Leaning Into Stories
Nick Jorgensen is a quirky genius. He's made a fortune in the competitive high tech field with his quick mind and attention to detail. He believes in hard work and trusting his gut. And he believes in karma. It’s the only thing that makes sense. People are difficult, but numbers never lie. In the disastrous wake of a broken engagement to an investor’s daughter, Nick is more certain than ever he isn’t relationship material.
Wes Conrad owns a thriving winery in Napa Valley. The relaxed atmosphere is a welcome departure from his former career as a high-rolling businessman. Wes’s laid-back nature is laced with a fierceness that appeals to Nick. In spite of his best intention to steer clear of complications, Nick can’t fight his growing attraction to the sexy older man who seems to understand him. Even the broken parts he doesn’t get himself. However, when Wes’s past collides with Nick’s present, both men will have to have to decide if they’re ready to lean into the ultimate fall.
- 4 To Be Read lists
- 2 Read lists
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: May/December, Age Difference
Word Count: 77000
Setting: San Francisco
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Wes led me to a small room at the opposite end of the building filled with barrels. The temperature dipped at least ten degrees here and the strong scent of fermenting wine was offset by the smell of oak. I moved toward the round table in the middle and glanced up at the tower of barrels. Each was labeled and dated, but as far as I could tell, the order wasn’t chronological. I categorized and filed the numbers in my mind in an attempt to solve a mystery that probably wasn’t so mysterious after all.
“These are special reserve wines. The best of the best. Theoretically anyway,” Wes said, picking up the long-sleeved plaid shirt draped over one of the chairs at the table.
“What do the numbers mean?” I asked, running my fingers over the printed tag on the barrel.READ MORE
“It’s an internal code that basically tells us exactly which vines yielded the harvest. Some have information about soil disruption or weather flux. Of course, once the wine is fermenting that information is no longer significant but—”
“Where are the dates on these labels? Isn’t timing everything in the wine business?”
“Some might argue timing is everything in every facet of life.” Wes regarded me curiously before pointing out the dates in the middle of the tag. “It’s all here. See?”
“I don’t understand your system,” I said, stuffing my hands in my back pocket and staring up at the barrels.
“It’s an internal system. You’re not meant to understand. It’s for us only. The same way you wouldn’t explain the science behind how an advanced operating system works to one of your clients. They might say they’re fascinated but they aren’t really interested in the details. Same goes for wine. People come to tour the winery every day. They want to know about grape varietals and blends and some even ask about topography, weather and the fermentation process. But the true science of wine making confounds them. At the end of the day, truth is in the bottle.”
“In vino veritas.”
Wes smiled as he pulled his shirt on. “’In wine, truth’,” he translated. “Different context, but yes… truth. Are you going to tell me why you’re here or do I have to break out a bottle of Pinot to get the real story?”
Wes’s wolfish grin spread slowly across his handsome face as he closed the distance between us. He tilted my chin with his forefinger and stared deep into my eyes as though he was trying to read my mind. Or devour me whole.
“You look like you want to eat me,” I said before I could stop myself.
“I do. I want to do lots of things to you. Is that why you’re here? You want me to eat you, Nicky?”
“You invited me.” My eyes drifted shut when he ran his fingers along my jaw then splayed his hand behind my head and tugged my hair.
“I did. I’m glad you came.”
“Well, we were in the middle of listing our all-time favorite bands or artists by decade. That’s not the kind of thing you can leave for a whole week. It’s important.”
“You’re right. What were we thinking?” He licked my bottom lip in a sensual line from one corner of my mouth to the other. “We’ll have to continue that discussion later. I want to do other things first.”COLLAPSE
Leaning into the Fall is the second book in the Leaning Into Stories series and while it can be read as a standalone, I adored the first book and Zane and Eric are featured prominently in this book.
We met Nick in Leaning into Love and I didn't particularly like him there, he seemed to be a bit of a jerk. However, my opinion changed after the first chapters of this book. He was quirky and weird and special, trying to make do in a world that didn't quite understand him and I ended up loving him more than words can express. It was kind of odd that no one else realized he might have some kind of Asperger's before Wes mentioned it, but I guess his friends just saw it as Nick being Nick. I loved Wes. He was just perfect, a blend of sweet and dominant. I adored the progression in their relationship, it felt so natural. I loved how well they fit together despite the age gap between them, or perhaps because of it? Wes had the maturity and patience to realize what Nick needed, to know when to push and when to draw back. Never mind that they were hot, hot, crazy HOT together! *fans self* Lane Hayes definitely writes some intense sex scenes!
Overall, this was an amazing read, engaging, fun, hot and emotional. Lane Hayes made me fall for Nick and Wes, I just wanted to cuddle them both and make it all better. I loved catching up with Eric and Zane and getting to see how well they were doing. I'm looking forward to what might be coming next in the series.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***