Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Title: The Idea of You
Author: Robinne Lee
My Rating: A+

Genre: Women's Fiction
Main Characters: Solene and Hayes
Release Date: June 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love. When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life, but the lives of those closest to her.

My Review:
A book hangover...it's a very real thing and this book will give one to you. 

I had no idea what to expect with this story. Robinne Lee is a new author, but I couldn't resist that story line. This is a May/December romance. The only reason Solene meets Hayes is because her ex-husband flaked out on taking her daughter and friends to the concert (with backstage passes) that he promised them. So, Solene stepped up and got the girls there, and then wondered the entire time how she ended up at this tween-fest. 

August Moon is THE boy band. Their fans are nuts and every girl under the age of 18 loves each and every one of the five boys. Included in this fan base is Solene's 12 yo daughter and her two best friends, so when Hayes starts to flirt with her, she pretty much blows him off. He's 20 yo. She's 39. Yeah, no way. But Hayes pursues her and she finds herself charmed. 

This book...argh...it's just so much... It's extremely well written and the story line is both forbidden and riveting just because you can see that train wreck coming and you simply can't look away. I started reading it late, went to bed, dreamed about the book all night, and then immediately dove into it the next day. It's one of those stories that simply sticks with you. I loved the two of them together...so much. Gah...I wanted them to beat the odds and make this work, but wow, the odds are against them. 

There is a lot of time and subjects covered by the book. It probably lasts almost a year in the characters lives as things between them develop and change. But it's not just about the romance. There is so much more covered in the story...the differences in how age is perceived in men and women, the double standard for women in so many things, the art world (which I found to be fascinating), even the art that Hayes creates (as a member of a boy band, he's often mocked for lack of...when in reality all the guys in this group are working so hard, every day and every night and Hayes is also writing all the songs). 

There are three very distinct ages in this book and the trials that they face...Solene in middle age, Hayes as a young adult, and Solene's daughter as a tween. Three very different ages all at very different points in their lives. A fact that's gone over and over in the story...How can they possibly make this work long-term with a 20 year gap between their ages?

When it's just Solene and Hayes, the world is perfect, but they can't live in a bubble. He's world-famous and his fans are crazed. Solene has responsibilities, not the least of which is her young daughter. When they go public, those crazy fans focus in on Solene...and it's NOT in a nice way.

Like I said, the story line was absolutely riveting. I fell in love with this book and these two characters. As a forty+ yo woman with a 22 yo son, I felt Solene's pain. She knows this can't work. Every time she's away from Hayes she can see the reality, but then they are together and everything is so perfect. How could she walk away from that? She can't. It's so painful to read and as the book got closer and closer to the end, the tighter my nerves became. I kept hoping...

NOTE: romance readers, this is NOT a romance. This is women's fiction. Yes, there absolutely is a romantic...seriously romantic, heart-wrenching story line, but... There's your warning. Heed it wisely. (and secondary note...even with that precaution, I loved this book. It's one that I think will stick with me a long time and I've ordered it for my keeper shelf.)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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