Hi there! I’m so excited to share a review and giveaway for a new M/M romance from Lane Hayes. LEANING INTO THE FALL is the second book in her Leaning In series, and pairs an awkward computer genius with an older, discriminating vintner. I really enjoyed watching these guys get together.
Scroll down for an interview, excerpt and to enter to win a $25 GC.
About the book:
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.
Random fun bits from author Lane Hayes!
Leaning Into the Fall is book 2 in my new series set in San Francisco. This story belongs to Nick and Wes, the uptight genius and the laid-back businessman. Or the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and a Napa Valley winery owner, respectively. If you’ve read my short story, Leaning Into Love, you may remember Nick as Eric’s best friend. He’s a little brash and unpredictable, but ultimately he’s a very special guy with a very unique perspective on life.
And speaking of unique perspectives, here’s a quick Q&A with some exciting topics to give you a little insight about me. LOL! Enjoy!
1. On a scale of 1 to 10 how “cool” are you?
2…LOL. No, I’ll myself a 5. Depending upon whom you ask, the answer would vary. I’m not into trends but I try to stay informed. But I’ve given up keeping my “cool”-ness on point. I am who I am.
2. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
15 minutes tops! I can do it in 5 if necessary. ☺
3. What is the one thing you have always wanted to do?
Write a book. Done! Now I’d like to write 50 books and make a movie or ten out of them. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
4. What TV sitcom family would you be a member of?
I always wished I could be an honorary member of the Brady Bunch. *sigh
5. What store do you shop at the most?
Trader Joe’s! Gotta feed my peeps!
6. What is the most delightful word you can think of?
7. What is your least favorite beverage?
Any carbonated drink. I’m not a fan of soda at all.
8. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
I notice how people carry themselves, regardless of whether they’re male or female. You can tell so much from the set of someone’s shoulders and whether they’re willing to make eye contact. And if they smile, they’ve generally made a good impression on me. ☺
9. What was your favorite book growing up?
Nancy Drew books. I’m a proud owner of the first sixty books of the series!
Thank you for having me on your blog today! Happy Reading!
Lane Hayes xo
How about a little taste?
Wes led me to a small room at the opposite end of the building filled with barrels. The temperature dipped at least ten degrees here and the strong scent of fermenting wine was offset by the smell of oak. I moved toward the round table in the middle and glanced up at the tower of barrels. Each was labeled and dated, but as far as I could tell, the order wasn’t chronological. I categorized and filed the numbers in my mind in an attempt to solve a mystery that probably wasn’t so mysterious after all.
“These are special reserve wines. The best of the best. Theoretically anyway,” Wes said, picking up the long-sleeved plaid shirt draped over one of the chairs at the table.
“What do the numbers mean?” I asked, running my fingers over the printed tag on the barrel.
“It’s an internal code that basically tells us exactly which vines yielded the harvest. Some have information about soil disruption or weather flux. Of course, once the wine is fermenting that information is no longer significant but—”
“Where are the dates on these labels? Isn’t timing everything in the wine business?”
“Some might argue timing is everything in every facet of life.” Wes regarded me curiously before pointing out the dates in the middle of the tag. “It’s all here. See?”
“I don’t understand your system,” I said, stuffing my hands in my back pocket and staring up at the barrels.
“It’s an internal system. You’re not meant to understand. It’s for us only. The same way you wouldn’t explain the science behind how an advanced operating system works to one of your clients. They might say they’re fascinated but they aren’t really interested in the details. Same goes for wine. People come to tour the winery every day. They want to know about grape varietals and blends and some even ask about topography, weather and the fermentation process. But the true science of wine making confounds them. At the end of the day, truth is in the bottle.”
“In vino veritas.”
Wes smiled as he pulled his shirt on. “’In wine, truth’,” he translated. “Different context, but yes… truth. Are you going to tell me why you’re here or do I have to break out a bottle of Pinot to get the real story?”
Wes’s wolfish grin spread slowly across his handsome face as he closed the distance between us. He tilted my chin with his forefinger and stared deep into my eyes as though he was trying to read my mind. Or devour me whole.
“You look like you want to eat me,” I said before I could stop myself.
“I do. I want to do lots of things to you. Is that why you’re here? You want me to eat you, Nicky?”
“You invited me.” My eyes drifted shut when he ran his fingers along my jaw then splayed his hand behind my head and tugged my hair.
“I did. I’m glad you came.”
“Well, we were in the middle of listing our all-time favorite bands or artists by decade. That’s not the kind of thing you can leave for a whole week. It’s important.”
“You’re right. What were we thinking?” He licked my bottom lip in a sensual line from one corner of my mouth to the other. “We’ll have to continue that discussion later. I want to do other things first.”
Nick Jorgenson is a 30 y/o computer programmer, and CEO of a tech security firm he started out of college with his best-friend and once-boyfriend Eric. Eric is president of the company, and they are really doing great. The business is booming, and Nick’s on the edge of a breakthrough in his new cybersecurity algorithm. Personally, however, Nick’s a bit of a mess.
He’s quietly jealous of Eric’s happy-shiny marriage to one of their college buddies, and he’s disgruntled that his own engagement to the daughter of one of his financial backers fell through. He’s got ten cases of very expensive personalized wine in his office that he’s tried, unsuccessfully, to return to the Conrad Winery–where Nick had made his ill-fated proposal. The bottles were meant to be favors for the wedding that wasn’t, and Nick thinks they are bringing bad ju-ju to his creative process. Nick is a socially-awkward, borderline Asperger’s, superstitious man, who’s edge of brilliance is sometimes overshadowed by his inability to relate to “normal” humans. He knows and owns this, and yet it still gets him tearing off to Napa with his pristine Range Rover filled with pinot bottles.
Wes Conrad isn’t amused at his wine being returned for the fourth time. He’s not going to accept it back, re-label it, and re-sell it, no matter what nonsense the sexy younger man is spouting about “starting over with a clean slate.” When Nick’s car is wrecked and the bottles are a total loss, however, Wes does help him out with clean clothes, and well, a little bit of masculine affection.
Nick’s turned on and turned inside out by Wes’ tough loving. He’s never been with a man bigger, or stronger, than himself. And, he finds that he likes a little bit of rough play. Not that it’ll happen again. Except, they run into each other at a private benefit in San Francisco and it’s even better. So much so that Nick takes Wes’ invitation to visit the winery again to heart. And he does. They’re “friends with benefits” relationship seems to overtake Nick’s progress on his algorithm, and there’s a lot of paranoia building regarding competitors and their proximity to Nick, Wes and other players in their business. It turns out that Wes had a tech firm a decade before and one of Nick’s biggest competitors had made it a hard row to hoe–so much that Wes sold out and bought the winery with his best friend and former lover.
There is a whole lot going on in the book, but the center of it is always Nick and his struggles to be who he is. Wes is excellent at accepting Nick and his idiosyncrasies–even when Nick is intolerant of himself. Nick really struggles with balance; he’s impulsive and manic and all-in on things before he even knows what he’s agreed to. He has a dedicated set of friends, who care a great deal for him, and Wes is a patient and tender man, who guides Nick into seeing that he can have a good, satisfying life, if he just backs away from his blind ambition a little.
I didn’t read the first book in this series, but it wasn’t necessary to enjoy this one. There is a sweet collection of college friends, including Eric and Nick, who each seem to find the man of their dreams–so I expect that’s what’s going to happen going forward. I loved falling with Wes and Nick, and I look forward to watching the next romance unfold.
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 Amazon GC.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
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.