Series: , Rosemary Beach #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 4th 2013 (originally pub Dec 14th 2012)
When Blaire Wynn's mother passed away, Blaire's life changed in an instant. Having cared for her sick mother for the last three years, suddenly Blaire has to leave the small farmhouse in Alabama they shared, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. But what she isn't prepared for is the lifestyle change that comes with the move, and she knows she'll never fit into the new world of luxury and extravagance that suddenly surrounds her.
Even worse, her father has run off to Paris for the summer with his wife, leaving her stranded with Rush, her new stepbrother, who's irritating, arrogant and… seriously sexy. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous; his famous father's guilt money, his mother's desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no. Blaire knows he is anything but good for her, but somehow she can't fight the attraction she's feeling, especially when she starts to think the attraction might be mutual… Rush is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that Blaire just may have fallen too far.
I was approaching a reading slump of epic proportions when I picked up FALLEN TOO FAR. I had read and enjoyed Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines so was familiar with her work but my feelings about New Adult were rapidly edging towards “jaded” and “If I eye-roll anymore my eyes may fall out” territory so it was with some trepidation that I finally decided to hang out with Rush and Blaire. I know for a fact some fellow blogger besties also winced more when I cracked open this book than they do getting a bikini wax! There’s a REASON why when you think of New Adult you think of Abbi Glines. She does this shizz well y’all! No question about it! This is her playground and I was one happy bookworm playing on her swing set. You know I’m excited about a book when I make NO SENSE but you get what I’m saying!
In FALLEN TOO FAR we meet Blaire, not even twenty and has already gone through more than most. I have to say how refreshing it was to meet an NA heroine that while she had gone through some serious pain wasn’t “damaged” and clearly in need of a man to “heal” her. Blaire was awesome. She was chock full of sass and determination and SENSIBLE! Praise the Lord! I immediately felt sympathy for her and was rooting for her as I felt the pain and uncertainty that ran through her as she got up the courage to confront her dad for the first time in years after he left when her sister died and she has just buried her mom by herself (swell move dad). It really upset me how she had been dealt such a harsh hand that she had to think about rationing food and gas and selling her granny’s house while her dad lives the high life. What I loved though was while she struggled, she made the best of a situation. She may have $20 in her back pocket but she’ll do more with that $20 than most people would do with $200. It reminded me of my mom and how she struggles yet always makes sure we don’t go without. It really touched me and I didn’t expect it but I loved how Abbi injected moments like that into the book that are seemingly so simple yet can touch your heart and to be honest bring tears to your eyes (it did to mine!)
Blaire arrives at her Dad’s new house to find that he’s left for Paris with his new wife and is immediately confronted by Rush, son of dad’s new wife who is in no way pleased to see her. After a few barbed comments, Blaire leaves but Rush seeing something special in this little firecracker has a change of heart and offers her the maid’s bedroom under the stairs. Thanks Rush…I guess. Blaire, always finding a silver lining dusts herself off, making a home for herself and getting a job in the local country club. As time goes by, Blaire and Rush’s circles start to merge into one and the two are drawn to each other. Can Blaire and Rush find a way past the pain, the secrets and the family drama and find love? Or will it all end in heartbreak?
I was immediately pulled into the undeniable chemistry Rush and Blaire had and was captivated as I hungrily devoured page after page, aching for their first flirtation, first kiss, first…everything! I wrote in my notes while reading “Gosh it’s soooo freaking HAWT!” Abbi Glines knows how to write romance and boy can she write a love scene! Needless to say reading those pages I clearly didn’t need to add blusher to my make-up routine for about THREE days 😉
I adored Blaire from the first moment I met her and while it took me a while longer to warm up to Rush, I did fall for him especially during sweet moments where he got Blaire to open up about her life. You could clearly feel the stirring emotions Rush struggled to deny he felt and subsequently failed. When a notorious sex god like Rush can make you swoon by simply holding pinkies with Blaire you know you’re onto a winner.
I loved that while the developing friendship/romance was central to the plot, Glines didn’t neglect to introduce some awesome secondary characters and make their involvement in Blaire and Rush’s story just as intrinsically vital. I adored Bethy, she could have been a shallow afterthought there to simply be slut-shamed but she developed into an awesome support for Blaire and it was nice for her to have a female friend to fill the void left by her mother and sister. Equally Grant and Woods (who I cannot wait to read about in Twisted Perfection) while initially seemed to be romantic foil, genuinely cared for Blaire, protecting her and ensuring her life in Rosemary Beach was happy.
The character of Nan, our quintessential villain will not be written off by me as simply a bitch. I’ve counselled enough friends through break-ups, crises and bitch fights to ever take one side over another. The idea that Nan shouldn’t behave a certain way because she grew up with money so clearly having emotional problems is not allowed is BS in my opinion. While she’s unpleasant, I sympathised with the underlying reasons. I won’t champion her because she made life difficult not only for Blaire with some unbecoming behaviour but equally for herself but I challenge anyone to grow up like she did and not have issues (especially knowing more of the story in Never Too Far).
The myriad of emotions I went through reading this book has made it all the more unforgettable. Throughout the book we are given hints to a family mystery and while I confess I did work it out pretty early, it didn’t lessen the impact of the gut punch I felt as Blaire’s world came crashing down. I was bereft as Blaire’s chance of happiness seemed to have ended before it even began and I immediately reached for NEVER TOO FAR to find out what happened next. Well after I made a stop at the cupcake store to comfort myself and wail like a banshee.
I did have one issue with the book and I don’t want to sound like a PSA but I couldn’t let it go without referring to it. Blaire and Rush’s indifferent attitude to contraception bothered me. At first they use it but then are so caught up in their love making they neglect to use a condom. This I can reconcile with as it happens, it’s not big or clever but it *can* happen. However another instance where Rush actively encourages not using a condom bothered me. Its 2013, even if you’ve been tested, it’s still not cool. That was my one gripe and I had to get it out there.
FALLEN TOO FAR was addictive, compelling, romantic and gave me major FEELS. I adored every minute and ached to pick the book up on the rare occasions that work/eating/showering meant I had to abandon it most unwillingly. I’m in love with Rosemary Beach series and cannot wait to read more. Abbi Glines, I am firmly your fangirl and you are firmly my guiding light in the murky waters of New Adult fiction! High five girlfriend!