A Way With Words, by Lane Hayes
Series: Memories with the Breakfast Club
Release Date: June 22, 2017
Tony De Luca is a simple guy. He works for his uncle’s Brooklyn-based construction firm. And he knows from experience that keeping his head down and doing his job is the best way to deal with the meddlesome family members he sees daily. They think he’s quiet and maybe a little awkward but the truth is more complicated. Tony has a secret he isn’t ready or willing to share. He’s an expert at avoiding familial scrutiny. At least he was until the sexy guitar player showed up.
Remy Nelson is a small-town, free-spirited guy looking for a new life in the big city. He stays busy playing his instrument on a busy Manhattan street corner during the day and bartending at night. Remy is more interested in finding steady employment than a mate, but he can’t deny his attraction to the dreamy construction worker with soulful eyes, a kind heart, and a unique way with words. Falling for Remy wasn’t what Tony expected, but keeping him will require courage. And an end to keeping secrets.
In the Closet
Lane Hayes’ books usually hit the spot for me but A Way With Words was just okay. Admittedly, a lot of it had to do with Tony, the deeply closeted hero who I never fully warmed up to for several reasons.
I tend to stay clear of closeted heroes in queer romance because more often than not their stories tend to get bogged down in some form of homophobia, tired stereotypes, toxic masculinity or just plain angst. A Way With Words was no exception and it was all just a bit much for me when packed into a 30k novella.
Our hero Tony was no good with words. It was his “thing” and as the title of the book suggests, it’s an ongoing theme throughout the story. While he wasn’t all that bad and he did have his shining moments particularly near the end when he used his words to great effect, most of the time I was left cringing at his awkward fumbling. I usually love rooting for the shy, socially awkward hero but in this case he just reminded me of a teenager rather than a 30-year-old adult. Worse than that, there were a few times that he even came off as creepy. Definitely not the vibe I’m looking for in a romance hero, to say the least.
Despite Tony’s flaws, I did eventually get into the story, which moved at a good pace. I thought his meddlesome but well-meaning family (and especially his connection with his father) gave Tony some much-needed depth. I also adored Tony’s love interest, Remy who was laidback, self-possessed and sexy AF. The two of them together had great chemistry, something that the author never fails to deliver. I liked that Remy was exceedingly patient and understanding, and was quick to laugh off Tony’s conversational faux pas (even the questionably creepy moments). Clearly a keeper, this guy. Sadly, I can’t say the same for this release. It had its moments, and there was nothing wrong with it per se, but it just wasn’t the author’s best work.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.