(Review): Up in Flames by Abbi Glines

(Review): Up in Flames by Abbi GlinesUp in Flames by Abbi Glines

Published by Simon and Schuster on June 28th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought for Myself
Spoiled. Selfish. Rich girl. Villain. Slut. As the Prada-clad bad girl of Rosemary Beach, Nan Dillon has been called every vile name under the hot summer sun. Some of her reputation is deserved—she’s never had to worry about anything but maintaining her perfect figure and splitting Daddy’s private jet with her brother, Rush. But Nan is far from happy. Rush has another kid on the way and doesn’t have time to catch up with his sister. Grant, the last guy she truly cared about, chose to be with her half-sister, Harlow, instead of her. And Harlow, who has never gotten over the way Nan treated her when she first moved to town, remains distant. So when Major asks her out, she jumps at the chance to date the gorgeous charmer. Though she doesn’t know much about the sweet-talking Texan, and though it’s clear he doesn’t want to be exclusive, dating him beats hanging out with vapid socialites or watching Netflix alone at home. For a while, Nan deals with Major’s playboy ways, but after he burns her one too many times, she takes off for an impromptu wild weekend in Vegas. There, she meets Gannon, a darkly seductive and oh-so-dangerous businessman who knows exactly how to handle her. With Major asking for a second chance and Gannon haunting her dreams, Nan has to decide who to give her heart to. But what she doesn’t realize is that these players are involved in a much bigger game—and they’re already two moves ahead of her.

For anyone who has read any of Abbi Glines’ Rosemary Beach series, you would be familiar with Nan. She’s tried to ruin many relationships and is generally a bit of a spoilt brat. She may be privileged in terms of material goods but when it comes to love and relationships – she’s seriously lacking. She has a bond with her brother but most others see her as a conniving, poor little rich girl who cares more about her hair and nails than she does about others. But now she has Major and despite giving off some mixed signals, he might be someone Nan could be happy with. After a week in Vegas, Nan meets Gannon – tall, dark, mysterious, sexy and possibly dangerous to her heart. Suddenly after so long with no one who cares about her, Nan has two very different men in her life. If only she knew their motives…

It’s always interesting when an author gives us a book where a former villain is now the leading lady. After reading so many books where Nan is the ultimate mean girl it is a little awkward to read her happily ever after. Especially in Up in Flames where I spent a bit of time trying to decide just which of the men in her life was going to be her ultimate partner.

In many ways Up in Flames was one of my favourite books in the Rosemary’s Beach series. It’s a little sexier with the characters being a little kinkier than in the other books (one character is exceptionally slap happy) and the romance is a bit more complicated. The ending isn’t obvious from the first page and as a result I found myself becoming more invested in the plot and trying to guess the outcome. I can’t say I loved the characters (they are all quite self involved even when they’re trying not to be) but I did enjoy reading about their adventures. This book does end in a fairly typical manner but there are enough surprises to keep things interesting. The sexy scenes are steamy with Glines delivering a red hot romance (even if I’m not entirely sure they all could be considered consensual) and despite being hesitant to read this book I’m glad I did.

Up in Flames was a nice way to revisit the Rosemary Beach series with quite a few cameos from previous characters. Nan as a leading lady was a nice change. She’s not portrayed as being the perfect and pure heroine as so many of Glines’ other female characters are and I found that made her more interesting to read. The males are somewhat stereotypical alphas who often seem to rush in without thinking but they suited Nan and her story. IF you enjoy Abbi Glines’ style – I think you’ll enjoy Up in Flames. It’s a bit different from the other books in the series but Nan’s romance stands up well.

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