Thursday, April 9, 2015

Christie's review: When I'm Gone by Abbi Glines


Title:When I'm Gone
Series: Rosemary Beach #11
Author: Abbi Glines
Release Date: April 7, 2014
Rating:3.5 stars
Cliffhanger: yes

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?

I have a confession to make. I haven't read an Abbi Glines book in two years. *Gasp!* After book 5 in this series, Twisted Perfection, (which I loved) I took a break and never found my way back. Mostly because of queen bitch Nan.

This character is so bad she makes you want to bring a fictional character to life just to stab or incinerate into dusty ashes never to be seen again. Anyone who's read this series knows what I'm talking about. And don't even pretend she never made you feel unbalanced with hate.

Not only was I was happy to find myself intrigued by cowboy Mase, I reveled in the trip back to the Rosemary Beach gang. Though, admittedly with a little trepidation. I was worried I might be a little lost since I've lost track of all the characters during my AG vacay, but surprisingly, I managed to muddle through just fine. And the Nan factor made me nervous, but my curiosity got the better of me. I'm pleased to say that it was worth the risk. Although Nan was up to her old tricks, she was out of town for the majority of the book. So the urge to kill didn't have much time to take root. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder, so just stay away, Nan. PLEASE.

Mase is Harlow's brother from Texas who is temporarily staying at his half-sister Nan's house. I honestly couldn't find a fault with the guy. He was the biggest sweetheart willing to do anything to right every wrong in Reese's life from day one.

"Why?" she asked.
"Why what?"
"Why do you want to help me?" I didn't even pause.
"Because you're worth helping."

He's one of those types that knows his own mind and when he encounters Reese cleaning Nan's house singing horribly off-key, he's completely charmed and drawn to her. Unknown protective instincts kick right in and he finds himself acting in ways he's never acted before.

He was referred to as "alpha" by his sister in the book, but that's not what I got from him at all. He was more of a beta hero but with a really potent dirty mouth. The best of both worlds, guys.

"Please, baby. Let me take care of that pussy. It's so wet I can smell you, Reese. It's driving me crazy. I'll even kiss it if you'll let me. Anything, baby. I'll do anything for you. Fucking anything."
He sounded desperate.

Mase had to take his time with her because she's scarred terribly from abuse she endured growing up. She also grew up with absolutely no love or encouragement from her mother or stepfather so she doesn't know what it's like to have real love and support. As if that weren't enough, she has a learning disability that was never diagnosed and caused her to be bullied (even by her family). So she's a pretty fragile girl, a veritable minefield. But Mase is up for the challenge.

Surprisingly, with all of the heroine's issues, I didn't feel that she was a weak heroine or whiny in any way. I really enjoyed her character. Despite all of the hardship she endured, she isn't bitter or angry at the world either. When she escaped her family and came to Rosemary Beach, she was starting a new page. She just wanted a little peace and solitude and a way to live a normal life. I looked at her as someone with courage, strength, and honesty.

Mase was the perfect match for her, I thought. I loved seeing him slowly bring her out of her shell and help her feel confident about herself while awakening her sexuality. It took him a while to get past her fears and issues, but once he did, they were incredible together. They had heat, passion, and tenderness. Sweet and spicy all in one delectable package.

So why rate it 3.5 you're wondering?

I was originally going to give this 4 stars because it really was a pleasantly enjoyable read. I connected with both MC's and never felt bored with the story. But as I started the review and going over my thoughts, I felt like their feelings were a bit rushed for my taste. It was somewhat insta-love-ish, but he didn't declare the "L word" or even think it for a reasonable amount of time. They just become quite obsessed and attached to each other pretty quickly so I would have liked to have seen more groundwork done on the progression of their feelings.

Another thing was that with all of Reese's issues, the conflicts were pretty minimal. Everything ran smooth and easy-a little too easy. And when the big conflict came toward the end, that could have been easily avoided with some simple communication.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fast paced story with a sweet and sexy cowboy that's fairly light despite some of the serious subject matter addressed. Even if you hadn't read any others from the series, you could probably manage this one just fine without much confusion. And if you have read some of the other books and you're hesitating because of Nan, it's really not an issue in this book. She didn't ruin the story for me whatsoever. With the ending left in a bit of a cliffy, (nothing too stressful. Just unanswered questions) I'm pretty sold on continuing on in the next book.


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