Review: Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment WeeklyMy 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.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Twice in a Blue Moon will be available October 22, 2019. 

Twice in a Blue Moon was cute and compulsively readable, which is what I expect when I pick up a Christina Lauren book.

The story starts out fourteen years in the past with 18-year-old Tate on a trip to London with her grandmother. They run into a couple of other American tourists and Tate falls into insta-lust with Sam. She ends up telling him things about herself she’s never told anyone, including her relationship with her super famous father. Their relationship ends abruptly when he ghosts her after selling her story to the press. Fast forward to the present and Tate is now a famous actor herself and is set to star in a much buzzed about movie with her father. She’s thrown for a loop when she arrives on set and discovers the screenwriter is Sam.

To be perfectly honest, it took me a long time to get on board this ship. Tate and Sam’s relationship was really insta-lovey. They were only together for a couple of weeks and I never really bought into it as something real. I understand how fourteen years later the trauma of the betrayal may still affect them, but the puppy love surviving was a bit of a stretch for me. The whole second chance aspect of it wasn’t done as effectively as I thought it could have been, either. While I’m all for forgiveness, I felt like Sam was let off the hook a little too easily. He basically sold her out because his family needed money and going to the tabloids was the most expedient way to get it. He also says he would do it all over again if had to because what the money did for his family was worth it. But he felt really bad about it, so it’s all ok. I had a hard time rooting for him.

That said, as the story went on, they did grow on me. There were some cute moments I enjoyed. I also enjoyed several of the supporting characters, including Tate’s Manager, Marco, and her co-star, Nick. I could’ve used a little more of them, actually.

Overall, Twice in a Blue Moon was enjoyable, but not my favorite book by this duo. Christina Lauren’s writing was as addictive as always, though, and I look forward to reading more from them.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

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Review: Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

The bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Keep Her Safe and “master of steamy romance” (Kirkus Reviews) delivers a sizzling novel about an ambitious and high-powered executive who reconnects with her first love: the boy who broke her heart. 

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counselors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is still alive and strong, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. 

Say You Still Love Me will be available August 6, 2019. 

I recently read and really enjoyed The Simple Wild, so I have been anxious to check out more from K.A. Tucker. While I liked The Simple Wild just a little bit more, I still enjoyed Say You Still Love Me.

The story alternates between the present and thirteen years in the past. I’m a fan of multiple timelines, but I thought it could have been used a little more effectively than it was here. I didn’t feel like a lot really happened in the past chapters. While I shipped Piper and Kyle, their relationship was basically instalove. There are some cute moments, but the past chapters are basically them getting in trouble at camp with their friends and rounding the bases of their physical relationship. I didn’t really feel like we needed every other chapter to be from the past. I was much more interested in their second chance romance as they run into each other as adults.

I liked that Piper was more than just a rich socialite. She worked hard at her job and she was good at it. While she did seem to take her lifestyle for granted, she also didn’t look down on people who had less money than her. I liked her relationship with her old camp friends and current roommates and would’ve liked even more interaction between the three of them in the present. I also really liked Piper’s assistant, Mark. I felt like there was so much story with him and would’ve liked to have seen more of him. I actually would really enjoy a book from his POV. On the subject of supporting characters, I also loved Kyle’s brother, Jeremy. We only see him in a couple scenes, but I loved everything he said and did.

While I did think teenage Piper and Kyle started out as instalove, I enjoyed their romance. I’m a fan of the Second Chance Romance trope and thought it was done well here. I liked how they were able to talk to each other and still knew and cared about each other after so much time apart. Kyle did do some stupid things that was frustrating, but he eventually made up for them.

Overall, I enjoyed Say You Still Love Me. I liked Tucker’s character-driven writing and the second chance romance between Piper and Kyle. I wish the supporting characters got a little more page time and that the multiples timelines were used a little more effectively, though. However, I would still recommend this one to Contemporary fans and am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars