The Novel Approach welcomes author Lane Hayes today, on The Right Time blog tour. Enjoy Lane’s guest article and excerpt, then be sure to leave a comment below for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.
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It’s fair to say most of us know at least one person who is the worst communicator ever. You know the type. They say something they’re sure conveys a meaning beyond the obvious, then get aggravated or confused when you don’t understand the hidden message behind the actual spoken words. Forgetfulness or a lack of intelligence isn’t to blame. My mom is my own personal favorite mis-communicator. She’s brilliant! But wow… I wish I had telepathic powers sometimes.
No doubt the people in Nate Erickson’s life in The Right Time feel the same way. Nate is a successful businessman and self-proclaimed workaholic. Occasional visits with friends and family are one thing, but he’s learned from experience that personal relationships are too taxing. He’d rather spend his free time surfing or jogging. Alone. Alex Reyes is the opposite. He’s a team player with a dynamic personality and a true lust for life. It wouldn’t occur to him to shy away from a frank conversation, regardless of how uncomfortable it made him.
I love “opposites attract” stories. I love how one person’s strength may be the perfect compliment to the other’s weakness and vice versa. These stories resonate for me because they’re relatable. The push and pull of attraction juxtaposed to a seemingly insurmountable obstacle is the stuff of high romance or devastating tragedy. What I think is different about The Right Time, is that it isn’t about obvious incongruities. Both men are athletic and successful. They even have mutual friends. However, the things we have in common aren’t always what binds us. The Right Time touches on the subtle things we don’t know how to communicate to the people who mean the most to us. It’s about letting yourself be open, knowing your vulnerability may just as easily lead you to heartbreak as to happiness.
The Right Time is book three in the Right and Wrong Stories series. You’ll meet characters from the previous two books, The Right Words and The Wrong Man, but the books are standalones. Enjoy!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!
Lane Hayes xo
Blurb: Workaholic Nate Erickson is a successful real estate developer who thrives on long hours and stress. When a Los Angeles project prompts him to relocate to Santa Monica, he welcomes the change of scenery. Nate has always considered romantic entanglements trouble, but his sexy next-door neighbor isn’t easy to ignore. Which makes no sense, because Nate is straight… or so he’s always thought.
Alex Reyes is a retired professional soccer player turned West Hollywood business owner with an insatiable lust for life. He loves his family, friends, and work. But there’s one life challenge left to accomplish: coming out publically. Respect for traditional Latino values has kept him in the closet, but Alex begins to think he and his new neighbor might help one another combat their fears. As Alex and Nate forge a strong friendship, they soon realize facing their personal demons will take more courage than either man bargained. The reward is immeasurable… if the timing is right.
Excerpt: I hadn’t worked out with a professional in years, and it felt foreign to wait for someone else’s direction.
“Any issues with your shoulders or arms? Any injuries I should know about?” he asked, handing me the weights.
“No, I’m good.”
“Great. Start with your palms facing your thighs, lift them both over your chest, then lower the left. Good. And now the right.”
He stood over me diligently, making slight corrections when needed. My supine position gave me an interesting perspective. When I looked up, I noted how his strong brow offset his twinkling eyes. I swallowed uncomfortably and turned my head, only to find myself staring at his crotch. His dark shorts seemed to hint they were covering a generous package.
“You doing okay?”
“Uh yeah. Hey, weren’t you going to tell me about your Friday night?” I needed him to talk. I didn’t trust my thoughts anymore, and I was stuck in my current position crazily aware of a man in a way I hadn’t been in over fifteen fucking years. Diversion in any form was welcome.
Alex snorted. “I already told you. I went dancing, and oh yeah, I did get lucky.”
He added the last part with a hearty chuckle, no doubt catching my wide-eyed expression. I hadn’t expected that.
“Right.” I did? The strong flash of jealousy took me by surprise, but I pressed on. “Did you go back to the beach to get those girls’ numbers last weekend?”
He looked confused for a second, but a slow cocky grin soon spread across his handsome features as he crouched so his face was close to mine.
“No, I told you they weren’t my type.”
I gulped and watched his eyes lower to my throat. He licked his top lip and reached out to adjust my wrist.
“Lift ’em both at the same time, Nate. That’s it. Push it. Harder.”
I sent up a quick prayer I wasn’t sporting a tent in my shorts. Alex’s voice, touch, and yeah, the unintentional innuendos were making me nuts. And horny. I felt terribly out of my element. I wasn’t sure what we were talking about anymore, but the potent silence made me more uncomfortable than speech. Keep talking, I thought.
“So a dance partner?”
“What? Oh. Yeah, I think so. I can’t remember. It was just one of those things, you know? Sit up. Let’s give your arms a break.”
“Just one of those things?”
“Yeah. One night. No numbers exchanged. No hassle, no fuss.”
I had no words. Literally.
Alex chuckled gleefully as he led the way to a leg machine. He gave instructions and stood back to observe me for a moment.
“It’s not necessarily my favorite kind of sex, but hey….” He shrugged his shoulders with his hands outstretched as if to say “what’s a guy to do?”
I recognized this cue. It was my opportunity to commiserate about the trials and tribulations of being a single man with a healthy sexual appetite. Now was my chance to admit it was nice every once in a while to have sex of the nonsolo variety with someone who knew the score. But I was tongue-tied and equally aware of a completely different undercurrent. One I wasn’t brave enough to explore.
“You can stop having fun at my expense any time.”
Alex squeezed my shoulder and smirked playfully. “You’re easily rattled.”
“You seem like someone who has a place for everything and likes everything in its place. You have a routine, and you don’t appreciate any deviation. I should be flattered you came to the gym with me at the spur of the moment.” He paused, running his tongue over his plump bottom lip. “If you’re not careful, I’m gonna think you like me.”
The air between us crackled. Alex leaned forward so his handsome face was mere inches from mine. His proximity alone seemed to issue a challenge. Daring me to confess I was more than I appeared to be. I doubt he expected any revelations, but his intent was certainly to… how had he put it, rattle me. And damn, it was working.
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 both be men! Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews 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.