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The Idea of You: A Novel

Author: Robinne Lee
(10 customer reviews)


Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

Additional information


‎ B01MQLZ12X


‎ St. Martin's Griffin (June 13, 2017)

Publication date ‏

‎ June 13, 2017

Language ‏

‎ English

Print length ‏

‎ 386 pages

SKU: B01MQLZ12X Categories: , Product ID: 19827


Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate and genuine relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways in Paris and Miami. For Solène, it is a reclaiming of self, as well as a rediscovery of happiness and love. When Solène and Hayes’ romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her romantic life has impacted the lives of those she cares about most.

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10 reviews for The Idea of You: A Novel

  1. Holly

    Unexpectedly Steamy!Review of The Idea of You by Robinne Lee:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Solène is a 39-year old, divorced mom to a teenager. Having won a meet & greet and front row tickets to a concert with the biggest boy band around, Solène reluctantly takes her daughter and two friends. While she wasn’t looking forward to this trip other than spending time with Isabelle, Solène makes an unexpected connection with one of the members of the band. Problem is, she’s old enough to be his mom. But Hayes Campbell knows how to woo a lady and make her feel desired so it’s not long before Solène and Hayes are secretly meeting up for casual hook ups…until they’re no longer casual hook ups…and until word gets out in the tabloids and it all blows up in their faces.I had been looking forward to reading this book for far too long but I think I hyped myself up far too much for this book. I waffled between rating this book 3.5-4 stars and settled on 4 because while there were certainly elements that fell flat for me, I did enjoy the celebrity scandals, juicy gossip and steamy scenes (and there is plenty of those!). Character development was lacking and I had a REALLY hard time getting past the age gap in this book. Hayes wasn’t even old enough to drink and three years younger it would have been illegal for them to date! If he was at least 25-years old I think it would have been easier to swallow. I hoped I’d be able to read the rest of the book and shift my mind into thinking he wasn’t so young but the entire story repetitively addressees it so there really was no way to avoid it. That said, the very detailed sex scenes were 🔥, full of passion and their relationship was genuine. I could actually see this being a whole world of the boy band – a book for each member of the band and their relationships and drama – because otherwise I felt like this book was rushed to cram a lot in a few hundred pages. The ending – while predicable – ended abruptly and with some loose ends that weren’t tied. Criticisms aside, this was a quick read, perfect for summer, AND anticipated for a screen adaptation!

  2. Grady Harp

    ‘I was not a fan of Vegas: loud, fat, dirty. The underbelly of America convened in one garish skid mark in the desert.’Los Angeles author/actor/producer Robinne Lee earned her degrees in Psychology from Yale University and her law degree from Columbia Law School. Born in Mount Vernon, New York, she has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both “Hitch” and “Seven Pounds.” Her recent credits include “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed,” playing Ros Bailey. This very beautiful lady makes her novel writing debut with THE IDEA OF YOU.Not only does Robinne demonstrate an eloquent, fluid writing style, but she also has the courage to write a novel that addresses disparities in age and the effect that has on forming relationships. She reverses the role of the older man playing the field of very young (often too young!) women and instead opts for making the heroine of her story nearly twice the age of her paramour. And in electing this route of attraction she also takes a leap between the ideologies and tastes and contemporary indulgences of the young set and sensitively contrasts that with the dignity of the educated artistic well-traveled persona of her lead character. All this she manages without denigrating choices and styles – a true gift form a nascent writer.Robinne provides a fine condensation of the essential of the plot in the synopsis – ‘Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things. What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate and genuine relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways in Paris and Miami. For Solène, it is a reclaiming of self, as well as a rediscovery of happiness and love. When Solène and Hayes’ romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her romantic life has impacted the lives of those she cares about most.’The story setup fits the events that follow – ‘Two days before my planned getaway to Ojai, he showed up at the house in a tux with our daughter, Isabelle, in tow. He’d left the car running in the driveway. “I can’t do the Vegas trip,” he said, thrusting a manila envelope in my hand. “I’m still working on the Fox deal and it’s not going to close anytime soon.” I must have looked at him in disbelief because he followed that up with: “I’m sorry. I know I promised the girls, but I can’t. You take them. Or I’ll eat the tickets. Whatever.” An unopened package of Da Vinci Maestro Kolinsky brushes was lying on the entry table, alongside a set of thirty-six Holbein watercolors. I’d spent a fortune at Blick stocking up on materials for my artist retreat. They were, like the trip to Ojai, my gift to myself. Forty-eight hours of art and sleep and wine. And now my ex-husband was standing in my living room in formal black tie and telling me there’d been a change of plans. “Does she know?” I asked. Isabelle, having retreated immediately to her room—no doubt to get on her phone—had missed the entire exchange. He shook his head. “I haven’t had time to tell her. I thought I’d wait and see if you could take them first.” “That’s convenient.” “Don’t start, okay?” He turned toward the door. “If you can’t do it, have her call me, and I’ll make it up the next time the group’s in town.” It was so like him to have a Band-Aid for everything. To walk away from commitments guilt-free. Would that I had acquired that gene.And so Solène is plunged into Isobelle’s world with all the paraphernalia of rock bands et al that lead to Solène’s affair d’estime. It works so very well that the only negative aspect of completing this novel is that it is over too soon.We have a major talent on stage here. She is destined to be writing her own screenplays and starring in them. Brava! Grady Harp, February 18

