I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable weekend read than this well-written, light-hearted romance that had me devouring its pages like a favourite box of chocolates. With an undeniably strong Sex and the City feel to the story, perhaps even written with that audience in mind as this story first appeared in the Bedroom Blog on Cosmopolitan, this is the tale of a former upper class princess, turned personal assistant to a spoiled socialite, trying to make it on her own in New York City, while she juggles a new job, friendships, and love. Addictive and upbeat, this was a book that left a smile on my face, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone seeking an angst-free, utterly entertaining read to lose themselves in.
I neve realized how expensive this city was before, never realized how a majority of New Yorkers lived, never realized how spoiled I was before.
Chloe Madison was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, her privileged upbringing turning her into a spoiled young woman who never had to work a day in her life to enjoy a life of luxury and glamour. But when she suddenly finds herself without a dime to her name, Chloe is forced to think fast on her feet and find a way to support herself in a city where money and clout are everything. We watch her as she bravely paddles through the uncharted waters of finding an apartment to live in, a job to pay her bills, of changing her mindset from wealthy party girl to one of ‘The Help’. And most importantly, of finding herself.
Maybe the cultured, confident woman I was before was just a product of my parents’ money. Maybe now, with my new life a train wreck, I would discover the real Chloe Madison. And maybe, I wouldn’t like her.
As we follow Chloe’s many adventures as a single girl living on her own in the big city, we fall in love with a flawed, but exceptionally self-aware young woman who never fails to recognise all her shortcomings and challenges, bravely taking them on and allowing her heart to lead the way, even when she knows it will only lead her towards more heartbreak. With every bump in the road that she overcomes through sheer tenacity and force of will, either in her professional or her love life, Chloe slowly realises how empty and unfulfilling her old life had been, and how much she does not like the person she used to be.
They had been better friends than I deserved, our friendship turning a corner, becoming deeper through all this. I hoped, one day, I would be able to return the favor. At the very least, to become a better friend.
But giving up on her old lifestyle proves to be Chloe’s greatest test, her heart torn between one man who will forever represent all she’d lost and all she had been, and another who belongs to a world she unwillingly found herself in, a man who brings out the ‘new Chloe’, who loves her for the woman she has become and the woman she wants to be.
In the last year, every kiss I’d received had been a taunt, a tease, or a mind f*ck. I hadn’t been really kissed, or touched, or desired in so long. And there, in his apartment, his hands hot on my skin, his mouth feverish against mine . . . it was as if I were experiencing everything for the first time.
Alessandra Torre proves once more to be an author who is as versatile as she is talented, and even with a lighter, ‘fluffier’ take on romance this time around, she gifts us with another unforgettable reading experience. Speckled with cheery humour and small glimpses into the fashion, sex, and drama of the Manhattan upper crust, this might be a love story first and foremost, but it is also a story that celebrates the empowering force of true friendship. Chloe’s fall from grace is softened by the unwavering presence of her two best friends in her life, their bond and devotion becoming a centerpiece in this enchanting, feel-good tale of a woman’s journey of self-improvement as she immerses herself in love, a new life, and everything in between. At times, I wished for more angst, more character depth, more cohesion in the storyline, but knowing how this story came to be, it took no effort at all to take it at face value and thoroughly enjoy every single minute of it.
… in his eyes, I saw a future that I wanted more of, a future where I was a better person.
The wealthy of the city lived in a different bubble than the rest of us. One where there were no worries of minor problems, the majority of which were easily solved by money. One comprised of beautiful women, powerful men, the drug of success heavy in the air, punctuated with diamonds, caviar, and ego. For the first time, I was an outsider, the Brantleys’ car driving down the back alley of the hotel, a gorgeous old building recently remodeled, its stop short at the loading dock, a flurry of white-coated cooks unloading a catering truck.
“Here?” I asked, looking out the window, my heart sinking.
“Mrs. Brantley said to drop you off here. Use your service provider pass to get in.” The driver casually tossed the barbs out, unaware of how they stuck in my thin skin. Your service provider pass. My visions of elegantly mingling, a champagne flute in hand, counting down the seconds as the ball dropped, a handsome stranger dipping me backward for a kiss, disappeared. A honk sounded behind us, and the driver looked back at me, his eyebrows raised. “You gonna get out?”
I grabbed Chanel’s bag and shouldered it, holding her close to my chest, and opened the door, a second honk blaring, more aggressive than the first. “Jeez,” I muttered, shooting an irritated look toward the vehicle, the driver raising his hands from the steering wheel in the universal gesture of asshole drivers everywhere. I elbowed the door shut and gingerly made my way around the back of the SUV, my heels uneven on the potholed street, one step slipping slightly, my recovery step putting me into a snowy spot. My heel sank, all the way to my ankle, and I gasped, half from the cold, half from the damage it would cause to my suede heels. Beside me, the Brantley’s driver pulled off, seemingly unconcerned over any plight to my Atwoods or me.
“Need a hand?”
I was frozen in place when the man spoke, my left hand stretched out for balance, my right still clutching Chanel, my legs spread, one on firm ground, the other still submerged in slush. I lifted my eyes from my wet ankle and then, staring into his face, lost all train of thought.