Friday, June 17, 2016

Release Day Review ~ Better Than Bundle by Lane Hayes

Release Day Review ~ Better Than Bundle by Lane Hayes 

Release Date Jun 17, 2016
Type Bundles
Words 284,269
Pages 726
Series Better Than Stories
Genre Contemporary
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Sometimes you have to seek something better than what you already have… In Better Than Good, Matt Sullivan never thought he’d have a need to question the labels he’s used all his life, until he meets Aaron Mendez, a man who doesn’t believe in labels. In Better Than Chance, Jay Reynolds is falling for his sexy boss Peter Morgan, but can Jay be happy with what Peter can offer? In Better Than Friends, Curt Townsend and Jack Farinelli develop an unexpected friendship based on their mutual love of baseball, but is that enough to become even closer? In Better Than Safe, Paul Fallon, a fashion advertising guru, deals with enough chaos in his working life; he doesn’t need more when he goes home at the end of the day. Quirky, flighty, and wise beyond his years, Seth Landau challenges Paul’s ideas of safety and might just tempt him into taking a chance.

Buy The Book:

Better Than Good

4.5 Stars!

Originally Read 8/2013
Re-read 6/2016

Matt is comfortable in life. He's almost done with Law School, has great friends, a great family and a steady girlfriend. On a typical night out with friends they end up going to a local gay bar, it's the least they can do since their friend Curt always goes where everyone else wants to go. While waiting for drinks, Matt catches a glimpse of a stunning man making his way to the dance floor.  Since he can't take his eyes off of him, Matt follows him. What starts as a simple dance leads to a drink and a little flirting, but is cut short when they have to part ways. 

Matt can't stop thinking about Aaron, the more he wants him, the harder it becomes. A couple of run ins with him over the next few weeks lead Matt to start questioning what he wants from life, starting with Aaron. Can he convince himself and Aaron that he's ready to be in a relationship with a man? 

I really loved both Matt and Aaron. Matt is a bit naive sometimes, but he's truly sincere throughout the entire story. He is one of those characters I couldn't help but fall in love with. As for Aaron, he's quirky and funny, smart and sweet, and while the two men may be complete opposites they work well together. The author did a wonderful job writing this couple and displaying how much they cared for one another. 

While many readers have labeled this as Gay For You, I think of it more as Out For You.  Matt may have identified himself as straight, but we learn pretty early on, he's been attracted to men before Aaron. So if GFY is something you usually avoid have no fear Better Than Good is worth reading.  

Better Than Chance

4 Stars!

We met Peter and Jay in Matt and Aaron's story. This is the story of how a beautiful and loving couple fell in love.  Of course their story was not one that begins with "It was love at first sight". 

Jay and Peter were the perfect couple from book one but this gives us a good look at how they met. We get to see that these two had to get past misunderstandings and Jay's dislike of a very different Peter than we are used to. 

It was hard for me to really get into this one, mainly because I knew how Jay and Peter were in book one not to mention the prologue. I am not the biggest fan of knowing the ending before the start of the book. It's harder to get invested in it that way, at least for me. 

Having said that, as a whole Better Than Chance is enjoyable. I love Peter and Jay. I can't wait to read the next books and see what the author has in store for the different couples.  

Better Than Friends 

4.5 Stars!

Jack used to date Peter.  Peter married Jay. Jay is Aaron's best friend, Aaron dates Matt. Matt used to live with Curt (his best friend).  You still with me?  Well, this is the story of Curt and Jack, two men who became unlikely friends and then fell in love. 

"...when he turned to find his seat, I had the oddest sensation I was getting my first look at someone significant."

Jay and Peter's nuptials are the first gay wedding Curt Townsend has ever attended and while he's excited to celebrate with his friends, he hates to admit he feels slightly out of place. He is surprised when he meets someone as captivating as Jack Farinelli. Curt is certain that they have nothing in common. Jack owns a bar, is covered in tattoos and rides a motorcycle. Curt is a lawyer, wears khakis and spends his free time watching or playing sports. 

Jack seems to ooze self-confidence. At 42, he knows what he likes and wants in life. He’s attracted to Curt the minute he sees him and with little effort learns they both have a love for baseball.  

Spending time together watching games and fooling around is easy, it's deciding if they should try for more that's hard. Both men will have to learn to trust before they can move forward and hopefully find their own happily ever after. 

I liked Jack and Curtis and I thought they made a good couple. I also liked that we were able to see them become friends as well as lovers. Their entire relationship wasn't just based on sex. 

The only thing that bugged me was that I never took Curt for being super insecure until reading this book. It didn't fit with my initial ideas of him from book one. It was hard for me to see him insecure and a bit naive. However, I loved that he seemed to still have that clever wit that blended so well with Jack's laid-back teasing personality. 

Better than Safe

4 Stars!

Paul Fallon thinks settling down with a nice doctor or lawyer sounds perfect. He isn't going to let himself fall for another artist, that will only lead to pain. So when his friend sets him up with the gorgeous model he has been eyeing, Paul can't help but be skeptical, if only the man wasn't so beautiful. 

Seth Landau isn't just a model, he's also a musician and more importantly, an artist. His quirky, off-the-wall attitude and his aversion to being on time may turn some people off, but underneath his laissez-faire attitude is a strong, intelligent man. As much as Paul fights his attraction to him there is something that keeps drawing him back in. 

Even though Paul knows deep down things won't work out, he lets Seth talk him into taking a chance. Now Paul will have to learn to let go of his tight control and take a risk. History doesn't always repeat itself and sometimes taking a chance is better than being safe.

Well it was hard for me at first to like Paul, he's a snobby humorless control freak. But somewhere along the line Paul started to break my heart and I realized that he was much more than meets the eye. I started to find his grumpy disposition endearing. Paul was actually one of those people I think you either love or hate and somehow I wound up loving him. 

As for Seth, I'm not going to lie I was absolutely not a fan. Again, however much he got on my nerves at first I wound up truly liking him by the end of the book. Will he be my favorite? No, but I think he makes a great match for Paul and I was very happy with the ending. 

And on a side note it was nice to have a small glimpse of Rand. It's making me excited to start the next series A Kind Of Stories. I definitely recommend the Better Than series. 

***A copy of these books were provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.***

About The author

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 to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel, Better Than Good, was a 2013 Rainbow Awards Finalist and her third in the Better Than Stories, Better Than Friends, received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. Lane loves red wine, chocolate and travel, in no particular order (on second thought, maybe wine first). She resides in Southern California with her amazing husband and a regal old yellow Lab in an almost empty nest. 

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