Curved Horizon is the follow up to Taylor Brooke’s Fortitude Smashed. There we were introduced to the concept of the Camellia Clock, where people had small clocks embedded into their thumbs that would countdown to the moment they would time out and meet their “Rose Road,” or their soulmate. Aiden and Shannon, from the first book, are integral to the plot here and reading that book first would help readers to understand the plot and the characters a whole lot better here.
Curved Horizon is also about Daisy and Chelsea, whose clocks are about to time out. Daisy is best friends and roommates with Aiden and Chelsea is Shannon’s ex. Daisy and Chelsea have known each other through the guys and while Chelsea is bisexual and Daisy is demisexual, they never thought of each other as romantic partners. There is also a reason they never expected to time out at the exact same time.
These women are different and not just on the outside, with Daisy being Chinese and Chelsea having grown up in small town Georgia with a refined upbringing that earns her the nickname “charm school.” Daisy thought she had found the one in her ex, but that’s a sordid and distressful tale that she won’t talk to anyone about, even with Aiden, and it directly involves him as well. The attack from last book also weighs heavily on Daisy and she’s not in the place to be open in a relationship and she thinks that Chelsea is way out of her league.
Chelsea moved to California for medical school and her relationship with her parents is strained. Her father was abusive and her mother was more concerned about appearances and it’s taken Chelsea a long time to realize that she deserved to be loved. These women have a lot of issues to navigate and just because the energy of the clock finds their soulmate for them, there can still be a lot of work that has to be done to forge a relationship.
All of them, Daisy, Chelsea, Aiden, and Shannon, cling so tightly to their pasts. They all have a lot of baggage and don’t know how to move forward and they almost don’t allow themselves to do so. The romance between Daisy and Chelsea is quiet and the writing is descriptive as they set out to get to know each other as friends with the potential for a lot more.
Aiden and Shannon were a highlight here for me as well. I would say the storyline was equally theirs, but it may have just tipped over into being even a little more about them. In some ways this book felt like the second part of Aiden and Shannon’s relationship and if it was supposed to be more about Chelsea and Daisy, the balance was off in that regard. Daisy and Chelsea circled around each other each other and talked around each other as they had to get more comfortable with themselves. It then left a great impression of seeing them as individuals, but slightly less as a couple. The intimacy of this book lies in the emotions of the characters and how they discover themselves as they discover each other.
When Shannon is injured at work, it shifts all of the characters’ focus. There aren’t many things more heartbreaking than a broken Aiden waiting on word of Shannon’s condition. This plot line moved the story forward at a pace that I found refreshing. It wasn’t the sudden realization that life is fragile, but a natural progression that enabled the characters to move forward. I also got more of an understanding here of the Camellia Clock than I had in book one and while I appreciated the information, I would have preferred to have had it in the earlier book. But still, I feel like there is a lot of finer detail I am missing out on about contemporary characters having a clock imbedded in their thumbs and it just being a regular part of society. I also felt like after two books now, Shannon and Aiden’s story is still not yet complete. While their relationship has evolved tremendously and their love for each other is strong, we don’t see them completely settled with each other yet.
This series takes an interesting premise and builds upon it with a variety of intriguing characters with a softer, character driven tone. The style has a lot of descriptive words that will slide over you as you read and if that style appeals, definitely check it out