  3. A reviewer

    Can’t wait for the filmI’m not necessarily a fan on the genre but I love the actors who’ve been cast as the leads for the forthcoming film, so I wanted to give it a read. I was pleasantly surprised. The relationship between Solene and Hayes is beautifully written, and you know it is much deeper than a purely physical connection, becoming invested in their love and hoping for the best while knowing the train is inevitably going to crash. The ending was heartbreaking, truly. The one downside was I felt there were certain parts that were rushed, especially the ending.

  4. Cookie

    One of my all-time favorite booksWhen 39 year-old Solène takes her twelve year-old daughter to boy band August Moon’s concert and meet and greet, she has no idea that meeting 20 year-old Hayes Campbell, a member of the group, will put in motion a love affair that will rock her life. Although there is an instant attraction between the two, she has no intention of accepting his advances because that would be crazy, right? But Hayes is persistent and eventually lunch leads to trysts and trysts leads to a whirlwind romance that turns her life upside down. They quickly learn that wanting to be together is more complicated than just enjoying each other’s company. The rabid fans, tabloids, Solène’s business, Solène’s daughter – they’re all factors in this relationship between two people and they may not survive the insurmountable challenges.When I started The Idea of You, I thought it was going to be your typical entertaining musician/celebrity romance. After a few pages in, I quickly realized that this book was going to wreck me in so many different ways. My early prediction turned out to be right. This was a re-read via audio and I loved the book even more the second time around.This book speaks to so many challenges: the challenges of an age gap relationship, the challenges of raising a child with a blended family, the challenges of navigating a romantic relationship with a child to consider and the challenges of celebrity life. The novel had all the depth and character development that I look for in a book. I was very intrigued by Solène and Hayes’ story and I needed to know how it would pan out. This book gave me all the feels – I felt like I was on a rollercoaster of emotions while reading the book. One minute I would be amused and the next my heart would be breaking with tears streaming down my face. I savored this book, taking my time, re-reading scenes to let those feelings really sink in.How could I not fall in love with Hayes? He is charming, clever, gracious, and mature beyond his years. The way he spoke to Solène was real, raw, and poetic. He is a true artist – open to love and life and willing to be vulnerable.This book is one of my all-time favorites, topping the thousands of books I have read in my lifetime. I loved to be wrecked by books and this one did just that.If you have an opportunity to listen to this book, I recommend it. It’s narrated by the author and she brings Hayes to life with that accent.Steam level: 🔥🔥🔥½⚠️: harassment, cyberbullying

