Review: Take Two by Shira Anthony

Shiver me timbers! When Professor Wesley Coolidge accepts a summer job as a historical consultant to a pirate movie being filmed in North Carolina, the last person he expects to bump into is his soon-to-be-ex, movie star Sander Carson. Just like the flamboyant pirate he’s playing, Sander, aka Sam Carr, is used to getting what he wants, and he makes it clear he wants Wesley back in his life.

Sam acknowledges it’s his fault they split up. He lost Wesley when he left their life in New York City behind for a career in Hollywood. But Wesley has finally managed to put the pieces of his heart back together, and he isn’t interested in Sam and Wesley: The Sequel. Sam soon realizes that convincing Wesley to give their relationship a second chance will take much more than apologies and reminders of good times past. If he wants Wesley back, Sam will have to show Wesley that they really can sail into the sunset together—a real-life happily-ever-after that won’t end once the final credits roll.

"We don't feel like a couple. It's like we're running in the same direction, but we're not on the same team."
I've had this song [Charlie Puth - "We Don't Talk Anymore"] stuck on my brain the entire time while reading Take Two by Shira Anthony. This awesome song and a fave couple from Sense8 (fans of the show should figure out which closeted couple) on my brain I should say.

Why? This story is about how non-communication can break down a relationship. A couple who suffers from "right person, wrong time." Love, sex and compatibility are definitely big key factors to have a great relationship, but the biggest is communication. Without it, the strongest can even fail. As what happened in Take Two.

Thirty nine year old NY history professor Wesley Coolidge is finally getting his life back on track. Work's great, he has a new academic boyfriend and...he's weeks away from having his divorce finalized. His soon to be ex-husband is famous actor thirty five year old Sander Carson aka Sam Carr. With a marriage of ten years and a separation of three years, it's time for them to move on.

Even though Wesley loves Sam just as much as Sam loves Wesley.

Even though their spark never faded.

The problem is the lines of communications faltered as Sam made it in Hollywood and hid their marriage in the closet. (The closet isn't to blame for the divorce)

The author bills the story as funny, and it might have had a moment or two that made me smile...I don't think it was funny. It's more fluffy and cute. It could have easily been another addition to the Dreamspun line, if you squinted just right.

Second romance, established couple, big grand gestures and sneaky machinations to make your lover realize the spark is still there...all key elements for a light second chance romance. Sam is very stubborn and charming. He tricks Wesley to North Carolina to his pirate set for a job and goes out the way to make sure Wesley know he doesn't want the divorce. (There's no cheating & low angst)

There is something about Shira Anthony's writing that is infectious for me. I get swept away in her characters. They're not outrageous or OTT, simple men who have real life problems and don't mind a little romance.

I do have quibbles. My main one being Wesley realizes why he needs to divorce Sam. At least, I think he did. Wesley is shy, doesn't seem to like grand, dramatic gestures (which after a decade....Sam should have known) and he didn't want to fall under the charismatic Sam spell. He admits it's hard to resist but seems to be on the same communication wavelength that Sam wasn't trying to find. Sam was more of a talk at Wesley than listen and talk to him type of man.  I wanted more from Sam. I needed more from Sam. I could see the new boyfriend plot device. from a mile away. I could see the natrual disaster plot device from ten feet away.

What I wanted to see was Sam finally get the light bulb upstairs and quit the personal 'CGI' and get real with his man. Wesley held strong...mostly. It might come off as wishy-washy, but I think Wesley explains his reactions.

I did wish the boyfriend angle was non existent. I don't think it really added to the story. The entire HEA seemed like a rebound which defeats the purpose of reconciliation for me, if they're trying to avoid making the same mistakes again.

But it's light and happy. And I shouldn't go looking for depth and maturity. That's not this book.

It's a good read. Sweet love scenes (minimal sex scenes, it's more about reconnection) Not my favorite Shira Anthony, that of course being the deceptively angsty ones like Prelude.

Sweet, light, big romantic gestures, established couple yum yum (not my kink, tbh), pirate actors (definitely my kink), geeks and hunky actors can all be found in Shira Anthony's Take Two.

Find out more on Dreamspinner Press (releases 9/9/16) or Goodreads!

Visit the main location of Take Two here with Shira!

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