5 Fabulous, sexy, sweet and very emotional stars!
When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.
What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love. When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life, but the lives of those closest to her.
THE IDEA of YOU is available to purchase below
Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
“Don’t go falling in love with me, Hayes Campbell.”
“I’m not gonna fall in love with you. I’m a rock star. We don’t do that.”
“You’re a boy band member.”
“Well…I guess all bets are off then.”
Rock stars – we can’t help but fall in love with them, and you’d be hard pressed to find a man as soulful and beautiful as Hayes Campbell, the twenty year old singer with boy band, August Moon as he falls for 39 year old divorcee, and mother of a 12 year old daughter, Solène Marchand.
“What is it you want from me, then?” Solène
As soon as this book hit our radar, we knew we had to read it! A tumultuous rock star romance, with an age gap is exactly the type of read we devour and wow! We were completely floored by this story; easily becoming swept up in its honesty and raw emotion and by the striking prose of first time author, Robinne Lee. It’s hard to believe this is her first published novel, because Robinne Lee, delivered it all in The Idea of You. We swooned, we laughed, loved and oh boy did we cry! We felt everything and found Solene and Hayes story to be captivating, incredibly heartfelt, moving, candid, unique and sincere. This author writes with a knowledgeable and beautiful prose that encapsulated everything we love, but rarely find in this trope. Impressive to say the least.
“You. Are fucking everything to me, I’m not going anywhere.”
The synopsis tells you all you need to know to decide if this books piques your interest, but we promise you, what you’ll find between the pages is so much more than a rock star meets girl story. So much more and we feel the best way to experience it is spoiler free. We urge you to simply allow Hayes and Solène’s love story to unravel before your eyes and experience the truthfulness and emotion as the story slowly builds, holding you captive until the very last page, as Solène and Hayes’ love story climbs to its crescendo.
‘The thought crossed my mind that this could be dangerous. Not the ill-advised sex with the just out of his teens pop star, but the cuddling. The lying there, drinking in his scent, watching his chest rise and fall, allowing myself to bask in my own happiness. I could fall in love this way.’
Their initial attraction is physical, a chemistry that ignites when they meet backstage after an August Moon concert, Solène attended with her daughter and 2 of her friends. We did, at first, wonder what so enamoured the sweet, wise beyond his years, Hayes to pursue the somewhat aloof Solène so vigorously, but we trusted the author to slowly reveal all. Of course, Solène oozed beauty, poise and confidence, but what did Hayes see behind Solène’s facade that made him so desperate to woo her? Despite the obvious physical connection, we knew there was more, and as we delved deeper into Hayes persona, it all became clear. Hayes’ emotional maturity belied his cheekiness and his 20 years. Hayes was an old soul and this young man matched Solène emotionally, intellectually and physically. Their building relationship was a thing of beauty setting the foundation of friendship to lovers and beyond. It was quite simply, breathtaking, passionate and heartfelt.
“How did we get here? This was only supposed to be lunch, remember? This was only supposed to be lunch.”
“You,” he said, his voice frayed, foreign.
“You. You let me unfold you.”
Whilst we may not have completely warmed to Solène, we absolutely related to her feelings, and the way in which Robinne Lee identified this character; her struggles, her insecurities, her torment, her sacrifices and the vilification she received because of the age difference between her and Hayes, was exceptional. We understood it all completely and perceived the reason we found her to be aloof was her upbringing and the fact that Hayes was such a beautiful, warm, sensitive and honest character who wore his heart on his sleeve. He was something else, this man!
‘There had probably been many before me, and there would be many after, but in that moment, it was just me.’
Hayes Campbell, where do we begin to express our feelings about him? Hayes is up there as one of the most arresting, charming, engaging, sweet and genuine characters we’ve read. This man had us sobbing buckets! Oh and our (and we think the authors) muse, Harry Styles, certainly helped as well!
“Look at me. Look at me. It’s just us. It’s just you and me in this relationship. Fuck everything else.”
Robinne Lee nailed this story in every way. The emotion of both characters was spot on, the rock star feel we crave in these themes was paramount, but delivered so uniquely as this author put her own stamp, her knowledge and her awe inspiring talent on this trope. Solène and Hayes were two opposites, leading two completely different lifestyles who just seemed to fit but time would tell if Solène could live in Hayes’ chaotic world.
“This is insane. You realize that, right?”
“Only if someone gets hurt.”
“Someone always gets hurt, Hayes.”
As the story drew to a close, we reflected on what we’d read wanting to give this author a standing ovation for many reasons. For delivering believable characters, for not succumbing to standard story clichés, for having the ingenuity to deliver this story honestly, warts and all. We really couldn’t have asked for more. The banter between Hayes and Solène was witty, naughty and sincere making us grin from ear to ear. The passion was explosive, sensual, hot and thankfully not always over descriptive yet always moving, passionate and sexy as hell; not once did we feel inclined skim the intimate scenes as we’ve found ourselves doing recently. And the emotion…oh God the emotion, well, tears fell freely that’s for sure. At times uplifting, painful and certainly worth every tear.
“You want to be kissed, Solene? You think you can handle that?”
So…standing ovation to you, Robinne Lee! Bravo! Thank you for your bravery in delivering this story your way and for giving us a backstage pass and an almost voyeuristic look into the world of the rich and famous with Hayes, Solène and the other four cheeky lads of August Moon; Rory, Oliver, Simon and Liam. We were drawn into a life we can only fantasise about, the reality of which is a far cry from the romantic notion we dream up. We’re not sure if you plan to write more about the band but we’re not opposed to begging you to do so. One things for sure, we would love more!
‘He was such a vision of virility, it almost felt dirty to watch.’