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


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
Series Leaning Into Stories #3.5

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


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)


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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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.


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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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Love (Leaning Into #1) by Lane Hayes


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

leaning-into-love-by-lane-hayesLet 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 Link


Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd, 78 pages
Published February 8th 2017 by Lane Hayes
Original TitleLeaning Into Love
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLeaning Into #1