When Emerson Willis pushes a hapless man from the path of oncoming traffic, he has no idea he has rescued someone famous. Emerson is about the only one on the planet who doesn’t recognize musician Sean Stirling, whose career has finally taken off. Sean is used to being played for a fool and he has a long string of bad relationships behind him to prove it. So Sean can’t help his immediate attraction to Emerson’s down to earth honesty and genuine kindness.
Emerson likes Sean to be sure, but he can’t help waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s just a matter of time before Sean moves on to someone else, right? How could he possibly be happy long term with someone like Emerson, who shies away from the limelight and lives a quiet life? But when an accident leaves Sean’s career in jeopardy, the relationship between he and Emerson will be put to the test.
Double Act is a relatively quick read with an abundance of sweetness that ultimately suffers from lackluster characters and a rather boring plot. The book starts off well enough with the meet cute between Emerson and Sean taking place during a rescue. Emerson shows himself to be a kind man and I intrinsically appreciated the care he takes with Sean. I think in the midst of trauma we’d all like to believe someone would be there for us, even a stranger. Sean seems like a man who is exhausted and tired, despite his love of the stage. His music is everything and he loves the life he has, but it’s come with a wearying price. Unfortunately, neither of these characters grow or evolve much past their initial presentations. I felt that by the end of the book we really didn’t know more about them as individual people or as a couple than we did at the start. They seem flat and rather immature in their development and, as a result, I didn’t end up caring about either of them. It doesn’t help that Double Act has a serious case of insta-love that never reads as particularly believable. It’s just adds to the lack of evolution in either Emerson or Sean.
The plot to Double Act is just so-so. Every step of it is utterly predictable and without much originality. It isn’t a terrible plot by any means, it just doesn’t have any inventiveness and the end is so contrived as to be almost laughable. Well-used tropes are commonplace in romance novels, but I’ve seen authors take those tropes and turn them upside down. That just didn’t happen here and the book felt sluggish and weak as a result.
Double Act isn’t a terrible book and if you enjoy music/musician romances or the sweet and simple, you’ll probably find something to enjoy. But the characters lack depth or growth and the plot never goes anywhere except in a straight line. Double Act is blah and it fails to offer much for its readers beyond the very basic.