REVIEW: Best I've Ever Had by Abbi Glines
Summer had returned to the coastal town of Sea Breeze, Alabama.
The nightlife lit up with scantily clad sun-kissed bodies, live music, the smell of freshly cooked seafood. Taking it all in he wondered if coming back had been the best thing. He wasn’t the same man who had driven out of town a year ago on the motorcycle he’d spontaneously bought after his best friend’s wedding. From the messy blond curls he’d let grow out to the tattoos now covering his arms, part of his chest and even the side of his neck, it all represented a part of his journey. Eli Hardy was back, but he didn’t plan on staying for long.
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Best I’ve Ever Had is an Abbi Glines, book written in dual POV as part of the Sea Breeze Meets Rosemary Beach Series. The male lead in the story is Eli Hardy who readers would’ve met in Like a Memory, and then read more about in Because of Lila, The first 2 books in this series.
Best I’ve Ever Had is the first Abbi Glines book I’ve read as part of this series and the first book I’ve read of hers in years. I was an avid Sea Breeze fan. It was my first foray into the New Adult world and where I fell in love with Indie authors so I was really excited to get the chance to delve into this world again with Eli’s story.
Eli Hardy was always the good boy, but somewhere along the way he had his heart broke one too many times and has now turned into a hard, silent and damaged man. This story is his story of redemption and the girl who helps him heal.
When I first started this book, it felt very much like I had travelled back in time to a world that I loved. Not having read the first 2 books in the series I was worried that I wouldn’t understand why Eli had turned into the man he had but I picked it up quite easy. The story flowed really well for the first half of the book and I enjoyed getting to know Eli and the female lead in his story as well as the other side characters throughout the Sea Breeze and Rosemary Beach world. There were so many names that I recognised and even more that I didn’t.
Eli has spent the last year travelling away from Sea Breeze and avoiding his past and family, an unexpected event drags him right back into the middle of it all and no one is expecting the Eli that comes home to them. He’s troubled and a shadow of his former self. He wont tell anyone where he’s been or what happened so they in turn don’t understand why he’s so different or why he stayed away.
Our Female lead in the story, who’s name I won’t mention, enters near the start and can tell straight away that Eli has been through an event that is effecting him. She knew him before he left and still remembers him after he returns. She sees the difference in him and like everyone else assumes it must have something to do with a broken heart from either Bliss or Lila Kate.
While I really enjoyed reading Best I’ve Ever Had, I found myself taken out of the story quite often due to all the name dropping. By the second half of the story there were so many characters to remember and I had to constantly go back and check Sea Breeze and Rosemary Beach family trees to keep the characters straight in my head. I also struggled with the repetitive comparisons, the ‘they say I’m just like my mother, or just like my father’ etc. It was distracting and then I was picturing Eli and the female lead as there parents who were from different worlds rather than their own characters. It disrupted the flow of the second half of the book and I found it much harder to finish the story. I think I would’ve enjoyed Eli’s story so much more if it had been a complete standalone without the existing characters involved.
About The Author: Abbi Glines
Abbi Glines is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, Field Party and Existence series. She never cooks unless baking during the Christmas holiday counts. She believes in ghosts and has a habit of asking people if their house is haunted before she goes in it. She drinks afternoon tea because she wants to be British but alas she was born in Alabama. When asked how many books she has written she has to stop and count on her fingers. When she’s not locked away writing, she is reading, shopping (major shoe and purse addiction), sneaking off to the movies alone, and listening to the drama in her teenagers lives while making mental notes on the good stuff to use later. Don’t judge. You can connect with Abbi online in several different ways. She uses social media to procrastinate.