-time as a dog walker. And he has no plans to leave soon.

Isaac has loved his sterile white apartment, its peace and quiet and solitude, but he grows accustomed to the happy-go-lucky Adam being there, leaving his big red Converse sneakers laying around, cooking meals for Isaac, and practicing his baking—something Adam took up as a relaxing hobby and now wants to pursue as a career. Much of the chaos keeps Isaac from worrying about the nutcase who seems to be stalking him—someone who refers to himself as his “biggest fan.” But the companionship turns to more after one night when the guys get a little tipsy and the inhibitions come down. Isaac learns that Adam is not as straight as he thought, and he learns exactly why Adam came to New York—and it wasn’t just to chill out after his divorce.

The men slowly, very slowly (something I love!) develop a relationship that goes beyond friends-with-benefits and becomes so much more. And when danger strikes, and Isaac’s emotions come to a head, it looks like the one-time loner may just be left alone after all.

I enjoyed Lane Hayes’s writing in this one, her character development, and the clever mystery about the psycho fan. I also loved the love story and the evolution of the friends to lovers theme.

I hope readers will enjoy this slow-burn romance as much as I did. The author’s reveal of the carefully hidden psycho and the oh-so-sweet ending of the book is sure to please lovers of MM romance as much as it did me. I recommend not only this book, but the whole series as well.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is similar in style to others in the series, but in this one, a bare-torso male is leaning against the wall of what appears to be a penthouse apartment, as it features a floor-to-ceiling window with a view of the city spread out below. This fits the story perfectly since it could be Isaac looking out over NYC from his Manhattan penthouse.

Sales Links:Amazon Dreamspinner Press

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages
Published June 23rd 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleA Kind of Home
ISBN139781635336832
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Kind of Stories #4

A Jeri Review: A Way with Words (Memories with The Breakfast Club [Kindle Worlds]) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I don’t always love novellas. Only because I think it is difficult to tell a compelling story in fewer than 200 pages. BUT, it can be done. And Lane Hayes did. It helped that it was an opposites attract story set in NYC for me. Because I KNOW guys like Tony. Tight knit big giant Italian families are beginning to get more scarce, but they are out there. And I know them. So nothing this family did or said was much of a shocker to me.

Remy is the opposite of Tony. Kind of quiet, artsy, open book guy trying to make it on his own in the city by himself. He is willing to wait for Tony to come out of the closet. But in the mean time, he basically goes back into the closet for him.

Remy was patient and kind with Tony which was so refreshing. He didn’t give him an ultimatum because he knew that coming out is intensely personal. Remy gave him the time and space to do that.

Being that it was a novella it did have a neat little wrap up to the story line with pretty much no drama. But hey, we all need a happy little ending sometimes.

Cover art is relevant, eye-catching and lovely.

 

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 191 pages
Published June 20th 2017 by Kindle Worlds
ASINB0731XK1CX
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesMemories with The Breakfast Club [Kindle Worlds]

Release Day Blitz for A Way with Words by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  A Way with Words

Series: A Way With Stories Series

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Self Pub

Release Date: June 22

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 24k approximately

Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Humor, New York City
Amazon- http://amzn.to/2sXx9mn

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Synopsis

 

Tony De Luca is a simple guy. He works for his uncle’s Brooklyn-based construction firm. And he knows from experience that keeping his head down and doing his job is the best way to deal with the meddlesome family members he sees daily. They think he’s quiet and maybe a little awkward but the truth is more complicated. Tony has a secret he isn’t ready or willing to share. He’s an expert at avoiding familial scrutiny. At least he was until the sexy guitar player showed up.
Remy Nelson is a small-town, free-spirited guy looking for a new life in the big city. He stays busy playing his instrument on a busy Manhattan street corner during the day and bartending at night. Remy is more interested in finding steady employment than a mate, but he can’t deny his attraction to the dreamy construction worker with soulful eyes, a kind heart, and a unique way with words. Falling for Remy wasn’t what Tony expected, but keeping him will require courage. And an end to keeping secrets.

