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About That Kiss (PAPERBACK)

About That Kiss (PAPERBACK)

A closeted actress. Her irresistible co-star. Will their chemistry on screen lead to love in real life?

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Book specifications

Pages : 274
ISBN : 9789464339024
Weight : 9.4 ounces (267g)
Dimensions : 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches (127 x 15 x 203mm)

Full description

What if the greatest role of your life is playing your true self?

Ida Burton used to be Hollywood’s sweetheart until the best roles started drying up in her forties.

When Ida lands one of the leads in a big-budget lesbian rom-com, it’s not only a chance at reviving her dwindling career. Maybe this movie can be an opportunity to finally burst out of the closet she’s forced herself into.

Faye Fleming has been at the top of her acting game and collecting awards for the past few years. When she’s cast in a huge blockbuster opposite the legendary Ida Burton, she’s over the moon.

Ida and Faye hit it off. The chemistry on set is through the roof… until their characters’ first kiss.

Grab your copy of the feel-good lesbian read of the summer now!

Themes and tropes

  • Toaster oven
  • Coming out
  • Romance after 40
  • BlissVerse

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter 1


“Tell me again why I’m doing this, darling?” I ask Brandon.

He flicks his long hair behind his shoulder and looks me straight in the eye. “You’re doing it for me, Faye.”

Why this man isn’t an A-list actor yet, I have no idea. He delivers the line with the authenticity of the best in the business.

“That’s right. It’s all for you.” I paint on a smile, which flees my face as the car comes to an abrupt halt.

Brandon waves it off with a flick of his wrist. “Los Angeles traffic.”

My phone buzzes in my pocket. It must be Leslie. She promised she’d call me on the way to the table read. I wonder which of her two top clients she called first—me or Ida Burton?

“Hi, Faye, you’re going to kill it in the read-through. I know it.”

“Thanks, Leslie.”

“I just got off the phone with Ida.” That answers my question then. “She’s looking forward to it a lot.”

“Is she?” Even if she wasn’t, she wouldn’t have told the agent we share. She’s probably as nervous as I am. Three Best Actor Oscars on my mantel don’t make any difference to my trepidation on the way to the very first table read, especially for a movie like this one. It doesn’t help that my co-star, Ida Burton, has four golden statuettes to her name.

“Of course, she is. Everyone’s excited about this. The whole of Hollywood is buzzing.”

“Christ, Leslie. What did you have for breakfast this morning?”

“My usual three espressos,” she says with a level tone.

“Okay.” I could barely stomach the nut-and-berry mix Brandon prepares for me every morning. “Good to know.”

“Call me if you need anything,” Leslie says. “I’m always here for you.”

Because there isn’t that much else to say, we end the conversation. I glance at Brandon for comfort. He isn’t just my personal assistant, but also one of the most entertaining people I know, which says a lot when you work in Hollywood. He’s very good at giving pep talks when I need them, but he also, instinctively, knows when it’s best to shut up.

He leans toward me and puts his hand on my knee. “Playing gay is all the rage these days. And the script is hilarious. For once, it’s not one of those bleak movies where the lesbians stomp through their lives looking like they’re never getting any.” He sends me a smile. “Hollywood has finally realized that lesbians can have a sense of humor too.” He follows up with a chuckle.

“It’s not playing a lesbian that’s got me so wound up. It’s playing one opposite Ida Burton.” In the first half of the movie, my character, Mindy, is straight as an arrow.

“Ida Burton hasn’t been in a hit movie in over a decade. If anything, she should be worried about starring in a movie with you.” He shrugs. “She’s practically B-list now.” He brings a hand in front of his mouth, as though suddenly realizing his utter sacrilege.

“We both know Ida Burton will never come close to being B-list, no matter how little her movies gross.”

“You never know,” Brandon says. “This town can be cruel.”

The car comes to a complete stop. We’ve arrived at the hotel where the A New Day table read is taking place. The driver opens the door for us. I take a deep breath and get out. A member of the production staff is waiting for me. I follow her inside, Brandon hot on my heels.

The first person I recognize is Charlie, who’s basically to blame for all of this. Not only did she co-write the script, but me being her wife’s maid of honor at their wedding last year would have made me look like a stone-cold hypocrite if I’d refused to take this part because it’s a lesbian movie.

Charlie’s basically jumping out of her skin with excitement. She hugs me tightly and the nervous tension shimmers in her muscles.

“You look like a million bucks, Faye,” she says.

Before I can thank her, the energy in the room changes. That can only mean one thing. The great Ida Burton has arrived. I turn around and am met with her famously blinding smile. Even I, not exactly a B-lister myself, am momentarily dazed by it. What is it with this woman and her smile?

