Audiobook Review: Leaning Into Forever by Lane Hayes, narrated by Nick J. Russo (Leaning Into #7)


Note: An audiobook was provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design.

“I can’t ask you to wait for me.”
Levi huffed incredulously. “Don’t you get it? I don’t have a choice. You’re the other part of me, Geord. I love you.”
My breath hitched audibly. “Levi…”
“Shh. I love you. And I’ll wait forever if I have to. You’re it for me. My sun, my moon…you’re mine.” He swiped at his eyes and swallowed hard. “But I won’t pressure you. I’ll set you free.”       

I was already in love with the story when I read it a month and a half ago, but listening to the audiobook for Leaning Into Forever was a wholly extraordinary experience. Yes, Lane Hayes is one of my favorite go-to authors; yes, Nick J. Russo is one of my favorite go-to narrators. Neither one is infallible for the simple reason that no one is, but damn it, they've come freakishly close with this joint endeavor of theirs. This seventh and final (gasp!) Leaning Into story was, at times, heartrending, but that air of hopefulness was most prevalent and with the addition of lighthearted humor, a dash of angst, conversations with a departed loved one, Vespa-riding adventures, discussion on the importance of font choice, and an array of classic show tunes, and this must-listen-to series ender easily lands on my list of favorite audiobooks for this year, matching the eBook's inclusion on my 2018 list of top reads.

It was four years ago that Geordie de la Rosa had to be deal with the greatest loss of his life--that of his partner and love, Mike. At forty-three, Geordie has moved on in some ways; the winery he co-owns with his best friend (who just happens to be Mike's ex) is doing splendidly, and Geordie's surrounded by people who have become his family and love and accept him just the way he is. It's been nearly four years since Geordie de la Rosa unexpectedly lost the love of his life. However, there's no denying how much he still misses the love of his life, but for now, regular conversations with him will have to suffice until they meet again. Life may not be perfect, but it's good, and then it becomes kinda-sorta-maybe complicated when Levi Yeager buys the diner next to the winery. The thirty-seven-year-old ex-baseball player, now diner owner could be exactly what Geordie never knew he needed, if only he would give them a chance to explore what a future together would be like once he starts leaning into forever.

This was such a beautifully written story of not just Geordie's first love (because hey, there are no age limits when it comes to first loves), but what could also potentially be his last love. I loved that Lane Hayes didn't take the expected direction of Levi being apprehensive about Geordie's fabulousness (aka flamboyance, but I prefer my label for it) because that would have been the all-too-easy way to go about it. There are quite a few surprises that Hayes does have up her sleeve in terms of story development and direction, and that's just one of the reasons I love this woman's writing. She's brought in a number of familiar characters from the previous Leaning Into books, but she thankfully doesn't give time to steal the spotlight even as their appearances are notable ones. Then there's Nick J. Russo's narration, which, can I just say, is probably one of his best? The nuances in the voices he gives both Geordie and Levi aren't overly done; they're subtle but so well done. I've still got my fingers crossed for ONE more audiobook from this series and I seriously hope Hayes and Russo team up. Five-plus stars for Leaning Into Forever. ♥


Date Listened to: 14 August 2018

Learn more about Lane Hayes.

Learn more about Nick J. Russo.

Purchase Leaning Into Forever on Audible.

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