Leaning Into Touch (NeRdyWYRM’s Review)

review master
Title: Leaning Into Touch (Leaning Into Series, #3)
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 6, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 235 pages
Reviewed by: NeRdyWYRM
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


Josh Sheehan is unlucky in love and now… newly unemployed. He’s not sure what to do next, but he’s sure he should give up on romance. Especially after last time. His friends warned him that falling for the hunky Irishman was a bad idea. Josh can’t help feeling torn even though he knows it’s best to move on. But when an unexpected dose of family drama blindsides him, Josh finds himself leaning on the one man he’s supposed to forget.

Finn Gallagher is driven by success. He makes no secret that building a name for his tech company is his number one goal. Finn left home a decade ago with a ton of regret, a heavy heart, and a vow to never repeat the same mistake twice. However, there is something undeniably appealing about the self-deprecating man with the silly sense of humor that makes it difficult for Finn to remember why falling for Josh is a bad idea. It soon becomes clear they’re both in deeper than they intended. There is no way to remain untouched. And there is so much to gain, if they’re brave enough to lean in.

Beards and Commitment-phobia

I looked forward to this story about Finn and Josh. I liked Josh. I liked Finn. I had a hard time liking them together at first. So this one was a slow warm-up for me, but ultimately satisfying. You’ve got several different themes at work here: commitment issues, second chances, guilt wallowing, quirky MC meets professional type, a beard, the beard wants a sperm donor, miscommunications and misunderstandings, and denial, denial, denial.

again really?

I guess my main problem with this one was that I didn’t understand what Finn was hiding from! Even in professional circles, everyone knew he was gay because he slept with a lot of men in those circles, so why the beard? His uninvolved family wasn’t exactly close, either emotionally or geographically, and they weren’t hob-nobbing in the same social or professional pool, so why the beard?! Even when we get a little more background, I didn’t really get it, or at least the explanation didn’t seem to justify the pointless misdirection.

what do you mean you're gay

That said, the progression of their relationship made sense given the baggage. How Josh didn’t just run for the hills, I might never understand, but somehow I did get why he stayed. I mean, come on! Hot and Irish? Sign me up, too. But seriously, Josh—and us as readers—got to see a side of Finn he didn’t really show anyone else and it was something special. I was so relieved when Finn finally sacked up and stopped hiding from nothing, it just seemed to take too long for him to get there.

I got the chemistry, I got the feels—especially on Finn’s part—but I spent a lot of the book thinking Josh should do better. Ultimately, I was really glad he didn’t try. I’ve liked every book in this series, and this one is no exception, I’m just not sure this one is my favorite. Actually, I know it’s not, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading. So what are you waiting for people? Snap it up!

This review cross-posted at Goodreads.
Other reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be read here.

Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.

Leaning Into Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Leaning Into Touch (Leaning Into Stories, #3) provided by Lane Hayes in exchange of an honest review.


I am a life-long reader and an avid learner. I remember reading books without pictures when I was about four, and raided every title on my parents’ full and intimidating book shelves—well, the ones they would let me read, anyway—from then on. Characters written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and Anne McCaffrey were my childhood playmates.

Back then, I went nowhere unless I had a book in my hand. While the rest of my generation was shifting from cassettes to CDs and from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation, I spent my allowance on Myth & Magic pewter figurines and on books at the Stars and Stripes bookstore. These days I don’t have a book in my hand anymore, at least not the printed variety. Instead, it’s any device with a Kindle app.

I stubbornly held on to the printed page until a military move weighed my book collection in at over a ton. Oops. Sorry-not-sorry, but I did have to exercise some pragmatism in that area, unfortunately. Now I only buy hardbacks from my favorite authors, the classics, or long-running series. Otherwise, I’ve surrendered to the times and our weight allowance and have gone all digital.

I stay strictly on the fiction side of the fence because non-fiction is generally too dry to hold my interest. I was always a scholar, and so have read enough textbook-like titles and required reading for school and college to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. So, non-fiction? No, thanks. However, barring non-fiction and biographies (ewww people), there’s not much out there I won’t read.

I have loved romance novels since I was prepubescent. Something about historicals and anything with horses, i.e., Native American inspired romances just did it for me. My grandmother was appalled that my parents let me read that ‘smut’ as she called it. I’d already justified my position on being allowed to read those controversial titles with a logical argument that there were a lot of historical facts in those books that couldn’t be learned in the classroom alone. And to this day, I maintain that stance. I have learned more from books, specifically romance and fantasy novels, than I ever did in a classroom.


My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. Looking back, he was probably right! I could logically talk my way into and out of just about anything. It’s served me well, but caused me no end of problems, too. That said, despite my love for the romance genre in general and the m/m romance genre in particular, there is little chance that a decent book of any kind will fail to catch my interest, and there’s nothing at all I’m unwilling to learn. So bring it on. I hope you enjoy my reviews.

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