ARC Review: Curved Horizon by Taylor Brooke

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“I am undone by you.”
Thank you very much to Interlude Press for providing a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger warnings in novel: suicidal thoughts/discussion of suicide, depression, parent abuse/domestic violence, sexual assault. A fully list and relative chapter numbers is provided at the beginning of the novel.

Curved Horizon is the second book in the Camellia Clock series about soulmates, destiny, love, and life. This strong sequel follows the ex-girlfriend and old friend of the love interests from book one, as the two women navigate their friendship into something more.

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Curved Horizon picks up a few weeks after the conclusion of Fortitude Smashed with Daisy Yuen and Chelsea Cavanaugh, whose Camellia Clocks draw close to timing out.
Navigating the in’s and out’s of love is hard enough as strangers destined to be soul mates and proves even more complicated when Daisy shares ugly, dark secrets that linger in her and Aiden’s past.
Meanwhile, Shannon and Aiden continue to explore their own new relationship. With Fall comes an unforgettable one year anniversary, but when Shannon suffers a life-threatening incident on the job, Chelsea, Daisy, and Aiden must find a way to let go of their pasts to make room for their futures.

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I really liked Daisy from Fortitude Smashed, so I was beyond excited when I found out the second book would be about her. And then I found out her soulmate was Chelsea, Shannon’s ex-girlfriend from book one, and I was even more excited, because there’s nothing I love more than love interests with seemingly nothing in common falling in love anyway.

Daisy and Chelsea’s relationship is very different from Aiden and Shannon’s – and I don’t just mean in the sense that all relationships are different. In Fortitude Smashed, we learn that there are two types of relationships that Rose Road’s have: physical, or emotional. Aiden and Shannon have a physical relationship – that means that instead of talking about an issue affecting them, they have sex and deal with their pent-up issues and emotions that way. Daisy and Chelsea on the other hand are in an emotional relationship. They talk about everything, even the things that frighten them, which is key in a relationship. Despite how different they are, the fact that they can discuss their issues shows why they are each others Rose Roads.

Daisy deals with quite a lot in Curved Horizon: the fallout from her sexual assault in book one, coming to terms with her past with Aiden, worrying about Chelsea’s reaction to her demisexuality. She has to learn how to forgive herself from her choices in her past, and move on with Chelsea. She goes through a lot, but comes out stronger for it. I really admired Daisy for that.

Chelsea’s character development was off the charts. I had a couple issues with her from  Fortitude Smashed, but reading from her perspective helped me understand her motives from book one. I don’t agree with them, but I can understand them. Chelsea also struggles to deal with her toxic family life, but she learns that family doesn’t always mean the people you share blood with. You can make your own type of family. That’s a really important message I support.

However, I did occasionally grow irked by the constant issue Chelsea and Daisy seemed to have: both of them feeling as though they aren’t good enough for their soul mate. I thought the issue was a realistic one, but all of their fights were about the exact same issue, and it got dry very quickly. After reading the same fight many times over a few chapters, I just wanted to kiss and makeup.

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I loved reading about Aiden and Shannon’s relationship, a year on from Fortitude Smashed. Honestly, it seemed like they weren’t going to make it, considering how different they are, but they have grown so much and work really well together as a couple. It absolutely tore my heart to read about what happens to them towards the ending of the novel, but I masochistically enjoyed it too, just because the event brings everyone together in an important way and shows both Daisy and Chelsea how loved they really are.

I also enjoyed learning a little more about this scientifically-advanced world. We finally learn more about the Camellia Clocks, but the one question I had wasn’t answered: why did Daisy and Chelsea’s clocks not time out as soon as they met, like everyone else’s did? Isn’t that how the Clocks work? It’s a clock counting down to the second you meet your soulmate. But Daisy and Chelsea met months before their Clocks timed out, and Chelsea’s Clock actually speeds up to time out at the same time as Daisy’s. But why? Clocks speeding up is considered rare in this world, so shouldn’t have Chelsea sought out an answer? If there is a third book, I hope that question is answered. I’m sensing that perhaps the world building wasn’t completely formulated. Or perhaps it’s one of those books that doesn’t mention world building, it just shoves you into the world and you have to figure things out for yourself? But I still think we should have an answer in regard to Chelsea, only because the text actually mentions that what happens to her is rare.

Curved Horizon was a fantastic sequel and I really want to read more about this world now. Daisy and Chelsea were wonderful protagonists, who have burrowed their way into my heart. I definitely recommend this gem!

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3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Curved Horizon by Taylor Brooke

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