Although Thomas Wharton said, "an hour spent reading is one stolen from paradise", I'll say it's one spent in paradise. At least that was the way I felt when I read The Idea Of You By Robinne Lee.
First, let me tell you a little about the author. If you are a movie buff, you may know her. Robinne Lee is an American actress but I did not know she is an author until I came across this book. Some of the movies she has appeared in that I have watched include Deliver Us From Eva (2003), Hitch (2005), Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Fifty Shades series.
I wondered what Robinne Lee had to offer in this book and so I started reading. By the time I was two chapters in, I knew it was a book worth reading and this lady deserves an award.
Remember I said the author is an actress? Well, she brought in the reality of Hollywood lifestyle versus trying to live a normal life into the book. It was captivating!
This book focused on the main character - Solène Marchand, a thirty nine year old divorced woman who owns an art gallery in Los Angeles. She has a daughter Isabelle who begged to be taken to see her favourite boy band's show. Solène took Isabelle and her friends to the show and luckily they got invited to say hi to the boys in the backroom after the show.
During the introductions, Solène Marchand became attracted to one of the boys, actually the oldest amongst them - nineteen year old Hayes Campbell. Yep, Hayes is 19, Solène is 39.
When I got to this part, I knew I was in for an interesting ride. Sometimes, I read about things like this in the papers - so and so is dating a younger person. Usually, the criticisms and judgments are more than the support the person would get. I believe the author gave her readers a good and detailed insight into what it means to be (boy band) famous and date an older person, and all in the Hollywood environment.
As you would read on, Hayes is portrayed as a handsome, intelligent, clever and importantly, the matured one among the boys. The attraction between Hayes and Solène was instant. Hayes invited Solène for lunch and that was how a clandestine relationship began.
Hayes and his band travelled to various countries to perform and he still kept in touch with Solène and found ways to spend time with her. They were always careful to avoid the press and paparazzi.
Like all beautiful romances, there were lots of complications along the way. The first being the issue of age and Hayes' popularity. They had difficulty going out on dates because whenever they did, fans (usually teenage girls) would fall over themselves to get Hayes attention.
To further worsen things, Solène later discovered Isabelle has a crush on Hayes. She tried to hide her affair with Hayes from her daughter but Isabelle found out. The mother-daughter relationship took a nosedive which brought Solène's judgmental ex-husband into the scene.
While battling to make things right with her daughter, the paparazzi somehow got photos of her passionate relationship with Hayes and published it. It became sensational news. Trust the world to get judgy at this point….Enough said. Do you think Solène and Hayes' relationship will survive? I'm sure you would want to know how they handled the complications that threatened to drown them as a couple and individually.
This book was published in June 2017 and it's about 372 pages long. I finished reading within two days because it was not only captivating, it pulled on my emotions because of the way we love to judge and criticize others for the decisions they make and the way they choose to live their lives.
So what if Hayes is younger than Solène?
So what if he is almost old enough to be her son?
If the roles were reversed, would the world have kicked against the relationship?
Do we choose those we fall in love with?
Should we handle our relationships logically or allow our hearts guide?
Why are the press/paparazzi always bent on destroying something good all in the name of making money?
These were some of the questions I asked myself when I read the book and I believe you will have more if you read it.
This book is contemporary, emotional, and beautifully written. I believe Robinne Lee did a great job. Though she has been quiet since the release of this book, I hope she will write another anytime soon.
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