A Kind of Romance (Lily G’s Review)

Title: A Kind of Romance (A Kind of Story #2)
Author: Lane Hayes  Narrator: Seth Clayton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 09-27-2016
Genre(s): Contemporary romance
Length: 9 hours and 1 min
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.8 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 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.

A perfect example of opposites attracting, although it’s not an insta-love story. The friendship and affection build slowly, progressing through their dialogue and spending time together.

Benny is a lovely colourful character. He’s adorable, bubbly, and full of fun. And although Zeke calls him “too swishy” and ‘’too gay”, Benny gives as good as he gets. He’s the ideal buffer for Zeke.

And poor Zeke, indeed!  He’s coping with the breakup of a cheating relationship, his father’s unforgivable treatment of him when he first came out, and the loss of his mother’s comfort. He finds it difficult to forget and let go of the hurt. No wonder he’d buried himself in his work. Benny soon brings joy to his life, even if Zeke is reluctant to accept this at first. There’s definite character growth for him over the course of the book. He moves on, forgives, and decides what’s important in his life.

The fabulous chemistry soon sparks between the two of them. Zeke falls for Benny almost against his will. From the start, he is proclaiming that Benny was so not his type. And yet gradually, he becomes fond of aspects of Benny’s character, physique, and sense of dress.

“You give yourself away every time you look at him, anyway.”

“How do I look at him, smartass?”

“Like you don’t want to look away.”

As I listened to this very enjoyable story, I did wonder why they didn’t accept they were really boyfriends, but I suppose that wouldn’t have worked for the story. They are pretend boyfriends, yet are possessive and want to be exclusive. They begin the ‘relationship’ to please Zeke’s father, but then didn’t tell him much about their relationship or spend much time with his family. So I didn’t really get that point. I also didn’t understand the way Zeke’s father was sure they’d be good together. He seemed to take on the stereotypical role of a Jewish mother, which was surprising considering his past treatment of Zeke. Chapter one irritated me because of this, although he proved to be right in the end. The only point of the father’s accident (that he recovers quickly from) is to bring Zeke and Benny together in the first place as his mystery illness isn’t really mentioned again.

Zeke’s revenge plan is often mentioned, but he never really goes through with it. He just winds up Clay and makes him sweat a bit. Zeke isn’t heartless enough to ruin the guy’s marriage. So a plus point for him. I wondered why Zeke has phone calls with his ex. Because he thinks he’s up to something, yet he never twigs what he is up to in the end. Plus I’m not sure why Taylor pursues Zeke when he’s the one who had been unfaithful and dipped his wick elsewhere.

I was eagerly awaiting the angst and fall out between Zeke and Benny. When it happened it was a little predictable, but still good. Why he couldn’t tell Benny exactly how he felt, I don’t know, but then we wouldn’t have had the lovely angsty days when they are apart.

These are all nit-picking things. I actually really adored this emotional story. I especially loved the dialogue, the banter, and chemistry between Zeke and Benny and the sizzling hot sex scenes. The scene over the pool table was super steamy! The poignant scenes between Zeke and his mother were beautifully written as was the ‘break-up scene’ and the one with Abe’s concern for his brother. It was also great to see Will and Rand  from #1. They’re still  cute and happy with each other.

This is a well-crafted and moving story. I love Lane’s writing style. It’s ideal for an audiobook—not too much angst, plenty of humour, a sweet romance, and smoking hot loving.

Seth Clayton’s lovely narration is perfect. He has such a happy voice, but is capable of a range of emotions and distinctive character voices. Great job.

A Kind Of Stories

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


Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page. There never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!

Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon and later published short stories with Torquere Press, Wayward Ink Publishing, and Pride Publishing.

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