Solène Marchand, a 39 year old, divorced, art gallery owner, takes her 12 year old daughter, Isabelle, to her favorite boyband’s concert. August Moon, a band filled with young British boys, has taken the world by storm. They’re selling out stadiums and young girls all over the world are madly in love with them. The last thing Solène expects when she takes her daughter and her friends backstage to meet the group is to make a connection with one of the boys, who is just 20. Hayes Campbell is clever, charming and severely attracted to Solène. What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate and genuine relationship. She flies across continents and cities to meet up with him and have amazing sex until their relationship is revealed in the press leaving her daughter heartbroken and vulnerable and Solène, herself, exposed to the millions of girls who are mad that this old woman is with the love of their lives.
When I started this book, I was sure I was going to give it a one star at the end. A fanfiction about Harry Styles? I don’t care how many times fans of this book and the author denies it but this book is very clearly about One Direction and Harry Styles. I just couldn’t get past the age gap and the judgement I had. But I thought for a long time about this book while I was reading it and afterwards. If the genders were reversed would I feel so judgemental towards Solène? Would I judge a dad for sleeping with a 20 year old and question his love for his daughter? I realise that girls have a very different relationship with their favorite male pop stars than their favorite female pop stars so none of the dilemmas that arose in the book would have even been a thing in the world we live in. I also knew how this book was going to end. There was no other way for it to end except the way it did. I don’t want to spoil the book for anybody.
My problem with this book is that the author tried to convince us that Solène and Hayes fell in love but I never saw that on the page. I never thought they had any real conversations. Every conversation they had was about sex and about how much they loved sleeping with each other. The author didn’t show us in depth conversations that showed they were anything other than sex buddies. All we kept being told was the number of orgasms he kept giving her. There was a night he gave her 8 orgasms! Maybe I’m speaking too quickly. Maybe if someone gives you 8 orgasms, you have no choice but to fall in love too. This book has a lot of fans (there’s even a Facebook group just for the fans of this book) and I picked this book up because someone mentioned how much they loved it. I was in a book slump so I quickly picked this one up and another reason I didn’t give it one star is because it did exactly what I wanted it to do. It completely rebooted my reading life which I’m so happy about.
The characters in this book were so pretentious, I don’t even know where to start. Of course Solène is French and even though she was born and raised in America, she still considers all things French to be cool and sophisticated. She’s so well traveled, went to an Ivy league school, so beautiful, so intelligent. She is everything you think of when you think of a stereotypically sophisticated French woman. The author did not lift her pen when jotting down ALL the stereotypes. Hayes is also very rich, very posh, went to private school in England, father went to Eaton, and of course so mature for his age! These two people are gallivanting the world, meeting other cool and sophisticated people like them, buying art, discussing art, having dinners in fancy places, meeting more cool people like them and buying thousands of dollars worth of art!
So why did I not give this book one star? Because honestly it has stayed with me since I read it and I’ve had the urge to convince other people to read it just so I have someone to talk to about it. It’s also interesting to me that I had a lot of problems with this book but I did not find the age gap as creepy as I thought it would be. The author, I feel, did a very good job with that. Hayes still read very young to me but I kept forgetting he was barely legal. Anyway, I gave this book 2 stars and seriously considered giving it 3 stars but came to my senses. I will say though, that I enjoyed being irritated by these characters.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!