ARC Review for Up In Flames by Abbi Glines

Up in Flames (Rosemary Beach #13)

#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines returns to Rosemary Beach one last time in this highly-anticipated finale and much beloved series. 

Spoiled. Selfish. Rich girl. Villan. 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.

So as you already know, Nan’s story is live, and after twelve prior books, readers are finally made privy to what makes this oh-so-ever hated antagonist tick.

Or, so we think…

Up In Flames left me sitting on the fence with some very mixed feelings; hence, the 3.5 star rating. I honestly didn’t know what to think going into Nan’s book. I approached her story with some trepidation, as I’ve hated this character with a strong passion since the moment I laid eyes on her in Rush’s first book. Let's face it, she was designed to be the villain we all loved to hate. I figured there was nothing Abbi could do to rectify those feelings, especially since over the years Nan’s self-centered, egotistical, treachery, and destructive behavior never found a way to endear me to her character. With that said, I have to give some major props to Ms. Glines. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did end up liking the book and Nan more than I thought I would. I even shed a few tears on her behalf. The author did the unthinkable and found a way to give her a bit of redemption, in my eyes at least.

However, while I enjoyed the book, there were a few issues that stopped me from falling head over heels in love with it. My first struggle was the lack of depth to the characters AND PLOT. With this being the last book and Nan being the vilest of vile characters, I went in expecting so much more for her and the man who would tame her. Plain and simple, I felt these characters could have been given better justice. Where was the actually story (sex should not be used as filler--ever!)? Where was the intricate details of the characters pasts and connections? When all was said and done, I didn't feel we as the readers were offered any new or major explanations. I felt as though we were offered convenient excuses used to explain away the bad behavior, decisions, and attitude.

I didn't learn anything about Nan that I didn't already know. I didn't come to understand her motives any better than I did in the previous books. What I did love was her relationship with her nephew. And I liked how she was trying to change her ways. Abbi did portray Nan as a character who was trying to transform and mature BUT she never really showed us how that transformation was to come about. She never showed us how Nan fixed her issues with the other characters she treated with contempt. We were just TOLD that these characters were forgiving Nan as the days went on. I won't say that I loved her, but in the end I did come to like her.

My other struggle came with our hero, Cope. I was constantly asking/wondering who the hell he was, who he worked for, etc. He was a mystery throughout the whole book, which in turn made me feel utterly lost. I began to think maybe I had missed something since I’d skipped some of the previous books, but a friend assured me I had not. Even when I reached the end, I still knew absolutely nothing about him, other than he loves kink in the bedroom and fell instantly for Nan. I won’t lie, I really liked his bad boy persona but, I didn’t connect with his character the same way I did the other male heroes of this series. Because of that I couldn't quite jump on board with the whole “dominate” theme he and Nan had going on. And the whole slapping in the face, um...yeah, that totally didn't do anything for me. To be honest, it felt very out of character for our girl.

I also have to agree with some other reviewers that Major should not have played a major role in this book. His character should have been a supporting one at best. If Abbi had focused less on Major, maybe she could have given us more on Cope. As the main protagonist he took a backseat most times to Mase's cousin.

On a positive note, Up In Flames was a fast-paced, entertaining read that will have you finishing this book in one sitting (since I've been in a wicked book funk, this was a huge plus for me, enough of one that it had me upping the rating), as well as looking at Nan in a different light. You may not walk away completely rooting for her but she will manage to worm her way into your heart. I can't promise you will like the book though. And I can't promise you won't walk away feeling let down or frustrated. All I can honestly say is that this book wasn't a total dud for me.

Thank you, Atria Books, for the complimentary copy of Up in Flames.
1) Fallen Too Far (Rush & Blaire)

2) Never Too Far (Rush & Blaire)

3) Forever Too Far (Rush & Blaire)

4) Rush Too Far (Rush & Blaire)

5) Twisted Perfection (Woods & Della)

6) Simple Perfection (Woods & Della)

7) Take A Chance (Grant & Harlow)

8) One More Chance (Grant & Harlow)

9) You Were Mine (Tripp & Bethy) 

9.5) Kiro's Emily (FREE novella) 

10) When I’m Gone (Mase & Reese) 

11) When You're Back (Mase & Reese) 

12) The Best Goodbye (Captain & Rose) 

13) Up In Flames (Nan)

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Abbi Glines is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Field Party, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, and Existence series. A devoted book lover, Abbi lives with her family in Alabama.

She maintains a Twitter addiction at @AbbiGlines and can also be found at Facebook.com/AbbiGlinesAuthor and AbbiGlines.com.


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