Book Review: Raving About Rhys by Jessica Redland
Author: Jessica Redland
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May 14, 2015 by So Vain Books
Bubbly Callie Derbyshire loves her job as a carer, and can’t believe she’s finally landed herself a decent boyfriend – older man Tony – who’s lasted way longer than the usual disastrous three months. Tony’s exactly what she’s always dreamed of… or at least he would be if he ever took her out instead of just taking her to bed. And work would be perfect, too, if she wasn’t constantly in trouble with her boss.
When the new gardener, Mikey, discovers her in a rather compromising position at work, Callie knows that her days at Bay View Care Home could be numbered. And if she leaves, who’ll look out for her favourite client, Ruby, whose grandson, Rhys, seems to constantly let her down?
And can anyone in Callie’s life be trusted?
At the bright young age of 21, Callie constantly finds herself getting involved with men that are old enough to be her father. Does that have anything to do with wanting to replace the father figure that she never really had in her life? Or is she drawn to their maturity and intelligent sense of the world? The latest man in her life [45 year-old Tony] takes advantage of their relationship and is basically only interested in one thing. He never takes her out in public and after ten months together and a heart-to-heart with her brother Nick, Callie begins to wonder what she wants out of a relationship.
Callie’s character was complex and well-developed and I admired her thoughts on caring for and about the older residents of the Bay View Care Home where she worked. You can’t go through life distancing yourself and not getting attached to others simply because they will eventually die. You have to appreciate them while they’re here and take advantage of the time you do have with them. One bit of the story was predicable [yet completely enjoyable], but some of it definitely caught me off guard and surprised me!
I connected with Callie’s generally bubbly personality and the idea that just because you’re always happy doesn’t mean that things can’t get you down sometimes. I also liked that when Callie had difficult things to deal with, she didn’t air her diary laundry on Facebook the way many people do nowadays. She was able to have real human interaction and communication to help her begin to think about what she wanted out of a relationship and life. I loved that the inclusion of social media made this novel feel fresh and relevant.
Another important theme in this story was learning to let go of the liars, cheaters and people that don’t appreciate and respect you. It never fails to amaze me that people can be such conniving, lying, two-faced scumbags, especially when it comes from the people you think you can trust most. Often times people are not always how they appear on the surface. Sometimes people have a tough exterior to protect themselves from the difficult things going on in their own personal lives. Knowing your own self worth and not accepting anything less than what you deserve is key to having successful and meaningful relationships. Everyone deserves to be treated with love and care, especially in a relationship. Raving About Rhys is an entertaining and thoughtful novella about life, love and learning to let go of the toxic people in your life.
She repeatedly spoke of a grandson who was going to visit, yet somehow never materalised. Either he was fiction or he was completely unreliable. I wasn’t sure which idea I preferred.
What sort of a relationship did I want? I wanted one where I could rely on my boyfriend to be there for me when I really needed him. Like tonight. Surely that wasn’t too much to ask?
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
About the Author – Jessica Reland
Jessica had never considered writing as a career until a former manager kept telling her that her business reports read more like stories and she should write a book. She loved writing but had no plot ideas. Then something happened to her that prompted the premise for her debut novel, Searching for Steven. She put fingers to keyboard and soon realised she had a trilogy. The trilogy will be published by So Vain Books with the first book in the series being launched in June 2015. She’s a founder member of The Write Romantics.