Jeff & Will visit Hollywood for this month’s Book Club as they discuss the sexy, sweet story about two actors who fall in love while working on a TV show in Jeris Jean’s Running Lines. As always, in our book club chat there are spoilers ahead so keep that in mind if you haven’t read the book yet.
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Here are the things we talk about in this episode. Please note, these links include affiliate links for which we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase.
- Jeris Jean website
- Running Lines by Jeris Jean on Amazon
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast on Patreon.com
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- Frolic Podcast Network website
Look for the next episode of Big Gay Fiction Book Club on Thursday, October 28.
This transcript was made possible by our community on Patreon. You can get information on how to join them at patreon.com/biggayfictionpodcast.
Will: Welcome to episode 335 of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast, the show for avid readers and passionate fans of gay romance fiction. I’m Will, and with me as always is my co-host and husband, that guy is sitting across from me, it’s Jeff.
Jeff: Hello, rainbow romance readers. It is great to have you here for this book discussion.
Will: This is the Big Fiction Book Club episode for the month of September. And this month’s pick is the sexy, sweet story about two actors who fall in love while working on a TV show. They have to navigate the tricky gossip filled waters of Hollywood to try and make their personal and professional lives work. It’s “Running Lines” by Jeris Jean.
Jeff: Before we start our deep dive discussion of this month’s book, we’d like to quickly thank members of our Patreon community. It’s because of them we’re able to bring you podcast episodes every single week, with interviews from your favorite authors and reviews of some of the best books are genre as to offer.
On the Big Gay Fiction Podcast Patreon page, members get early access to the book club episodes and author interviews as well as an exclusive monthly bonus episode that can’t be heard anywhere else. Patrons help keep this podcast running and fund the transcription of the episodes making sure that this show is accessible to all readers and listeners. If you’re in a position to help the podcast grow and would like more information simply head on over to patreon.com/biggayfictionpodcast.
Running Lines Discussion
Will: All right. What do you say we start at the very beginning?
Jeff: I think that the good place to start since it would be weird if we started in the middle.
Will: Finn has just wrapped a successful run on a teen soap when he is signed to a prestigious and extremely popular drama. On the red carpet for the season premiere of “Frost Manor,” he provides the standard sound bites to reporters while secretly wondering if he truly has the acting chops to pull off his new role, let alone stand toe to toe with the shows extremely attractive male lead Grayson Winter.
Now Grayson is on the same red carpet and he is fed up with answering the same three questions. Who was he wearing? The romance rumors concerning his conniving co-star, Astrid. And, Finn Everett. All of the questions about Finn Everett. Even Felix, his best friend roommate and personal trainer is obsessed with the pretty boy actor.
And it is on the red carpet that he ends up meeting his new co-star for the very first time. Completely caught off guard by Finn’s charm and good looks.
Jeff: So needless to say, I like these two right off the bat. Their internal dialogue that they had running about being on this carpet in 85 degree, Los Angeles heat and melting in their tuxedos and indeed answering those same three or four questions as they move their way down in the carpet.
I was immediately charmed by these two. It was like a perfect beginning. You knew a lot about the world you were being dropped into and it happened in this lovely organic way. Ah, it’s great. When you could be on chapter one and fall completely in love with the book already.
Will: Yeah. I think it’s no secret that I have very little patience for stories about rock stars. And I think actors actually edge very, very close to that. So I think it’s a thin line an author has to walk. But like you, I was immediately charmed by these two main characters. They’re very real and very honest. And we understand from the first moments, their specific point of view than their hopes and their fears.
Jeff: And they’re very down to earth. I think that’s one of the things with rockstar romances and I think it might bother you much more than it bothers me, cause I’ll do a rockstar romance occasionally, is that the rock stars often don’t come across, especially early on, as being these down to earth people. And here, even though Grayson is the big star of this show, he feels like the guy who could live next door to you and not in the mansion that he actually lives in.
Will: I think when it comes to Grayson you’re right, he is the established star on this hit TV show.
And we kind of get the idea that doing red carpets and press is not his favorite thing in the world. And he feels a little bit above it all, especially when it concerns this teen soap actor, but the moment he actually meets Finn, he’s kind of taken off guard.
