Driven by his desire to become a successful fashion designer and concerned with hiding his questionable past, Ru Maitland lets his obsession with action movie star Gray Anson on the big screen replace his social life. Then obsession and reality collide when Ru is asked to design fashion costumes for a special performance of Hamlet at the Playhouse in Laguna starring none other than Gray Anson. Gray turns out to be a compelling mix of shy and brash and, despite a high profile engagement to a female socialite, the signals Gray sends Ru have his libido doing the salsa.
Gray Anson has what most people only dream of—great wealth, huge fame, a job he loves. For that, he’s given up any semblance of privacy and the right to say no to the thousands of people who depend on him and the millions who love him. He sees everything he’s ever wanted just outside the bubble of his life, but how can he make the compromises needed to embrace it? When Ru’s shady past crashes into Gray’s paparazzi-haunted present, both men have to learn that sometimes the only acceptable compromise is the truth.
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The Prince of the Playhouse
by Tara Lain
Love in Laguna #3
April 4, 2016
The Love in Laguna Series
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Ru cleared his throat. “Just stand relaxed.” Take that advice yourself. He stepped behind him. Gray towered over Ru’s five eleven. The man must be a full six three or four as reported. Stretching his tape, Ru measured the width of those shoulders. Have to do it. He rested a hand against Gray’s arm and let the warmth seep into his bones—and his boner. “Do you usually wear a forty-four long?”
“Uh, yes, I think so. They tailor it for my, uh, waist.”
“Um-hm.” Ru wrapped the tape around Anson’s waist, trying not to pass out. “Thirty-three.”
Though he didn’t really have to, he measured Gray’s chest and hips. “How do you see Hamlet?”
“Sorry? What do you mean?”
“What’s your understanding of the character?”
“Oh.” He shrugged. “I guess he’s confused. Pissed that everybody including ghosts wants something from him.” Whoa. That last boiled with heat. “Sorry.”
“No, I like your take on him.”
The edges of his lips turned up. “You do?”
“Yeah.” Ru knelt to measure the inseam. “Just hold still for a second.” He swallowed hard and snuggled one hand in the general vicinity of Gray’s balls. Some balls they were too, nicely framed by the crotch of a pair of old, worn jeans. Movies often unveiled Gray’s awesome ass, but the balls Ru had never seen. He pulled the tape to the floor. “Thirty-six sound right?”
“Yes. I guess.”
If he burrowed his nose in Gray’s crotch and sniffed, could he blame it on the need to gather impressions for his design? His giggle tried to escape again. He stood before he went through with it. “Let me show you what I’m thinking.”
He didn’t usually share his designs until they were further along, but man, he didn’t want Gray to leave. He leaned over the table he’d been sketching at. Gray rested his perfect forearm on the table and looked over Ru’s shoulder. Warmth from his body slammed into Ru like a day in Jamaica, and Mr. Downtown turned into a heat-seeking missile.
Ru sucked in a breath. “Uh, what if we dress Hamlet like a sort of ultrafashionable gangbanger? Baggy pants and a combination of wifebeaters and baggy T-shirts. But we’ll do them in fantasy colors and cover your arms and chest in tattoos.” Ru’s fingers flew across the pages as the ideas took shape, bold lines slashing the white paper. “We’ll even tie your head in a bandana.” He looked up and almost choked. Gray’s face was poised only inches from his, and he was smiling, the huge, flashing-teeth, dimples-as-deep-as-craters smile that had made this man a billionaire. All I’d have to do is stand on tiptoe and I could kiss him. Of course, I wouldn’t get to do costumes for Hamlet anymore, but it might be worth it. He smiled slowly at the incongruity of the perfect face surrounded by the ratty gray wig.
Gray spoke softly. “You really get into this, don’t you?”
Ru swallowed. “Uh, yes, sorry.”
“No need to be sorry. I love the idea, and I love your passion.”
“Yes.” He just kept staring at Ru. “Do you know your eyes are almost the color of a cat’s?”
“And yours are like the sky before a storm.”
About Tara Lain
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her bestselling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soulmate husband and her soulmate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”