 

Excerpt

“Yeah, that’s no fun. But it’s good to make new friends.” He gave me a sideways grin. “Like us.”

“Yeah, except you make me sweat,” I admitted with a half chuckle. Then I added, “In a good way. I like you.”

Remy hummed softly and sidled closer to me, resting his thigh against mine. “I like you too, Tony. You make me smile.”

We stared at each other for a long moment. All those funny details came rushing at me. Things I never noticed about other people. The gorgeous halo of curls, the shape of his eyes, the freckle on his cheek and those luscious lips. The lone bulb above the back door illuminated him in a yellowish light that shouldn’t have been flattering but I had a feeling Remy would look good with a paper bag on his head. Wait. That didn’t make sense. I furrowed my brow and cocked my head just as Remy set his arm over my shoulder and pulled me forward.

My heart raced when the tips of our noses brushed and our breath commingled visibly in the cool air. With a courage I didn’t know I possessed, I angled my head and slowly touched my lips to his. Just a touch. He had room to pull away. Hell, he even had room to punch me if I got this totally wrong. But when he purred softly and licked the corner of my mouth, I knew we were on the same page.

I cradled the back of his head and gently threaded my fingers through his hair. I held him like he was a fragile flower or something. Then in my typical bull-in-a-china-store style, I plunged my tongue between his lips. Remy gasped at the onslaught but he didn’t miss a beat. He wrapped both of his arms around my neck, drawing me close as he glided his tongue over mine, twirling and sucking feverishly.

I didn’t know how long we made out on that stoop but I could have done it all damn night. He tasted incredible and he felt even better. I loved the way he pressed his chest against mine and those sexy noises he made drove me wild. I wanted more than we were able to do on a cigarette break. Much more.

We broke for air and eyed each other, looking for clues. Or maybe that was just me. I couldn’t be the one in charge of directing traffic here. I was out of my depth. He had to tell me what came next. I’d never figure it out on my own. Remy caressed my cheek and smiled before leaning in to nibble on my bottom lip.

“I have to go,” he whispered.

“Okay. I’ll see ya ’round.” My huskier than usual voice didn’t mesh with the casual vibe I was going for.

Remy pulled back with a smirk. “That’s all you’re going to say? “See ya”? Don’t you want my number or something?”

“Um yeah. Yeah, I do.” I pulled out my cell and handed it to him. “Put it in. My hands are shaking.”

This time when he smiled, I felt it deep inside me. The butterflies in my stomach fluttered like crazy but in a good way.

Available for Purchase at Amazon

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 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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An Ali Audiobook Review: A Kind of Honesty (A Kind of Stories #3) by Lane Hayes and Seth Clayton (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Music is drummer Tim Chalmers’s great escape and the one thing that’s never let him down. But his band Spiral’s meteoric rise to fame has made it difficult for him to maintain a low profile. Unwanted press pesters him after a public breakup with a volatile ex-girlfriend who loves the limelight as much as he loathes it. Tim’s main goal is to avoid confrontation. However, when a handsome stranger in a dive bar turns out to be someone he might know, everything changes.

