Review: Lane Hayes – Leaning Into Touch

Author: Lane Hayes
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Mm Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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: We met Josh in the previous installments of this series and at that time he was so excited to get to oversee a project in the museum he works for as an assistant curator. Alas, by this time, the project is coming to an end and because Josh doesn’t speak French, he is about to be out of a job. To add to the insult of the day, he runs into Finn, an ex he hasn’t seen in a year. If truth be told, ex-boyfriend title won’t work because all they did is do dinner and have sex and repeat. Finn doesn’t do commitment or “feelings”.

The attraction is still there and though Josh isn’t going to sleep with Finn, despite the Irish brogue and the beauty and the charm, because he knows it will lead nowhere just like last time, of course he does. It’s sort of a pet peeve of mine when people are repeatedly telling themselves what a bad idea it is and then are lead astray by their libido. So when he repeatedly was sleeping with Finn while telling himself why it was a bad idea it made me want to shake him. Falling in lust is easy, but being in love with someone who can’t love you back is horrible. That’s where Josh is.

To be honest, as I was reading this I kept thinking “I’m not loving him (Finn).” Add in that Finn is engaged to his friend, Scarlet. Is it a real engagement? Nope, but it’s public and it’s being talked about and includes an engagement party. Even when the chance comes to fess up, it doesn’t happen. So I was getting irritated with the whole thing. Of course, I would have liked it anyway because of Josh. He is so optimistic, so sweet and sometimes, just so funny.

It is when Finn sets him up for a job interview with his friend, Dante, at an art gallery that you start to see how far in the closet Finn really is. I was sad for him and even sadder for Josh. While I was so irritated with Finn’s actions, when I was done reading I realized how Finn’s actions made sense for him and how much it took for him to make any changes.

Josh is also going through a big life change for his father, one that takes him by surprise and that he doesn’t handle well. Then he feels guilty about not handling it well. Josh just has so much going on. Josh’s parents are wonderful and you read them and see why Josh is the optimistic sweetheart that he is. Mom’s baking to combat stress? Epic!

One thing I definitely appreciated is this author made Finn’s groveling seem real. There was no “so sorry, now let’s have magical sex that solves our problems”. These guys went through some pain. “You’re managing these loose strings so you can walk away with as little guilt as possible.”

This was a worthy installment to the Leaning series and I can’t wait, seriously can not wait, for Grant’s story. (hint…)

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