Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 06/06/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Gay Romance
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.
When I read A Kind of Truth (book 1) I think I stated it was the perfect start to a new series. A Kind of Romance was definitely the perfect follow up.
Maybe because I read so much I am getting harder to please but I like my characters to have to work for what they want and I need to see them grow as the stories progress. Zeke was a great example of this. At the beginning he was such an uptight man harbouring past hurts from his childhood and hell bent on getting revenge on a cheating ex. He lived to work rather than worked to live – he was rigid in all areas of his life and it was going to take something pretty epic to break him of his habits and help him begin to heal.
Enter Benny with his colourful style, his dyed hair and his ability to tie Zeke up in knots – he is one of my favourite characters of the year.
“Let me assure you, Mr. Gulden..if a guy isn’t man enough to deal with a little color, then he isn’t man enough for me.”
Benny was an absolute joy both to the story and to me as the reader. We met him briefly as the costume designer in book 1 but I didn’t realise just what a big character he was. He is everything that Zeke is not – in fact the only thing they seem to have in common is that they are both gay men. Benny comes from an extremely large and loud Italian family and although he appears small his attitude and personality are huge – honestly he was such a joy!
Zeke meets Benny at the hospital when his father is rushed there after collapsing. The relationship between Zeke and his father is tricky and is a work in progress throughout the story and it’s partly responsible for who Zeke is today and how he acts. Zeke is shaken up as he takes in Benny in all his glory and a little horrified when his father, who recovers quickly, seems set on fixing them up on a date. One of my early worries was that the author would allow Zeke to be embarrassed to be seen with Benny but thankfully that never happened, in fact the opposite was true and when Benny toned down his appearance Zeke missed the colour and the ‘out there’ style.
This is a real opposites attract love affair that both men define as ‘fake boyfriends’. There is laughter, sorrow, jealousy and hot as hell bedroom antics but where both of them thought they were just out for a bit of fun their hearts were pretty much invested from the start. Zeke, with all his rigid habits, is a bit slower to catch on than Benny but ultimately they both realise that the whole fake thing isn’t going to fly.
This was perfect and Ms Lane I would like to see Carter next – please and thank you!
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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