Francesca Rivabuona is fifty and exhausted by the monotony of her life. Stuck in a stale marriage with grown children who have long since fled the coop, and desperate to escape the endless cycle of Upper East Side dinner parties and charity luncheons, she jumps at the chance to write an article about Buenos Aires for a glossy travel magazine.
Francesca is instantly captivated by Buenos Aires’s palpable rhythm. She explores the city with her new friends—a group of tango dancers who give her an insider’s scoop into the best Buenos Aires has to offer—and rediscovers the sense of passion and excitement she thought she had relinquished forever. As Francesca learns to master the sensual movements of tango dancing, she begins to let down her guard—on the dance floor, in the bedroom, and in her personal life. Embarking on a steamy love affair with Argentina’s most famous plastic surgeon, she knows that she has been irrevocably transformed by the pulsing, erotic thrill of life in Argentina.
At once a tale of a middle-aged woman taking a stand against the disappointments of her life and a sexy, fast-paced, entertaining novel about the ecstasy of tango dancing, It Takes Two reads like a soulful tango: irresistible, exotic, and sensual.
Former model and dance devotee Chen brings a lusty exuberance to this telenovella-like tale of a 50-year-old writer who, stuck in a staid marriage and a boring New York life, retools in Buenos Aires and in short order nails love with a handsome, younger doctor, friendship with like-minded women and gorgeous young dancers, and the tango. "I can't believe I'm the same Francesca who only a week ago sat terrified and intimidated in a corner," the liberated ex-Manhattanite gasps. Falling in love with Roberto, whose marriage is on the rocks, awakens Francesca's sexual desires, bringing her to new orgasmic heights that, even if they don't make much sense, are pretty hot, anyway. Chen takes her adventure over the top with this breathless, lush take on middle-aged romance, sex and happy endings; people "inhale" their food, are "consumed" and "pulsing" during sex and "shiver and cry inside" from happiness. Sure, it's cheesy, but there's an undeniable charm to the optimism.