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.
“Grease,” Levi suggested out of the f*cking 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?”
Ever since first meeting Geordie in this series, I like pretty much everyone else out there have wanted his story, and for him to get his happy ending. He’s such a lovable character, and someone you really feel for with what he went through losing his partner (Mike, mentioned many times in the previous books). When Leaning Into Forever was released it was one of those moments when we all shouted a collective “FINALLY!” before greedily grabbing it up to see what happens with Geordie.
Geordie is grieving even four years later, still talking to his dead partner and really not letting go and moving on. Enter Levi, a man who will make just about anyone perk up and take notice. He’s sweet, thoughtful, kind, and more than understanding. Though Geordie heartily resists getting involved with Levi—even just to have more than a quick conversation with him—the two of them fall into a friendship quite easily. Things between them are not rushed, and develop at a natural pace.
It’s not easy for Geordie, but there’s no denying the connection he and Levi share and their obvious chemistry. They have some great conversations, and everything about the two of them together just feels right.
The guys from the series pop up in the story, and it’s a definite plus being able to visit with them again. There’s one character that I wasn’t fond of at all—Marshall, an old friend and physician of Mike’s. His appearance in the story doesn’t last too long, but he makes a very negative impression while he’s around.
If you’ve been waiting for Geordie’s story, you definitely will not be disappointed. You may even shed some tears (okay YES I did)…but you’ll also get a kick out of Geordie’s excitement over…of all things…a pink Vespa. The DMV may never be the same again.
I loved Geordie and Levi’s story, and it gets 4.5 stars from me. While you could probably read this as a standalone, I would strongly suggest you read the other books in the series first for background on the other characters and insight into Geordie especially. Don’t be surprised if you break into song along the way ;-) This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
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