Rebound (The Oleander Chronicles #2) ~ Lynn Van Dorn
Rebound was my first book by Lynn Van Dorn; as such, I had no expectations whatsoever. The blurb sounded very sweet with enemies to lovers, opposites attract and grumpy/sunshine tropes. Well, what I read while it was all that, it was so much more! The type of story this turned out to be may not surprise the author’s regular readers, but I didn’t see it coming; boy, I enjoyed it, though!
Rebound revelled in turning society’s stereotypes and norms on their head. None of the characters acted as per society’s guidelines. To start with the secondary characters: we have the extroverted, pink-haired lawyer who is as soft as he is fiercely protective, the grandmother famous for her ‘special’ baked goods, and a redneck father who embraces all the positive (and somewhat illegal) aspects of that stereotype, while not displaying any of the negative qualities that are often associated with it. Then comes the main characters!
First up, we have the declared ‘uber twink’, Jacob. Young, blonde, tall, and slender. He is also the grumpy half of the trope. On physical description alone, certain assumptions are made regarding his preferences. These are so far from the truth, and it makes you smile to realise just how wrong society has gotten it. Then we have the muscle-bound, pierced, and tattooed mechanic, Levi. He is Mr Sunshine personified and loves nothing more than to tease Jacob. Like the rest of society, Jacob makes his own assumptions about Levi, but these are soon disabused. Together, Jacob and Levi are total opposites in looks and personality and in the bedroom. They complement each other perfectly, and their chemistry is explosive!
I was utterly absorbed in this story. My heart bled for Jacob. We get hints from the beginning that his role in his father’s company is not exactly what it should be, but it’s not until near the end that we learn the true extent of it. In Levi, Jacob finds everything he never let himself want. In turn, Jacob understands Levi in a way nobody has before. They click in all aspects, and it’s a beautiful relationship to watch develop.
“Jacob had found his unicorn, right in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere, and he was not about to let that shit get away from him.”
This author’s writing style is very relaxed, but at the same time, completely addictive. This book has many emotional moments ranging in intensity. However, the story is never heavy due to the humour that is used throughout the book. Poor Jacob, I don’t think he’ll ever escape the charge of ‘involuntary birdslaughter’, and the town will never let him forget it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change from a negative connotation to a positive one, and it’s a source of many laughs. Levi’s family are a hoot, especially his grandmother, father, and sister. They are a source of much of the humour, and they are a such a set of ‘mad’ characters that you can’t help but laugh at them.
“'According to Mom and the ultrasounds, you had your face in my crotch for most of her pregnancy.’ Leah shuddered. ‘And people wonder why I’m a lesbian.’ ”
Rebound can be read as a standalone. I had not read the first book in the series before reading this one (although I’m going back to do so), and I had no trouble keeping up. The book doesn’t presume any previous knowledge.
I believe that our next couple to find love in the ‘flower town’ were introduced in this story, and I can’t wait to see how that all works out. I suspect Aaron will have his work cut out for him!
I absolutely loved my first experience with Lynn Van Dorn, and I will certainly be reading her other books. Rebound has characters with whom you can’t help but fall in love. It has emotional moments that are tempered with humour, it’s romantic, and it’s hot!! Honestly, you can’t ask for much more!