Title: Better Than Safe (Better Than #4)
Author Name & Publisher: Lane Hayes (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length:September 25, 2015 – 244 pgs
Paul Fallon is a fashion advertising guru. He’s a genius at dealing with difficult editors, art directors, and designers alike. He thrives on the chaotic atmosphere and constant challenges. But in his personal life, he’s hoping for peace and stability. Settling down with a nice doctor or lawyer sounds perfect. Anyone but an artist. He’s been there, done that, and he doesn’t want to relive the heartache.
Seth Landau is a model, occasional guitarist, and aspiring painter. He’s quirky, flighty, and wise beyond his years. Life has taught him some tough lessons, then given him opportunities he never dreamed of. He’s learned to appreciate the fragility of life and to express it in his work. Seth’s flare for the absurd combined with a supple mind and a beautiful body are too alluring for Paul to ignore. Against his best intentions, Paul is drawn to the younger man whose particular brand of crazy challenges Paul to accept that things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes taking a chance is better than being safe.
Other than that I really did like this book.
Paul came across to me as a really strong character but at the same time he is wary of Seth. Which to be honest with the way Seth treats him I really do not blame him at all. I really did like his character a lot.
Then there was Seth who is a artist and model who also plays guitar in a rock band.
By the end of the book I did end up liking Seth a little more but still was not a huge fan of his.
This series is great, loved the first three books and this one too! We met Paul in book 3, he dated Curt and it didn’t work out so well. Paul is a fashion designer who used to travel the world but now he is staying in the US for a while. Seth is a model, painter and loves to play guitar. These two have instant sparks but Seth comes off as a jerk when they meet for coffee. Still strangely attracted to each other they start off as friends even against Paul’s better judgment. These two go through so many ups and downs at times it was frustrating and you wanted to scream at them. Another great addition to the series and it was great seeing characters from previous books again.
I absolutely loved this. I am a huge Lane Hayes fan and Seth just might be my favourite of all her characters. A model, a musician and a tortured artist, he is my perfect leading man.
While Seth was completely beguiling, it did take me a while to warm to Paul. Stuffy, judgemental and a little too hung up on his ex – Paul is bland husband material at the start of the novel. As Paul narrates the story, it took me a while before I really wanted him to find happiness.
What makes this novel and Seth and Paul’s relationship special is the way the men’s relationship makes them both so much more. Seth is introduced as a flighty, spoiled model. Their first encounters are disastrous, but as Paul confronts his prejudices and reconsiders his values, Seth emerges as an artist, a musician and a complex human being.
The best books make readers consider wider themes. Layne Hayes forces her readers to consider all the ways our safest life choices aren’t necessarily the right life choices. I love the way Seth and Paul’s very unlikely relationship makes them both better versions of themselves.
I think my only quibble with the story was the Simon sub-plot. Seth and Paul’s relationship is complicated enough. I don’t think it needed the dodgy, vaguely villainous ex-boyfriend and I would argue that it actually detracted from the main story.
But overall, I loved the book. Seth and Paul are a fantastic, original couple. I haven’t read the first two books in the series but reading this as a stand-alone worked just fine. I’m looking forward to learning more about Paul’s friends in the first two books!
Ok what else can I say; this whole series was just amazing. In this book we have Paul’s story and even though he didn’t want to fall in love with an artist what is life but a kick in the ass to give you exactly what you don’t want. I love these type of stories that bring to life that exactly what some doesn’t think they want (I just could imagine Paul with a doctor or lawyer). I loved the interaction between Paul and Seth and just had to keep reading to find out where the author was going to take them.
All in all this series was a great read. Maybe one day I’ll finally get to read the Right and Wrong series (sigh).
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.