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Blog Tour and Giveaway: Take Two: Laurelin Paige

Take Two
Laurelin Paige
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Release DateFebruary 4, 2014

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.
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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.”
One interlude of heated passion with two young people that had potential for more. Micah, a young actor knew he had to focus on his career and did not have time for romantic entanglements. Even though the newly graduated, hopeful director and screenwriter, Maddie really intrigued him. One missed opportunity and they went on with their lives.

Seven years later, Maddie's dreams of being a big Hollywood director have been derailed by a pompous director. She is now a camera assistant, but still has dreams of making it on her own someday. Her best friend, Bree forces her to help out on a film that needs a fill in despite having to work with the dreaded Director. And also fails to mention that the leading man is no other than Micah Preston who is now a huge Hollywood star. 

Thus begins a game of cat and mouse. Micah wants to sleep with her. She would like that too, but knows she will want more. But he is skittish and has rules about not having relationships. They flirt, tease, taunt and tempt. Their chemistry is hard to deny....and of course they do try to deny. And Micah can be quite charming and persuasive. But as they get entangled deeper and deeper in their attraction and feelings that they are both afraid to admit, it becomes all too real and complicated. 

There are misunderstanding, fears, insecurities, and drama. It is hard for Maddie to be the dirty little secret on the set. And as the drama builds and situations get tense, Maddie has to take a stand. And no matter what Micah does, he cannot seem to give her one thing she really needs from him. 

This was pure escapism. The tough talking, smart heroine who falls for America's favorite sex symbol. The man who has no intention of falling or having a relationship and ends up making stupid choices. He made a big ass of himself multiple times and they already had issues dealing with their future, careers, and Hollywood life. Two people swirled up in want and need, but with little hope for a positive resolution.

So will they mess up their second chance at happiness or find a compromise they both can live with?

I liked the characters even when I wanted to throttle them. They had a witty rapport and good chemistry. Micah was a clueless jerk at times, but was also vulnerable, sexy and sweet. Maddie was smart, strong, determined and not affected by his fame or fortune. I liked her crazy friend, Bree and his best friend/body guard, Fudge. I would like to see more of those two. This was frustrating and angsty at times, but also cute, sweet, humorous, steamy, and romantic. It was well written and flowed well in both points of view. It is lighter than her Fixed series and does not have the dark, deep emotional component. But the storyline is still interesting and refreshing. It is a good read when you need something fun, feisty, and engaging.

Thanks to Laurelin Paige for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Take Two is the second chance at romance for Micah and Maddie. Both working in Hollywood, they first meet at a wrap party for a movie Micah was working on and Maddie was using to celebrate her graduation from film school. The sparks fly immediately, but it would be seven years before they saw or heard from the other again. 

Fast forward those seven years. Micah is a veteran Hollywood actor, with his focus firmly on his career. He is widely known as a playboy, photographed with different women often but the same woman rarely. Maddie is determined to make it as a director, but after being blacklisted by a big time name in the industry, she had spent most of her time as a camera assistant, with the only directing she's doing on her own time and her own dime. Now they find themselves working on the same project in the mountains of Colorado. And the sparks are back.

The characters were fun and strong as independent people. Together they were perfect. I loved that Maddie was so focused on where she wanted to be and didn't want others to think she was using anything other than her talent to make a name for herself. (Even when that thought process left her a little on the hard-headed side about openly dating an actor.) Micah was a great personality opposite Maddie. As his career focus caused them to not connect when they first met, he is stuck in the career-first mentality and just doesn't see what is going on with Maddie. He's been burned before by girlfriends and that has colored his view of relationships since then. 

I liked that this Hollywood romance included two people inside the movie industry, rather than the typical star falling for the average person, even though Micah was more established in his career and Maddie was still a relative unknown. It made it feel more realistic as the relationship progressed, even to the fact that in hiding the relationship they had to interact with each other around people who knew them. Their chemistry was undeniable. From the first party to meeting again, those around them know instantly there is something there, even when Maddie and Micah are in denial. And yes, there is plenty of denial going on. 

This was a nice, easy-read type story with a Hollywood twist. It was well written, with an engaging plot. The characters had great, if instant, chemistry. There was a lot of chance to just let go and enjoy the story without a lot of heavy or dark emotions to deal with. 

Thanks to Laurelin Paige for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

Laurelin Paige 

USA Today Bestselling Author Laurelin Paige is 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. She is represented by the wonderful Bob Diforio of D4EO Literary Agency.



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