I'm thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for Tara Lain's Prince of the Playhouse. This is the third book in her Love in Laguna series and I've loved them all, but this one just might be my favorite so far! Today I have my review for you as well as a giveaway! Enjoy!
Prince of the Playhouse by Tara Lain
Love in Laguna #3
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Genre: Adult, M/M Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an eARC, as part of the tour, in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ B&N
Driven by his desire to become a successful fashion designer and concerned with hiding his questionablepast, 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.
Prince of the Playhouse may be my favorite of this series so far! I've always been fond of Ru and getting to know his backstory was enlightening. Watching him get his man...exciting! Those two things mixed with a hunky action-movie hero, some suspense, and Shakespeare made for an excellent read!
I first met Ru in Knight of Ocean Avenue. His creativity was apparent as was his love and loyalty towards his friends. But we didn't get a deeper understanding until now - where it's obvious Ru's habit of keeping most people at arm's length is intentional. With what I learned, I realized Ru is smart, strong, and incredibly lucky. The life he's leading is somewhat charmed and he works hard, very hard, not only in crafting his life but also in keeping his past at bay.
Gray Anson made it big his first time off the block, so to speak. Now, the biggest action star in Hollywood, he has everything money can buy. But he wants more. He wants to test himself, t be taken seriously as an actor...and he wants love. However, due to his action hero status, Gray lives in the closet. Little did he know his decision to play the lead role in Laguna's little production of Hamlet would give him everything he's desiring. Gray is such a lovable guy. He's famous yet vulnerable. And the misery he felt at being forced to live his real private life in secret was palpable. My heart hurt for him.
Watching Ru and Gray get to know one another, seeing their attraction grow into something more as hey worked on Hamlet was fascinating. I'm a nerdy Shakespeare fan, so having Hamlet as the backdrop, having Ru explain different scenes and the meaning behind them and Hamlet's lines - well, that really appealed to me and increased my enjoyment. That Ru kept his secret from Gray for so long broke my heart. But it also showed me his insecure and vulnerable side as well. I understood Ru's indecision over his relationship with Gray just as I understood Gray's indecision over making possibly career-changing decisions.
Another pleasure in Prince of the Playhouse was meeting some new secondary characters who were delightful. I certainly hope to see more of Merle but I also quite liked Gray's bodyguard, Chris, and Gray's mom! I also enjoyed getting to see more of Shaz.
Prince of the Playhouse had so much goodness and depth and - well, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I really look forward to Ms. Lain's next offering in this series.
**Love in Laguna Series**
Knight of Ocean Avenue
Knave of Broken Hearts
Prince of the Playhouse
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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”