This was a perfect beach read even though it was a bit out of my wheelhouse. I don’t read a lot of romance though CBR-ers have steered me to a couple of books I’ve enjoyed (anything by Lucy Parker for instance). I don’t mind a bit of sex but I don’t want the plot to be just an excuse to write sex scenes; I want characters and sexy bits to be somewhat balanced but that’s just me.
The basic plot is this. After a near death experience, Chloe Brown takes stock of her life and realizes that thanks to several years of walling herself off from everything but her work and family, she would have the world’s most boring obituary. Being the logical and slightly atypical individual that she is, Chloe makes a “Get a life” list that includes the following:
- Move out
- Enjoy a drunken night out
- Ride a motorbike
- Go camping.
- Having meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
- Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
- Do something bad.
A month later, Chloe has accomplished the first—moving out of her family home (but not quite out of the clutches of her sisters and grandmother) but she hasn’t made much progress on the rest. Enter Redford Morgan, the sexy superintendent of Chloe’s building, who seems like he might be able to help with several items on her list. However, there’s more of an annoyance at first sight between them, thanks to assumptions that both make about each other. Of course, these are the kind of emotions that you know will eventually turn to sexual tension and they do.
I enjoyed Talia Hibbert’s novel on a couple of levels. One is that Chloe is not white, not thin, and wears glasses. Second, she is struggling with a chronic illness (fibromyalgia) and that is more part of the plot than her size or weight is. She and Red are both struggling from the after effects of bad relationships—one downright abusive. Their courtship dance involves moving past walls both have built up and I appreciated that. Though some days I feel too cynical for stories like this, it was nice to sit back and enjoy a narrative involving two people who were clearly made for each other—warts and all.