Title: Leaning Into Always (Leaning Into Stories, #1.5)
Author: Lane Hayes
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 100
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Life is good for Eric Schuster. He owns a highly successful tech company, has a great group of buddies, and he’s about to marry the man of his dreams. Eric is pleasantly surprised to find the transition from friends to lovers has been easier than he thought. However, after running into an overly friendly ex-boyfriend on an impromptu trip to their shared hometown, Eric realizes things are about to get complicated.
Zane Richards is a quintessential California surfer dude turned professional sailor. His laid-back approach has helped him navigate difficult times in his life. Eric may not share his easy-going mindset but Zane knows without a doubt Eric is the one. However, carving a future together may require confronting a piece of the past Zane thought he’d left far behind. Both men will have to decide if they’re willing to risk what they know for a chance to lean into always.
I loved Zane and Eric’s story in Book 1. Best friends to lovers is usually a win for me, and, coupled with Hayes’s storytelling, it was a win in a big way.
So…..to say I had high hopes for the sequel would be accurate. But it fell flatter than Book 1 for me.
Zane and Eric are engaged and living their lives together. Zane is surfing and sailing, while Eric is doing the daily corporate grind. They’re still so different, but they just work together. Until an ex fuck buddy of Zane’s starts coming around. And around. And around.
I enjoyed seeing Nick, Grant, and Josh. Especially Josh. (I’m dying for his book.)
What kept me from enjoying this book as much as I would’ve liked was Dean, Zane’s ex-whatever. He was the stereotypical contrived villain. He couldn’t possibly have been a bigger douchebag, getting his digs in at Eric. And he and Zane had a weird moment on a boat in front of Eric, which was never fully explained.
If it wasn’t for the way it felt manufactured and Dean seeming to be a caricature, I enjoyed the rest. I’ll stick with 3.5 stars on this one.
Not a favorite, but Hayes remains on autobuy.