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 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.
©2016 Lane Hayes (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
This book has it all.An unexpected journey to love and life and lessons learned along the way.The narration brought the characters to life and I loved every minute of it. I hope that you do too.
Really enjoyed Zeke and Benny's romantic tale as narrated by Seth Clayton, and 'twu wuv' triumphs in the end but I think you'll find the adjective is self-deprecating NOT self-depreciating ...not sure whether that's a Seth problem, or whoever wrote the script for him to narrate from [I suspect the latter]. Once I would've excused as a mistake, 3 times is not. 4.5 stars from me.
"No great accents, but great story"
Benny is a fabulous 23 year old who works both for his family’s pizza place and at the Gulden family bagel place. In between he sews fabulous costumes and hopes to one day make it big on Broadway doing just that. He agrees to a date with Mr. Gulden’s son to placate the kind gentleman and to yank on Zeke’s chain a bit.
Zeke is the only gay son of Mr. Gulden and he’s never felt close to his dad. All his brothers went in to business with their dad, but Zeke struck out on his own to Wall Street where he’s found fortune but still no luck in the love department.
After recently being dumped spectacularly by his ex, Trevor, Zeke is NOT in the market for a relationship and if he was it would NEVER be with someone so OBVIOUS as Benny. He makes no bones about it and though he offends Benny, he agrees to a date to shut his dad up.
When one “pretend” date, leads to another and another, it becomes clear that Zeke may not exactly be so certain what his “type” really is… Benny isn’t willing to put all his eggs in Zeke’s basket and is hedging his bets as well… But after attending a wedding for Benny’s cousin, things are beginning to look a lot less “pretend” and more “forever after”.
This is an absolute WIN! Just like a Kind of Truth, there is a deeper story than just the love story (though that alone is fabulous!). In this case we get Zeke’s rift with his dad, his loss of his mother and his own inner acceptance of himself.
Benny is more or less a solid, unflappable force, who only brings good things to Zeke’s life and acts as an anchor to help him from going adrift.
The steam is less than I’d expect, but perfect nonetheless. Most of the story is the delicious slow burn and the snarky comments between Zeke and Benny. I’m hoping Carter’s story is next as he seems like a yummy enigma waiting to be explored. (It was!)
I thoroughly enjoyed this and highly recommend it. (I hope that whoever they find to do the audio has a great grasp of Brooklyn accents!)
4.5 of 5 stars
Seth Clayton narrated the first book in this series and he is an excellent narrator. His voice is really smooth and easy to listen to. He has great timing, good pronunciation and does a lot to bring these characters to life.
He subtly differentiates the different characters but doesn’t do any dramatic accents, but he does give each character a unique voice. In this case, I was disappointed. I’d pictured some very strong Brooklyn accents and the story is rife for some stereotypical New Yorkers. He doesn’t do any such thing.
That being what it is, if you don’t have that preconceived notion, I think you’ll enjoy his narration very much. It’s easy to get lost in his story telling and become immersed in the language.
4 of 5 stars
Overall 4.25 of 5 stars
"Worth a credit."
Hayes 'Better than....' series is among my favorites & this series feels much the same. The story is engaging from the start & Clayton has a soothing delivery. Somehow I started with this one, but I'm going right on to 'A Kind of Truth.'
"Gliterland imitation attempt?"
A bit of less of 3.0, for me.
The story was less satisfying than I thought it was going to be. I found it repetitive. One repeated aspect was Zeke constantly saying the Benny looked good, in one form or another. And Zeke described all sex-related, positive things as "hot," and his smile was always described as scary of the like.
I tired of the term "member." The author showed a bit of restraint in the sex description. The connection between Benny and Zeke wasn't totally convincing along with Zeke's quick change, which also seemed hollow. He chased Benny who gave in rather easily, in the end, after a chase that was a bit too easy and quick, for me. I can appreciate that the author tried not to leave that impression, but it didn't work for me. And I found Benny's mom's role too small after saying that she was so important.
The slight humor was ok and helpful in me bearing the story and making it through it. And I liked Benny, Benjamin and Ezekiel.
I also thought that it was trying to copy Alexis Hall's Glitterland. If so, I found it much less entertaining and the characters, and, therefore, their romantic relationship, less extreme, in a bad way. And, finally, the narrator lessened the experience when playing Zeke but was ok when Benny.
"Appealing in all the right ways"
There's something immensely appealing about Seth Clayton's narrative style. His voice draws you into both the characters and the story, bringing them to life in a way that soothes the ear, even when you're wanting to knock one of the characters over the head for their stupidity.
This is one of my personal favorites of Lane Hayes books. Zeke and Benny are wonderful together, even though technically they're not. The way they balance each other out is a beautiful thing to behold. It's definitely some kind of romance.
"Good story- Enjoyed the characters"
I don't have experience with this narrator but after about a chapter the story was flowing and I enjoyed it.
I really enjoyed the characters and although it was pretty predictable it was a nice story.
The sex scenes are hot. So many authors tell and don't show and these scenes might be some of the best in the MM genre.
This might not be an all time favorite or one of the books that I will go back to time and time again but it well written, fun, and I plan to read the other books in the series. This is an author I haven't read aka listened to before but I'm interested in other works.
"quality gay romance for once"
This book was such a pleasant surprise I found myself relating to both of the main characters the book was funny and had me laughing out loud at more than one point which for me is quite rare. I really liked the fact both characters were already out of the closet and both characters had flaws. I have not read the first book in the series but because of how much I enjoyed this one I will be going back and listening to it. This is the kind of writing we need more of in LGBT fiction real characters real depth and relatability. The narration was simply fantastic
"Listen to at 1.25x speed"
Good book but the audio speed is wrong. Listen to at 1.25x speed to correct the engineering error. This is the story of someone of Jewish ancestry dating someone of Italian ancestry and there's no way either of the main characters speak as slowly as the production is set.
"A Good Ole Love Story!"
If you love love and a lot of naughtiness, then you'll love this book. It is fairly predictable, but still a great read.
"A Kind of Romance Novel"
A gentle, loving book that explores forgiveness (alongside the obligatory love) with empathy and care. In the confluence of Italian and Jewish families are two opposites meant to be together. A sweet kind read.
Narration is superbly done! One of the best sweet stories I have heard! I'll listen again.
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