TITLE: A Kind of Romance
SERIES: A Kind of Story
AUTHOR: Lane Hayes
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
LENGTH: 82,963 words
RELEASE DATE: June 06, 2016
BLURB: Zeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go—not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.
Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget… and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.
THEY SAID you could remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when a life-altering event took place. I could do better than that. I could tell you the date and time too. May 9, 7:04 a.m…. It was a Monday. Of course. I was standing in my kitchen, cradling a cup of coffee while reading the news on my iPad when my cell phone rang. I didn’t think twice about it. It rang all the fucking time. The setting was almost always on vibrate, but last night I’d changed it, thinking I didn’t want to miss Taylor’s call in case he decided to come by. He didn’t call. And he didn’t come over. I didn’t really think he would, but when we ran into each other at the farmers’ market in Union Square Sunday morning, I’d foolishly hoped he might. That was our spot. It seemed like providence. A sign of some sort telling us we should stop this nonsense and get back together immediately. True, Taylor had confessed he’d been cheating on me with one of my coworkers for the past six months, but… still.
The second round of incessant ringing served as a reminder I was a complete moron for wanting him back. And when I saw the name displayed on my cell, I knew the caller would agree wholeheartedly.
I didn’t recognize the voice on the line. It was masculine but a little high-pitched. Definitely not Dad. Whoever he was, he was calling from my father’s phone. My heart slammed against my chest in a wave of instant panic.
“Just Zeke, actually. You’re calling from my father’s phone. Is he oka—?”
“He fell and hit his head. We called 9-1-1. The paramedics said it looked like a superficial wound, but there was blood everywhere and—They’re taking him to Mount Sinai on First. I’m following now with William. Filipe doesn’t speak much English, so Rand is staying to help mind the store and—”
“Whoa! Hang on. Where was he?” It was a stupid question. However, I felt nauseated from the unexpected adrenaline rush and was struggling to catch up and make sense of this conversation.
“At Bowery Bagels,” the caller replied with a heavy sigh. “I’m so sorry. I—I don’t know what else to say. I’m sure he’s fine, but—I’ll meet you in the emergency room.”
“Wait! Who are you?” I asked, staring into the open great room of my condo in a trancelike state.
I noted the sun’s reflection on the shiny dark hardwood floors and the way the tiny flecks of dust sparkled like fairy dust in the air. But I felt as though I were in a vacuum. Sound was muffled, and the light was suddenly too bright. I pushed away from the island and moved with purpose toward my bedroom, forgetting I’d been waiting for a response until the caller spoke again.
Guest Post for A Kind of Romance with Lane Hayes
Every so often someone will ask how I came up with the title for one of my stories. Since I write books in a series, you may think half the battle is done. Better Than…, The Right…, The Wrong, and now A Kind of… But it’s not easy at all! LOL. A great deal of thought goes into each title and of my nine published books, I admit I’ve requested title changes twice. A Kind of Romance was one of them. Originally I think it ended with the word “perfect”, but the day I received word that Dreamspinner Press was interested in publishing the story, I asked to revise it. The reason may be obvious to some. Romance isn’t perfect.
The word ‘romance’ may conjure sappy offerings of flowers, chocolates or walks along the beach, but true romance lies in subtleties. A gentle hand on your back or an unexpected text message with silly heart emojis. Personally, high romance is having my husband bring me a cup of tea. He does it far more often than he buys flowers, but for some reason, it gets me every time. More so than roses would. It’s the simple acknowledgment of something I love given by someone I love.
In A Kind of Romance, Benny and Zeke are complete opposites who in no way assume they’ll experience anything other than a surface relationship. But the spark of attraction encourages deeper communication and eventually a friendship laced with a potent romance that transcends tokens of affections. Roses and chocolates are nice, but they don’t last. And as the men learn about each other’s pasts, they begin to understand they have more in common than they thought. And might just have a chance at something truly special.
So, am I satisfied with title change? Absolutely. A perfect romance is the stuff of fairytales. It’s unattainable and un-relatable. The real thing is infinitely nuanced. It challenges us and gives space to grow as individuals and as a couple. Nothing in life is perfect, but romance is a world of possibility!
Thank you so much for having me here today!
Lane Hayes xo
Lane Hayes xo
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 both be men! Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow lab ever in an almost empty nest.
Winner’s Prize: $25 Gift Card to Ebook retailer of choice (DSP, Amazon, ARE Café)