I’d like to welcome the lovely Morticia Knight to my blog today! She always brings great reads with intriguing excerpts. 🙂
Thanks for having me here today Draven and letting me share this final installment in the Gin & Jazz series. I have an exclusive excerpt to share with you as well. The books all take place during the Roaring Twenties and feature the exploits of several men who trudge their way through the pitfalls and decadence of Hollywood. This one can be read as a standalone as it tells the complete love story of two men from the series who haven’t been able to find their HEA yet. Poor guys…
Former screen idol, Roman Pasquale, struggles to survive in Hollywood as the silent film era comes to a close. But a fresh new playwright is in town and he wants Roman to be more than just his star.
The past few years haven’t been kind to fading film star, Roman Pasquale. But then again, he was never very kind to anyone else either. He’s had time to reminisce on his mistakes and to accept responsibility for how he hurt others. Now that Global Studios has turned its back on him, he’s had to sell his grand estate and start over in a modest apartment.
His former co-star, actress Maude Simons, suggests that he meet with new playwright, Max Vogel. Not only will he get the chance to be the star again, Roman can really use the money. What he doesn’t expect is how strongly he’s attracted to the easygoing, confident young man—and the very wicked thoughts he has about him.
Playwright and director, Max Vogel, is delighted that the great Roman Pasquale has agreed to star in his play. What he is unprepared for however, is the intense physical spark that ignites the moment they meet. He’s been warned of Roman’s reputation for being difficult to work with, but he’s willing to take the risk—even though his career depends on the success of this one play.
Max needs to coax a heartfelt performance out of Roman, and Roman needs to live up to his resolve to be a better man. But maybe the real issue is whether or not the director and actor can resist the passion they have for one another, a lust so strong that it catches them unaware. Is their lust really love? Or will the drive for success destroy any hope for a happily-ever-after?
Exclusive Excerpt from Play Acting (Gin & Jazz 7)
Then there was Max, and Max’s play. A bit of an icy trail of fear ran up his spine. He swallowed hard as he continued to view the activity on the street below. Lovely Max and his scary play. Max had told him he would be sending a copy over by messenger later so that Roman would have the opportunity to study it prior to the first day of rehearsal the following Monday.
He couldn’t do it. Who was he kidding? How could he possibly memorize pages and pages of dialogue and prance around on stage every night without breaks in between? And on top of that, he’d also have to emote, use sense memory and do all of that other nonsense he didn’t fully understand. It had taken André days to get anything usable out of him when they’d been filming and it had only resulted in a few minutes of film at a time. The entire experience had been excruciatingly draining. No matter how complimentary André had been about his resulting performance, it had been next to impossible for André to wrest it from him. What chance did Max have?
If he actually cared about Max in the way he thought possible, he should call it off, allow Max to find someone more suitable before Roman destroyed the young man’s dream. Maude’s distinctly feminine knock interrupted his musings.
“Yes, come in.”
He didn’t bother to look her way, continuing to gaze out the window instead.
“Roman, darling, don’t you lock this door? Anyone could come barging in here and rob or molest you.”
Roman grunted. “I assure you, there’s barely anything left of value to rob and I’m sure no one’s interested in molesting me.”
Except for maybe one sweet playwright.
“This isn’t the estate in Silverlake you know. There aren’t gates and a full staff watching over things night and day. You need to be more careful.”
Roman turned around, frowning. “I thought you said this was a secure building.”
She regarded him coolly. “Yes. But you aren’t the only tenant. You need to take more precautions.” She glanced around the living room with obvious disdain. “Are you sleeping on the couch?”
Roman frowned, irritated with her prying.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to get the bedroom set up to my liking.”
“Oh really? Has your heavy load of film obligations been too overwhelming?”
“Don’t you have a naughty pet in need of some training back in your own abode?”
“I don’t have her scheduled for another hour. That leaves me plenty of time to figure out what in the devil’s name is going on with you, Roman.”
Roman collapsed in the forest green wing chair that had been purchased as part of his new living room ensemble. Except that there wasn’t much room for any sort of an ensemble with all of the dregs of his move still lying about. He rested his forehead in his hand and sighed heavily. Sometimes it didn’t matter what he thought of his age. He simply felt old.
“How young do you suppose Max is?”
Maude sat gingerly at the edge of the sofa. “Are you referring to our new employer? At least, I assume you had the sense to agree to star with me in his play.”
“Sense?” He chuckled. “I don’t believe I have ever had much of that.”
“I’ll take your cryptic remark as a yes. And to answer your other question, I haven’t the foggiest idea. Twenty-two, twenty-three perhaps?”
Roman groaned. That would make Max the same age as Jack would be currently. He’d assumed the playwright had to be older since he was directing his own play and had already seen it produced once in New York. But he’d had to admit that when he’d met him, he did appear rather youthful.
“Roman, you’re exhausting, did you know that?”
His head lolled to the side in her direction.
“What did I do now?”
“I can’t figure you out. I knew you wouldn’t be dancing for joy over getting the part in the play, but I’d thought that at the very least you would have been relieved to have some of your financial concerns handled.”
“Yes, well. I’m still not certain whether I’m actually play-worthy. This whole idea of being on stage night after night is frankly unsettling. I would hate to ruin dear Max’s play, especially since it means so much to him. And if he’s really that young, well, that would break his heart even more. He hasn’t had the chance to learn the wicked ways of this town yet.”
Roman sat up straight and whipped his head around to face her.
“What is it?”
“You want to fuck him!”
Roman inhaled sharply, but had to look away.
“Oh no you don’t Pasquale. You can’t play me the way you do all the other oblivious mugs and chippys out there. I know you. When did this happen? Over lunch?”
He glared at her, his silence only serving to answer her question.
She threw her arms in the air and stood up. “Roman, if at all possible, I would like to collect my three thousand dollars. Once I have, you can fuck the entire cast and crew—present company excluded. But until then, could you please keep your dick in its previously dormant state? While I am pleased that you’re considering sending your hand into retirement, do you suppose it could remain employed until Max’s little play has concluded?”
“Of course, dear Maude. I live only to please you.”
She was correct, but that didn’t keep him from being aggravated with her.
“Well, that’s a relief. But I do hope you’re actually listening to me. Because this might be your only chance at regaining a good career.” She turned from him and sashayed to the door. Before she stepped out into the hall, she peered over her shoulder. ”And your self-respect.”
He looked away, not acknowledging what she’d said. Even if she was right.
Available at Totally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/play-acting
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