Title: Leaning Into Touch
Series: Leaning Into Stories, #4
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: October 5
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Length: 80k words
Genre: Romance, Bisexual, Humor, Second Chance, Friends to Lovers, San Francisco, Office
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.
Finn smiled and fell into step beside me. It seemed quieter on the street than it was earlier; there wasn’t as much foot traffic. Typical for midweek, I supposed. I breathed in the refreshing night air, loving the faint smell of the ocean. I shivered and crossed my arms. So much for enjoying a leisurely stroll. It was cold as fuck out here. I picked up my pace, but Finn pulled at my elbow to stop me.
“Are you daft? Where’s your coat?”
“I f-forgot it at the last bar. It’s okay. I’m cl-close.” I visibly shook when the wind whipped up the sidewalk, sending a scrap of newspaper flying by us like a paper airplane.
“Let’s go back and get it.”
“No, my friend will give it to me later. Or her friend will. I’m almost h-home so—what are you doing?”
“Put this on, then.”
Finn shrugged his suit coat off and set it over my shoulders like a cape or a cloak. He was two inches taller than me and far more muscular. It was like being wrapped in his warm, cologne-scented embrace. The gesture was so chivalrous, it left me speechless for a moment. I knew he was just being kind, but I couldn’t contain my smile.
“Thank you,” I said. “Are you sure you won’t be too cold?”
“Where I’m from, this is a summer breeze. You need it more than I do. Now tell me about your mates. I’m relieved to know you weren’t out drowning your sorrows on your own tonight.”
I snickered at his paternal tone. “I’m not above it, that’s for sure, but no…I was with my work crew for one last happy hour. Marley insisted. She was the redhead with the awesome curls I was with this morning at the museum.”
“I remember. She’s the one holding your jacket for ransom, eh?”
“Yeah. She’s on a mission to find the perfect man for me,” I huffed, making sure he saw my eye roll before we turned the corner to my street.
“Has she ruled out women? You’re bi, aren’t you?”
“Honestly, I don’t know what I am anymore. I had girlfriends in high school and even in college but after the first time I was with a man, I haven’t been interested in anything but dick.”
Finn laughed. “Good to know.”
“What about you?” I asked, leading him down a brick path and up a short flight of stairs.
I leaned against the bright red door as I fumbled for the house key in my front pocket. In my head, I was planning a cinematic-worthy good-bye. Something lighthearted but sincere before we parted for the last time. It would have been a helluva lot easier to concentrate if he wasn’t standing so close and looking at me like I was the last brownie on the buffet table. I cocked my head and waited for him to break the spell.
“I like it too,” he said in a husky voice I hadn’t heard in far too long.
I gulped and licked my bottom lip as he moved in, bending slightly to brush his nose against mine. He surrounded me in every possible way. The heat of his body and the warmth of his coat draped me in a seductive cocoon. I felt woozy with a rush of desire so intense, I would’ve swayed on my feet if he hadn’t been standing so close. I set my right hand on his hip to steady myself and leaned in…just as he pushed away.
Finn let out a ragged breath and swiped his hand over his stubbled chin. “Fuck. I forgot how bloody difficult it is to walk away from you.”
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Thank you so much for inviting me to swing by to chat about my newest release, Leaning Into Touch. This is Book 4 in my San Francisco series following the lives of a tight-knit group of college friends. Josh and Finn’s journey is a second chance tale with a lot humor on the road to self-discovery and ultimately…to love.
But perhaps you have a few questions for me! I did a little sleuth work and supposedly these are the most popular interview questions readers want to ask romance writers.
1. How do you do your research?
Most of my research begins with where the story takes place and evolves from there. It’s important to me to be as descriptive as possible so readers get a true sense of location and have a feel for how the characters live. I make it a point to write about places I’ve visited, such as DC, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco. Hmm… now I’ll have to decide where to go next.
2. Where do you get your ideas for your characters?
Honestly, it’s all over the map! Inspiration hits in the strangest of ways. Before I wrote my first book, Better Than Good, I saw young man who was working as a server at a cooking class for a school fundraiser. He was literally the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. Dark hair and eyes, a runner’s physique and a breathtaking smile. He became Aaron. Other characters like Josh and Finn from Leaning Into Touch developed organically from the previous books in the series. Travel, art, music, friends, family… inspiration is everywhere.
3. Do you get to pick your covers? If so, how do you decide what fits a story?
Yes, I do pick my own covers. I’ve been lucky to work with a couple of talented artists who’ve translated basic descriptions and a wish list into fantastic covers. I prefer simple composition. Less is more.
4. Does your family read your books?
No. They’re very supportive, but there aren’t any romance novel fans in my family. My oldest son, who happens to be gay, said he was planning to start a book club and the first book would be one of mine. So… that may change eventually. LOL. However, writing is my joy, my therapy, my happy place. They love and respect it on my behalf and that’s more than enough.
5. How long does it take to write a book?
On average, it takes me about three months to write a full-length novel and one month to write a short story. Holidays, kids schedules, travel and life in general sometimes make it difficult to finish as quickly as I’d like. But I’ve learned to not rush a story. It’s ready when it’s ready.