Thursday, October 24, 2019

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment Weekly) My Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I enjoyed this book set in the world of world class actors and the film industry. We spend quite a lot of time on location for a new film, which enables some clever dynamics to come into play. Living at close quarters with the crew and cast inevitably brings issues to the fore more readily. I found that entertaining and forced issues which in a normal situation could have been dragged out.

We first meet Tate visiting London with her grandmother. She has a huge secret and sadly trusts the wrong person with the facts. This leads to her 18-year-old self having her whole life turned upside down. Fast forward to now, and we get to understand the fallout and how relationships have changed. Now a successful actress, Tate finds out what happened to the 'one.'

I absolutely bought into this story and enjoyed watching how it all worked out – between Tate and Sam, and between Tate and her close family. The only thing I found strange was that it took her so long to understand what the script was all about; up until she saw who wrote it, I completely got it, but once she knew? But maybe she was just so overwhelmed by everything else going on... which I could convince myself.

A really enjoyable romance, definitely worth a read.

This is a sweet and angsty second-chance love story about an actress and a script writer. The first part of the book is pure joy – Sam and Tate’s first meeting in London is a heady, explosive few weeks of first love excitement. The second part of the book is a little darker. When Tate meets Sam again twelve years later, Sam’s betrayal hangs heavy between them. Both are older and more established, but neither has managed to find love with anyone else.

This is Tate’s book. The story is told from her perspective and at times the book is as much about her relationships with her parents and her career as it is about her relationship with Sam. I really loved Tate but there are a few moments when I found it difficult not to roll my eyes at her privileged and pampered self-pity. It’s difficult to feel sympathy for an A-list actress whose career has been boosted by her A-list actor father. In some ways, Sam is the more interesting character – but we don’t get to know him as well as I’d have liked to.

I love the film set setting for the second part of the story. The behind the scenes glimpses we get of the filmmaking process are fun and entertaining. Most of the characters are engaging but few move past type and trope. The story is a simple, easy read. It’s a satisfying – if predictable – read.

Spoiler-Free Review. The writing duo of Christina Lauren is new-to-me.

4 Stars. Rated based on the contemporary romance genre, not necessarily my enjoyment. I struggled to keep interested while reading, simply because it wasn't my cup of tea, even though second-chance romance is one of my favorite tropes. However, I do believe fans of the author and this genre in particular will be highly entertained. Hence my 4-Star rating.

At the beginning of Twice in a Blue Moon, Tate is only eighteen years old, so it reads age-appropriate, more like a young adult novel, which I appreciated and enjoyed. Vacationing with her grandmother, Tate meets Sam, who is also with his grandfather. They spend the next two weeks in a whirlwind love affair, many secrets shared, then they part ways. Sam broke Tate's heart by betraying her.

Fast-forward 14 years, Tate is now an actress, and while on location, she runs into Sam, where a tangle of animosity is felt toward him. With the promise of angsty deliciousness, Sam is none other than the screenwriter. I'm a sucker for the angst of love-hate and second-chance romance. Where this didn't hit the mark is how the emotions were just at the surface, not too deep or realistic. I felt as if I was being told Tate and Sam were connected, instead of actually seeing the connection develop on the pages.

Twice in a Blue Moon is a light and fuzzy, quick read, which is sure to please fans of the author(s) and of the contemporary romance genre. I just needed something a bit deeper to truly entertain me, because I won't remember much of it after reading another book or two.

Mary Jo☆☆☆
For me, this book was a hard read. The first half of the book was what happened in the past... Tate's first love, Sam, and how they fell hard and fast while in London. Sam's betrayal of her trust and love not only broke Tate's heart but cracked her soul as well.

The second half of the book deals with the fallout of Tate seeing Sam again. Tate's life has done a complete 180 since they last saw each other. She's a leading lady, ready for the role that's sure to earn her acting nominations aplenty. What she didn't know until the first day on set is that Sam is the screenwriter.

The angst that follows Tate through her journey of self-discovery is very tangible; however, I believe Tate is very naive for having been in show business for 12 years.

This book did offer me some moments to ponder about things that happen and why they happen and how, in the end, it's really up to you to stand up and create your own path.

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 31+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

Connect with Christina Lauren

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren to read and review.

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