Exclusive Excerpt from Leaning Into the Look
by Lane Hayes
I turned to greet Miles and almost fell flat on my ass when he rushed forward with his arms outstretched like he was going to hug me. He halted abruptly and held his hands up in surrender instead. There was a comedic quality to his jerky movement like he was laughing at himself before I could beat him to it.
“How’s it go—” I froze midsentence when I met his gaze.
Fuck, he was…stunning. But I couldn’t say why I thought so. He wore nondescript weekend duds. Designer jeans and a black mock neck turtleneck sweater. The rolled cuffs and red loafers might garner a second glance elsewhere, but not in the Castro. It took a lot more than a colorful pair of shoes to stand out among the drag queens, fashionista twinks, and leather daddies. It might not be his wardrobe, but there was something in the way he carried himself and the proud tilt of his scruffy chin that set him apart. He exuded a manic energy I’d associated with someone who habitually ran late.
But Miles was never late. He was always on time, organized, in control, and seemingly ready to conquer the world. I’d witnessed the crack in his armor, though, and I was beginning to think that glimpse of realness was what made him impossible to ignore.
I cleared my throat then tried again. “How are you?”
Miles’s grin widened, giving his eyes a mischievous glint. “I’m well. Thank you for inquiring.”
“This is kind of weird, isn’t it? I probably should have asked one of my cousins to help you out. I panicked and—”
“I know. It’s okay. I won’t bite, and I won’t get any ideas that this was all a ruse to get me to yourself again.”
The obvious humor in his tone invited me to go with the flow and if possible, set aside any lingering weirdness from our recent encounters. If he could do it, I could do it, I mused. I straightened my shoulders and hooked my thumb toward the house behind me.
“Ready to look at your new dream home in the city?”
Miles hefted his large canvas tote bag higher on his shoulder then lifted his hand to shade his eyes as he peered up at the old Victorian. “Hmm. I know it’s not wise to judge a book by its cover, but honey, this is just plain fugly. Please tell me I’m going to be amazed by the whimsy and character and all kinds of other wondrous adjectives the second I step over the threshold.”
“Uh, well…I’ve never actually been inside any of the properties on my list today. I don’t usually show rentals, so I had to go by photographs and descriptions. Hopefully we’ll both be pleasantly surprised,” I said with a half laugh.
“Ooh! This feels like an adventure already. Lead the way, handsome.”
About Leaning Into the Look
Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.
Miles Harrison is a fabulous red head going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years. However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and lean into the look.
About Lane Hayes
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 well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won first prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.
About Nick J. Russo
Nick is an award winning narrator with a fan following for his work in fiction, specifically in the romance genre. His performances in two of Amy Lane’s books, Beneath the Stain and Christmas Kitsch, made him the recipient of Sinfully M/M Book Review’s Narrator of the Year – 2015. When he’s not in the booth, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, Jessica, and kids, (aka their beagle Frank and cat Stella), drumming in his cover band, exploring rural back roads with his wife on his motorcycle, or being enthralled in a tabletop role playing game with his friends.
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