Review: Lane Hayes – Leaning Into Love

leaning into loveAuthor: Lane Hayes
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: MM Friends to Lovers

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: Eric Schuster is a successful guy. He’s part owner of a highly successful tech firm, he has a supportive family and a great group of close friends. But something is missing. Or maybe he’s reacting to his business partner and ex’s wedding news. He knows his former lover is making a big mistake but he also knows it’s time to move on. And hopefully avoid falling for another friend.

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.

Review: Eric and Zane have been friends for years, both were from the same beach town in Southern California though they weren’t close in high school. Moving to college in Northern California bonded them and they’ve been friends ever since. They’ve stuck with each other through college, through building their businesses, through relationships that went bust. Now that Eric’s ex-lover and business partner, Nick, has announced his engagement, to a woman who’s family can enrich the business, Eric isn’t sure what he’s feeling about it. Not love for his partner, but more concern for what his friend is doing. “And like many uber-intelligent people, his insatiable curiosity came with a slightly warped sense of right and wrong.”

Let’s put it out there that I didn’t like Nick. At all. I could only assume that Eric was lust blind while he was with Nick because the man is all out for money and doesn’t seem like a good friend, let alone a good lover. But it is the setting of Nick’s engagement party that gives Zane the opportunity to be a date for Eric.

And there comes the story I love. I am such a fan of friends to lovers and I felt this one was done right. There was a strong sense of friendship throughout their journey to more, even as they got to experience the wonder of newness. And they stay cute. “So you’re asking me out? This time I added about fifteen heart emojis before pressing Send.” Eric co-owns a multimillion dollar company and acts like a teen in love. It’s adorable.

For his part, Zane is lovely. He is supportive of Eric and likes him, just as he is, hopeless dork and all. He doesn’t take it personally when Eric freaks out at their first kiss and he knows what’s going on when Eric tries to break away to “save” Zane.

This is friends-to-lovers done right and Nick, well, hopefully he grows the hell up because he’s seriously messing with people the way he is. Or maybe he will find someone that knows, “Then…lean in. We’re in this together.”
And the epilogue is wonderful.



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