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S.R. Lane | Exclusive Excerpt: EIGHT WEEKS IN PARIS


Eight Weeks in Paris
S.R. Lane

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June 2022
On Sale: May 31, 2022
Featuring: Nicholas Madden; Chris Lavalle
304 pages
ISBN: 1335623922
EAN: 9781335623928
Kindle: B097YKRHHF
Trade Size / e-Book
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Also by S.R. Lane:
Eight Weeks in Paris, June 2022
Eight Weeks in Paris, June 2022
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It was possible that his timidity and reserve weren’t just for show. The first four takes came out flawlessly; Chaudhuri re­quested they try again from a couple of different angles, but The Throne was off to a rocking start. A subdued thrill was running through the crew, like a shared fever.

Crew knew immediately when they held on to a winner. Crew recognized talent.

They recognized it now. Andrée, waiting on the sidelines for her cue, had her mouth set in a curious frown. Chaud­huri’s face was grave. Across the set, actors and DAs and cam­era crew were all looking at Chris.

Nicholas was looking too: the trouble was looking away. Chris was enthralling.

His Angelo was by turns infuriating and lovely, selfish to the point of loss and charming to the point of disbelief—his hands nervous, his body active and mobile, his face changing emotion in a flash. Nicholas kept breaking off, catching onto a different thread of action, meeting Chris’s motion with his own. Like a dance.

He wasn’t used to being led. But this was not quite like being led.

It was moving in one direction, and finding the movement echoed in another body. It was like having two bodies…

When Chaudhuri called for a break, they stayed together. Acting was a peculiar drug: it amplified feeling. Frederick loved and loathed Angelo, and Nicholas felt a fraction of that emotion resonant in his own body, whenever he looked at Chris.

Chris himself looked tired, determined, hesitant.

“I wish,” he said softly, when the PA who’d brought them bottled water had assured them of her assistance, congratu­lated them, beamed, and taken herself off, “that I knew what this look of hers means.”

He nodded towards Chaudhuri, who was unreadable. He pressed the cool bottle to his burning cheek.

“Chaudhuri’s fine. Ignore it.” Nicholas had seen many a seasoned actor reduced to crippling indecision by Chaudhuri’s thousand-mile stare.

But Chris, after a moment of trepidation, gave in to a smile. “She does let us have a frightening amount of self-determination.”

“She trusts us,” said Nicholas, “to do our job.”

Chris raised his eyebrows. “I’ve earned that distinction, have I?”

“You are spectacular tonight,” said Nicholas, “and I’ll owe you that coffee.” And then he knew he’d surprised him: Chris’s face went entirely blank, lips parted, eyes widening.

“I—”

“Dare you to keep it up,” added Nicholas, more lightly. Chris’s eyes went softer, and he bumped his shoulder with his own, companionably enough.

“I did not imagine you like this, Nicholas.” He pronounced his name the French way—the s softened so far as to be almost inaudible—and Nicholas found that he liked the sound of it; liked the way his mouth shaped his name, the low amusement in Chris’s eyes. With a smile, Chris brought his water bottle to his mouth. His throat worked as he swallowed. He brushed Nicholas’s lapel with the backs of his knuckles, as though to sweep away dust—and then left his fingers lingering there.

“How did you imagine me?” Nicholas’s voice was a little rough. They stood in the circle of the cameras’ cyclopean eyes, a little apart from the rest of the crew. The light of a streetlamp fell directly over them. Nicholas could see every one of Chris’s golden eyelashes, kissing his cheeks.

Chris shrugged a sloping shrug, and said: “You have a ter­rible reputation.” He sounded so earnest that Nicholas laughed.

“All well deserved, I assure you.”

“You were abhorrent to me,” said Chris, cheerfully, “when you thought I had slept my way into the cast.”

“I,” said Nicholas, and then frowned, and swallowed back his instinctive retort. He admitted: “I don’t know what I think of you now.”

“I suppose that’s fair enough.”

“It isn’t.” He sighed. “It’s professional mistrust. It’s one thing to assume emotion in a take like this—” it was a panoramic scene, and Chaudhuri had so far held off on the closer shots; those would come, later, when in the privacy of Angelo’s gar­ret clothing came off and skin touched skin “—and another to keep it up in a closer shot.”

“Ah.” Chris seemed to think this through. “Intimacy breeds contempt.”

“Something like that.” The truth was that Nicholas had never been partnered in a sex scene with anyone but a woman. It was not his first gay role—no man went to Hollywood without playing some bit part kissing another man; it was a professional rite of passage—but certainly his most explicit. With women, playing up an attraction he did not feel was easy enough. With Chris, though…

“Then I have the better of you.” Chris’s voice was amused. Nicholas glanced at him, and he looked away. “I’m used to the intimacy—and the contempt. Photoshoots, you know…” He let that statement float into space, waving his hand in a vague fashion, as though the concept of tasteless nudity in advertis­ing was better left unsaid.

