Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: When I'm Gone by Abbi Glines

When I'm Gone by Abbi Glines
(Rosemary Beach #11)
April 7, 2015
272 pages
Genre: New Adult Romance 18+
Contains: explicit sex, strong language, abuse triggers
Source: eARC for Honest review

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the next new adult novel in the Rosemary Beach series, in which we meet Mase, a Texas heartthrob first introduced in Take a Chance who comes to Rosemary Beach to stir things up.

I had an urge to fix all her problems. Which was stupid. She was doing fine without me. But something about those big eyes…

Mase Colt-Manning has always preferred his humble life as a Texas rancher to his birthright as the son of a legendary rock star. In fact, he rarely visits his father’s rarefied world in Rosemary Beach, especially if it means bunking at his vile half-sister Nan’s house—until one visit leads to a chance encounter with a young, gorgeous house maid who awakens him with her off-key but spirited imitation of a country music star…

Reese Ellis finally has her freedom. After escaping a lifetime of abuse from her parents and classmates for an undiagnosed learning disorder, she seizes the opportunity to be a house maid to some of the richest families in Rosemary Beach. But her job is in jeopardy when she causes an accident at the home of her most important client, Nan Dillon. When a hot, half-naked stranger with a cowboy’s swagger comes to her rescue, she’s intrigued—then afraid once he shows his own interest. Reese has never met a trustworthy man in her life. Will Mase be any different?

Two Confessions and a Review:

Confession #1: This is the first book I have read from the Rosemary Beach series. The last Abbi Glines book I read was Just For Now from the Sea Breeze series. Because of Low is my favorite of Abbi's. But despite owning several of the books in this series, time and content factors have kept me from reading them.

Confession #2: I cheated a bit before reading When I'm Gone, looking at some reviews and minor spoilers. I may have also done some peeking ahead while reading. Why? Because one of my obstacles to pursuing this series has been the reality that I'm tired of the boys-behaving-badly trope. The player/cheater character diary is emotionally draining, so due to some spoilers on previous books, I just haven't gotten around to them. I also don't love that each couple has two books complete with cliffhangers.


Despite the above issues, I was feeling like I needed to give Abbi another fair shot. My confessions also contain assumptions and fears of the content of stories that I have yet to read. Some of these are valid as I have read through spoilers. But some are just personal and may or may not be valid. So when I saw the blurb for When I'm Gone and got a good feeling about Mase's character, I knew I had to give it a shot. And I'm so glad I did!!!

My Review:
I thoroughly enjoyed When I'm Gone. Having no backstory on Mase, all I can say is that in this book he is completely swoonworthy. I loved Mase! He's the sort of hero you want, especially for such a tenderhearted soul like Reese. Mase is a true cowboy, with the horses and ranch to boot. But he's also a big softie. From the moment he meets Reese he's done for. But he's so gentle and patient, and that's one of the qualities of this book I truly admired. Yes, Mase can also dirty talk with the best of them. But he truly knew how to handle Reese and her boundaries, and earned all the trust we had in him.

Reese had an awful childhood, which we get some glimpses into (including abuse, bullying, and a learning disorder). But despite how broken people tried to make her, she is a gem. She's shy but strong. She's skittish, but for good reason. But she has a heart of gold and still tries to see the good in people. And despite all the hurts of her past, she was still able to see the good in Mase. She was a great balance between having enduring internal strength and fortitude combined with needing the support and love of others to give her that last glimpse of hope she's needed all her life.

These two could not have been more perfect for each other. The way their story unfolded was very sensitively handled. Watching them bond long distance was just so sweet. I truly enjoyed watching them grow as friends and as a couple. And despite Reese's past, there are still some great and creative sexy times. Now there is a bit of drama, but I would not label this as high angst. While some issues may take longer than others, they are all resolvable and none are unforgiveable. As a bonus, for those who have followed this series, you get to see many of the previous couples, which even for a newbie like me, was really sweet.

And yes, there's a bit of a cliffhanger, but it's not bad. I felt good about where Mase and Reese's relationship was in the end. I still don't love that there are two books per couple. I don't like unnecessary drama and worry about what Glines will do to this couple next. Without the cliffhanger, I would have been happy with this as a standalone. But I definitely want to find out what happens to Mase and Reese and root for their HEA.

Find the Rosemary Beach Series reading order here.

Abbi Glines is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Field Party, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, and Existence series. A devoted book lover, Abbi lives with her family in Alabama.

Find Abbi Online:
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