Title: Leaning Into Forever (Leaning Into Stories #7)
Author: Lane Hayes and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: August 9th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hours and 31 mins
Reviewed by: Lily G. Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Geordie De La Rosa is a legend among wine lovers in Napa Valley. His ultra-fabulous style paired with a penchant for leading impromptu sing-a-longs has made him a star attraction at Conrad Winery. Co-owning a well-respected winery was never Geordie’s aspiration but he likes the niche he’s made for himself. He won’t deny that his job and his friends have helped ease his heartache and grief after the death of his longtime partner.
Levi Yeager excels at the art of reinventing himself. He’s been a minor league baseball player, a college coach and now a restaurant owner. The problem is he doesn’t know anything about the food business. And when his chef quits unexpectedly, he’s afraid his new venture is doomed. But Levi isn’t a quitter. It may be the only thing he has in common with the beautiful, sassy man from the neighboring winery who agrees to help get his new business up and running. Neither man counts on their fast friendship or the wild attraction they feel for each other. However, they know they won’t stand a chance until they let go of the past and lean into forever.
I adore this series, the characters, the set-up, the audiobooks. In fact, it is one of my favourite series.
This is the last book in the series. If the stories are new to you, I would advise reading/listening to Nick and Wes’s story (Leaning Into the Fall, #3) first to gain an insight into Geordie’s backstory and his current situation.
I’ve had a soft spot for Geordie ever since he shared his tragic past with Nick at the end of book 3. He had me in tears then and he did many times during this story.
Geordie is such a wonderfully portrayed character; from his lip gloss, eyeliner, and floaty chemises to his penchant for belting out show tunes for the vineyard’s visitors. He comes across as a diva at times and I could picture him being Mike’s ‘queen of the castle’. Geordie swings back and forth from his grief to his flamboyant nature. After four years, he’s still heartbroken by the loss of the love of his life. Lane Hayes certainly knows how to wring out all the tears in this one. And yet somehow, it’s not a sombre, downhearted story. Yes, it’s a tearjerker in places, but it’s also uplifting, amusing and full of hope. It’s beautifully written by Lane as always, and is a delightful romance involving two more mature men.
And that’s mostly down to Levi. Geordie finds a new love in Levi and, although it takes time for Geordie to accept this, he eventually feels he is ready to move on and no longer has to face a bleak future alone. Levi is patient and caring, a thoughtful friend and lover. He gives Geordie the space and time he needs as their relationship develops. Because of him, Geordie finds the strength to move on with his life without erasing his memory of Mike.
The story is mostly set in the winery, with familiar names and faces from the previous stories. It’s great to see more of Wes and Nick and cameos from the other couples.
Nick J. Russo as usual narrates the story superbly. His voice as well as his storytelling style draws you into each scene and holds your attention. You feel Geordie’s heartache in his voice and the full range of emotions experienced by the characters. Great job.