The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“The Idea of You” by Robinne Lee is an unexpected well-conceived story about an older woman falling for a boy band member. It sounds like a fantasy ripped out of the tabloids, but it captures the complexities of such a relationship and how the world reacts to it.
Solene Marchand is dealing with the emotions before a 40th birthday when she gets stuck with taking her daughter, Isabelle, and friends to an August Moon concert with backstage access in Las Vegas. As the teen girls stay enamored on the British boy band, Solene finds herself flirting with the bandleader himself, Hayes Campbell. While living her life as an LA art dealer, Solene meets up with Hayes when he’s in town as he flies her out to where he is until they have a full-blown love affair that surprisingly develops into an authentic relationship. Except Solene feels the relationship threatening her art gallery business with her partner Lulit, her relationship with Isabelle, her relationship with her ex-husband Daniel who’s of course having a baby with a 30-year-old model, and her reputation in general with fans sending threatening messages via social media and postal mail. But Solene and Hayes try to beat the odds amid the craziness.
I’ve been disappointed with some of the recent women’s fiction/romance books because in many cases the issues and characters become stereotypical and the storyline is forced into a happily ever after. This book actually shows the progression of a modern-day fairy tale relationship and the rockiness that comes with it. The ending is refreshingly unexpected yet emotional. The writing is fantastic, which again in other recent works seemed to be either missing or the only upside to the book.
What’s great about this book is the reader travels with August Moon, a fictional mashup of One Direction/The Wanted/and all those other recent boy bands out of the U.K., since Solene gets a first class ticket and hotel suite with Hayes everywhere. It covers Aspen, Miami, Malibu, Paris, Tokyo, the Hamptons and so many other destination cities, so it feels like you’re there admiring the scene though Solene and Hayes spend a lot of time in their suites. Also, the stakes of the romance are high. Not only are Solene’s relationships feeling the heat, but so are Hayes’ with one of his bandmates vengeful of destroying the romance and past hookups continually making appearances around the world.
Overall, there are great elements throughout the story, and the book is a great piece of women’s fiction with serving up the steamy sex scenes and drama on every corner. And Lulit is the best because she’s Ethiopian, and we’re rarely in books, especially books like these, so the whole time I envisioned her as me, and that was fun.
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