Since joining NetGalley a few months ago, I have requested 3 Christina Lauren books and finally approved for Twice in a Blue Moon, due October 22. Their publisher may never approve me again, because I did not like this book.
Tate Jones, secret daughter of a famous actor, goes to London with her grandmother as a high school graduation present. While there she meets 21 year old Sam Brandis, who is travelling with his grandfather, for some reason. Tate and Sam fall in love, have sex, and then Sam sells her story to a newspaper. Fourteen years later, Tate has become an actress and is about to star in a movie with her father. On set, she discovers that the screenwriter is her first love and betrayer, Sam Brandis.
Initially, I was leery of the whole premise, but the first part of the book with Tate and Sam falling in love in London, was engaging and I became invested in the young lovers. It fell apart in the second part of the book when Tate and Sam are thrown together again.
The biggest problem I had, and I had a few problems, was with Sam. His character growth stops in London. For most of the book he stands around looking tortured and enigmatic. All I could think as Tate became involved with him again was, why? Less than two weeks in London 14 years earlier doesn’t seem like enough of a basis for an adult relationship. Tate barely talks to Sam, except to occasionally yell at him, so why is he so irresistible? Is being tall and her first lover good enough? We get to live inside Tate’s head and she is mostly charming. Sam is just there, on the periphery, and then suddenly they are in love again. I was utterly perplexed why Tate ends up with Sam.
It strains all credulity that a new screenwriter with no significant connections in Hollywood would have any say over casting, much less final approval. It seems improbable that Tate wouldn’t have met with Sam as the screenwriter, especially a screenwriter with final casting approval, before arriving at the shooting location. Not enough time is spent of the relationship for me to feel like Tate and Sam get a Happily Ever After. This doesn’t feel like a romance, at least not a well thought out romance.