Series: Starting From, #2
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: October 17, 2019
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Genre: Romance, Bisexual, Enemies to lovers, Rock and roll, Hurt-comfort, Opposites attract
Charlie Rourke is an ultra fabulous human whirlwind on a mission to launch the next biggest band in the world. However, he might have taken on more than he could handle when he signed on to manage Zero. Promoting a rock band and finding gigs shouldn’t be hard. They’re a talented group with a ton of star power. If Charlie can find the right record label, he’s sure he can help them get to the next level. The only problem is the skater boy slash bassist with a quirky sense of humor. He’s annoying and silly, and he’s exactly Charlie’s type. Except he’s straight.
Ky Baldwin isn’t afraid to switch things up. He loves a challenge as much as anyone, but Charlie doesn’t make things easy. Zero’s manager is a force of nature with a razor sharp tongue, a quick wit, and a no-nonsense attitude. Ky can’t stop thinking about him. Winning over Charlie becomes Ky’s pet project. But when the ice between them thaws, neither is prepared for the intensity of going from enemies to lovers. They’ll have to decide if they’re willing to start from scratch and take a chance on the unexpected.
“I know that was random, but it’s not a bad idea if you think about it. Want something to drink?” Charlie asked as he moved toward the kitchen.
I grabbed his wrist before he got anywhere. “Hang on. What are you doing?”
He cocked his head curiously but didn’t pull away. “I’m being practical. If you read any further about Virgos you probably found out we’re known for being sensible. And polite. So, I’m politely asking if you’d like a beverage while sensibly suggesting that I help out with your skating lessons.”
“Okay. First up…I don’t want a fuckin’ snack and second, it’s not a skating lesson. We’re skateboarding,” I said, glowering at him.
“I’ve heard it said both ways. Skating, skateboarding. I looked it up in Urban Dictionary too, so I’m pretty sure I’m right.”
“No. There’s something in your tone that makes it all wrong. Like you’re purposely trying to sabotage this.”
Charlie opened his mouth in a perfect O. “Gasp! I wouldn’t do that!”
“Cut the crap. You’re doing it now. You don’t want to learn, and you don’t want Oliver to either. It’s a control thing. But you can’t control what you don’t fuckin’ get. So take a seat and let me teach him without you freaking out or—why are you looking at me like that?”
“I don’t know. You’re doing something weird with your eyes, though. You look spaced out.”
“Mmm. I’m trying not to swoon. You look so fierce and you’re holding my hand, Ky. You should feel my heart. It’s beating out of my chest. Seriously.” He fluttered his lashes a few times and bit his bottom lip.
I chuckled softly and stepped closer. “Are you flirting with me, Char?”
“No, it’s the other way around. You’re flirting with me. Big macho displays really get my motor running. Medium-sized ones do too. I love it when…”
Okay, so I lost myself. I tuned out the sound of his voice and concentrated on him. The mischievous glint in his eyes, the proud set of his shoulders, and the way his mouth curled at the corner. He was doing it again. Owning the moment. Taking it over. Charlie looked for weakness in any form, then slyly made adjustments before moving in for the kill. No doubt he thought I’d back down fast and run away. I wasn’t going anywhere.
I fixated on his bottom lip and inched closer. He kept talking…something about dick size or muscles…I wasn’t sure, but I liked the cadence of his voice. The teasing lilt and easy humor. I let go of his wrist, brushing his fingers before setting my hand on his hip. He went perfectly still.
Before he could ask me what the fuck I was doing, I kissed him.
It was more of a press of lips than a grand gesture. And though it might not rank as the kind of kiss that would change the world, I immediately knew it would change mine.
Everything in me went on high alert. I’d never been so in tune with a moment. The flutter of his eyelashes, the brush of his nose, and the soft sweetness of his lips against mine. Fuck, it was amazing. Like mind-blowing amazing. He tasted like cherries and smelled like sunshine mixed with something exotic.
I couldn’t be sure over the roar of my heart attempting to beat its way out of my chest, but I thought he hummed in approval, so I angled my head slightly to deepen the connection and pulled him closer. If he was anyone else, I probably would have stuck my tongue between his lips and let my hands roam all over his body. I wanted to, but I didn’t want to scare either of us. So I stayed where I was until the need for oxygen became an issue.
Then I jumped back two feet and stared at him with my eyes bugged out. “Holy fuck.”
Charlie set his fingers on his bottom lip and blinked like he was coming out of a daze. “You kissed me,” he said softly.
4 of 5 Stars
Oh man, this book was totally getting 5 Stars from me until conflict scene…I read it 3 times and still don’t understand what happened. The argument between Ky and Charlie STILL has me scratching my head.
Nevertheless, this is a fantastic read. Honestly, the jury was out on Charlie at the end of book one for me, but I liked him in this book. I absolutely love that what you see is what you get with him. He lives and loves big and doesn’t apologize for it.
Ky…Ky surprised me. I love his free spirit and how well he balance’s the always wound tight and anxiety-ridden Charlie. My favorite thing about Ky though is his attraction to Charlie…strange as that sounds. His intense feelings and the pull he felt to Charlie’s chaos when everyone else usually runs melted my heart.
Ky and Charlie’s banter is endearing and while they spat at each other occasionally it was clear they were fighting attraction and not a true dislike of each other.
Again, the build up around Ky’s dad outweighed the payoff and conflict in my opinion but I still loved the book.
I’ve loved this series so far and I REALLY hope Tegan’s book is next because I’m all in with these guys!
Starting From Zero
Meet the Author
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 won First Prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.