Review: Lane Hayes – Leaning Into Touch (Leaning Into Stories #3)

Author: Lane Hayes
Reviewer: Natalie
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Genre: MM

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Summary: Josh Sheehan is unlucky in love and now… newly unemployed. He’s not sure what to do next, but he’s sure he should give up on romance. Especially after last time. His friends warned him that falling for the hunky Irishman was a bad idea. Josh can’t help feeling torn even though he knows it’s best to move on. But when an unexpected dose of family drama blindsides him, Josh finds himself leaning on the one man he’s supposed to forget.

Finn Gallagher is driven by success. He makes no secret that building a name for his tech company is his number one goal. Finn left home a decade ago with a ton of regret, a heavy heart, and a vow to never repeat the same mistake twice. However, there is something undeniably appealing about the self-deprecating man with the silly sense of humor that makes it difficult for Finn to remember why falling for Josh is a bad idea. It soon becomes clear they’re both in deeper than they intended. There is no way to remain untouched. And there is so much to gain, if they’re brave enough to lean in.

Review: Lane Hayes has written a lot of stories that I’ve enjoyed, but can be hit or miss for me at times, with some characters I don’t enjoy or connect with much. Josh and Finn’s story was more of a miss for me for those reasons. I liked Josh’s character well enough as loyal friend, easy going, glass-half-full attitude sort of guy. I didn’t like his extended indecisiveness or tendency to ignore things. Finn, I never quite understood but my final impression was a sleazy, opportunistic man, in both business and relationships. He was shown as dishonest with the face he presented to the public, and too often less than honest with Josh. I could not buy into their relationship at all, other than empathizing with Josh when he was inevitably hurt, and glad he had the guts to walk away.

The subplot was interesting when Josh learns his father’s secrets, and coming to terms with the shift in family dynamics. Yet, while I understood Josh’s initial response, his continuous judgmental reactions were too much. As far as the overall plot, it was too static and lacking in forward movement or purpose. It became a book that I kept picking up and putting down because I got bored. I do like that that the story was in Josh’s point of view and seeing his place in the circle of friends we met in prior stories. I really liked the first two books and I’ll still be reading the next, for sure. I’d also still recommend it, to complete the series and frankly because I know my opinion is subjective, and likely differs from many other readers.



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