TITLE: A Kind of Romance
SERIES: A Kind of Story
AUTHOR: Lane Hayes
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
LENGTH: 82,963 words
RELEASE DATE: June 06, 2016
BLURB: 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.
THEY SAID you could remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when a life-altering event took place. I could do better than that. I could tell you the date and time too. May 9, 7:04 a.m…. It was a Monday. Of course. I was standing in my kitchen, cradling a cup of coffee while reading the news on my iPad when my cell phone rang. I didn’t think twice about it. It rang all the fucking time. The setting was almost always on vibrate, but last night I’d changed it, thinking I didn’t want to miss Taylor’s call in case he decided to come by. He didn’t call. And he didn’t come over. I didn’t really think he would, but when we ran into each other at the farmers’ market in Union Square Sunday morning, I’d foolishly hoped he might. That was our spot. It seemed like providence. A sign of some sort telling us we should stop this nonsense and get back together immediately. True, Taylor had confessed he’d been cheating on me with one of my coworkers for the past six months, but… still.
The second round of incessant ringing served as a reminder I was a complete moron for wanting him back. And when I saw the name displayed on my cell, I knew the caller would agree wholeheartedly.
I didn’t recognize the voice on the line. It was masculine but a little high-pitched. Definitely not Dad. Whoever he was, he was calling from my father’s phone. My heart slammed against my chest in a wave of instant panic.
“Just Zeke, actually. You’re calling from my father’s phone. Is he oka—?”
“He fell and hit his head. We called 9-1-1. The paramedics said it looked like a superficial wound, but there was blood everywhere and—They’re taking him to Mount Sinai on First. I’m following now with William. Filipe doesn’t speak much English, so Rand is staying to help mind the store and—”
“Whoa! Hang on. Where was he?” It was a stupid question. However, I felt nauseated from the unexpected adrenaline rush and was struggling to catch up and make sense of this conversation.
“At Bowery Bagels,” the caller replied with a heavy sigh. “I’m so sorry. I—I don’t know what else to say. I’m sure he’s fine, but—I’ll meet you in the emergency room.”
“Wait! Who are you?” I asked, staring into the open great room of my condo in a trancelike state.
I noted the sun’s reflection on the shiny dark hardwood floors and the way the tiny flecks of dust sparkled like fairy dust in the air. But I felt as though I were in a vacuum. Sound was muffled, and the light was suddenly too bright. I pushed away from the island and moved with purpose toward my bedroom, forgetting I’d been waiting for a response until the caller spoke again.
People say first impressions are everything. Ever met someone you knew who wasn’t your type after just one meeting because they were everything you thought you didn’t like? They were loud where you were reserved. They were spirited and snarky where you were subdued and straight-forward. They were full of life where you were full of...nothing. Now imagine getting to know this person realizing they may be just what you need.
Benny has dreams of making it big as a costume designer for the big stars on Broadway and eventually Hollywood. He is full of life and sass! He is beautiful and a slightly effeminate man who holds such a strength inside him that he is not afraid to be who he is, pink shirts and all. Benny’s new boss George, who we met in book one, is the owner of Bowery Bagels and whom everyone loves. George is determined to find that forever person for his son Zeke and he thinks that Benny is that guy.
“...It’s what’s inside that matters, Ezekiel. Don’t put up walls to hide the sunshine.”
Zeke is a high powered Wall Street executive who is great at his job and is at the top of his field. He works too much and when it comes to the people in his life, the few that there is, he keeps his distance. On the outside we see this strong and arrogant guy who hates being wronged and loves getting revenge on those that do him wrong. The moment he meets Benny at Bowery Bagels he thinks he is charming but weird and totally...fabulous, not in a good way and not for him. But he is also inexplicably attracted to Benny too!!
“ To say he was colorful would be a gross understatement. He was...flamboyant. And I was fucked.”
Zeke and Benny give into George's matchmaking in order to get the man off their backs but what ends up happening is totally NOT what they meant to happen. They are totally not each other's type and it can never be something serious or meaningful. Right? What starts out as surprising friendship turns into more. A kiss outside Antigua on their first “date” starts them on a path that is hot, passionate, intense and altogether unexpected.
“He tasted like honey and sunshine and something I’d always wanted but didn’t have the name for.”
To say that I loved Benny and Zeke together would be a gross understatement! They were the epitome of opposites attract in that explosive and possessive kind of way. Zeke is that stubborn guy who refuses to think that he needs to forgive his father, or that he needs to let go of his revenge towards his ex, and that maybe his life is changing for the better. He is fighting so hard to not admit his feelings for Benny are more than friends with benefits, even to himself.
“My heart flipped in my chest. I felt tangled in the moment. I didn’t want him to go.”
And it just needs to be said that from the first sexual encounter in the back of Zeke’s car these two light these pages on fire!! Truly some of the best smexy times I’ve read in a while. I loved the secondary cast of characters even the ones that you wish never stepped into the picture. The story line between Zeke and his father George was rough and raw but truly done so well. Oh and that epilogue? That was beautiful and loving and sad all wrapped up together. All the feels!
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 a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles both be men! Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow lab ever in an almost empty nest.
Winner’s Prize: $25 Gift Card to Ebook retailer of choice (DSP, Amazon, ARE Café)