Title: Leaning Into Forever Audio
Series: Leaning Into Stories, #7
Author: Lane Hayes
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: August 9th, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
Genre: Romance, Comfort, Healing , Heartbreak, New Beginnings, Contemporary Romance
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.
First I'd like to start off saying that I have not read any other books in this series and Lane Hayes is a new to me author, now that I have that out of the way I will say that this book can be read as a standalone and I didn't feel as if I was missing anything but I am sure for those that have read the series and knew Geordie and Mike when they were together before his passing this story will pull at their heartstrings much more. I did shed tears believe me, I went through quite a few tissues but I am sure if I knew Mike when he was alive and was now watching Geordie make the steps to move on it would have been much more emotional. I had the pleasure of listening to this audiobook and I have to say that the narrator Nick J Russo did a wonderful job with the story. His voice inflections were great and I could really get a better feel for each of the characters because of it.
Levi, can I just say this man stole my heart right from the start. He knew that Geordie lost Mike almost four years earlier and he was so sweet with him, he gave him the space he needed to work through things but made it known that he wanted him in no uncertain terms. Geordie had a lot of guilt in his desires towards Levi but I'm sure everyone goes through that after they've lost a partner they had been with for so long. I loved the over-the-top flamboyant Barbara loving Geordie, he was Mike's Queen but I am so glad he was going to give Levi a chance.
This was an emotional read at times so I would advise you to make sure you have tissues handy because you never know when you'll need them. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good LGBTQ read that has the heat factor rather HIGH. Things were very spicy between Levi and Geordie and not always in the kitchen ;) Happy Reading or Listening!!!
“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.”
“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.