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review 2018-07-09 08:10
Audio Tour w/Review - Leaning Into The Look

 
TitleLeaning Into the Look
Series: Leaning Into Stories, #6
Author: Lane Hayes
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Original Release Date: March 23, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
Genre: Romance, friends to lovers, San Francisco, humor, businessmen
 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.
 
Miles Harrison is a fabulous red head going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years. However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and lean into the look.
 

 

Listen to an audio excerpt & purchase at Audible
 
 

Excerpt:

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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.
 
 
 
 

Leaning Into the Look (Leaning Into,, #6)Leaning Into the Look by Lane Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is book #6 in the Leaning Into series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding, and too avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this amazing series in order.

Grant & Miles know one another through mutual friends. One night, when Grant is at a party for friends, he needs Miles help. Following that night, he realizes how much Miles really could be.

Miles has always wanted Grant for himself. When he gets his chance he goes with it like a freight train without brakes. Later, when he and Grant discover there could be more, he wonders if he should have looked at this with caution.

Nick J Russo has the narration by storm. I love his voice, it is very soothing. I also love the changes in inflection and nuances that just make it more than just reading would have been. What a great edition!

The long awaited story about Grant was not just everything I wanted. It was really just a great read. There is humor, heat, & happenings. I love how Miles is the perfect balance to Grant. I loved it so much and it fits so well with this series. I also really loved the audio narration.


***This audible version was provided for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 
 
 
 

Meet the Author:

 

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won first prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

Meet the Narrator: 


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

Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Giveaway:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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review 2018-03-15 15:16
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah...
Under the Boardwalk - Felice Stevens,Nick J. Russo

On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be...

 

Alexi Kharpov works at his family’s frozen custard stand on Coney Island, but he dreams of travel and a world that he’s never seen until the day he sees a gorgeous man standing in front of his family’s stand sinding like an angel. Than his dreams start to include the beautiful man who’s captivated Alexi’s attention and his heart.

 

Cameron Maxwell travelled the world as an opera singer and nothing has captivated him like the beautiful young man serving custard.

 

When Cam starts a summer fling with the attractive young man. Neither of them is counting on their feelings lasting beyond the warmth of the summer sun but when summer ends both men realize that their feelings have gotten stronger and their lives more complicated…

 

Alexi has been given the chance of a lifetime to travel and live abroad. To see a world, he’s only dreamed about, but can he do this when his heart wants something different and if he doesn’t how badly will he come to regret it and even scarier is Alexi’s desire to live a life that’s true and honest…a life that could cost him his family.

 

Cam knows that Alexi needs to make the most of what’s been offered to him and he doesn’t want to lose him, but he’s determined not to hold him back and Cam’s got his own issue to deal with the condition that ended his opera career is back and he needs to take care of himself. It’s not going to be easy, but Alexi and Cam need to find a way to follow their dreams and protect their love.

 

‘Under the Boardwalk’ is one of the sweetest NA, coming out stories that I’ve read in a long time. I loved both Alexi and Cameron. These two were so perfect for each other. At not quite 4 hours of listening time this wasn’t a long story and thankfully the author kept the focus to the relationship between Alexi and Cam. There were other life issues for both Alexi and Cam as individuals and as a couple but none of it ever overwhelmed the romance and was easily woven into the story. Whether it was Alexi’s coming out to his family or Cam dealing with his health issue it was all part of Alexi and Cam’s growing relationship.

 

I loved the secondary characters in this story from Cam’s parents who were loving and supportive to Alexi’s family which was such a mixed bag…his cousin who at first seemed homophobic but was really more misinformed and uninformed than anything and wanted to be supportive and there for his cousin…so not perfect but none of us are and what mattered most is that he loved his cousin and was willing to change his thinking to be open to the fact that whether Alexi was gay or straight he was still his cousin and still the same cousin that he’d been the day before. Then there was Alexi’s dad…not a total write off but he’s got a ways to go before he earns forgiveness for his behavior and more importantly there’s Alexi’s mom and his babushka (grandmother) these two women were AMAZING!!! Seriously for them alone this story was worthwhile.

 

And last but not least we have the ending…ok, I loved the ending seriously it worked for me and was definitely what flipped this story from a 3.5, precarious 4 stars to a solid 4 stars and sorry no, I’m not giving away the ending because that would just be wrong.

 

One of my other favorite things about this one was that it was narrated by Nick J. Russo…yep, still a fave of mine and as always, he did not fail me. I loved his voices but especially Alexi’s and that his accent varied becoming stronger during more emotional times and less noticeable at other times while it could be disconcerting it was also a realistic reflection of what happens when someone whose native tongue isn’t English finds themselves in an environment where they’re speaking English as much or more than their native tongue. I’ve known people who were Scottish, Russian, Australian, Belgium and various other ethnicities and while it doesn’t happen to everyone many of them when we were speaking while they never fully lost their accent if they became really emotional about something whether happy or agitated their accents generally became much stronger and more noticeable so for me Alexi’s accent and how it occasionally varied seemed natural and realistic but it also kept me on my toes as a listener.

 

‘Under the Boardwalk’ is only my second listening experience with a Felice Stevens novel and while I definitely enjoyed this story more than the previous one, I really can’t find fault with the choice of narrator for either story and I’m looking forward to seeing what else this author has written that I can enjoy on audio and who knows I may even slide an e-book or two onto the reading pile as well.