Jeff: Yeah, even though Felix is obsessed and you know, I’m sure he’s talked Grayson’s ear off about who this guy is. It’s like, oh, hi. There’s that like moment. I would like to see this turned into a series so that I could watch those to have this moment on the carpet, you know, played out with two really good looking actors.
Will: The first day on set, Finn hits the ground running, but he’s worried when he receives his pages and finds that his first scene that’ll be shot, the next day is a long dialogue, heavy confrontation with Grayson.
He’s going to need extra help to prepare meanwhile, Grayson really wants to be seen as a serious actor and is really focusing on the emotional arc of his character in the upcoming episodes. He needs to rehearse tomorrow’s scene and Ethan, the shows PA, suggest he go to Finn’s trailer that afternoon and they can go over it together.
Jeff: Let’s just throw them immediately together and make them essentially do their homework together so that they’re running lines for tomorrow’s scene. I liked Ethan from the get go, because he’s like, just go work with Finn over there.
Obviously he’s one of the side characters, but right out of the gate, I really liked every time he showed up because he’s efficient, he’s on it, and he knows everything because he is that PA.
Will: Things get off to a nearly naked start, when Finn fresh from the shower answers, Grayson’s knock on his trailer door. He quickly throws on some clothes before walking over to the outdoor location, it’s a nearby field, where they’ll be shooting tomorrow. Finn confesses his admiration for Grayson’s work. It’s kind of a Grayson fan boy, and he’s really looking forward to working with him.
They run the scene for most of the afternoon and it goes really well, really, really well. Grayson is duly impressed by Finn’s work ethic and his talent, and can’t help feel the tingle of attraction. They have chemistry, which is good for the show. Could it possibly be something more? And why does Finn have to be served ridiculously attractive.
Grayson invites him to his place for Thai food. It’s not a date, although it kind of looks like one to me and Felix ends up being their chaperone.
Jeff: Thank goodness for Felix, because who knows what it could have turned into that first night of Thai food.
There’s so much, I loved about this scene as I was getting into the book you were reading a little ahead of me for a little while. And you were like, have you gotten to the field yet? I’m like, no, not yet. What’s happening in the field. The field was so good. Yes, there’s the chemistry, but then beyond the chemistry are these two actors finding their groove.
And I love that moment where Finn’s putting his script aside first, even though he was scared to death of these pages and pages and pages of all this dialogue, but yet he got it memorized first. And then he and Grayson just started playing off of each other and enhancing the scene. I love the romance sparks and frankly, I love the look at the workplace as well. And seeing what all was going on between these actors sussing out how to work together. You were right. The field team was everything.
Will: It is everything not because something big or melodramatic happens, it’s because the author somehow manages to capture the spark between these two characters. It comes across as very genuine and really interesting, and it just immediately drew me even further into the story world of these two characters.
Jeff: Yeah. I might be using the phrase down to earth a lot, but that’s what the scene was. It was two people doing their jobs. There was a little fanboying but it was so freaking genuine. I just loved it.
Will: The casual will evening goes well, really well. They have fun when they’re together, but they’re busy schedules on the show means most of their recent interactions have been friendly texts back and forth. Occasionally those texts turned flirty. Finn, carefully testing how interested Grayson might be.
I think the author does something interesting here. Because the story takes place over several months while they’re shooting this particular season of “Frost Manor,” there are several times that she skips forward, which makes sense. And normally when you build up to something, particularly this evening of Thai food, we would expect to be shown that patricular scene. But in this case, we skipped over it. Grayson and Finn tell us in very brief flashbacks, their impressions of that particular evening But the story itself keeps moving forward as if the author is secretly and sub textually telling us, oh, you think that Thai food night was going to be cute. Just you wait, we got something even better. Coming up.
Jeff: These text exchanges are just awesome and even more so it’s not like they’re texting from home, like Grayson’s on set for some of these things.
And we’re probing into telling questions here. Cause one of the things that Finn texts, because Grayson stuck on set in the scene that will not end because his co-star Astrid keeps flubbing things. Finn actually asks if Astrid is the last person you want to kiss right now, who’s the first? How flirty is that?
Will: It’s super cute.
