When I’m Gone (Rosemary Beach #11) by Abbi GlinesWhen I'm Gone by Abbi Glines
Published April 2015
Series: Rosemary Beach #11
Genres: New Adult
three-half-stars
Format: eBook
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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?

Mase Colt Manning is staying in Rosemary Beach for a few days just to spend time with his sister Harlow’s newborn child. The son of rockstar Kiro Manning leads a rather humble life and a huge ranch back in Texas, where he planned to return by the end of the week, if it weren’t for the lovely cleaning lady who’s apparently cleaning all his friends’ and families’ mansions.

Reese Ellis doesn’t really want to bother a soul and would rather go unnoticed so she can get on with her work. However, as she breaks a mirror in Mase’s sister’s house, a protective Mase comes running to her and looks after her. Reese comes from a broken home and has never before experienced the kind of caring and affection that Mase shows her. Is he really different from the other men who have hurt her in the past?

What I loved about this book:

  • Sweet new adult romance
  • More insight into the Rosemary Beach clan’s lives
  • Loads of sexual tension and steamy scenes!

What I felt needed improvement:

  • I would have enjoyed a less predictable storyline
  • More novelty in the characters would have been great too

When I’m Gone starts off on a very, very heartbreaking and sad note but manages to warp itself into a nice romance read, which I enjoyed and read through a single sitting, as is the case anytime a new Abbi Glines novel gets synced onto my Kindle. However, while I enjoyed it and it gave me the tingles, I can’t really say that it was the read of the year.

For starters, the story wasn’t mindblowing. While the subject matter was quite heavy (Reese’s history of abuse and her – up until now – undiagnosed dyslexia), all of it was washed away by your usual “alpha-male helps poor helpless and abandoned girl” plot. The twists here and there were minor, over-dramatized and way too easily solved. I mean, when the main character’s mom has to step in to tie up loose ends, and it works issues out in less than 3 pages, I can’t really say that this was a creative/inventive way of solving things!

And while this is Book #11 in the series and we know the Rosemary Beach clan quite well now, it was totally predictable how every character in the book would react. A part from the introduction of Reese, all side-characters in this book were from prior releases. Grant, Rush and Woods were their usual perfect book boyfriends, Blaire and Harlow their usual perfect wives and mothers, and Nan was her usual bitch. No surprises here…

I did however find out more about Mase, whom we only met briefly in the previous novels. I quite liked him as a main character. True to the Abbi Glines MC description, he was a notorious fixer/total-caveman/possessive/dirty-talking/hormone-driven alpha-male who just couldn’t control himself around Reese (trying to take things slow but not really keeping that promise!). He’s actually one of the strongest alphas I’ve read of lately. Was it too much alpha-male? I don’t know… I certainly thought so at times, but then I thought “Hey, he’s a cowboy and a girl can have dreams.”

“I’m going to wash it all away. I swear to God, I am, Reese. One day, all you will see or remember is me and what we feel like together. I swear.”

Mase’s relationship with Reese was pretty much insta-lust when Mase first saw Reese’s backside, which quickly turned into insta-love as soon as she turned around. I don’t know if I liked Reese, though. It’s not that she wasn’t nice, it’s just that she didn’t make an outstanding heroine. Actually, she didn’t feel real: the author describes her as someone who shies away from contact, who has no friends – yes, almost a recluse. yet, when you read the book, some side of her shows a strong person trying to make a living despite her past and her dyslexia. I can’t for the life of me see those two traits match: someone who is strong enough to start from nothing can’t possibly label themselves stupid?

While Reese did show some character development and worked hard on her issues, towards the end she still remains pretty self-deprecating and naive. Especially the speech she made to Mase towards the end of the book, begging him to take her back was a bot over the top. She was actually apologizing when she was not at fault, which is a serious self-esteem issue on her end.

In the end, I can’t say I didn’t like When I’m Gone because I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. The dual-POV writing was great (Abbi Glines really writes a great male-POV) and I loved the steamy scenes in the book, and the build-up in sexual tension before them. The romance part of the book is perfectly nailed down and Mase will make you swoon with his sweetness overload. By the way, this book ends in a very mild cliffhanger. Don’t let that deter you from reading the book.

But looking at the bigger picture and comparing this book to other Abbi Glines books I can come to a very true conclusion: Abbi’s books are not supposed to be crazy twisted stories – they are supposed to be New Adult Romance Novels that will provide readers a sense of feel-good, and while the plot is not necessarily crazy (and other readers will agree with me when I say that Abbi has a very predictable modus operandi), her books are about the people in them and about the romance. And as long as you know this and are happy with it, go ahead: this will be a great sunny afternoon read!

Detailed Rating
Storyline
3.5 Stars
Characters
3.5 Stars
Writing
4.5 Stars
All the feels
4 Stars
Overall: three-half-stars