Wow, this was such an annoying read! Chloe Sophia Brown comes across as a pampered, snobby whiny, weak damsel in distress who needs rescuing.
From this outset, I already didn’t like her.
Someone who describes herself like this…
“This mind-blowing bore had zero friends, hadn’t traveled in a decade despite plenty of opportunity, liked to code on the weekends, and never did anything that wasn’t scheduled in her planner. Don’t cry for her; she’s in a better place now. Even Heaven can’t be that dull.”
… is simply someone who is wallowing in her own shitty quality of life.
Chloe thinks, feels and behaves like a victim of her fibromyalgia (chronic pain, pressure sensitivity, tiredness, sleep problems, etc.) and Hibbert never ceases to emphasize how horribly suffering her heroine is.
Not only from her illness but from being abandoned by her ex-fiancé, every single friend she ever had (we ask ourselves: what kind of “friends” were those?), her family (apart from her sisters) and who knows whom else. In addition to being ill, Chloe is overweight and black.
At times, I’ve wondered how Hibbert managed to not make her an amputee as well or clinically depressed or maybe blind… Yes, sorry, I’m being sarcastic because Chloe was so annoying.
Then there’s her “love interest”, Redford “Red” Morgan, whose previous relationship was with some kind of glamour girl who oh-so-horribly abused the poor guy: She hated his motorcycle but used it for glamour photos. Wow! What abuse… Furthermore, she is described as somewhat bitchy. It was all so horrible that poor Red (who is, of course, a ginger!) fled London and, gasp, changed and tried something new! What tragic development!
Apart from that he’s an uneducated moron who doesn’t know the word “indisposed” and reacts to it like this:
“He was going to have to buy a bloody dictionary to keep up with her vocab, but he could read between the lines.”
Or he could take some English lessons and, thus, extend his two-hundred-words vocabulary. In addition said vocabulary seems to be dominated by the word “fucking”. It features prominently in every second sentence or thought of his. (Chloe has a similarly obsessive relationship with the word “pussy”…) I’m not averse to some swearing but does it have to be all the time?
“He watched her as closely as he could, which was pretty fucking close.” and next he decides to tell Chloe “You’re cute as fuck, you know that?” – why? Is there really a woman who would want to hear that? (I have no doubt there are enormous numbers of male morons who think so…)
And Chloe swoons at that…
Red, at times, is outright creepy, e. g. when he “[drinks] in every detail like some sexually deprived Victorian bloke”. Urks…
At other times, he’s more of an animal:
“She snorted, rolling her eyes, but he could tell she was pleased. It oozed out of her like jam from a layer cake, and he was lapping the sweetness up, desperate for more.”
Is he a dog?!
When it comes to creepy, Chloe isn’t exactly innocent either:
“This hunger was urging her to sneak inside his head and devour everything she came across. But that would be a little creepy, possibly violent, and probably illegal, so she settled for asking questions.”
“Possibly violent”? Devouring his brain? Thanks, but no thanks!
Last but not least, the book is full of what my children kindly informed me is called “fake-depth” or calendar mottos to me:
“Bliss should be held on to with both hands.” “Good things usually hurt in the end.”
Ultimately, this book failed miserably for me on many levels: For a mindless romance (which I expected) it’s too complicated; for a serious book, it’s too shallow and simple. In the end, to me this book was one of suffering – of Chloe’s and of mine reading this stuff…