Title: A Way with Words
Series: A Way With Stories Series
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Self Pub
Release Date: June 22
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Length: 24k approximately
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Humor, New York City
Tony De Luca is a simple guy. He works for his uncle’s Brooklyn-based construction firm. And he knows from experience that keeping his head down and doing his job is the best way to deal with the meddlesome family members he sees daily. They think he’s quiet and maybe a little awkward but the truth is more complicated. Tony has a secret he isn’t ready or willing to share. He’s an expert at avoiding familial scrutiny. At least he was until the sexy guitar player showed up.
Remy Nelson is a small-town, free-spirited guy looking for a new life in the big city. He stays busy playing his instrument on a busy Manhattan street corner during the day and bartending at night. Remy is more interested in finding steady employment than a mate, but he can’t deny his attraction to the dreamy construction worker with soulful eyes, a kind heart, and a unique way with words. Falling for Remy wasn’t what Tony expected, but keeping him will require courage. And an end to keeping secrets.
“Yeah, that’s no fun. But it’s good to make new friends.” He gave me a sideways grin. “Like us.”
“Yeah, except you make me sweat,” I admitted with a half chuckle. Then I added, “In a good way. I like you.”
Remy hummed softly and sidled closer to me, resting his thigh against mine. “I like you too, Tony. You make me smile.”
We stared at each other for a long moment. All those funny details came rushing at me. Things I never noticed about other people. The gorgeous halo of curls, the shape of his eyes, the freckle on his cheek and those luscious lips. The lone bulb above the back door illuminated him in a yellowish light that shouldn’t have been flattering but I had a feeling Remy would look good with a paper bag on his head. Wait. That didn’t make sense. I furrowed my brow and cocked my head just as Remy set his arm over my shoulder and pulled me forward.
My heart raced when the tips of our noses brushed and our breath commingled visibly in the cool air. With a courage I didn’t know I possessed, I angled my head and slowly touched my lips to his. Just a touch. He had room to pull away. Hell, he even had room to punch me if I got this totally wrong. But when he purred softly and licked the corner of my mouth, I knew we were on the same page.
I cradled the back of his head and gently threaded my fingers through his hair. I held him like he was a fragile flower or something. Then in my typical bull-in-a-china-store style, I plunged my tongue between his lips. Remy gasped at the onslaught but he didn’t miss a beat. He wrapped both of his arms around my neck, drawing me close as he glided his tongue over mine, twirling and sucking feverishly.
I didn’t know how long we made out on that stoop but I could have done it all damn night. He tasted incredible and he felt even better. I loved the way he pressed his chest against mine and those sexy noises he made drove me wild. I wanted more than we were able to do on a cigarette break. Much more.
We broke for air and eyed each other, looking for clues. Or maybe that was just me. I couldn’t be the one in charge of directing traffic here. I was out of my depth. He had to tell me what came next. I’d never figure it out on my own. Remy caressed my cheek and smiled before leaning in to nibble on my bottom lip.
“I have to go,” he whispered.
“Okay. I’ll see ya ’round.” My huskier than usual voice didn’t mesh with the casual vibe I was going for.
Remy pulled back with a smirk. “That’s all you’re going to say? “See ya”? Don’t you want my number or something?”
“Um yeah. Yeah, I do.” I pulled out my cell and handed it to him. “Put it in. My hands are shaking.”
This time when he smiled, I felt it deep inside me. The butterflies in my stomach fluttered like crazy but in a good way.
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Tony has admired the cute street performer from afar for quite some time, and when he makes eye contact with the guitar player one day while heading back to the construction site he's working at, Remy introduces himself to Tony. The attraction is mutual and the two start a tentative friendship, but Tony is in the closet. Not only is he in the closet, but he comes from a big Italian family, quite a few of which he works with. He likes Remy, but can he hide their budding romance? And is that really fair to Remy?
I absolutely adored this story. I loved Tony, but I simply adored Remy and the two of them together were pure magic. They belonged together and you could see it from the first page of their story. The chemistry between them is out of this world and the sex was sweet, passionate and loving, much like the couple themselves. I usually get extremely frustrated with closeted characters, although in real life I understand the need to remain in the closet, but, in books, it can be annoying. It was a conflict in the story, but it was done well and the author did a wonderful job at letting the relationship develop without having the issue of Tony being closeted take over the entire story. Yes, it's there and in your face, but it didn't feel overbearing as it often can in a story.
*copy provided by author/publisher for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement.*
Tony and Remy are great together and I really enjoyed reading their story. I fell in love with Tony and his awkward ramblings. The way he just said whatever and then would wind up feeling embarrassed about it. He had this vulnerability that was sweet and cute and it charmed me. Of course, he also had those moments where he lost that vulnerability and took charge giving a completely different look at his personality. It was sad to see him so scared and unsure of things when it came to coming out. While the story is pretty light-hearted, that particular aspect of the story made me a tad emotional.
Remy was sweet, easy going and patient. I loved how he knew exactly how to handle Tony. He never pushed him to come out, knowing it was a decision Tony needed to make when he was ready. He was the type of character you can't help but like and he felt real.
Tony and Remy had great chemistry and wonderful banter. I was easily able to picture them in my head which was a lot of fun. As always, Lane's writing is well done and flowed well. I wouldn't mind reading more of them or maybe their friends or family.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***