Title: The Right Time (Right and Wrong #3)
Author Name: Lane Hayes
Publication Date & Length: June 26, 2015 – 225 pgs
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 publicly. 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.
I loved this! Alex is such a fantastic character. A retired athlete who helps street kids and loves his family, he pretty much ticks every box for a romantic lead. It took me a little longer to warm to Nate. His skittish, closeted angst was a little much for me at the start.
Together, the men work so well. Alex’s relaxed confidence balances Nate and the uptight businessman becomes much more likeable over the course of the story. I drooled over their Californian business/beach lifestyles and I loved watching the friendships between the characters in all three books continue to develop.
Alex’s family pressures adds depth to the story – we’ve already seen his dad in the first book, so it is interesting watching him become a more rounded, developed character in the third book.
Individually, the many pieces of this story don’t explain why I loved it so much. Lane Hayes brings something intangible and beautiful to her romance stories. Her characters feel real and their connections always feel very special.
This is my favourite of the three books in this series, though I have enjoyed them all.
I admit, neither Nate nor Alex is the type of character I connect with easily. Both are the physically fit, masculine type (though Nate is of the nerdy variety). However, they worked perfectly as a couple, and I enjoyed their interactions.
It was another great treat to have a bisexual character who didn’t need to “prove” it while simultaneously coming to terms with his own identity. The storylines involving Nate’s past were done well. It was mildly annoying that all Nate’s gay friends kept referring to his “gay side.” I would have liked to see that addressed more directly, especially because some of it played into the stereotype of bisexual people as confused. I was mildly disappointed that Nate gave in a little at the end and suggested it didn’t matter how his identity was spun by others. Unfortunately, that’s simply not true, and I didn’t care for reinforcing that. Even so, I was very happy to see such a well-written bi man.
Overall, this was a terrific read, and I’m looking forward to checking out other books by Ms. Hayes.
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
“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 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.
1) Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
I write in my dining room. It’s a beautiful room painted in the lightest shade of a blue-green with French windows that open on to a garden. I have plenty of greenery outside and a potted orchid on the table to stare at when my head gets muddled. I could use a better chair, but hey… no complaints!
2) Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
This is a tough question because I can honestly relate to each of my characters to some degree. But if I were put on the spot I would probably say… Curt from Better Than Friends, minus the messiness! I’m a complete control freak like Curt and I tend to overthink when I should just let things slide. He’s more concerned with punctuality than me (I tend to run 10 minutes behind, but I swear I try!) but I’m with him when it comes to motorcycles. No thank you.
3) If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
I don’t know! This is my dream job! I get to wear pjs all day and hang out with my dog. What’s not to love? If I were forced to name something, I suppose I’d want to own a small bookstore. Something quaint and inviting with big comfy chairs, a fireplace and someone on hand to bring fresh tea and cookies upon request. Hmm, I’d like to go there now please.
4) Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had
known before hand?
It’s hard work! LOL. Writing isn’t the difficult part of the writing process. Editing is.
That is the one thing I think every writer learns at some point. We tend to get caught up with words and forget that balance is important. It’s better to write too much and cut than not write enough and tell a flimsy story.
5) Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
No. I’m extremely proud of The Right Time. It was by far the most layered and complex book I’ve written to date. I’ve touched on quite a few uncomfortable topics and was nervous before it went to editing that I’d overdone it. But a great team of editors is a godsend! I’m excited for everyone to finally get a chance to read Alex and Nate’s story.
6) How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
I get inspiration from the locations I use. Right and Wrong Stories all take place in LA and Orange County, California, which is where I live. Once the first story is in place, the others come more easily. In the Southern California beach communities, surfing is a big deal. Health, fitness and yes, interior design are big business. There is a large Latino population here as well. Each of the Right and Wrong books are reflective of the area to a large degree. I like using places I’m familiar with and then letting my imagination take over!
7) What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m days away from submitting Book 1 in my new series to the publisher. (I’m busy editing, lol) It’s been a busy year so far for me as an author. The Right Time is my third release within seven months and I have another scheduled for fall. The pace is fast and furious at the moment but I’m very grateful to be doing what I love!
8) Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
I live in Orange County, California near the beach. The area is very beautiful but alas, very conservative. I think there may be an interesting correlation between writing MM Romance and living someplace where no one I know would admit to reading my books. Unless they’re doing so in the closet. Hmm. See? There may be a story here…
9) What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
Romance is my number one by far. After that I would say the Classics because I love language. I am in love with words. There is nothing more swoon-worthy than a beautiful turn of phrase. I can happily get lost in Jane Austen books.
10) Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
Nothing exciting. I wear flip-flops most days (remember I live in So Cal), I drink tea instead of coffee and I don’t have much time to shop. My biggest vice might be travel. If that counts. I decided a while ago that I’d rather spend money on a plane ticket than a new pair of shoes any day of the week. This year I’ve been to New York, San Francisco and Orlando so far. I’m looking forward to filling in the calendar with some fun locations for the second part of 2015 too!
Lane Hayes is finally doing what she loves best. Writing! An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel, Better Than Good, was a 2013 Rainbow Awards finalist. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and their very old dog in an almost empty nest.