Jeff: It’s super cute. And it sends Grayson into a little bit of like, whoa, what is happening here? But also he’s kind of into it. And then he even responds back that in all seriousness, I believe she was botching her lines repeatedly just to annoy me. It’s like she gets drunk off my misery and that’s Astrid to a T we’ll find out much more about Astrid later. She’s into causing the drama on the drama.
Will: After Finn finishes a writing lesson, Grayson can’t help, but wonder what Finn is like underneath those writing breaches. They walk back to their trailers together. Grayson and vitamin side. And they finally do what they both wanted since the moment they met, they kiss and Grayson is knocked for a loop. It’s everything he could have ever wanted. And so much more.
Jeff: Probably one of the cutest little first kisses ever. And it might’ve moved Finn to the top of the list of the people that Grayson wants to kiss going forward to.
Will: I think when it comes to romance novels and let’s face it, we have both read an awful lot of them.
Will: These kinds of scenes, either sex scenes are first kiss scenes. It can be really hard to make an impression or to make them genuine and real, or frankly, come up with something that we haven’t seen a million times before. And this particular case, I think we genuinely understand the momentousness. Is that the word I want to use?
Jeff: It works.
Will: The big deal that it is for Grayson, kissing Finn. It really shakes him up. And even though they’ve only known each other a week or two, this particular experience with this new person, it’s something special for him. And it’s in this sort of quiet, subtle moment that we kind of understand the momentousness for this big deal Hollywood actor.
Jeff: And I like that. It’s really no less momentous for Finn too. Yes, he’s admired and had a little bit of a crush on this guy for a while, but it’s moved into more than that because now he’s working with Grayson and he’s, gained a new respect for Grayson. And yet he definitely feels the spark that is there between them. And it’s a big deal for him as well.
Will: The next day, the entire cast is filming a dinner room scene. Afterwards, the director and the show runners, praise Finn as they watch the playback monitor. There’s so much depth than emotion. Grayson shows up at his trailer with Thai food. It’s a meal to celebrate a job well done. After eating, they kiss and kiss and they get each other off happy to have finally gone there, something they have both craved from the beginning.
The moment solidifying the possibility that there could be a them. It’s not quite love and they’re definitely not boyfriends, but there is something going on.
Jeff: And I like that they admit straight out before they even really get cleaned up, that this is very likely a very bad idea, but you know what, they’re going to kind of go for it anyway.
Engage workplace romance.
Will: So we fast forward three weeks and they have been spending more and more time together, offset. Grayson buys Finn a coffee before going into a meeting about an upcoming media tour. The sexual chemistry between them is pretty obvious and a gossip blog has run a piece about how their sexual attention is misread as animosity onset.
The story has gotten some traction and is helping in viewership. So, it’s in this meeting that the two of them are asked to pretend to hate each other when they are out in public. Grayson thinks it’s idiotic, but agrees for the sake of the show.
He’s pissed that they’re not even an official couple yet, an outside pressure and their careers are complicating things. The two of them talk things through and they do not want to stop seeing each other, but agree to go along with this plan, even if it is super dumb.
Jeff: Super dumb. Yeah. The people handling this, they both share an agent. We haven’t really talked about that yet, but they both share an agent and the agent all into this, the producers are into it. They feel like that they need to go along with this in order to make sure that the show gets to renewal. And yet these guys both think that, you know, maybe they’re dating now, but they haven’t really officially said we’re dating.
Yeah, I just, oh, this, this scene just irritated me a little bit as it was supposed to because I’m supposed to be not liking this scenario either. But all the little sweet moments, the buying the coffee, the little things need to do for each other, it’s so super sweet. And it comes back to that down to earthness. It’s not like Grayson’s having an assistant bring Finn coffee. He’s paid enough attention to get the coffee, bring the right coffee, give it to Finn. It’s so cute.
Will: Lydia, one of the co-stars on “Frost Manor” shows Finn a magazine cover featuring the two of them. She thinks the sexy cover is amazing, but he wants to be taken seriously. Not forever thought of as a teen heartthrob.
At a table read for the season finale, the show runners break the news that the ratings for the finale will dictate whether they will be a next season. At Grayson’s home while lounging by the pool, Finn is lamenting the cover story, but Grayson reassures them that the article was really great and he was proud to see his boyfriend looking so sexy on the cover. Yes. It’s now that they have the official boyfriend conversation. It’s super cute.
