I think Rachel is too naive for her own good.
I was suspicious of Chloe from the first moment, and I was sure she was not as good as Rachel thought. Rachel was wrong to check the mobile of the woman (Natalie) she was interviewing, and she shouldn’t have trusted Chloe with the seedy information she got there, that is, that the apparently sorrowful wife of a wrongly-accused man was having an affair with her wife’s ex-lawyer. Rachel knew she had a great scoop there, but she knew that if she published that information, she would have hurt too many people: the woman’s reputation, her children, the lover who would lose his job, and it would jeopardise his wife’s case. Chloe had no such compunctions, and then without any warning Rachel learns that the story has been sold to a national newspaper. That gains her a strong chiding from her boss, getting her job under threat, and Simon gets really abusive with her. Nobody believes her when she claims she didn’t know anything about the information published. I think Simon was really nasty, but I have to say I never liked the man and I was fearing Rachel could let herself be seduced in her vulnerability.
We also get to see what happened at the end of university. I was right something happened between her and Ben. The day before the graduation ball Rhys tells her that he can’t make it, and Rachel feels so hurt that he takes her for granted and doesn’t put her before his band that he breaks up with him on the phone. As all her other friends are away, she calls Ben, who she tells her what has happened. Feeling lonely and a bit apprehensive of the other lodger in her house, she asks Ben to crash in her room. So Ben settled in her sleeping bag, and then when a bit drunk Rachel starts feeling sorry for herself, Ben blurts out her feelings, and then naturally Rachel can’t keep indifferent because that is the way she has felt. They sleep together, but then things are ruined when they talk. Somehow Ben can’t believe that Rachel has nurtured feelings for him, and he thinks that what has happened between her and Rhys is a lovers’ tiff, and he runs out of the house. When Rachel tries to talk to him during the graduation ball, she is unable to do so when Rhys turns up unexpectedly, and Ben flees.
I think Ben had little spunk there. I can understand that he kept his distance because he believed that Rachel was in love with her boyfriend, but after their moment of passion he should have tried to gain her. If he loved her, he should have fight for her. Instead, he went travelling with his friend for a year, and Rachel tried to contact her, but he never replied to her letters. It was a waste. Rachel was also too soft when Rhys came back and his promises gained her back. It is really sad that our expectations and prejudices sometimes meddle our lives. We often see things that are not there. That is what happened to Rachel and Ben. Rachel’s low-esteem made her squash her feelings for Ben. As for Ben, his preconceptions of what Rachel felt ruined his chances with her.
Now what is going to happen? I have the feeling that Ben is up to some nasty surprise. I suspect that the married woman Simon had an affair with is Olivia, and maybe they’re still going at it. Ben is clearly as in love with Rachel as he was in the past. Did he really love his wife? Or did he simply settle like Rachel did when he thought he had no hopes to get Rachel? He didn’t really try.
I am enjoying the book. I love Rachel and I love Ben. It’s a pity he has to be married.