Blog Tour: Take Two by Laurelin Paige + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Release Date: February 4, 2014
Take Two
by Laurelin Paige

4.5 stars

This is one of the most enjoyable reads I've had so far this year! It is everything that I want in a romantic story: the attraction and chemistry between the two characters are so potent, there's the anticipation and excitement of not-yet-together-but-heading-there, when the scene turns steamy it goes steamy, there's a little conflict that's enough to make you worry about what would happen in the next few pages, and of course, the grand gesture that would ultimately win the girl! I love it, I love it! Take Two is definitely going to me reread pile!

Maddie Bauers and Micah Preston meet seven years previously at a house party. Maddie was dragged there by her best friend Bree to celebrate their graduation from film school. They didn't know it was actually a wrap party for an indie film Micah starred in. From the moment they met, they became attracted to each other and it led to a heavy makeout session... oh wait, was there kissing..? I forgot, but I can tell you things got hot and heavy! Sadly, a drunken Bree had to interrupt the moment and the next thing we know, it's already seven years later.

Why seven years, you ask? It's because even though he got Maddie's number, Micah signed with a star-making publicist the very next day. Career first before romance; in fact, career only and no romance instantly became one of his driving force to succeed as an actor. And he did it, because seven years later he has become one of the hottest and most sought-after actors in Hollywood.

Maddie, on the other hand, wasn't so successful. She wanted to become a director, but certain events prevented that from happening. She instead developed her skills to become a camera assistant. I didn't know until this book that the camera assistant's job is actually difficult and it requires one's utmost concentration--which became difficult to do once she was asked to assist in a move starring, you guessed it, Micah Preston.

Their second meeting is just as electrically-charged as their first. However, with seven years between their first and second meetings, things have definitely changed between them. For starters, they are in Hollywood, possibly the worst place to for relationships to form. 

I love that Maddie remained cool and composed even though there are many times when she's an excited, shocked, nervous mess inside. I like that she's really dedicated in her craft, and that even though she's not in the director's chair as she dreamed, she's still looking for ways to make that a reality (albeit in a snail's pace). I love that Micah seems very down to earth even though he is already a movie star. Of course, he wasn't celibate in all those years, but he had maintained his belief regarding relationships vs. career, except that this time it's slightly modified: no relationship can survive Hollywood. 

That belief of his became the biggest obstacle to their relationship. It's because of this that they had to pretend not being together when in fact each other is all they can think about all day. 
...the most convincing work he did was when the camera wasn't rolling--when he pretended that he was unaffected by Maddie Bauers.

There's also the fact that the shoot is only for 3 weeks more. However, their limited time together wouldn't be an issue if they're both ready to commit once it's all done. Maddie was understanding of Micah's belief at the beginning since she knows where he is coming from. As her feelings for him grows though, and as he feels the same thing himself, the constant denial of their relationship starts to hurt. It leads her to ask: will Micah have enough faith and confidence in their relationship to give it a try? Does he love her enough to fight for her and do what it takes to make their relationship work?
"If I hadn't been such an idiot, if I hadn't fucked it up royally, what would it take to be with you?"
"It would take you being willing to be with me."

Having just read a serious and heartbreaking series, Take Two was a very welcome breath of fresh air for me. The hero and heroine are both likable, and the secondary characters do more than walk by them. Bree turns out to be such a wise and supportive friend. Fudge is the funny best friend-slash-bodyguard who knows when to make a joke, when to call the mom, and when to stand guard *wink2*. Lulu thankfully turned out to be supportive too. I feared for a moment that she'll be the snobby celebrity mom. Of course, there are a always a couple of douchebags, and in this story it becomes apparent who it is early on.

This is definitely one of my favorite standalones so far this year! It's light, it's romantic, it has a bit of a Cinderella fairytale going on to make any girl dreamy. I for one am not too thrilled with very public grand gestures, but what Micah did here had me squealing excitedly. :) Read Take Two and you'll know why I'm gushing over it!
"Why me, Micah?... Why not one of the million other girls you know would kill for a night with you? Why me?"
"You remember that night? Back then you liked me.... And it wasn't because I had money or a big name. It was me."

Buy links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes


He’s ready for his close up, but she’s the one calling the shots. 

On the night of her graduation from film school, straight-laced Maddie Bauers fell completely out of character for an oh-my-god make-out session with a perfect stranger. Complete with the big O.

Seven years later, that romantic interlude is still fresh in her mind. That stranger is now a rich and famous actor. And she’s one very distracted camera assistant working on his latest production. She might consider another tryst…if he even remembers her.

Micah Preston does indeed remember Maddie. Too bad he’s sworn off Hollywood relationships. He allows himself as much sex as he likes—and oh, he does like—but anything more is asking for trouble. For the woman, not for him. Yet knowing Maddie could want more than a movie-set fling doesn’t stop him from pursuing her like a moth drawn to hot stage lights. 

But as the shoot nears its end, it’s decision time. Is it time to call, “Cut!” on their affair, or is there enough material for a sequel?

Warning: Contains a dreamy movie star hero, a focus-pulling heroine, off-the-charts instant chemistry, steamy sex in near-public locations, and a new use for lip gloss.

This is one of my favorite parts in the story. They just met again, and Micah is distracted by Maddie's very presence. I find his attempt at denials cute, lol!

       Christ, he was absolutely pathetic. Pining over a woman? Maybe he should be making romantic comedies. Or movies for Lifetime, since he’d totally seemed to have lost his balls.
       He glanced at Fudge, who sat who sat nearby reading a magazine. At least he didn’t know the reason for Micah’s pining. Fudge would never let Micah hear the end of it.
       “Chin up!” Darla, his makeup artist fluttered over him, applying powder to his face. “Sugar, you keep sweating off all your makeup. Why don’t you sit under the tent where it’s cooler until they’re ready to shoot your scene?”
       He shook his head. That was where video village was—where Maddie was. “No, I’m fine here.”
       “But you’re getting too much sun, sweetie.” Darla mothered Micah, which was why he liked working with her.
       Today it irritated him. “I said I’m fine.”
       “He can’t stand to be too near the hottie that’s assisting Adam,” Fudge said. “He’s gotta bit of a crush.”
       “What the… That’s not true.”
       “Then I guess the hard-on you’ve been sportin’ since the airport is from that cheerleader assistant, Sam.” Fudge flipped a page casually in the magazine.
       “You’ve been checking out my dick, man? That’s just weird.” Of course Fudge would have noticed Micah’s behavior regarding Maddie. But he didn’t have to bring it up in front of his makeup artist. Better yet, he didn’t have to bring it up at all.
       Darla laughed. “Oh honey, you don’t need to be embarrassed. I’ve been working with you for five years now and this is the first time I’ve ever seen you so unfocused. It’s a nice change. You should go talk to her.”
       “It’s not—” Micah cut himself off, then started again at a more reasonable volume. “It’s not the girl. It’s the altitude.”
       “Whatever you need to tell yourself, sweetie.”


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About the Author:

Laurelin Paige is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She's a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there's kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn't seem to complain, however. When she isn't reading or writing sexy stories, she's probably singing, watching Mad Men and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine.



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