Jeff: It really is.
Hanging out by the pool and it’s like, the word just slipped out for Grayson, which made it even better. It wasn’t like he was even necessarily thinking to label it in that moment. It was just kind of perfect.
And, yeah, the stupid magazine cover, I felt so bad for Finn there because he does want to be taken so very seriously in this role and to, I don’t know that he’s trying to bury his teen soap past, but he at least wants everybody to know that he is firmly moved beyond that, into this new level of his career.
And it felt kind of going backwards to end up with their shot that wasn’t even part of the actual shoot either, which only kind of complicated things more because he’s like, where did this picture even come from? And it took him a minute to remember the moment that he would have even been in that pose.
Shame on that photographer. But anyway, it made for some super cute controversy and super cute boyfriend moment.
Will: At a dance rehearsal for a ballroom scene, Finn confides in Lydia about his relationship with Grayson. She is super happy for them and immediately claim’s maid of honor duty.
Jeff: I love lydia so much. She just that perfect person who can talk to Finn all the time cause she’s always there since they’re paired up on the show. It’s it’s a super nice little relationship for him.
Will: Finn is a little bit frustrated that while he is definitely head over heels, he can’t really tell the world because of the situation with the show. Later at brunch, with friends and cast members, Grayson and miss deal with a supermodel ex Thomas. Thomas picks up on the vibe between Grayson and Finn, and is a complete dick about it.
Jeff: Oh my God. He’s terrible. How did Grayson ever end up with him? We see him on page so little. It is just like Grayson he’s not for you. He never was.
I love the dance scene moment too, because we get how intense Finn feels for Grayson, because he’s jealous, he’s dancing with Astrid and it can’t be him dancing, even though it is part of the show itself. It still just gives you that little prickly thing that shows how much the bonds between these two have formed so well. I just, I love that moment.
Will: Feeling bad about how Thomas’s outburst has clearly affected Finn, Gray makes an adorable old fashioned gesture and apology email with a mix tape playlist, featuring all of Finn’s, favorite hipster bands.
Jeff: I love a good playlist. I lament the fact that the idea of the mix tape has gone because yeah, you could still make a playlist, but it’s not the same thing as recording the songs very deliberately onto a tape. So this was the very best thing that you could do in 2021 to convey kind of the same thing. It’s like, here’s my email, and look, I’ve been paying enough attention to know what songs that I need to put on this playlist. Even make a story out of it. I love that there was a little story in that playlist too. I might’ve gone awww as I read it.
Will: Jeff is a sucker for a mix tape.
Jeff: I am.
Will: He made me plenty when we were first dating.
Jeff: Cause tapes were still a thing back then.
Will: Yes. Dark ages.
Anyway, after shooting the ballroom scene, Grayson drives Finn to the studio where the set is still standing. A string quartet is waiting and provides the music so that they can waltz together. It is lush and it’s sweet and it is so crazy romantic.
Will: Now words may not exactly be Grayson’s forte. He likes to show Finn how he feels with gestures, both big and small. And I think that’s what this particular scene really drives home. Grayson is slightly older and has more experience with relationships. And even though he is an actor, he is not the one to like boldly declare his love with poetry and such.
Jeff: And I’m okay with that because going to the dancing scene was so perfect.
For some authors, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing if you had done this, that could have been the grand gesture at the end of the book…
Jeff: …to come back to the sound stage. But we’re only at gosh, I don’t think we’ve hit mid point yet. And yet you’ve got this sweeping romantic gesture there because they couldn’t dance when they were filming. It was so nice. Another awww of it for me, for sure, because it was just that sweet.
Will: After a meeting, Ethan, the PA extraordinare, mentions that he has finished up school and has already signed with a talent agency. He himself is going to be an agent and he tells his friends that the whole, they need to hate each other in public plan that everyone associated with the production is so obsessed with is kind of stupid and if they’re happy, that’s all that actually matters.
Jeff: More points for Ethan for being the guy.
Will: At the shi-shi party for the season three wrap of “Frost Manor,” Astrid, Grayson’s on-screen love interest and a stone-cold bitch, arrives with Thomas on her arm.
Jeff: Further cementing her stone cold bitch status.
