Author: Shira Anthony
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: 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.
Review: Shira Anthony knows a thing or two about the boating life along her beloved Carolina coast. She also knows a thing or two (or three, or four!) about crafting a wonderful story. Luckily for us, she has combined these elements into a fun, flirty, and heart-tugging tale. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Sam and Wesley’s new lease on love.
On the surface this book sounds like a second chance type of story, but there is so much more going on deep in the hearts of both Sam and Wes. This isn’t the story of two people discovering one another again after years of no contact; it’s the story of two people who’ve allowed an emotional distance to take over as circumstances have separated them physically. Wes is a history professor in New York, his husband Sam is an actor who has hit the big time, and consequently has been forced to spend most of his time in LA, or on location. Sam’s success didn’t happen overnight, so the unraveling of his relationship with Wes didn’t either. Both men thought they were doing what was best as things were happening; that they could handle a long distance situation. They were wrong. The lack of communication, lack of true support, and the absence of long term goals as a couple, eventually eroded away at their bond.
Wes had filed divorce papers. He’d begun a relationship with a colleague, Carl. He believes he’s ready to move on from Sam. Riiight. Summer finds Wes and Carl going unexpectedly in different directions for work opportunities. Carl heads to Guatemala, Wes to Bald Head Island off the Carolina coast. Wes has been tapped to be the historical consultant on the set of a pirate movie, an area in which he has expertise. The last thing he expects to find is that the star of the movie is none other than…Sam.
It immediately becomes apparent that Sam has manipulated Wes into working on set, and he wastes no time in letting Wes know that he does not want the divorce. What really struck me is how Wes could have said “oh hell no,” turned tail, and left. He didn’t. He allowed himself to be swept away in the tide of Sam once again, even though he spent lots of time telling himself he wouldn’t lose sight of the shore. Sam and Wes are both genuine in their feelings and their actions. Sure, Sam has blindsided Wes with this arrangement, but he absolutely is still in love with Wes. Not wanting the divorce has everything to do with wanting a future with Wes, not in not wanting to feel like a loser. I was cheering this couple on so hard!
I loved how the two men relearned each other over the summer, rekindled interest in the little – and big- quirks they had found endearing in each other. There were tender moments, there were white hot encounters, and there was lots of time spent talking issues through. Shenanigans and adventure ensued too! Wes wasn’t a push over, but the real break- through turned out to be when he and Sam realized and faced up to the fact that they had utterly failed to voice their true thoughts and feelings to each other in the past. No more. Wes and Sam had never really fallen out of love, but they had fallen out of simpatico. I made a few tiny side eyes at some minor plot points, but nothing that took me out of the story.
The author does a marvelous job of weaving wonderful characterizations into a setting that is altogether intriguing, beautiful, and dynamic. Wes is smart, driven and supportive. Sam is brash, surprising and devoted. The supporting characters were not only well presented, but they were true friends of Sam and Wes and had no small part in their reconciliation. I especially took a shine to Sam’s PA, Jeffrey, and have hopes of him getting his own story. Hint!
I advise everyone to come aboard and sail away with this fun and heartfelt read.
Love the LC Chase cover too!