Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 5 stars
Received from Publisher
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.
Review: I LOVED this book! I’m a huge fan of Lane Hayes but this may be my favorite yet. I did not want to put it down. I laughed. I cried. I fell in love along with the MCs. This book was perfection in my book. A must read for anyone who loves contemporary m/m romance.
You may remember Zeke the gay son of the bagel store owner from A Kind of Truth, the first book in this series. Which was also excellent! His dad is playing match maker with another character from the previous book and his employee, Benny. He was the stylist for the band. Anyway, Benny and Zeke are total opposites. Zeke is fresh off a break up with his ex who cheated on him so he has no desire to start something with one of his dad’s employees. Especially one as “fabulous” as he’d put it as Benny. Zeke is proud of being gay but he does have some hang ups about the types of guys he considers his type. Benny is totally unapologetic about who he is and handles Zeke like a champ. Benny pushes his buttons and taunts him at every turn. This intrigues Zeke despite his need to buck anything his father wants for him. They start “dating” under the pretense it’s to appease Zeke’s father but as time goes on it turns in so much more.
I was totally smitten with Zeke and Benny. Zeke has his moments when he says all the wrong things and yet I still liked him. The author toed this edge perfectly. Push me away and pull me in! Honestly it just highlighted his struggle with growing up in his household and being gay. His dad is supportive of doesn’t completely accept him and his lifestyle. So Benny is used to a little discrimination for being who he is but he won’t take crap from anyone that’s not his family. No apologies. Work IS Zeke’s life. He’s also a control freak and a little vindictive. He goes out and hooks up when needed until Benny. Then he fools himself into thinking what they have is just friends with benefits and keeping it casual. Zeke loves Benny’s company and he’s never been this attracted to a man. He has more fun with him than he ever had with his ex but he can’t seem to get over his issues enough to understand they’re so good together and he’s falling in love with him. This kind of thing can be frustrating but in this book the way the characters balance each other out with their high and low moments.
A Kind of Romance is a sexy and fun but emotional journey about complete opposites who find their HEA with each other. I loved how I got lost in this book. Days later I’m still on a book high. There’s a lot of growth and realizations about letting go of the past and seeing what you have in front of you. Tons of witty dialogue. Some good humor. The chemistry between Benny and Zeke sizzles off the page. They’re playful in and out of the bedroom. Benny adds so much fun to Zeke’s life. It’s a beautiful love story. I loved every page of this book. I absolutely recommend it. Another amazing book by this author.