When I'm Gone (Rosemary Beach #11), by Abbi Glines
Publish Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: paperback, obtained at BEA
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4.5 STARS
(From Goodreads) 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 swear, I never get tired of Abbi Glines' Rosemary Beach books. Every new couple I think replaces the last as my favorite. After Tripp, I didn't think Abbi Glines could do better, so of course, she did.
In When I'm Gone, Mase Manning is a cowboy among preppies when he comes to Rosemary Beach to visit his sister Harlow and her new daughter. He's surprised by the new housekeeper hired to keep his and Nan's house clean while she's abroad - surprised by how beautiful she is and by how much she seems to need his help. Reese is determined to be independent for the first time in her life, but Mase is the first person to ever show an interest in her that seems genuine and not only sexual. If only she didn't have such an aversion to men and an inability to read and write, it would be so easy to be with him. But, Reese doesn't belong in his world, and he doesn't appear to be able to convince her otherwise.
Reese could be one of the most unfortunate heroines Abbi's written about. She was horribly abused as a young teen by her mother and stepfather, and that has left lasting effects on her and her ability to trust others - especially men. In addition to that, she has undiagnosed dyslexia which has caused her nothing but heartache in school. As a result, she never graduated and still can't read or write.
And yet, despite the deck being stacked against her, she still strikes out on her own the first chance she has to escape and has managed to do okay for more than two years by herself. Reese has moxie, that's for sure. And she has a strong sense of survival. She learned to work around her learning disabilities and was able to get a job. She made a few friends who helped her when she needed it. And, she never stopped trying to learn.
Reese really isn't the type of girl that I think Mase would've normally wanted. In fact, Mase has never wanted any woman for keeps before. But, something in Reese stirs his protective instinct, and he finds he can't resist helping her. You know how much I love an alpha man. Mase in full protective mode was pretty incredible. He didn't quite understand why he was so compelled to help Reese, but he went with it, and the more he involved himself in her life, the more he liked her. He found her help for her dyslexia. He made sure she was safe when he had to return to his ranch. And he knew she was much more than a pretty face. She was all of a sudden someone he could see himself with.
Of course, as in most of Abbi's men's lives, Nan has to make an appearance and totally mess everything up. It is so easy to hate her. You know? Nan messing things up is one of the hallmarks of this series. That and the hot men who are really, REALLY good at talking dirty. Mase is no exception. Goodness, but that man is hot when he opens his mouth.
The grand gesture that comes at the end - the one that ALWAYS comes at the end (it's my favorite part) - was pretty awesome, and not how they usually happen in Abbi's books. It kind of brings everything full circle, which was icing on the cake.
I hope Abbi never runs out of hot guys who happen upon Rosemary Beach, because as long as she keeps dreaming them up, I'll keep reading about them.