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:

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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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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into the Look (Leaning Into #6) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I’ve found my favorite, by far, in this series and I want to go back—right now—and read it all over again!

Miles? Ah, Miles, how I love you so. A gregarious, flamboyant, redhead whose favorite color is pink and who likes to wear lacy underwear, he’s the king of mall shopping and he’s Eric’s personal assistant. And now? He’s the man who captures Grant’s heart.

Grant Kostas is a real estate mogul. Put in charge of the San Francisco branch of his controlling father’s empire, he’s about to land a huge contract for his leasing firm but his father comes sweeping in to make sure he does it right. And, to make sure he at least dates a Greek man if he can’t find a woman to make him happy. Mama comes along to cook for him, decorate, and reorganize his apartment. And he can’t wait for them to leave! Grant is actually a really nice guy who has social anxiety and who formerly had bulimia and when he first came out and escaped from his family he was a highly sought underwear model. He’s also a people pleaser, at least where his family and friends are concerned, so he finds himself offering to share his apartment with the gregarious Miles after he’s had no luck helping Miles find a place in the Castro that suits him.

Each man is very into the other, though neither wants to admit it, and they form a pact that they will never let their relationship go as far as falling in love. It’s to be sex and friendship only. Of course, that doesn’t work out and they do indeed fall in love. It’s so much fun along the way that, as I said before, I’d go back and read their story again. There are definitely some very hot sex scenes but there are also so many poignantly sweet moments, and moments where they are just enjoying San Francisco and all it has to offer a young gay man looking for adventure.

There are, of course, complications that mainly come in the form of interference from Grant’s father, including a “fake” boyfriend who happens to be an artist (Greek) working on Grant’s latest project. Grant doesn’t even like the man, yet he lets his father think they are dating. Imagine the complexity of what happens when Papa and Mama show up and both the real and the fake boyfriend are present. It’s time for Grant to grow up and take back his own life, and in the process, face facts with Miles. Miles needs to know he deserves to be loved wholeheartedly—manties and all. Thankfully, our guys get their HEA after a hard-won battle.

