Leaning into Touch, by Lane Hayes
Series: Leaning Into Stories, Book 4
Release Date: October 5, 2017
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.
Leaning into Touch started off with a light, almost romcom vibe that hooked me right in. The chain of events in chapter one had a touch of whimsy that not only established our hero Josh’s character voice perfectly but also suggested that perhaps kismet had a hand in Finn’s reappearance in Josh’s life – as he was facing a period of change and uncertainty. Their reunion was somehow both cringeworthy and sexy and just like Josh, it wasn’t long before I was eating out of Finn’s hands.
Even though the book was written from Josh’s perspective, I have to say Finn was the star of the book, so much so that there were moments that I wished for dual POVs. Don’t get me wrong, Josh was an absolute gem but I have to admit I didn’t connect with him as much as I’d expected to. His optimism and humor was delightful but he did come off as flighty and immature at times. I gave him a pass for most of it though, seeing as he was going through some major adjustments in his life and was well aware he needed to do better.
Finn was… well, Finn was hot, charming and spoke with an Irish brogue, huzzah! More to the point, he had a polished exterior and ruthless business sense that concealed a tortured soul and a metric ton of baggage. As great of a job the author did baring the complexities of his character through Josh’s eyes, I would have loved to have been inside Finn’s head to see what the hell he was thinking at certain times. Cause yeah, the dude clearly had issues he was dealing with.
Together, Josh and Finn made an unlikely couple (my favorite combination) who shared a passion for the arts and some amazing chemistry. The earlier fanciful tone took on a more serious feel as their story progressed. Josh’s family drama was in turn surreal and funny and I appreciated the parallels in the story involving Josh and his dad as well Finn’s history coming back to haunt him (naturally). Despite being an absorbing and well-paced read, I can’t honestly say their story swept me completely off my feet. I was not a fan of Finn’s wishy-washiness (let’s pretend that’s a word) when it came to not only Josh but also his best friend Scarlet [SPOILER ALERT] whom he was in a fake relationship with. There were times when I just didn’t get him and that was frustrating to no end.
Their story felt unresolved despite the happy epilogue, probably because a lot of the conflict was handled off-page with the relevant parties. I was also thrown off by the way Josh had magically settled on a previously unexplored career decision by the end of the book. Leaning into Touch can be read as a standalone but I also highly recommend the previous book, Leaning into the Fall, which is my favorite of the series so far.
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles both be men! Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow lab ever in an almost empty nest.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.