Up In Flames is the fourteenth story in the Rosemary Beach series by Abbi Glines. I would recommend reading these in order for full enjoyment, but this could be read as a standalone if necessary. Honestly I will admit that I was pretty skeptical going into Up In Flames. It is no secret if you are familiar with this series that Nan is one of the most hated characters from any series ever, but I was intrigued to see if she would ever redeem herself. Unfortunately this book was a mess and I ended up having a lot of issues with the story itself rather than Nan's character.
Nan is the villain of Rosemary Beach and she is tired of always coming in last. Every guy in her life that she has ever been interested in has always taken what he wanted and given little in return. Just when she thinks she has found someone she might have more with, she realizes that he will never feel the same for her and has no intention of settling down. So she heads to Vegas where she meets a man unlike any she has met before. But soon Nan finds herself caught between two men and in a situation she never expected.
I found that I didn't hate Nan here like I had in the previous books. With that being said, I also never felt like she redeemed herself or made any progress. She was still pretty much the same self centered high maintenance girl that felt sorry for herself and the situation she was in. I felt like a bit of that was karma, but mostly was due to how she treated others. Yes at times I did feel for her, but honestly I just didn't see any progress or growth here. I wanted more of her story and what made her tick, but we didn't really get that here. For this being Nan's story, it became much more about something else entirely rather than about Nan and that was disappointing. I also felt like while there was some attraction between her and the men in her life, I just wasn't feeling the connection with either of them and it all felt so forced and unrealistic.
This book felt sloppy and all over the place. Things would change at the drop of a hat that felt unbelievable and characters would think one thing and then all of a sudden think the exact opposite. Their opinions were so back and forth that I just never really felt like we knew who any of them were, and I couldn't relate or feel invested in any of them. There were so many egos and so many secrets and lies, and I never felt like any of them actually cared about anyone but themselves. I don't know that I would really consider this book a romance as there was so much else going on and it didn't really feel like we got a romance here. It's hard to really go into much here so as not to spoil the story, but I will say that there was just so much over the top crazy drama going on and I felt like Nan's love life sort of got lost in all of that. While I thought that things were going one way, Abbi Glines did surprise me by taking this story in a completely different direction. It was one that I wasn't on board with at all, and I was left feeling like this story was just too much and not in a good way. While I have had mixed feelings on some of Abbi's books before, I have never felt like they were as much of a sloppy mess as this one felt like. It just seemed like she was trying to force this crazy story to happen, and it didn't work for me at all. While I have genuinely enjoyed the majority of this series, sadly Up In Flames was not one of them. I felt like I needed to finish this book and see Nan's story through, but honestly this is one that I would have quit reading if it wasn't part of the Rosemary Beach series. There were some cute moments between Nan and her nephew Nate, but those moments were not enough to redeem this one to me.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**