Thank you so much to everyone who has purchased the book! This has been one of my all-time favorite books to research and write. It’s the story of a British actor in Hollywood who buys a racehorse with some of his friends, then falls for the horse trainer. I was lucky enough to spend a month shadowing a local trainer at nearby Golden Gate Fields for my research. I think it brings a real taste of authenticity to the story.
Here’s more about the book and an excerpt to whet your appetite:
BLURB: British actor Wesley Tremayne thinks heís close to hitting the big timeóa film careerówith his role as a hunky explorer on a popular American TV show. Success should be just around the corner, as long as he keeps his sexual orientation a secret. Wesís best friend and beard, Julia Compton, forms the other half of a glamorous Hollywood couple thatís merely a faÁade.
Evan Taylor left his acting career behind five years ago without looking back. Heís always been more comfortable around horses than peopleóespecially Hollywood types. His new life training racehorses is a dream come true, but increasing financial problems and an abusive boyfriend have him doubting himself and his choices.
Then Wes and his friends buy a third-rate racehorseópartially for publicityóand send him to Evanís stable. Wesís friendship with Evan soon develops into an overpowering attraction he canít act on. Heís never met a man like Evan, but if thereís any chance for a future together, Wes must choose between a career he loves and the man he adores.
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ìI see exactly what youíre doing.î
Wesley Tremayne put down his binoculars and turned around to see Vanessa Vandermere wagging a long pink-and-black fingernail at him. Best not to reply. He willed his heartóbeating like a jackhammeróto slow as he pasted the perfect, innocent grin on his face. Years of actingóonstage and offóhad taught him to dissemble.
ìThink you can spot the winners before they even get to the ring?î Vanessa continued, her tone teasing, cheerful, not accusatory. ìOr were you checking out the shapely blonde leading the third horse?î
He inhaled slowly when he really wanted to gulp in much-needed oxygen. Heíd overreacted. No, heíd responded just in time to what could have been a disaster. As much as he was enjoying the day out at the racetrack with his friends, he was restless. Heíd been the center of too much attention, and he was fraying at the edges.
ìYou caught me,î Wes replied, playing up his right dimple.
ìOh, Jules, good thing youíre here.î Vanessa grabbed onto Julia Comptonís arm. ìYou need to keep Wes on a shorter leash. Heís got a wandering eye.î
Julia gave Wes an appraising look, then turned back to Vanessa. ìVee, Iím not worried Wes will run off with another woman. I trust him completely.î She slid an arm around Wesís waist and he gave her a suitably adoring look. ìOnly weíre not a couple. How many timesóî
ìYou can fool some people, but not me. You two are the worst-kept secret in Hollywood, honeybuns.î Vanessa gestured as she spoke, and Wes wondered how she didnít poke her own eye out with her outrageously long fingernails.
ìThink what you like.î Julia let go of Wes and took the binoculars from him. She held them to her face and trained them on the track.
ìIím heading down to watch them saddle the horses so I can decide which one to bet on.î Vanessa gave them a dangerous wave of her talons and left them alone in the private grandstand box.
Julia gave the glasses back to Wes. ìHeís gorgeous.î She winked.
ìWhich one do you like?î Wes asked, again looking through the binoculars.
ìI thought we were talking about which one you like?î
ìNumber four.î Wes glanced down at Juliaís head. She was a good six inches shorter, and it was the view he often had to settle for.
ìOh, really? I thought youíd go for one. Or at least his trainer.î She gave a silvery laugh and put her arm around his waist again.
Wes kept the glasses focused on runner number oneís trainer as he reached up to adjust the horseís bridle. His navy sport coat rode up, giving Wesóand anyone else lookingóa nice view of his arse in well-fitting dark-blue jeans. Wes held in the smile the sight induced and resigned himself to admiring the good-looking man from a distance. His light-brown hair fell in wavy curves and the full-lipped smile made Wes want to lick his own lips. Something about the chiseled chin and the shape of the manís nose twigged a hazy memory Wes couldnít quite bring to the surface.
ìLetís go down to the saddling ring so you can get a closer look, Wes.î Julia tugged his hand, then gave an encouraging squeeze.
He didnít know what heíd do without Julia Compton. Sheíd gone from costar to friend to lifesaver in the space of a year. He followed her down the steps and into the sunshine as the runners for the third race at Santa Alamita were saddled up. Wes pulled the baseball cap out of his back pocket and settled it onto his head, a moment too late.
ìLook, is that Wes Tremayne?î
ìWes! Hi Wes!î
ìGo ask him for his autograph.î
ìHeís with Julia Compton. I told you theyíre dating!î
Wes smiled and waved, but didnít stop for autographs. By the time they reached the paddock, the hot horse trainer was gone. Probably just as well; someone might have noticed if Wes paid him too much attention. There was a limit to his acting abilities, but so far heíd fooled everyone. Some days he fooled himself, but during lonely nights he wished away the talent and fame heíd achieved.
If he hadnít upped sticks and made his way from the London stage to Broadway and then to Hollywood, he might be living a boring, settled life with a man he adored. Heíd chosen a career he loved over a private life.
But Julia was tiring of her role as Wesís love interest. When she quit the production, heíd have some tough decisions to make. For now, he replaced his mask and took Juliaís hand and kissed it.
The audience should love that performance.
Giveaway: a T-shirt sporting the cover of Out of the Gate. Please leave a comment about the excerpt to be entered.
Drawing will be held Tuesday April 29 and winners notified by email.
EM Lynley writes gay romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. Her Precious Gems series is best described as ìIndiana Jones meets Romancing the Stoneîóonly gayer. The Delectable series is Gay Romance with Taste. Her books are available in print and e-book from Amazon & other book distributors. Visit her online at Love Spans the Rainbow — blog — Facebook — Twitter