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Zane Richards is an avid sailor and surfer with a laid-back approach to life. He firmly believes there’s a time and place for everything if you’re willing to take a chance. Like letting his best friend know he’s interested in being much more than friends. Eric has always been half in love with Zane, but going from friends to lovers isn’t an easy sell for someone protecting his heart. Eric will have to decide if he’s willing to risk it all by leaning into love.
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By A T on 08-27-17
4.5 stars- Low angst, friends to lovers story
Miss Hayes has recently become a sort of kryptonite for me. Her books and couples make me ridiculously happy, so I have been spacing them out and slowly working through her back catalog since first finding her this spring. When I saw she was releasing a second part to Leaning into Love- a book I had yet to read, I moved that title to the top of my to-read list. When I later saw she was releasing an audiobook version narrated by Seth Clayton, who did a fabulous job on her “A Kind of” series, I couldn’t resist. And yes, it was just as great as I expected it to be and left me with a big smile on my face.
Leaning into Love was originally part of an anthology and therefore is shorter in length. Though the brevity means the romance moves along rather quickly, this isn’t an incomplete story in the least. Eric and Zane are longtime friends who are also opposites in many ways. While there has always been a simmering attraction between the two, it takes an ex’s engagement announcement to spur them into acting on that chemistry. It is easy to feel the sparks between these two even in their casual conversations. I liked how those long-standing feelings are established throughout the first part of the story, making the deeper connection Eric and Zane feel by the end more genuine and believable. The dialogue and writing flows seamlessly, adding depth to the romance and enhancing the characters’ personalities. The pacing is brisk but not rushed, and the scenes or emotions never feel glazed over. The reader is also introduced to the couple’s circle of friends, creating a perfect introduction to a series. While the ending felt complete enough to leave me satisfied, it is more of a happy for now conclusion and leaves ample opportunity for the author to further Zane and Eric’s story.
Mr. Clayton once again delivers a fantastic performance. His pacing, diction, and emotive narration bring the characters and story to life, making it easy to follow along and get lost in their story. His style really shines during the moments of extended dialogue, especially with the fun back and forth between Zane and Eric. I’d definitely recommend catching up with Eric and Zane before the second part of their story releases next month. This is one of those times that putting off reading a book on my list paid off, because I really enjoyed the audiobook of Leaning into Love. If you’re an audiobook fan and have been meaning to try this series or this author, you can’t go wrong with this one.
*Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
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