Book three in the Gia San Franciso gives us Whitney Dimaano’s story. If you haven’t read Chef’s Kiss or Missed Connection, the book where we are introduced to Whitney, stop what you’re doing and read them now. Not that you can’t enjoy this one without reading those, but they are simply too good to miss and the insight we gain into Whitney in Missed Connection enriches the experience while reading this book.
Whitney owns her own fitness center, is establishing relationships with her half brother and sister she’s only recently met, but her love life is stagnant. Not that she hasn’t tried, she’s been seeing a doctor for two months but there’s no spark. She’s only felt that with one person, and she left her. When Andy reappears in her life, she tries to hold onto the anger she’s felt for the last six years. If only her body didn’t still react to Andy’s nearness and her heart didn’t beat a little faster whenever she simply thought about Andy.
Andy Vahn returns to San Francisco to persuade Jenn Coleman to appear in her documentary but she’s also back to make amends. Six years ago, she fled to London and left everyone behind, her best friend, her parents and Whitney, the only woman she has ever loved. She isn’t sure she deserves Whitney’s forgiveness, but it isn’t going to stop her from trying. Despite the success she’s found, there’s been something missing since the moment she left Whitney.
Last year when I first read Chef’s Kiss, I knew I was reading the words of a special author. That feeling has only been strengthened after Whispering Oaks and Missed Connection. With Take Two, Stephanie Shea continues her ascent into the upper echelon of sapphic authors. This is the kind of book that reminds me why I love reading so much. It is filled with angst and humor, but more than anything, it makes me believe in soulmates, because in no universe is there anyone for Whitney but Andy. They were always meant to find each other and then find their way back.
I may possibly be in love with Jenn Coleman from Chef’s Kiss. Truth, if I could bring her to life, I would dump my gf right now and make her mine. So, I was very happy to see her, Val, Avery and Kyla make appearances. I love seeing how everyone from previous books are doing, like checking in on old friends.
Out of the 100 plus books I have read this year, this is the most romantic. It is so painfully beautiful, I had tears in my eyes on more than one occasion. Stephanie Shea uses flashbacks to show their past relationship which only helped make it more obvious the depth of feelings they shared. I love everything about this book, from the use of imagery that helps me picture so vividly what is happening, to Whitney and Andy’s growth individually and as a couple to the declarations that are so stunningly well written, I have no choice but to continue hyping Stephanie Shea to anyone who will listen. I can’t think of an author who is more deserving.
An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.