Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese
Two years after the events of Starling, Cinderella story and star of The Fourth Estate J. Alex Cook is living happily ever after with his boyfriend, television writer Paul Marion Keane. But when Paul’s pilot gets picked up, the demands of their high-profile careers make them question their future together.
As Paul becomes increasingly absent from their relationship, Alex tries to regain control of his private life and establish a career path independent of Fourth's enigmatic showrunner Victor. But the delicate web of relationships that connects Alex, Paul, and their friends — including Alex's excitable ex-lover Liam and his no-nonsense fiancée Carly — threatens to unravel.
With the business of Hollywood making it hard to remember who he is when the whole world isn’t watching, Alex is forced to confront major changes in the fairytale life he never wanted as he discovers that love in Los Angeles looks nothing like the movies.
By the time the call with Victor is over and Alex has finally slumped back into the chair next to Paul's, Alex is ready to never answer his phone ever again.
Which is when Paul's phone rings.
Paul looks scared. His mother looks like none of this is terribly out of the ordinary. Alex wonders if that's just because she's used to Paul's job or if her life transcended strange and scary a long time ago.
""Answer it,"" Alex hisses, because he knows this is one of the two calls they've been waiting for and the one that will go a long way towards telling them the shape of the next year.
Paul answers it, and Alex watches him closely as he nods and says yes and thank you a number of times, but he's so damn even Alex can't tell if the news is good or bad.
When he clicks off, he just stares straight ahead breathing for a moment, and what Alex would have once taken as shock or admired as an even disposition now just seems learned in the most unsettling of ways.
""Well?"" he finally asks.
Everyone is leaned forward in their chairs on the verandah staring at him in the bug-filled twilight.
""Thirteen episodes,"" he says softly. ""Option for another eight. And then we pray for season two.""
The reaction is loud from Paul's family, but Alex just sits there, still bent towards Paul and holding his hand, waiting for the moment to actually connect. When it does, Paul is out of his chair in a flash, hauling Alex up with him into a crushing hug.
""Oh my god, this day,"" Alex says in his ear.
Paul laughs in utter delight. ""So will you marry me now?""
ABOUT Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae
Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese are authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry (Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015)), all from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella Midsummer, Book One of the Love’s Labour series, about a summerstock Shakespeare company, is from Dreamspinner Press (Summer 2015). Racheline is a NYC-based performer and storyteller; Erin is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. They write stories and scripts about the intersection of private lives, fame, and desire.
Joint Blog: http://Avian30.com
Joint Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Erin.and.Racheline
Erin’s Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8323893.Erin_McRae
Racheline’s Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1015335.Racheline_Maltese