A Kind of Romance (Crabbypatty’s review)

A Kind of RomanceTitle: A Kind of Romance (A Kind of Stories #2)
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 6, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 234
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 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.

There’s a somebody
I’m longin’ to see
I hope that he turns
Out to be
Someone to watch over me

Won’t you tell him please
To put on some speed
Follow my lead
Oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me

When hard-driving Zeke is set up with Benny by his father, Zeke is positive that Benny is the last man he would fall for. Before too long, Zeke realizes that Benny may be the only one. But when Zeke keeps trying to even the score on past wrongs – with his exboyfriend, with his father – can Zeke truly forgive and move on as Benny asks?

A Kind of Romance is a story about forgiveness, family, love … bagels and … Italian weddings. It’s got heart and an almost old-fashioned feel to the story. You can envision it as an old black and white movie – two lovers drawn together despite their different background and interests, realizing that love isn’t the big grand gestures, it’s “a familiar touch, or a soft sigh in the dark.” Lane Hayes’ prose is downright lyrical – you could set her words to a Gershwin or Cole Porter tune:

Benny felt familiar somehow …like I’d known him for years. It wasn’t deja vu, though. It was more like coming home.

Benny’s laughter sounded like a long-forgotten melody to a song I’d once known well. It was happy, light, and joyful, and at that moment, I wanted nothing more than to be with him.

Miri showed me how. She showed me that love isn’t just a word, it’s a way of life. I may have failed at a few things, but when my time comes, I won’t go a failure because I have loved.

Sure, there is hot, oh so hot, chemistry between Benny and Zeke: “I like sex hard and dirty and a little out of control. I smacked his ass to urge him on and braced myself for the steady erotic assault as his hips flew double time.” But there is such a tender romance as well. There is not a wrong note in this book (yeah, see what I did there?) and it holds your interest every step of the way. I can’t say enough good things about this book – fire up the Kindle, put on some Gershwin and start reading!

A Kind of Stories

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Galley copy of A Kind of Romance provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader
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