 

This was a sweet story about coming out, finding love and having dreams come true…so all in all there’s a lot of good feelz here…definitely recommended.

 

 

*************************

 

An audio book of ‘Under the Boardwalk’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-03-09 07:15
Audio Blitz - Leaning Into The Fall
 
TitleLeaning 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
 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 
 

Synopsis:

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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

 

 

 

 

 

Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into, #3)Leaning Into the Fall by Lane Hayes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book #3, in the Leaning Into series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To avoid spoilers, and to better understand the series, I recommend reading it in order.

Nick is a tech genius, who tends to forget everything when he is making better things happen in the lab. For real life and relationships - he does not do so well. In the middle of a deal with a deadline, he is hoping for a miracle. Hoping he can still trust those closes to him.

Wes owns an amazing winery where Nick purchased some wine. They meet when Nick goes to the winery, and unexpectedly has the worst run of luck he has had in some time. Despite all the animosity and attraction crackling in the air, Wes does his best to be kind to Nick.

This story actually surprised me. I was not a big fan of Nick's character after reading the first couple books int he series. His story made me understand him, and why he does what he does better. The flow and pace seem to go along well. The characters make a great couple. The narrator made some odd pronounciations that caught me off guard, but otherwise had a very pleasant voice.



***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

 

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.  
 
 

Giveaway:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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review 2018-03-08 05:05
Audiobook Review for Leaning Into The Fall
Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into Stories) (Volume 2) - Lane Hayes

This is book #3, in the Leaning Into series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers, and to better understand the series, I recommend reading it in order.

 

Nick is a tech genius, who tends to forget everything when he is making better things happen in the lab.  For real life and relationships - he does not do so well.  In the middle of a deal with a deadline, he is hoping for a miracle.  Hoping he can still trust those closes to him.

 

Wes owns an amazing winery where Nick purchased some wine.  They meet when Nick goes to the winery, and unexpectedly has the worst run of luck he has had in some time.  Despite all the animosity and attraction crackling in the air, Wes does his best to be kind to Nick.

 

This story actually surprised me.  I was not a big fan of Nick's character after reading the first couple books int he series.  His story made me understand him, and why he does what he does better.  The flow and pace seem to go along well.  The characters make a great couple.  The narrator made some odd pronounciations that caught me off guard, but otherwise had a very pleasant voice.  I give this a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2018-02-28 19:14
More 'Enhanced' more Nick J. Russo...
Who We Truly Are - Victoria Sue,Nick J. Russo

and Karen's a happy girl...again!

 

Ok, I'm not sure how much more I can rave about the talents of Nick J. Russo so I'm probably going to keep it short and sweet when I say "I love Nick J. Russo. He's totally one of my favorite narrators' and for me he's totally rocked this series and as long as he's the narrator this series for me without a doubt is an auto-buy."

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book so needless to say when "Who We Truly Are" came out on audio needless to say I was on board for this and I really enjoyed this one as well. While there was a sameness at the heart of the story...which, good thing because it's a series and for me part of what I enjoy about a series is that underlying note of sameness that I get from book to book but I also like it when there's something unique about each book, a slightly different touch to the story and with "Who We Truly Are" I got that little bit of difference from the stories focus. 

 

I the first book things seemed a bit more centered around the overall story and characters, building the world of the 'Enhanced'. So while we did get the beginnings of Talon and Finn's relationship, we also got to meet the rest of their team and there was a mission to be accomplished. Don't get me wrong I loved that first book or I wouldn't be here now. But I was more than happy when i realized that while there is yet another mission to be accomplished here there is also a stronger focus on building Talon and Finn's relationship and on Talon and Finn as individuals and I really, really loved this. 

 

Finn's starting to come into his own as an agent. He's becoming more confident and others are beginning to realize that while he may not be an enhanced he still has something to bring to the team and he's proving himself to be a valuable asset. Meanwhile Talon's struggling with things, he wants to be supportive but his desires to be supportive are also battling with his instincts to be protective and keep Finn safe even a the price of his self-esteem. He loves Finn but can he reconcile what Finn needs from him with what his instincts are telling him to do before he totally looses him and just to complicate things Talon's struggling with changes that are happening to his enhanced powers...changes that no really seems to understand.

 

While both men are struggling with their own inner turmoil they've still go a job to do as young enhanced boys are disappearing and Finn begins to realize that he may well be the solution to this particular mystery. 

 

I really like Talon and Finn for me they seem to bring out the best in each other. Each of them making the other look at who they are and who they could be.  I loved that both Talon and Finn had to look at their role in their relationship and it wasn't a case of 'it's his fault'. For Talon and Finn it's not just a matter of making their relationship work on a personal level because they work together on the same team they need to work on a professional level as well because when you work with the person you love how good your relationship is or isn't affects people on a more direct level and it added another level to things when other team members weighed in on things between Talon and Finn. 

 

At the end of it all I think we're left with Talon and Finn in a better place as a couple but I'm hoping that future stories will let us touch base with this pair while giving stories about the other members of Talon's Enhanced team as they continue to make their world a better place for both enhanced and regular people. 

 

I'm really enjoying the unique flavor that this series has while it's in the same genre as some of my favorite series it's still got a unique flavor that's all it's own and I'm looking forward to enjoying more of it with 'Beneath This Mask' the third book in Victoria Sue's 'Enhanced' series.

 

*************************

An audiobook of 'Who We Truly Are' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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