Thursday, July 5, 2018

Blog Tour Review: Leaning Into Forever by Lane Hayes

Leaning Into Forever 
(Leaning Into #7)
by Lane Hayes
Release Date: June 29, 2018
Genre: M/M Romance

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.

This book is simply too precious. It totally soothe my soul especially at this point of time when the world around us is on hell's fire. I love every single moment from the beginning till the end. I'm guilty to admit that I'm not a devoted follower of the series and I don't remember Geordie much, so I kinda went into this blind and treat it as a standalone. But what a remarkable and absolutely joyful read.

Geordie is a still living up to his diva lifestyle despite nearing middle age. He's 43 and showing me how to be young at heart. Geordie is fabulous, quirky, a goofball and the life of all parties. He can also be melodramatic and a total hot mess. Bottom line is Geordie is a rare unicorn that I need to protect at all cost. However, behind his bravado hid an empty soul that is still mourning for his dead lover. 

Levi is the new restaurateur in town that don't know much about setting up a restaurant, which led him to seek out help from Geordie and his partner, Wes. Levi is an ex-jock who can pass for a straight man, a total opposite from Geordie. Levi is the kind of understated hero that is just so chill no matter what happened. He's a total sweetheart. He's so kind and patient and funny and sexy. He's just perfect.

What I love most about this story is the comedy aspect of it. Geordie is very comical and provide much laugh out loud moment. Most of the time, I feel like I'm in Levi's shoe, unable to come up with a response to Geordie's antics. Levi is definitely the more relatable one here. In the midst of all the humor in the book, there is also the emotional aspect of it which came from Geordie's way of dealing with grief. I remember there was one scene in the beginning when Geordie reached home, which make me burst into tears. Even though I never read about his dead lover before, I can really feel the lost along with him. Anyway, this is not a pity party and I don't feel that the dead lover overshadowed the romance here, absolutely not. In fact, with everything Geordie went through, it makes his new budding relationship with Levi much more meaningful. They have so much fun together with Levi reminding Geordie how to live his life to the fullest again. I'm just so happy for Geordie in getting his own second chance at love.

“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.”
“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 jalapeƱos 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?”

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.
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