Title ~ The Wrong Man (Right and Wrong Stories Book 2)
Author ~ Lane Hayes
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 6th February 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
A Right and Wrong Story
Successful owner of an upscale boutique in fabulous West Hollywood, Brandon Good swears by his personal edict to “live in the present.” After a bad breakup, he agrees to dog-sit to keep his mind off his ex. Never did he expect the dog to belong to a man from his past, the only man to ever truly break his heart.
When Jake Westley relocates to join the WeHo fire department, the last thing he anticipates is reuniting with his secret high school love. Thrilled with the prospect of reconnecting with Bran, Jake feels no guilt in using his charming old dog as an unwitting matchmaker. As he and Bran rekindle their friendship, it becomes clear the intense attraction they once felt is stronger than ever. But as hard as they try to leave the past behind, painful memories resurface. Bran will have to confront his fears and consider the possibility that the man he swore was absolutely the wrong one might be perfect after all.
How could I not love this story when one of the main characters is called Macky...well it's Mack really, but there's definitely a 'Macky' moment happening. He's blonde, gorgeous, lovable, handsome, loyal, sweet, loving and gives great tongue...okay...the tongue is slobbery, he's got four legs, a tail, and he pees on trees but...Yay!...I'm sort of in a Lane Hayes book...I'm a dog ...but I'm in a Lane Hayes Book! Hahaha....
Oops, I'm digressing now, so back to how much I loved everything else about this story.
Just like Frank Sinatra had his 'Brat Pack', I've got my 'Mack Pack' of go to m/m romance writers who never fail to deliver what I think of as the perfect feel good m/m romance, and Lane Hayes is one of its members. Palpable chemistry, tummy tingling sexual,tension, hot yummy sex, three dimensional characters you can't help loving; that's my shtick and Lane Hayes has never disappointed in ticking any of those boxes so I wasn't surprised at how much I enjoyed this. Having met and taken to Brandon's character in The Right Words, I was really looking forward to his story, and pairing him up with a hunky fireman and a cuddly golden lab certainly didn't hurt its chances of pulling me in.
Brandon is quite fabulous. He's outwardly gay; flamboyant, very well put together, loves his designer clothes and is a touch neurotic. He play's the 'Diva Queen' very well, but that's the show he tends to put on for acquaintances and it works well for him with his easily impressed, rich clientele, who shop at his designer store. But beneath the fussy, camp persona is a savvy, strong willed, business man who started life in an abusive family environment and suffered the pressures of being an openly gay teen at school. I really do love Brandon.
Jake is the gorgeous fireman who breezes back into Bran's life with his adorable, old pooch: Mack. The only problem is that Brandon's memories of his ex school boyfriend, in the days when when Jake was the quintessential 'straight' Jock and he was the conspicuous gay teen, aren't happy ones at all. Their secret relationship ended badly and since then, he's had other relationships but has been able to fully give himself emotionally to any of them. Newly single after yet another good looking but shallow guy has let him down; even though he gets the tingles when his ex walks in the door of his shop, Brandon's walls go up the moment he sets on eyes on the man who broke his heart. No way is he letting him back into his life...or that's what he thinks! Because who can resist the lure of a beautiful and strong but gentle natured man, with an extremely loveable, friendly dog that's as cute as a button? Especially when that man begins to sweetly pursue first a friendship, then a romance, using the canine cutie to reel Brandon in. A man who can still make his heart flutter. He gave me a few palpitations too...of the "be still my beating heart" kind!
And, that's basically the main premise of the story. Lane brings in a little bit of extra conflict in the form of two ex boyfriends and a touch of poignancy in a tender sub plot surrounding Mack, which all adds some moderate angst into the mix but mostly the book centres on Jake's attempts to regain the trust, and ultimately the love, of the prickly man who stole his heart many years ago. It's just a delightful love story that shines because it's MC's are such lovable, and likeable, stand out characters...and I'm including Mack the dog in that statement because his part in the story is important not only in instigating Bran and Jake's reunion but subsequently keeping them together. They say never work with kids or dogs because usually they overshadow everyone else, but Mack's inclusion is balanced perfectly. He's a sweetie, who helps his master get back under an emotionally brittle Bran's skin, and it's a joy watching how Lane makes it all work.
We get to see lovely Luke again, Brans best friend from Book #1, his tall, dark and handsome soccer partner Michael and a bit more of the vibrant Mara, Luke's awesome, outgoing mum; who welcomed a young Brandon into their home and brought him up like her own son when his own waste of space mum abandoned him. Plus there's a few more engaging supporting characters, including a couple of guys who could be next in line to get their man in this entertaining series. I'm still thinking ex soccer player Alex, Michaels friend, who we also met in The Right Words, is in the lead but then again Lorenzo, one of Bran's appealing employees might possibly be a candidate too. Whoever it turns out to be, if this series continues, I'm confident it'll be a goodie! This was another enjoyable, highly satisfying, comfort read from Ms Hayes, that put a contented smile on my face.