Leaning Into Forever Audio
Series: Leaning Into Stories, #7
Author: Lane Hayes
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: August 9th, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
Genre: Romance, Comfort, Healing , Heartbreak, New Beginnings, Contemporary Romance
SynopsisGeordie 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 a thing 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.
Listen to a sample & purchase at Audible
Excerpt“My game is coming back. If I keep talking and you keep listening, you’ll eventually warm up to me. Where was I?”
“The psychology of alliterations,” I deadpanned.
“Right. Your tone is imperial, you use alliterations like a poet and you dress like a diva. You’re pleasant to strangers but you hold them at bay. You’re kind but controlled. Most likely you were an elite member of a royal family in a former life.”
“You’re probably right,” I said, amused in spite of myself. “Since you have me figured me, let me see if I can do the same.”
“Be my guest.” Levi made a sweeping motion with his left arm before resting it on his steering wheel. The casual gesture was ripe with potent masculinity. And I hated that I noticed.
I tore my gaze from his stubble jaw and cleared my throat. “You’re a newly out sports enthusiast at a crossroad.”
“Sports enthusiast at a crossroads,” he repeated with a laugh. “I guess that’s better than has-been athlete looking for a new gig.”
“As you said, I do have a way with words and I’m a firm believer it’s crucial to accentuate the positives.” I set my hand over his without thinking then pulled back when a familiar spark of awareness skittered along my spine.
Levi smirked. “You’re weird. I like you.”
“Thanks. I like you too. Platonically of course,” I added.
“Of course. What exactly is my crossroad?”
“I’m not sure. Perhaps you quit your job to try a new venture with this lover who dumped you and now you’re heading to LA to woo him back—”
“Not a chance,” he snapped.
I raised a brow at his vehemence. “Or…you’re going on a fact-finding mission to salvage what you can of your original idea and determine what comes next.”
Levi nodded. “Closer.”
“Have you thought about selling the diner?”
“Yes. But I’m not going to.”
“I have nothing to lose. And you know what? It’s kinda liberating. No net required ’cause I’m already free falling. Have you ever felt that way before, Geord?”
Every fucking day.
Silence fell like a blanket between us. Soft and warm and safe. I didn’t want to break the quiet but I couldn’t allow myself to be pulled under either.
I licked my lips and whispered, “Yes.”
Suddenly, I couldn’t move and I couldn’t look away. Maybe I was a sucker for ruggedly handsome men who weren’t ashamed to reveal their vulnerable sides. I admired that he made free-falling sound like an adventure. I’d been doing it for nearly four years and my outlook was nothing like Levi’s. I worked my ass off to make sure no one knew how tired and raw and afraid I felt every damn day. I clung to the best parts of my past like a lifeline, hoping my ghosts would ease the inevitable ‘splat on the concrete’ nosedive I had coming my way.
Levi’s story was certainly different, but I recognized something in him I knew too well. A desperate spirit that wasn’t quite ready to give up. I’d like to think that sense of acknowledgment was why I leaned across the console, closed my eyes and pressed my lips against his.
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.
The narration: Nick J. Russo has been doing a great job narrating this series so far, and he continues this with Leaning Into Forever. He really brought Geordie to life for me, making his grief even more heartbreaking when I heard it out loud. Nick was as consistent as always with all of the characters’ voices as he has been throughout this series. 5 stars for the narration!