cover image Twice in a Blue Moon

Twice in a Blue Moon

Christina Lauren. Gallery, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-5011-9742-0

This solid but unexceptional contemporary from Lauren (The Unhoneymooners) tries to do a few too many things at once. When Tate Butler goes on a trip to London shortly after turning 18, she meets Sam Brandis and falls instantly into a whirlwind romance so intense that she finds herself telling him her biggest secret: she’s Hollywood royalty, the “lost” daughter of heartthrob Ian Butler. She vanished from the public view at age eight, and everyone wants to know where she went. Sam almost immediately sells Tate’s secret to the tabloids and launches her into the spotlight again. Ten years after Sam’s betrayal, Tate realizes that her past isn’t as far behind her as she thinks. Stepping into her first leading role on a film set in Northern California, she’s introduced to the screenwriter: Sam. Despite his earlier betrayal, she still feels drawn to him and must decide whether to give him another chance. Sometimes awkward parallels are drawn between the love story of Sam and Tate, who are both white, and the interracial historical romance of the film they’re working on. The pacing is imperfect, but the ending satisfies. Readers inclined toward narratives of forgiveness will appreciate this story of learning to leave the past in the past. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Oct.)