CW: talk of past abusive relationship
This book has been on my tbr since it’s release and I had a feeling I was gonna enjoy it, but I just kept putting it off. And I’m glad I did because I really needed a fun lovely book yesterday when I started it and this story really was soothing balm to the heart.
I own a couple of Talia Hibbert’s books and I think I actually DNFd one because I couldn’t connect to it much, but thankfully this was a very different experience. The writing is funny, full of witty and sarcastic quips, a swoony love story and on the whole, something that is great to read when you need a smile on your face. The pacing is steady, so it was very easy for me to complete in just a couple of sittings. The author does a brilliant job treating her character’s disabilities and mental health issues with a lot of sensitivity, and I appreciated that. I also alternated between the ebook and audiobook and I have to say that the narrator made this an even more enjoyable and entertaining experience with her voice and storytelling style.
Chloe is surviving with her invisible disability but she is finally ready to live a little. She is witty, self-deprecating, a bit prickly because she wants to protect herself from getting hurt, loves her nosy family but is also mildly annoyed when they worry about her too much. She is just a delightful character to follow and the narrator does a stunning job bringing her to life. It really hurt getting to know her backstory because we all hear stories about how medical professionals deny any diagnosis for many people suffering from chronic, and the author showed the kind of impact that can have on the overall life of a person. But Chloe is a survivor and she maybe scared of caring for someone new, but she is brave and admirable in every aspect of her life.
Redford (aka Red) is an artist who is struggling with this own past abusive relationship, is a kind, charming, sweet person who can’t stop feeling attracted to Chloe. But he also has to work to convince himself that Chloe is different from his ex and while he understands this on a subconscious level, certain situations trigger him and it broke my heart whenever he panicked. But he finally decides to start therapy because he wants to move on and I really appreciated the author normalizing the need for help.
The banter between them is a joy to read about and I loved every scene between them. The emails were particularly amusing and I was hoping for me. It’s not exactly a slow burn relationship but it never felt too fast or unrealistic, and I loved how they both respected each other’s limits and boundaries and just were there for each other in whatever way necessary. But they also had baggage which led to some misunderstandings and fights, but it was great to see that they always gave themselves and each other a chance to explain and understand what went wrong and how to work through it. It just felt like a beautiful aspirational relationship and I adored them so much.
The familial relationships in the book are also such a joy. Chloe’s family might be nosy and quirky, always up in her business, but they support her completely and were the source of a lot of laughs in the book. Red’s mother only shows up a little but the mother-son love is totally evident and their dynamic was so fun. I even enjoyed Red’s best friend Vik who was damn sarcastic and kept wishing he would show up a bit more.
To conclude, this is a beautiful and fun love story featuring two wonderful characters who’ve survived a lot and are finally trying to move on. It’s an amazing relationship based on love, respect and support and I really liked that. If you enjoy romances with witty but softhearted characters, delightful banter and a great relationship, then this is perfect for you. And I would definitely recommend the audiobook because the narrator just brings this story to life and will delight you from the first page.
PS: Thank you to HarperAudio and Libro.fm for providing me with the advance listening copy. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and solely mine.