Leaning Into Forever
Leaning Into Series Book 7
Release Date: 06.26.18
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
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 can’t decide what to sing. The Sound of Music is always a winner, but perhaps I should try—”
“Grease,” Levi suggested out of the fucking blue. He chuckled when I jumped, and then he handed me a napkin to clean the burgundy liquid that sloshed over the rim of my wineglass.
“Where the hell did you come from? And why are you always sneaking up on me?” I asked irritably as I wrapped the napkin around the stem of my glass.
“I didn’t sneak up on you. You asked for a music suggestion, and I gave you one.”
“I wasn’t asking your opinion,” I huffed without heat. “I was talking to myself.”
“I’m always talking to myself.”
I lifted my glass to my lips to hide my involuntary hum of approval. Damn, he cleaned up nicely. His slicked-back hair and close-shaven hint of a beard went well with his white oxford button-down shirt, houndstooth blazer, and snug designer jeans. And holy hell…cowboy boots.
“People are gonna think you’re weird if you keep that up,” he singsonged playfully.
“I hope so. Weird is the ultimate badge of honor.” I raised my glass in a mock toast then gave him a lascivious once-over that was too flirty to be taken seriously. “You look very handsome. I wouldn’t think to pair a sophisticated jacket with ranch chic and yet, somehow you’ve made it work.”
Levi crossed his arms and leaned against the wall with a slow-growing grin. The latent sensuality in the lazy upturn of his full lips fascinated me. Or maybe it was the cowboy boots.
“Thanks. I think.”
“Anytime. I should go.” I shoved my glass into his free hand then flung my yellow scarf over my shoulder and pinched my cheeks to add a touch of natural color before bowing theatrically. “Adieu. My audience awaits.”
“Hang on.” He stepped in front of me before I could escape. “I want to talk to you for a second.”
The billowy sleeves of my black tunic fluttered as I motioned for him to hurry. “What is it?”
“I didn’t have a chance to thank you for helping me out today. The stuffed jalapeños were a hit. And they went well with the wine.”
“You’re welcome. I know my peppers, and I know my Pinot. You were smart to print out a sample menu for La Vid. The font was all wrong, but it was still a nice touch,” I enthused. “Now excuse me while I—”
Levi grabbed my elbow to stop me. “La Vid?”
“It’s just a suggestion, of course, but I think a touch of Spanish flair would be well-received. Every other business in this town has the word vine or wine in it. La Vid would stand out. Think about it.”
“I will. What was wrong with the font?” he asked, furrowing his brow.
I grabbed my drink from his hand and took a small sip. “You used Helvetica, Levi. That’s almost as boring as Times New Roman.”
It didn’t seem possible, but his forehead creased a little more as his frown deepened. “At no point in my life did I ever think I’d ask this question at a party but…what font would you suggest?”
“Andale or Century Gothic. Or better yet, Monaco,” I replied without hesitation. “Something classy yet understated and sophisticated. That’s what you’re going for with your restaurant, correct?”
“Yes. Exactly. Wes told me you’re responsible for the overall aesthetic at Conrad Winery. Are you a budding designer on top of being a cabaret singer?”
I grinned at his teasing tone. “Yes and no. I have zero training in either endeavor, but I’m pretty damn good at both if I do say so myself.”
“And modest too,” he quipped.
“Modesty will get you nowhere. If you want something, you’d better speak up before someone else swoops in.”
“Agreed. I want something.” Levi inched closer, seeming suddenly larger than life. His shoulders were broader, and his expression was more intense.
“What do you want?”
5 of 5 Stars
I feel like we’ve been waiting forever for Geordie’s story and honestly it was worth the wait. This story is damn near perfect.
Ms. Hayes could not have written a more authentically flawless match for Geordie than Levi. He is sweet, patient and kind. He doesn’t try to change Geordie or ‘tone down’ Geordie’s fabulous. He is over the top silly and entertaining. I absolutely loved how quickly Levi’s able to tune into and read Geordie and be exactly what he needs to start living again.
Geordie absolutely broke my heart…over and over again. His grief is a living, breathing thing…almost a separate character in the book and my heart physically ached for him. His history was sad at times but I loved learning about him moving to LA and everything that lead him to where he is now.
Levi and Geordie have off the charts sexual chemistry but the emotional chemistry is not to be discounted. Their banter is entertaining and their sweet moments are swoon worthy. Simply put, they are perfect together.
We get appearances from Wes and Nick of course as well as Ryan and Danny. There is also a quick mention of the rest of the crew. We meet a couple of new characters we may see again.
This is probably my favorite series by Ms. Hayes and I’d venture to say this is my favorite of the series!
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.