Title: A Kind of Romance (A Kind of Stories, #2)
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 6, 2016
Page Length: 234 pages
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
Zeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go—not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.
Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget… and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.
“…Snickers and Gershwin in the moonlight.”
Zeke and Benny were not the couple I was expecting, tbh. I thought Isaac was going to be the one for Benny. And then when I reread A Kind of Truth, I can see where Hayes sorta kinda prepared us for it.
Zeke is a Wall Street exec and the only one of Mr. G’s sons who didn’t go into the bagel business (We met Mr. G in A Kind of Truth as the bagel store owner that Rand worked for). Benny is now working part time at the bagel shop to make some extra cash, and these two meet when Mr. G is involved in an incident that sends him to the ER.
Benny and Zeke don’t mesh well right away. They’re polite enough to each other, but Mr. G – in a way only a meddling, pushy parent can do – semiforces them into agreeing to go on a date. Neither is interested. But both love Mr. G enough to fake it.
Zeke can appreciate that Benny is attractive, but Benny isn’t his type. He likes tall, muscular, and masc. And Benny…….wears pink and has a bit of a swish. On Benny’s part, Zeke is a corporate shark – he’s competitive, manipulative, and lives for work. And he clearly doesn’t like Benny’s shirt.
So, the date? Best part of the book. This is where Hayes nails it every time for me. She makes everything so realistic with relationship buildup. There is never insta-love. Neither man shows up expecting more than to have to ENDURE an hour of the other’s company just to tell Mr. G they tried but they’re just gonna be friends. But a little push/pull never hurt anyone either, right Benny?
“You’ve turned up the volume and you want to see if I can take the extra dose of fabulous,” I stated with a slow grin. “I’m onto you.”
These two start the date off with banter but move into a tentative friendship with a healthy dose of attraction that both acknowledge.
Both men must learn to let preconceived notions go and stop worrying what others think. And Zeke, especially, has to let the chip on his shoulder finally fall off.
Pacing was masterful until the very end, where it suddenly felt very rushed. We do get a lovely HEA, as Hayes always gives us. I love this author and this one is recommended!
I was an infinitely better man when I was with the boy with the blue hair.