Carter Hamilton-Temple might be a successful financial consultant with more brains, sophistication, and charm than most, but he always falls for the wrong guys: closet cases or men with issues. He can’t fight his attraction to tattooed rock star Tim, but can he trust his own judgment? When the thrill of danger combined with a fierce physical connection proves too strong for either man to resist, a quiet liaison away from the public eye and curious friends seems like a safe bet. But some secrets are hard to keep. When rumors threaten to rock his world, Tim realizes it’s time to confront his fear with his own kind of honesty.
This was another entertaining installment to this series.  These two were very different from each other but a really great match.  Their chemistry jumped off the page at the reader.  They meet in Los Angeles while they’re both there on business.  They have a hot one night stand and never expect to see each other again.  Imagine their surprise when they see each other again in New York (where they live) and find out they have mutual friends.
Although they are attracted to each other, Tim is hesitant to get more emotionally involved.  He’s just out of a really bad relationship and he has only been seen in public with women.  He’s not sure what the media will do if he’s seen with a guy.  Also, he was burned very badly in the past by his one and only relationship with a man.  He’s scared to take another chance.
The love story is a slow build up.  They initially start seeing each other just for sex, but scene by scene, they build a friendship that turns in to a love story.  The author does a very good job showing the reader how they fall for each other.
There’s some drama towards the end with Tim’s ex and his overall refusal to admit he’s in a relationship with a man.  Carter was great in this book.  He was so patient with Tim but when he needed to put his foot down he did.  I think these two were my favorite couple in this series so far.
This book was narrated by Seth Clayton and  there is just something about the way he talks that bothers me.  His cadence seems odd to me. I only listened to about 30% of this then I switched to the ebook.  I have a friend though that just loves him so there is a good chance this is my issue alone. If you’re interested in listening to this I recommend you try a sample first to see if you like his voice.
This book is the third in the series and can be read as a standalone.  There are appearance from both couples from books 1 & 2 but there is nothing that would keep you from enjoying this even if you haven’t read those books.
This cover was done by Aaron Anderson.  I liked it a lot.  It matches the other covers in the series really well and it’s eye catching.  It’s also a good representation of the MC.
Audiobook Details:
10 hrs 10 mins
Audible Audio, 11 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published October 7th 2016)
Original TitleA Kind of Honesty
ASINB06ZYK6PJT
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Kind of Stories #3

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into #2) by Lane Hayes

Standard

Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Lane Hayes is one of my favorite authors, and this story proves why. Faced with a secondary character in a short story who was really the anti-hero—a bisexual guy who jilted his (female) fiancé and disappointed his best friend and business partner—Ms. Hayes decided to give him his own story, in which he demonstrates why he was such a letdown in book one, and then falls into deep and everlasting love with a handsome and sweet older man.

I was skeptical when we first saw Nick in this story—buried nose-deep in code in his and Eric’s IT security business—and seemingly clueless to what’s going on in the rest of the world. He keeps bugging his BFF friend Eric, who’s on a well-deserved honeymoon vacation in Bora Bora, so faced with penalty of death from Eric’s new husband, Zane, (Leaning Into Love) Nick decides to take a break from work and return the wine he purchased as a wedding favor for his own cancelled wedding months ago.

There he runs headlong into Wes Conrad, winery owner, who refuses to allow Nick to return the wine that was labelled with the personal information for Nick’s wedding. It’s company policy not to take it back, and Wes digs in his heels and outright refuses. And so begins the crappiest day of Nick’s life, but also one that turns out to be the day he went head-on with the man who would ultimately become the most important person in his life.

I love the way the author took the time to explain and explore Nick’s issues—issues with antisocial behavior, a constant side focus on the numbers in his head—mathematical equations—that needed to be addressed. She also gave Nick an older, more mature man—one who has lived through multiple life experiences, including the tragic loss of his business, his former lover, and a good friend. Wes has the maturity and the patience to handle Nick, and though wildly attracted to one another from early in the story, there’s no rush into deep and everlasting love. It evolves over time, and every moment and every step of the way is absolutely necessary for this couple. Business deals, takeover possibilities, poor decisions, partnership problems—this story has it all. But most of all? It has a young man who seemed to be irredeemable learn to face his issues and take responsibility for his own actions and then take the leap into falling head over heels with the man he most needs in this world.

That might sound a bit mushy and romantic, but that’s how I saw it. And I have a particular soft spot in my heart for older men who find romance in the MM genre. This one is terrific, and I highly recommend it. Why not a full 5 stars? I couldn’t shake all of the prejudice I had against Nick from the first book. Let’s just say he’s darn lucky he had such a great author to tell his story. And I can’t wait to see if Ms. Hayes has more in store for us in this series. I suspect maybe Nick and Eric’s friend Josh will be next. Can’t wait!

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Cover by Reese Dante is similar to the first cover in that it features a faceless male torso, with opened shirt, against a background of the San Francisco skyline and bay.

Sales Links

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes 

 

Book Details:

ebook, 228 pages
Published March 15th 2017 by Self Pub
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLeaning Into #2