Author ~ Tara Lain
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 4th April 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
A Love in Laguna Novel
Driven by his desire to become a successful fashion designer and concerned with hiding his questionable past, Ru Maitland has let 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.
Prince of the Playhouse is the latest book in Tara Lain’s contemporary MM romance series entitled Love in Laguna. We finally get Ru’s story, a character that has appeared in this series. While this book does feature a character that has been in the background in this series, you can definitely read this book as a stand-alone. This was definitely a sweet and fun read with a side of squishy goodness. From the first page I was hooked and wanted to see just how things would play out between the flamboyant fashion designer and the mega action movie star.
Ru Maitland is on the verge of breaking out in the fashion world. He’s worked hard to become a successful fashion designer and with fashion week fast approaching it is even more important for Ru to keep his questionable past deeply hidden. While his professional life is going fantastically, Ru’s love life has somewhat taken a back seat. This flaming fashion queen is happy quietly obsessing over his favorite mega-star actor and allowing that to be his excuse for not going out and meeting the right guy. But, what happens when his obsession collides with his reality?
When Ru is asked to design costumes for a local performance of Hamlet at the Playhouse in Laguna, he is reluctant to dive in as this would cut into the time he needs to devote to his clothing designs that will appear at fashion week. However, when Ru discovers that Hamlet will be played by none other than his fantasy man, Gray Anson, there is no way he will turn down the opportunity to come face to face with his wet dream. What he does not expect is to discover that Gray is an enthralling mixture of reserved and outgoing. Ru also does not expect to be on the receiving end of all these mixed signals from the sexy actor, a fact that is making his man parts jump up at the attention and salute.
Gray has taken on the role of Hamlet to give his acting career more credibility. He is more than just an action star and he wants to prove it to the world. On set he’s taken aback by the gorgeous and effeminate costume designer that sets his heart racing. But, there is nothing he can do about this sudden attraction. Gray is deep in the closet and maintaining the perfect action-hero image is what he signed up for when he decided to become an actor. Coming out as a gay man and ending his engagement to his socialite fiancé would certainly mean the end of his career. Wouldn’t it? When Gray begins to doubt his acting abilities he asks Ru for his help with the complex script. Matters become even more complicated when the two men begin spending more and more time together. Can Gray risk it all for a chance to be who he truly is and for his shot at a happy forever?
This was a cute and fun book read to read plus I loved the whole theatre setting! There was something just so endearing about both Ru and Gray that had me rooting for them. Although, there were many moments that I want to junk-punch Gray for keeping Ru as his dirty little secret. Ru certainly deserved better than that. Both Ru and Gray were these multi-layered and complex individuals. Who would have thought that Ru had a shady past that he has worked hard to overcome? There is certainly more to him than meets the eye. And then there is Gray who is struggling with his sexuality. Ru comes into his life and turns it upside down. Definitely a feel-good read that had me laughing out loud as much as it had me swooning. Not to mention, our two protagonists certainly have some sexual chemistry that is off the charts. Sheesh! I loved the fact that Ru was a flaming top. Not what anyone would expect but very hot nonetheless.
All in all, Prince of the Playhouse is a fun, low angst tale that had me smiling from start to finish and left me happily sighing in romance lala land. It is one of those books that romance junkies like myself inhale as it is all about making your heart happy and leaves you all squishy inside. A recommended read for all MM romance lovers.
Meet 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 best-selling 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 soul-mate husband and her soul-mate 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”!