If you love this series, by all means pick this up. It can be read as a standalone, however, there are recurring secondary characters so it may be confusing to just start here at book six. In any event, IMHO, this is the best of the series so it definitely needs to be read and enjoyed by as many MM romance lovers as possible. Very highly recommended!

~~~

Cover art by Reese Dante follows the same theme as others in the series: featuring a lean, young man’s torso, in this case with business dress shirt open down the front, set against a background scene of San Francisco Bay. It’s easy to link it to the rest of the series, and it’s certainly eye-catching.

Sales Link:

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2DSuOKZ

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 267 pages
Published March 21st 2018 by Lane Hayes
Original TitleLeaning Into the Look
ASINB07BMHZV3C
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLeaning Into #6

Blog Tour for Leaning Into the Look (Leaning Into Stories #6) by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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 Leaning Into The Look Tour Banner

LEANING INTO THE LOOK

LEANING INTO STORIES BOOK 6

LANE HAYES

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 03.23.18

 

Leaning Into The Look Cover

COVER ARTIST: REESE DANTE

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2DSuOKZ

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2G32N9x

Leaning Into The Look Graphic

BLURB

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.

LeaningIntoTheLook-teaser-adventure-900x675

EXCERPT

“You and I are opposites. You like quiet and order, and I thrive on chaos. I want everything you have and more. The boisterous family with the ancient traditions and food for days. I can’t even watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding without getting jealous. And that’s your real life.”

“Times ten,” I agreed with a half laugh.

Miles chuckled. “Humans are a mystery. Why are we never happy with what we have?”

I lowered my hand to his waist and hooked my fingers through his belt loop. “We don’t see well. We don’t know when to speak and when to listen. We don’t understand the nuances in taste and touch. Take your pick.”

“Mmm. Personally, I think we rely too heavily on looks. Physical appearances and perceived appearances. It takes patience and effort to really see the person under skin and bones. The scars and insecurities. To sift through their baggage while they do the same to you and cross your fingers, hoping like mad that you pass the test. It’s so…hard.”

“I’ve heard if you find the right partner it’s worth it,” I said softly.

Miles sighed and leaned heavily against my side. We fell silent for a moment, letting the squawk of seagulls and the medley of tourists’ voices mix with the occasional bark of a sea lion. We were part of a crowd and yet separate enough to hear our own thoughts.

“Thank you for today,” he said after awhile.

“I didn’t do anything special.”

“Sure you did. You took me on a date.”

“It wasn’t a real date. I can do better,” I assured him with a wry grin.

“No complaints here. Oh, except you made me walk three miles and—”

“Hey, at least I avoided the steeper streets.”

Miles snickered. “You were probably afraid I’d get tired and demand a piggyback ride.”

“Yeah, that did cross my mind,” I agreed sarcastically. “How about if I buy you a coffee for the walk back to the car?”

“Make it a hot chocolate and promise to hold my hand the whole way, and you’ve got yourself a deal,” he countered with a straight face.

My smile was so big it hurt. I enveloped him in a giant bear hug and pulled back to kiss his forehead. “Deal.”

I laced my fingers with his and pulled him through the crowd to the boardwalk. And I didn’t let go. Block after block through familiar city streets and eclectic neighborhoods, I kept him close, marveling at how right it felt just being with him. I noted his shy, pleased smile and cautioned myself not to read too much into the look. I didn’t want to ruin the mood by saying too much. But I knew it was a matter of time before I lost myself to Miles completely.

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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Release Day Blitz for Leaning into the Look by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Leaning Into the Look

Series: Leaning Into Stories, #6

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: March 23

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 82000

Genre: Romance, friends to lovers, san francisco, humor, businessmen

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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.

Purchase at Amazon

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

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Audiobook Blitz and Giveaway for Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into Stories #2 ) by Lane Hayes and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Title:  Leaning Into the Fall

Series: Leaning Into Stories, #2

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher:  Self-Published

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins

Genre: Romance, Erotica, Bisexual, humor, San Francisco, May to December romance

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Synopsis

Nick Jorgensen is a quirky genius. He’s made a fortune in the competitive high tech field with his quick mind and attention to detail. He believes in hard work and trusting his gut. And he believes in karma. It’s the only thing that makes sense. People are difficult, but numbers never lie. In the disastrous wake of a broken engagement to an investor’s daughter, Nick is more certain than ever he isn’t relationship material.

Wes Conrad owns a thriving winery in Napa Valley. The relaxed atmosphere is a welcome departure from his former career as a high-rolling businessman. Wes’s laid-back nature is laced with a fierceness that appeals to Nick. In spite of his best intention to steer clear of complications, Nick can’t fight his growing attraction to the sexy older man who seems to understand him. Even the broken parts he doesn’t get himself. However, when Wes’s past collides with Nick’s present, both men will have to have to decide if they’re ready to lean into the ultimate fall.

Listen to an audio excerpt & purchase at Audible

 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

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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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

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

Release Day Blitz for Leaning into Touch (Leaning Into Stories #4) by Lane Hayes (Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Title:  Leaning Into Touch

Series: Leaning Into Stories, #4

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher:  Lane Hayes

Release Date: October 5

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 80k words

Genre: Romance, Bisexual, Humor, Second Chance, Friends to Lovers, San Francisco, Office

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Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

Finn smiled and fell into step beside me. It seemed quieter on the street than it was earlier; there wasn’t as much foot traffic. Typical for midweek, I supposed. I breathed in the refreshing night air, loving the faint smell of the ocean. I shivered and crossed my arms. So much for enjoying a leisurely stroll. It was cold as fuck out here. I picked up my pace, but Finn pulled at my elbow to stop me.

“Are you daft? Where’s your coat?”

“I f-forgot it at the last bar. It’s okay. I’m cl-close.” I visibly shook when the wind whipped up the sidewalk, sending a scrap of newspaper flying by us like a paper airplane.

“Let’s go back and get it.”

“No, my friend will give it to me later. Or her friend will. I’m almost h-home so—what are you doing?”

“Put this on, then.”

Finn shrugged his suit coat off and set it over my shoulders like a cape or a cloak. He was two inches taller than me and far more muscular. It was like being wrapped in his warm, cologne-scented embrace. The gesture was so chivalrous, it left me speechless for a moment. I knew he was just being kind, but I couldn’t contain my smile.

“Thank you,” I said. “Are you sure you won’t be too cold?”

“Where I’m from, this is a summer breeze. You need it more than I do. Now tell me about your mates. I’m relieved to know you weren’t out drowning your sorrows on your own tonight.”

I snickered at his paternal tone. “I’m not above it, that’s for sure, but no…I was with my work crew for one last happy hour. Marley insisted. She was the redhead with the awesome curls I was with this morning at the museum.”

“I remember. She’s the one holding your jacket for ransom, eh?”

“Yeah. She’s on a mission to find the perfect man for me,” I huffed, making sure he saw my eye roll before we turned the corner to my street.

“Has she ruled out women? You’re bi, aren’t you?”

“Honestly, I don’t know what I am anymore. I had girlfriends in high school and even in college but after the first time I was with a man, I haven’t been interested in anything but dick.”

Finn laughed. “Good to know.”

“What about you?” I asked, leading him down a brick path and up a short flight of stairs.

I leaned against the bright red door as I fumbled for the house key in my front pocket. In my head, I was planning a cinematic-worthy good-bye. Something lighthearted but sincere before we parted for the last time. It would have been a helluva lot easier to concentrate if he wasn’t standing so close and looking at me like I was the last brownie on the buffet table. I cocked my head and waited for him to break the spell.

“I like it too,” he said in a husky voice I hadn’t heard in far too long.

I gulped and licked my bottom lip as he moved in, bending slightly to brush his nose against mine. He surrounded me in every possible way. The heat of his body and the warmth of his coat draped me in a seductive cocoon. I felt woozy with a rush of desire so intense, I would’ve swayed on my feet if he hadn’t been standing so close. I set my right hand on his hip to steady myself and leaned in…just as he pushed away.

Finn let out a ragged breath and swiped his hand over his stubbled chin. “Fuck. I forgot how bloody difficult it is to walk away from you.”

“Then don’t.”

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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 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 a newly empty nest.

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