Audiobook Review: A Kind of Romance (A Kind of Stories #2) by Lane Hayes

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.

Listening Length: 9 hours and 1 minute
Narrated by: Seth Clayton

Narration 5 Hearts
Story 3.5-4 Hearts


Seth Clayton is BONAFIDE!

I'm still a rookie at this audiobook deal but I was blown away by Clayton's narration. He really got into it. Everyone's voice was distinct. If the charactered sighed, he sighed. If they laughed, he laughed. Hell, there was even one time Zeke was eating and he talked with his mouth full! And he did a compelling job with the sexy times too! I have zero complaints about the narration. As a matter of fact, I'd even go so far as to say that I'd listen to an audiobook that I maybe wasn't that interested in if he narrated it. 

Watch your 6, Seth.

This story is quite good. It's a little fake boyfriendish which is usually my jam. The fly in the ointment was Zeke. Zeke needs to get punched in the face, preferably by his seventy-something father. He's a pretentious snob which is sort of ironic considering he labels all of his peers as such. However, I really have to hand it to Hayes to dance with who brung her. Sorry, I lapsed into Southernspeak. What I mean is, Zeke isn't a sympathetic character. He's judgy, vengeful and ├╝ber competitive in an unflattering way, but Hayes tells this story entirely through his eyes. I admire that, takes chutzpah. 

I was empathetic towards him while at the same time barely stifling the urge to tell him that we were playing the quiet game wherein he would be 'it' until further notice. He has daddy issues. I'd go into the whole psychobabble rigamarole but blah blah blee blee blee. He comes around in the end. He has his moments where I cyber high-fived him and-even better-he has to jump through a couple of hoops to get to his HEA. Both of these characters have depth with strong and consistent characterizations which makes for engaging reading.

He and Benny get guilted into a date by Zeke's meddling father who doesn't want his son to die alone. Benny isn't his type, a point which Zeke hammers over and over again usually right to Benny's face.

Benny gives it right back though. He sees through all the BS and I loved him for it. He takes zero shit without being a jerkface about it. Out and proud and a bit femme there was nothing not to like about him and the bottom line is, it matters not what I think about Zeke because Benny likes him. Benny is a positive influence and despite the fact that Zeke's head keeps telling him they have no future, his heart keeps him chasing after Benny like an imprinted duckling. 

Some of my favorite moments came from his single-mindedness. From the Gershwin karaoke to the wedding to the pool game, they sort of accidentally wend up in a relationship. The evolution of their relationship seemed natural for two people who genuinely like one another, can communicate about things large and small and have some scorching sex. You'd have to be nutters to not want to spend loads of time with that person, ammiright? However, my most favorite part was the talk Zeke has with his father after he's torched the best part of his life and is lost as to how to fix it. That's the stuff of verklemptitude right there, folks.

I think A Kind of Romance is a better example of Hayes talent than my first experience and I would read more by her. I'm actually really curious about Clay and what his story is. Still has more label dropping and interior decorating than I think is necessary but I think it worked better this time, because pretentious snob. It goes without saying that if Seth Clayton narrates, I'm there. With bells on.

A Kind of Romance can be read as a standalone. I've not read the predecessor but never felt lost.

I'd recommend Seth Clayton to EVERYONE!!!!!!!! And this book to those who like the opposites attract trope.

A review copy was provided.

Find out more on Goodreads & Dreamspinner Press.

See our eBook review here!