Prince of the Playhouse (Lily G’s Review)

Title: Prince of the Playhouse (Love in Laguna #3)
Author: Tara Lain and narrated by K.C. Kelly
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Release Date: June 6th, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 266/ 8 hours and 42 minutes
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

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.

Any book narrated by K.C. Kelly automatically goes into my wish list. I love the inflection of his voice, the superb and very recognizable voices he creates for each character, even the sighs and huffs he makes are perfect and add so much to the story he is telling.

I’ve listened to the two previous stories in this series and thoroughly enjoyed #1 Knight on Ocean Avenue. We were first introduced to Rupert Maitland (Ru) in that story, although I didn’t take to him as much as I did in this one, even though he offered support to his friend and work colleague, Shaz. I adored Shaz from the start and was thrilled to see him popping up to offer Ru his comfort and advice in this story.

My heart went out to Ru as the story unfolded. He turns out to be such a wonderful character; kind and considerate as well as OTT and gregarious at times. He’s adorable and well on his way to becoming a superstar in the fashion industry. For one so young, he is incredibly gifted. The mystery of his past took its time to reveal itself and had me wondering for much of the story. I kept expecting it to conflict with his developing relationship with Gray Anson, the super hot (and deeply in the closet) movie star.

When they finally get the chance to make out, the sex scenes are smoking hot. I didn’t like that Gray kept his affair with Ru a secret and still dated women to keep up his public hetero image. In fact, I found it difficult to get a grasp on Gray’s character. I loved Chris, his bodyguard/chauffeur, though.

The story was well-written, but for me the storyline didn’t work as well as #1. But still it was an entertaining, low-angst story overall, made all the more enjoyable by K.C. Kelly’s fabulous narration.

Love in Laguna Series

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Audio copy of Prince of the Playhouse provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review.


Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men's feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page. There never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing! Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon and later published short stories with Torquere Press, Wayward Ink Publishing, and Pride Publishing.