Will: The show runners get up in front of everyone and make speeches. They sing everyone’s praises for a job very well done before announcing that the show has been renewed for two more seasons. General frivolity ensues. Thomas pulls Grayson aside and tells him he’s ready to take him back.
Jeff: Like that wasn’t even an option. Like he thought he was in control of the situation.
Will: Yeah. Grayson says no way. No how. Not ever. Grayson then grabs, Finn ditches the party, and they go to fence hotel room to celebrate everything that needs to be celebrated.
Jeff: And there is something to be celebrated there because Grayson said in no uncertain terms to Thomas, that he was serious about Finn.
Will: And how serious you might ask? My main note for chapter 11 is “sex” period.
What I thought was actually very cute about this particular chapter is that they have pillow talk before. They kind of navigate what the sex means to the relationship and what it’s all about and kind of make sure that they’re on the same page before they decide to go all the way, which they haven’t really done up until this particular point.
Jeff: Yeah. It goes without saying that I really liked all that pillow talk. Cause you know, nice guys talking it’s a good thing and they had some really nice relationship talk and just some nice basic pillow talk. It was perfect as a bookend to the sex itself.
Will: Meanwhile, Finn is going to receive an award for being a TV Hottie. And this particular story role imagine the Kid’s Choice Awards.
Jeff: Surf board, and all which is directly mentioned.
Will: He’s embarrassed, but suggests that it might be nice if Grayson went with him and this leads to their very first fight.
Jeff: I just wanted to slap Grayson a little bit, cause it’s like, no, don’t go there.
Will: Grayson says that there is no way this will happen because they’re still supposed to hate each other. And he says something that’s just genuinely awful. He equates his relationship Finn to the problems that he was having with Thomas. It’s a complete dick move.
Jeff: Oh my God. I just was like, stop talking. Just stop talking, stop talking.
Will: He really blows it.
Three weeks pass and Grayson is absolutely miserable. Finn goes to the awards show with Lydia. And poor Grayson just can’t stand it anymore and he’s about to head out the door to go find Finn and make a big grand apology when he sees that a gossip site has run a story about he and Finn hooking up behind the scenes, insinuating that Finn is just a dumb pretty boy and it was Grayson who got him the role on “Frost Manor.”
Jeff: I do like how Felix works to kick Grayson into gear here and reminding Grayson that he was in fact, an asshole and that he needs to suck it up and go apologize and stop being mopey about this.
I also really liked in this scene, how we see the first movements of Grayson telling his agent that she really needs to be more concerned about the right things, less about his relationship and what it might be, and just more concerned about his acting and the roles that he’s getting and such. Cause yeah, as we’ve already discussed, she’s not exactly doing some of the right things here. So that first click of putting her in her place I thought was really good.
Will: So while the news story sucks, it doesn’t impact Finn’s future on the show. He signs a new two-year contract, promoted from recurring to series regular.
Will: And he is happy ish. He just wishes he could share the news with Grayson. And what do you know? Think of the devil Gray calls him to check in on him, concerned about the story. Finn says he’s fine. It’s okay. And that’s that. But unsure if the call was an olive branch or what, Finn shows up on Grayson store step for a heartfelt I’m sorry reunion.
Jeff: Thank goodness.
They needed to celebrate that contract signing anyway, so turn up on that doorstep and at least Finn knew too that, while Grayson had certainly said some bad, hurtful things, that Finn also overreacted to the situation. So they both kind of have their like mia culpa moment so that it’s not only one of them having to apologize. It’s more like it was my fault. No, it was my fault. They kind of get themselves put back together again.
Will: Yeah. Reunited and it feels so good. They do a charity run and hang out with Felix and Ethan afterwards. It’s really just about them having fun together. Fun with friends doing regular couple stuff. Life is good.
And in fact, they’re cuddling in bed, being all coupley, when their phones start blowing up. Not literally they’re getting messages.
Jeff: I’m so glad you clarified that.
Will: They get the news that each of them have been nominated for a Portrayer Award. Grayson for best actor. Finn for supporting actor.
And I quickly want to clarify something when I say Portrayer, as in an actor who portrays a role. The author has made the unique decision. Let’s call it unique to name this award in this particular way, with the basic understanding that this is an Emmy nomination.