He had modeled Calvin Klein underwear. He had worn Levi’s jeans tight enough to showcase his rather delectable ass. He must have weathered the worst of it all: the horrors of the fashion industry, the small cruelties, the dastardly pitfalls, the pettiness and the malice.

Again Nicholas had to resist the urge to touch his hand. Chris’s face was sad, and all he could do was admire that brav­ery. He cleared his throat.

“Posing’s hardly enough. There’s more to a sex scene than looking artfully beautiful.”

“Then I must be out of my depth. What, then?”

Nicholas said slowly: “Power, I suppose. Kindness.”

“A strange association.”

“It’s an equilibrium.”

“Not that different from actual sex, then,” Chris said. His eyes were low-lidded and meaningful. There is a wicked streak in him, Nicholas thought. Be careful.

So late at night, with his hair slicked back and his clothes artfully mussed, Chris looked the type to eat men’s hearts for breakfast. Perhaps he did. Nicholas had no idea what he did outside of Instagram filters and costume fittings. Perhaps he went out at night, perhaps he picked up in bars in le marais; perhaps a man almost as beautiful as he was was waiting for him in his bed.

Which is none of my fucking business. Wondering if his costar had a boyfriend, for fuck’s sake. It was as unprofessional as it got.

But the idea of it was inescapable. Worse still was the thought that only a few hours’ time separated them from a bed of their own. A bed of our own. The possessive pronoun changed everything.

It was one thing to see Chris in these proper, tight-fitting clothes. Another thing entirely was being the one who got to pull them away from his body, to undress him like a present, to run his hands over Chris’s skin—

It was a gambit on Chaudhuri’s part. She had elected to throw her actors into the intimate center of the film’s emo­tional story line: a sex scene in Angelo’s bed. They would have to wait, nude and embarrassed, for the filming to kick-start into motion. It was a risk not many directors would have taken.

But Chaudhuri didn’t care about appearances or embar­rassment, and bulldozed over awkwardness with frank dislike. There was a twisted logic in it. Angelo and Frederick were strangers too—they would discover each other, uneasy and hesitant. As actors, Nicholas and Chris were only the shadows through which their characters got to exist. But those were their bodies, and their mouths, and their naked skin. It was Chris he would be touching.

The thought was so startling and so erotic that Nicholas reached out to cover Chris’s hand just as he moved away. His fingers brushed his arm, feeling the curved bones of his wrist, his palm opening under his own. Chris twisted his wrist, and then it was almost as though they were holding hands; as though they were bracing themselves against the incoming storm. As though they had nothing left but each other.

The contact was short-lived. Chris’s hand fell away.

Nicholas did not meet his eyes when they returned to their cues. He felt as though he was looking at himself from the outside.

Excerpted with permission from Carina Press EIGHT WEEKS IN PARIS by S.R. Lane. © 2022.

EIGHT WEEKS IN PARIS by S.R. Lane

Eight Weeks in Paris

Nicholas Madden is one of the best actors of his generation. His personal life is consistently a shambles, but he'll always have his art—and The Throne is going to be his legacy.

Then his costar walks off the runway and into rehearsal. The role of a lifetime is about to be sunk by a total amateur.

Chris Lavalle is out, gorgeous and totally green. He has thousands of Instagram followers, a string of gorgeous exes and more ad campaigns to his name than one can count. But he’s more than just a pretty face, and The Throne is his chance to prove it.

If only Nicholas wasn’t a belligerent jerk with a chip on his shoulder and a face carved by the gods.

Eight weeks of filming, eight weeks of 24/7 togetherness bring Nicholas and Chris closer than the producers had dared to dream. Chemistry? So very much not a problem. But as The Throne gets set to wrap and real life comes calling, they’ll have to rewrite the ending of another love story: their own.

 

Romance LGBTQ [Carina Adores, On Sale: May 31, 2022, Trade Size / e-Book, ISBN: 9781335623928 / eISBN: 9781335623928]

Buy EIGHT WEEKS IN PARISAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | Walmart.com | Book Depository | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About S.R. Lane

S.R. Lane

S. R. Lane lives in Paris, where she alternates between teaching high school English and strolling from bookstore to bookstore, looking for more books to add to her already-towering shelves. After studying Shakespeare, gender, and sexuality at the Sorbonne, she fell in love with romance and romance scholarship. She is especially drawn to queer love stories, messy characters with a sense of agency, a strong setting, and a truly deserved HEA.

AMAZON

 

 

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