I don’t know how Glines does it, but somehow she manages to keep all the various characters and love triangles and parenting relationships straight in the seaside town of Rosemary Beach! I’d have to have a map and a secret decoder ring handy just to keep everyone straight, and to make sure I wasn’t suddenly pairing off a biological brother and sister (although there are certain fetish genres for that…ewwwwww).
In The Best Goodbye, Glines is at it again when it comes to spinning a fun, sexy, yet completely implausible escape read. I know readers–even romance readers–who would turn up their noses at the highly unlikely stories coming out of this quaint yet dark little town, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it? If I wanted to read a book about a normal guy and a normal girl who do normal things and happen to fall in love in a normal way, those books are a dime a dozen.
Glines’ specialty is the “out there” style of romance, and this one doesn’t fail to deliver in that regard. In this instance, River Kipling meets Rose Henderson, and (no spoilers!) you’ll just have to see it for yourself to find out what makes this one so unrealistic but so entertaining at the same time!
A bold, new phenomenon has taken place in publishing due to an abundance of readers who clamor for new content. This phenomenon covers the ability to rewrite editions, switch points of view on a previously published story, draft an alternate ending, and more.
One of the more prolific romance authors to offer up alternate view points for her storylines and casts of characters is Abbi Glines, whose Rosemary Beach novels are published by Atria (Simon&Schuster). For many of her novels, often told from the female lead’s viewpoint, Glines returns to the steamy scene of the crime and republishes the male lead’s novel as well.
Such is the case for the book Rush Too Far, which tells the story of Blaire Wynn and Rush Finlay’s heated romance, but this time from Rush’s point of view. I have to say that books like this are actually tricky: there’s a fine line that has to be balanced in several directions. It can’t be so filled with obscure references to a previous book that new readers are lost, but it also can’t be so overexaggerated that long-time fans feel the repetition. That’s coupled with the interesting dynamic that various characters in Glines’ books each have their own series, so at times I felt just a little lost while trying to keep the characters straight.
Overall, this book was another example of everything fun about the romance genre. It keeps things in the realm of steamy fantasy, when the reality of relationships can be far less storybook-worthy. Rush Too Far is available now!
I’m dying to give a spoiler alert because the ending is really the most impressive thing about this book, not for its wow-factor, but because it speaks to the level of control a formerly self-published author has over her writing, and I LOVE IT (Interesting note: Glines’ publicist didn’t actually SAY there would be bodily harm if I gave away the ending, but it was definitely implied…and she’s feisty). There’s no way a debut novelist in the romance genre would EVER get away with some of the story line twists that Glines pulls, and it comes from having the ability to say, “You know what? I’ve done it before and I can do it again, I don’t NEED you to make me a bestseller.” Rock on, Glines!
I will say, the book wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, I can EASILY envision people loving this book, but I’m still a little squeamed out by reading about the sex lives of 20-year-old virgins and their much older, much more experienced partners (yeah, a play-by-play of the MC giving her first hand job was almost a deal breaker for me). No matter how well an author depicts the nature of true love, it always feels like there’s an element of taking advantage of when you have that dynamic happening between the couple. I would rather meet two awkward but starry eyed fumbling teenagers any day than the incessantly overdone story line of the beautiful, inexperienced wallflower and yet another Christian Grey.
At least in Take A Chance, Glines sets up a very plausible reason for Harlow’s wallflower status; sure, she’s filthy rich, her daddy is super famous, but after her mother was killed in a car wreck when Harlow was an infant, she was raised by her grandmother…away from the spotlight and the prying eyes of the paparazzi who don’t know she wasn’t killed with her mother. Harlow has known her dad and adores him, even with his rock star flaws like sex, drugs, and well…the rock and roll should be obvious.
Take A Chance is available now.