Jeff: You thought Emmy. I thought maybe Screen Actors Guild, but Emmy can work also, of course.
Will: Actually, when we get to the award show, it’s actually more like the Golden Globes.
Jeff: That’s true too.
Will: It’s like all of them lumped together. That’s what this award show is going to be about.
Jeff: I have to say that within this scene, we actually find out what their ship name is.
Will: Oh my, God, that was so funny.
Jeff: Grayson and Finn equal Grinn.
Will: Which is totally stupid, but completely understandable and really adorable.
Jeff: But makes Finn wince kind of, as you would want it to.
Will: Anyway, they’re super happy for each other and we’re all smooshy and I love you. And life is perfect.
But as I was reading, I looked down at the Kindle percentage of where we are in the story. Folks, hang on, we’re at 80% and you know what that means
Jeff: I’m staring at Will now, tell us, tell us please, what does it mean? Oh my, God!
Will: You know! This is a romance. It’s all going to go to shit.
So the two of them have a meeting with her agent, Kayla, who inexplicably and cruelly insist that they continue the homophobic charade and that Finn will attend the awards show with Lydia and Grayson with Astrid.
Jeff: Have I mentioned that Kayla is a bitch?
Will: She’s really genuinely awful.
Jeff: She’s doing so many machinations behind the scenes, messing with contracts and roles people are going out for, I don’t know what her game really was.
Will: I want to discuss that a little bit later, but she’s being genuinely awful and laying down the law.
Jeff: It’s like fifties Hollywood.
Will: It’s a little odd and hard to understand, but Finn and Grayson do go along with it. Presumably Kayla is the best at what she does. So they do take her advice, even though they don’t agree with it.
So the night of the Portrayer Awards, Finn does end up going with Lydia, but Grayson goes alone. He’d rather do anything then rather show up with Astrid.
Jeff: Thank God.
Will: Finn and Gray are so turned on by the sight of each other in their Tuxes that they can’t keep their hands off each other.
Jeff: It’s so cute and so hot at the same time.
Will: Yeah, there’s this moment where they’re getting ready at the hotel and they’re like all hot. And they’ve got 20 minutes before the limo shows up and they’re trying to…
Jeff: Do something.
Will: …quickly, do the math and figure if they have enough time. And they do.
They eventually make it to the ceremony, walking the carpet separately, which makes Grayson angry and resentful. He should be standing side by side with the man that he loves.
At the “Frost Manor” table, like I mentioned, more like the Golden Globes, the booze is flowing freely as well as industry gossip and when Finn’s category is announced, he doesn’t win. Astrid tells him it’s too bad, considering all the big changes that are coming next season.
When asked to explain that, it seems that the show’s renewal was dependent on the provision that a major character be killed off to keep viewer interest high and out of everyone seated at the table, only Grayson has yet to sign his new two year deal. So tension in the ballroom on big awards night.
Jeff: And all caused by the bitch of the cast, because that really is the role that Astrid plays here. Because apparently she’s like going out with one of the producers now or something So she’s got this inside intel of some kind, yeah, nothing like casting a pal over the evening.
Cause you know what Finn does it even seem that upset that he lost. You know, first time out everything, I think he had reasonable expectations for what was going to happen. He didn’t even really expect to get nominated. So he was being very adult about it.
Will: So as we barrel towards the conclusion of the story, there are more spoilers ahead.
Jeff: Are they though? Or are they what you expect to happen?
Will: Well, no, there’s a lot on the line as Grayson’s category is announced.
Jeff: He’s right though, if you haven’t read the book yet, maybe tread lightly through these next minutes of this episode.
Will: When it comes time for Grayson’s category, the nominees are read and the winner is
Jeff: dah, dah, dah, dah
He decides that if there ever was a moment just for him, this is it. So the first thing he does is kiss the man he loves and then he goes on stage to accept his award. He gives heartfelt thanks to the family that is “Frost Manor,” but singles out Finn with special praise saying, he’s made him a better man, both on camera and off, and that he loves him dearly.
Jeff: Hmm. Not just dearly, but more than Arcade Fire.
Will: Which is one of the favorite hipster bands.
Jeff: And I totally love Lydia here. Cause she’s really the person that kind of shepherds all this together. By the time Grayson’s back to the ballroom table, she has rearranged the seating so he and Finn can sit together. Good for her.
