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Hearts On Fire Reviews

We read and review for the love and joy of books.

Better Than Friends by Lane Hayes

Better Than Friends (Better Than Stories) - Lane Hayes

Reviewer: Barb

Genre: M/M Contemporary


Wow! Tyler Stevens as a narrator is top of the lot, IMHO. That man can make any scene drool-worthy. Sigh. I just need to say up front that the minute I finished this, I purchased the rest of the series as audiobooks so that I can listen to his talented vocalizations as he relates the stories of the secondary characters I met in this book who were apparently MCs in the first two of this series. This book is number three in the series and can stand alone, however if you’re like me, you’ll want to listen to more.

Since this is supposed to be a review of the story itself, I should get on with it.


Curt Townsend, a successful young DC lawyer, attends the wedding of two close friends, Peter and Jay, both so gorgeous that either could be a model and both so in love with each other that Curt starts to feel that there really could be a happily ever after for him some day. When he meets Jack Farinelli and finds out that he’s Jay’s ex-boyfriend, he’s shocked that they remained close enough for Jack to be invited, and he’s struck with more than a little longing for the older man. Jack is fourteen years older than Curt, owns two businesses—a bar and a motorcycle shop and he’s drop-dead gorgeous.


The deep-voice with a slight Georgia accent is perfect for this tall, muscular, tattooed bad boy. Tyler Stevens just rocks it, bringing the author’s words to life. Jack is perfectly at ease in his masculinity and in his comfort zone on his bike or in his leather bar. He and Curt find that they have a love of all sports in common and strike up a friendship based on baseball. Though they don’t consider it dating, they do attend several games together and hang out to watch sports on TV at Curt’s house quite a bit. In the meantime, Curt has agreed to go on a blind date and then several more with an exec named Paul who sports a British accent and is proper at all times. Though Curt isn’t particularly turned on by Paul, he’s not turned off either, and they continue to date. After all, in Curt’s mind, his friendship with Jack is just that—there’s no room for romance there.


Circumstances combine to throw Curt and Jack together more often and eventually into bed where their chemistry lights up the sky. Jack can’t seem to get enough of Curt but Curt remains clueless about his own attractiveness. He can’t grasp the fact that a man like Jack might find him attractive and want him for more than just a friend with benefits.

I enjoyed this story so much, in part because the writing was really well done, but I have to admit that the narration carried the story for me and it may be the reason I rated the book so highly. This is definitely one of those cases where I would recommend the audiobook as a purchase for this story, as opposed to simply reading the e-book version. Our MCs eventually muddle their way through the emotional ups and downs of Relationship 101 and do get the promise of their HEA by the end. I highly recommend this to all lovers of M/M romance. And I’m sure you know by now—don’t miss the audiobook version!