Above All by Rebecca Brooks
Publication Date: July 18th 2014
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Reeling from a sudden breakup, Casey Webb leaves Brooklyn, drives north and settles in a sleepy mountain town in upstate New York. She’s convinced she’s happy being alone—until she reads the acknowledgments in her ex-boyfriend’s hit debut novel, thanking his new girlfriend “above all”. Good thing Ben Mailer is in town. The hot, young Brooklyn-bound chef offers the perfect distraction, and soon Casey is having the best sex of her life—on a mountain, in the lake, all over her cozy cabin. But as their weekend fling turns into something more, the demands of Ben’s family and budding career make moving to her idyllic town impossible. Now Casey must decide what she can’t live without—her life in the mountains or the man she wants as hers. Smart, sweet and blisteringly hot, Above All is about getting lost…and finding yourself right where you belong.
Casey is settled in her cabin in the Adirondacks. She never expected to leave Brooklyn but when she did leave, and found her mountain home, she felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of her shoulders. She loved living in the mountains as it made her feel free.
She had given up many years of her life to kowtow to a temperamental boyfriend who in the end broke up with her. She is floored when she reads the acknowledgements in his best-selling novel and sees that he thanks another woman “above all.” It’s been about a year and a half since they broke up but it still hurts when she thinks about it and all she sacrificed for him over the 7 years they were together.
She’s working the desk at the campground that she works at when she checks in a group of late 20-somethings. She meets Ben and the pair have an instant connection. Instead of spending all of his time with his group of friends (as it’s a bit of a college reunion), Ben finds himself spending time with Casey. They talk about their lives and though Casey doesn’t share her past with Ben he tells her of his struggles with his parents and his decisions about his future. He is in culinary school and they want him to be a top chef in an expensive restaurant while Ben wants to bake and have a specialty sandwich shop. That’s his passion but his parents don’t understand.
Ben and Casey become closer but then Ben leaves to go back to school. He returns eventually gets closer and with Casey. They make plans for their future together (after he graduates culinary school in a month) but unfortunately there are more than just Casey and Ben involved in their lives. To shorten a famous saying, the best laid plans often go awry, and in this case it was totally true.
I really liked this contemporary romance. I thought the writing was engaging and once I started reading I didn’t want to stop.
Casey was a great character. I think she had run from her hurts and heartache, which I don’t always think highly of, but I think that ended up being the best thing for her. Her life changed drastically but it all ended up working out really well for her and she was happier than ever. She was smitten with Ben from the first moment she saw him and while I think she fell fast, sometimes that just happens.
Ben was cute and had a good life ahead of him. I think he was young in this story and had a lot of growing to do, which he eventually did. Because of his age he was still greatly influenced by his family and that played a huge role in this story. There were parts in the book where his actions made me want to smack him a time or two, that’s for sure. I won’t give you certain details about the book because I think that it’s something you need to read for yourself, but I will say that Ben did hurt Casey. In the end I don’t feel that he groveled enough to completely redeem himself. His actions did speak incredibly loudly but I think he needed to grovel just a bit more. 🙂
Overall this was a good read and one I recommend. For me, I think I’ll definitely be reading more from Brooks in the future.
Rating: 4 out of 5