Will: And as we end the story with an epilogue, eight months later, we see our two heroes, happily walking, another red carpet, but in this particular instance, they’re doing so hand in hand for the premiere of Grayson’s new movie. As they pose for pictures and answer questions, we learned that they both dumped Kayla and Ethan now represents them both. As an agent and a friend, he really understands what they need.
Finn and Grayson could not possibly be any happier. They have truly achieved their own perfect version of a Hollywood HEA.
Jeff: So completely satisfying. They are in a fantastic place, not just in the relationship, but in their professional lives as well. Everything clicked together there really nicely.
And screw Kayla completely. And yay for Ethan. What a nice way to start your career as an agent to have Hollywood hottest actors on the scene.
Will: Yeah, I was so happy for these two characters.
The end of this book really gave me that genuine, happy, satisfied feeling. That ahhhhhh. I think this story delivers that in spades.
Jeff: Yeah. The epilogue really ties everything up in a nice, pretty bow. Even for the side characters. You know what has happened to each of the people that we’ve come to care about alongside fin and Grayson too, which is just kind of perfect.
Will: Yeah. Speaking of side characters, let’s quickly talk about Lydia.
As we learn in this epilogue, it’s her character that ends up getting killed off on the show. But she seems perfectly fine with that. As an actor, she felt a little bit restricted by the regency setting and she now has a new job. She’s going to be the lead in a gothic drama produced by some of the people who created Finn’s teen soap.
Jeff: Yeah. It was a great little mashing together of things. And I really liked, even going back to the awards, I think she knew at the awards what was happening and she couldn’t talk about it yet because she was trying to tell Astrid that she had no idea what she was talking about.
I was hoping it would be Astrid’s character that would get killed off because, you know, I’m that kind of vendictive person in a way.
And Kayla certainly got hers because she lost her two clients.
Will: Yeah. If I’m being nitpicky.
Jeff: Do it. Do it.
Will: The only thing that I wasn’t satisfied with is that we did not see the evil agent, get her comeuppance on the page.
Will: And we’re not really given any insight as to why she was being so particularly awful to Grayson and Finn. I thought there might be some more behind the scenes machinations considering Grayson’s two year deal. But that isn’t really brought up.
Basically she’s out, Ethan is in. Good for him.
Jeff: And, I can’t help, but wonder a little bit if we’ll see Kayla again in book two, cause book two, which I really kind of want to read, very desperately, is Felix and Ethan. There were little hints along the way that these two might be developing a little bit of feels for each other when we see them together within this book.
Will: Well, you’re a hundred percent right. Felix and Ethan in this particular story have experienced the perfect friends to lover set up and the author explores their story in the next book, “Drawing Lines.”
Jeff: I can see Kayla making Ethan’s life hard as a newbie agent. So we may yet get to find out more. I have no idea if that’s true or not. That’s me writing the story in my head.
Will: So that was everything that we loved about “Running Lines.” I thought it was a wonderful way to kick off a series and we hope that you’ll give this new author a try.
I also want to quickly mention before we wrap things up, I really enjoyed the audio book. Iggy Toma handled narrating duties on this particular one. And Jeff and I have been longtime fans of his, and I think he does a wonderful job of bringing Finn and Grayson to live and delineating each of their respective points of view, and really bringing to life all the sweetness and light and romance that the story has.
Jeff: I’m kind of sorry that we’re done with this book cause I just loved it so much. I can’t wait to read more in this series too, cause I’m really kind of hooked on this author now.
Will: All right, I think that’ll do it for now. Coming up on Monday in episode 336, we kick off October with reviews of what we’ve been reading and watching lately. Plus, we’ll talk about some of the books that we’re looking forward to most
Jeff: October is another jam packed month. So we’re going to have a lot to talk about.
Will: On behalf of Jeff and myself, we want to thank you so much for listening, and we hope that you’ll join us again soon for more discussions about the kind of stories that we all love, the big gay fiction kind. Until then keep turning those pages and keep reading.
Big Gay Fiction Podcast is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find more shows you’ll love at frolic.media/podcasts. Production assistance by Tyson Greenan. Original theme music by Daryl Banner.