Admittedly, in one of my lesser moments, I once tried to emulate it in front of the mirror, but a smile of such radiance and assurance is not something that can be taught, nor practiced. Ida Burton was born with it and she’s made a damn good career out of it. Add to that a luxurious mass of copper-colored curly hair, brown Bambi eyes, and a voice to melt the sturdiest of glaciers, and you have the marvelous Ida Burton. It’s hard not to feel as though I’m standing in her shadow.

After saying a few quick hellos, she walks straight toward me.

“Faye. Hiiii!” Ida sounds as though seeing me is the highlight of her year.

“Ida.” We exchange two featherlight cheek kisses. “I’ve been looking forward to this.” It’s not a lie. I have. Maybe not the feeling of having to play second fiddle to Ida, but working on this hot-as-hell movie.

“So have I.” She flashes me that smile again. How can her skin look so impossibly smooth? We’re about the same age, but Ida makes me feel like I’m at least ten years her senior.

“Ladies.” Tamara, the director, has joined us. “It’s so good to see you again. I’m raring to go. You have no idea.” She points at two chairs next to each other. “Those are your seats. We’ll start in fifteen minutes. Refreshments are over there.” She nods in the direction of the buffet. “I’m here if you have any questions.” She takes a step back. “I’ll let you acclimatize first.”

Behind me, Brandon is whispering with Ida’s assistant, Mark, whom he has told me all about because they had a thing once. Brandon likes to keep me apprised of his love life. Maybe he thinks it somehow makes up for the lack of romance I have in my own life.

For the past twenty years, I’ve always been the biggest star in the room at a table read, and it has fallen upon me to put my co-stars at ease. Today, I’m not sure this task is up to me.

“I’m a little nervous.” Ida surprises me. “I think this could be a great movie, but… well, I’ve seen things go horribly wrong before, no matter how promising the screenplay.”

She’s wearing a beige top that accentuates the fiery color of her hair. Even though she’s dressed quite casually in slacks and said top, a glow seems to emanate from her. An effortless star quality. 

“This seems like the kind of project the studio would want to keep a tight grip on.”

“We can only do what’s required of us,” Ida says.

“Play gay,” I lamely joke.

Ida shuffles her weight around. “Correct.” She pins her gaze on me. “I was really thrilled to hear you were on board. Even though it really shouldn’t be, it’s still a risk to play a part like this. Especially for someone like you.”

“Not just me.” I emit a nervous chuckle. “For you as well, no doubt.”

“For both of us then,” she confirms and quirks up the corner of her mouth. “We should have dinner. Discuss our characters and their emotional arcs.”

“Uh, yeah. Sure. We should.”

“I’ll have my guy call your guy.” She eyes our PAs. “I assume you know they have history?”

I nod. “In the greatest detail.” My smile, though wide and generous, feels lacking compared to hers.

“Oh, god. Does he tell you everything as well? Mark does too. The latest is that he’s ready to settle down. Maybe he and his new man will start a family and he won’t have time to be my assistant anymore.”

The things we worry about, I think, although I recognize her attachment to her assistant. I’ve worked with Brandon for almost ten years, which is a lifetime in assistant years. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if he left, even though I would be the first to urge him to try for greater things than being at my beck and call.

“His life—” I say.

“I really—” she starts at the same time.

“You go first.” Despite all the glamour that surrounds her, Ida is refreshingly down-to-earth.

“I really enjoyed your performance in Night Break,” she says. “I see another Oscar in your future.”

I wave her off because that’s what you’re meant to do, even though ever since that movie premiered, all I’ve heard is chatter about winning an Oscar for it. If I could get an actual man called Oscar for it, that would be a million times better than another statue in my living room. A statue doesn’t give me affection, nor does it reply when I address it.

“What was it like working with Silke Meisner?”

“Amazing.” That’s Hollywood-speak for grueling but just rewarding enough in the end. I’m sure Ida has been through the same and if there’s one person in this room who will catch my drift, it’s her.

She nods thoughtfully. “Tell me all about it when you come to dinner.”


She cocks her head. “Things are going to get quite intimate between us on set.” Her voice does a funny thing.

“Just a bit of mild kissing.” I try to sound casual. Apart from a girl I pecked on the lips decades ago, I have zero experience kissing women, although I can’t imagine it being much different from kissing a male co-star. But the first woman I’m ever going to kiss properly, albeit for the sake of make-believe, is Ida Burton.

She erupts into a chuckle. “Good to know you’re cool with that.”

“I wouldn’t be doing this movie if I weren’t.” And I would be a flaming homophobe, my friend Ava told me in no uncertain terms.

“Ladies,” the director approaches us again. “Ready when you are.”

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