5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Audiobook Month Gay Hurt/Abuse Mary D Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Part of a Series Purchased

Audiobook Month: Leaning into the Fall by Lane Hayes Narrated by Nick J Russo

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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.

This was the story I enjoyed the most. This can be a stand-alone whereas the previous two books follow on from each other. Nick intrigued me in books 1&2. He didn’t know what he wanted and came across as a selfish person. This of course is the portrayal of the Nick Eric knows. Here we get to know Nick better, as he sees himself. Such was his behaviour that early on I began to wonder if he had an undiagnosed syndrome. This is never confirmed one or the other although there is some speculation on Wes’s part. There is a slight power dynamic between Nick and Wes, which made a very interesting angle to the story. Nick certainly seems to need a strong person by his side. This is an excellent story of personal growth. Not only for Nick but also for Wes. Both of them had to face up to aspects of themselves and their past to be able to build a future together. By far my favourite.
Nick J Russo’s narration is excellent. All the characters have their own distinct voices and their personalities come through. This is especially important in this story. Wes needed the strength Nick J Russo’s interpretation gave him to do justice to the character. Equally his interpretation of Nick Jorgensen gave him a compelling mix of desperation and strength. Definitely one I’ll be listening to again.

5 of stars out of 5


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