Review: A Kind of Truth: Lane Hayes

A Kind of Truth (A Kind of Stories #1)
Lane Hayes
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Released January 8, 2016
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Rand O’Malley dreams of superstardom. He hopes to one day sing the blues like a rock god. Moving to New York City and hiring a new manager are steps to make his dreams a reality. But nothing moves as fast as Rand would like, and everyone has opinions, which include he keep certain pieces of himself quiet if he plans on making it in the Big Apple. Like his bisexuality.

Will Sanders is a gifted musician who dazzles Rand with his ability to coax gorgeous notes from an electric guitar one moment and play the piano like a professional the next. He’s a geek, but Rand isn’t concerned about Will’s pressed exterior clashing with his tattoos. His focus is music. Yet there’s something about Will that makes Rand think there’s much more to the quiet college student than he lets on. As Rand’s dreams begin to materialize, he’s forced to reconsider his priorities and find his own kind of truth. One that might include Will.

A Kind of Truth is my first exposure to the works of Lane Hayes. It’s a touching story with just enough drama to keep it real. I picked this up because the sequel is being released soon, so I wanted to be caught up—they are standalones, so you don’t have to read them in order, but I like it better that way anyway—and if this is how all of her books are, I’m very much looking forward to reading more of them.

Rand O’Malley is the front man of the band he formed with a few of his friends. After achieving some local success in Baltimore, they decided to take the next step toward becoming stars by moving to New York City, but it’s a long, slow slog to make a name for themselves. They also need a new lead guitarist, but after settling with the best from a less-than-stellar crop of auditions, Rand decides the best way to solve the problem is to take lessons to improve his own guitar skills. His dream of superstardom is worth doing this, worth whatever it takes in fact, including abiding with a decision he isn’t particularly happy about: hiding his bisexuality from the public until after he achieves his goal because everyone has told him being public about it will kill his chances. Will (“My name is William”) Sanders is a music student in his final year at NYU, and he plays guitar and piano better than anyone Rand has ever met. He refuses Rand’s offer to join the band, but he does agree to give Rand lessons. Not long after the lessons start, though, Rand discovers a different side of Will, one completely opposite the reserved and quiet geek persona he knows, when he spots Will in public…in drag. Rand was attracted to Will before this, but his focus was entirely on his goal. The game changes that night, and as time passes, and Rand’s dreams slowly approach reality, their attraction grows, ultimately forcing both of them to reevaluate what they want out of life.

The story is told entirely in the first person, solely from Rand’s point of view. This works particularly well because in spite of the details being different, their character progressions essentially reach the same conclusion: both must decide what is important to them and whether or not each is willing to risk what they originally thought was important in order to get what they want. Seeing it only from Rand’s side, arguably the less complicated of the two, keeps Will’s story a source for surprise not only for Rand as the novel progresses but for the reader as well. Rand’s only conflict in the story centers around keeping his sexuality under wraps so as not to jeopardize his chance at stardom. Will, on the other hand, feels he must return to the closet after he graduates in order to keep his family happy. This is certainly an oversimplified statement of what Will has endured though. As the story develops, Rand learns just how convoluted the situation is with Will’s family. He comes from a family with money and clout, the classic combination where parents think they need to control their child even after they are grown. And their manner for doing so is, shall we say, unusual.

The relationship between Rand and Will develops at a good pace and is fun and sexy, particularly as we watch through Rand’s eyes as he discovers that Will’s quiet and reserved exterior is largely a front he constructed in order to live with his conclusion that he must return to the closet at the end of the school year. The communication between them, both verbal and not, is beautiful and understanding most of the time, revolving a good deal around their shared love of music. Music plots are some of my favorite in romance because it’s so easy to relate to the feeling of being swept away from the everyday and be lost in the thrill of being fully surrounded by the power of music. And here, the author does a wonderful job of evoking all the intoxicating emotion and sensation music offers, a quality that kept me turning pages, wanting to see how they would get past the barriers they imposed on themselves and their relationship.

There’s really only one issue I had with the book, and that’s the fact that the climactic problem between them is predictable even fairly early on in the book, and it’s something that a lesser author could have easily allowed to go off the rails on the dramatic angst spectrum. Fortunately, Ms. Hayes handles it in a completely believable manner that allowed me to empathize with them instead of shaking my head in disbelief. The resolution, in fact, is exactly what I wanted it to be, something romantic and charming that shows that love can overcome the greatest of obstacles.

With no prior knowledge of Lane Hayes’s works, I think A Kind of Truth is a perfect place to start, even though I have nothing to base that statement on. The book contains a realistic portrayal of a relationship between two people who want different things but realize they care enough for each other that they’re willing to take some big risks to make it work between them. The result is nothing short of beautiful. I can’t wait to see what the next novel of hers holds.

The author generously provided me with a complimentary copy of A Kind of Truth in exchange for this fair and honest review.
A Kind of Romance (A Kind of Stories #2)
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Expected June 6, 2016

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.

Lane Hayes 

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 in an almost empty nest. 


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