  5. TotallyBookedBlog

    5 Fabulous stars!“Don’t go falling in love with me, Hayes Campbell.”“I’m not gonna fall in love with you. I’m a rock star. We don’t do that.”“You’re a boy band member.”“Well…I guess all bets are off then.”Rock stars – we can’t help but fall in love with them, and you’d be hard pressed to find a man as soulful and beautiful as Hayes Campbell, the twenty year old singer with boy band, August Moon as he falls for 39 year old divorcee, and mother of a 12 year old daughter, Solène Marchand.“What is it you want from me, then?” Solène“Everything.” HayesAs soon as this book hit our radar, we knew we had to read it! A tumultuous rock star romance, with an age gap is exactly the type of read we devour and wow! We were completely floored by this story; easily becoming swept up in its honesty and raw emotion and by the striking prose of first time author, Robinne Lee. It’s hard to believe this is her first published novel, because Robinne Lee, delivered it all in The Idea of You. We swooned, we laughed, loved and oh boy did we cry! We felt everything and found Solene and Hayes story to be captivating, incredibly heartfelt, moving, candid, unique and sincere. This author writes with a knowledgeable and beautiful prose that encapsulated everything we love, but rarely find in this trope. Impressive to say the least.“You. Are f****ing everything to me, I’m not going anywhere.”The synopsis tells you all you need to know to decide if this books piques your interest, but we promise you, what you’ll find between the pages is so much more than a rock star meets girl story. So much more and we feel the best way to experience it is spoiler free. We urge you to simply allow Hayes and Solène’s love story to unravel before your eyes and experience the truthfulness and emotion as the story slowly builds, holding you captive until the very last page, as Solène and Hayes’ love story climbs to its crescendo.’The thought crossed my mind that this could be dangerous. Not the ill-advised sex with the just out of his teens pop star, but the cuddling. The lying there, drinking in his scent, watching his chest rise and fall, allowing myself to bask in my own happiness. I could fall in love this way.’Their initial attraction is physical, a chemistry that ignites when they meet backstage after an August Moon concert, Solène attended with her daughter and 2 of her friends. We did, at first, wonder what so enamoured the sweet, wise beyond his years, Hayes to pursue the somewhat aloof Solène so vigorously, but we trusted the author to slowly reveal all. Of course, Solène oozed beauty, poise and confidence, but what did Hayes see behind Solène’s facade that made him so desperate to woo her? Despite the obvious physical connection, we knew there was more, and as we delved deeper into Hayes persona, it all became clear. Hayes’ emotional maturity belied his cheekiness and his 20 years. Hayes was an old soul and this young man matched Solène emotionally, intellectually and physically. Their building relationship was a thing of beauty setting the foundation of friendship to lovers and beyond. It was quite simply, breathtaking, passionate and heartfelt.“How did we get here? This was only supposed to be lunch, remember? This was only supposed to be lunch.”“You,” he said, his voice frayed, foreign.“Me?”“You. You let me unfold you.”Whilst we may not have completely warmed to Solène, we absolutely related to her feelings, and the way in which Robinne Lee identified this character; her struggles, her insecurities, her torment, her sacrifices and the vilification she received because of the age difference between her and Hayes, was exceptional. We understood it all completely and perceived the reason we found her to be aloof was her upbringing and the fact that Hayes was such a beautiful, warm, sensitive and honest character who wore his heart on his sleeve. He was something else, this man!‘There had probably been many before me, and there would be many after, but in that moment, it was just me.’Hayes Campbell, where do we begin to express our feelings about him? Hayes is up there as one of the most arresting, charming, engaging, sweet and genuine characters we’ve read. This man had us sobbing buckets! Oh and our (and we think the authors) muse, Harry Styles, certainly helped as well! “Look at me. Look at me. It’s just us. It’s just you and me in this relationship. F**** everything else.”Robinne Lee nailed this story in every way. The emotion of both characters was spot on, the rock star feel we crave in these themes was paramount, but delivered so uniquely as this author put her own stamp, her knowledge and her awe inspiring talent on this trope. Solène and Hayes were two opposites, leading two completely different lifestyles who just seemed to fit but time would tell if Solène could live in Hayes’ chaotic world.“This is insane. You realize that, right?”“Only if someone gets hurt.”“Someone always gets hurt, Hayes.”As the story drew to a close, we reflected on what we’d read wanting to give this author a standing ovation for many reasons. For delivering believable characters, for not succumbing to standard story clichés, for having the ingenuity to deliver this story honestly, warts and all. We really couldn’t have asked for more. The banter between Hayes and Solène was witty, naughty and sincere making us grin from ear to ear. The passion was explosive, sensual, hot and thankfully not always over descriptive yet always moving, passionate and sexy as hell; not once did we feel inclined skim the intimate scenes as we’ve found ourselves doing recently. And the emotion…oh God the emotion, well, tears fell freely that’s for sure. At times uplifting, painful and certainly worth every tear.“You want to be kissed, Solene? You think you can handle that?”So…standing ovation to you, Robinne Lee! Bravo! Thank you for your bravery in delivering this story your way and for giving us a backstage pass and an almost voyeuristic look into the world of the rich and famous with Hayes, Solène and the other four cheeky lads of August Moon; Rory, Oliver, Simon and Liam. We were drawn into a life we can only fantasise about, the reality of which is a far cry from the romantic notion we dream up. We’re not sure if you plan to write more about the band but we’re not opposed to begging you to do so. One things for sure, we would love more!‘He was such a vision of virility, it almost felt dirty to watch.’

  6. Thelma

    A story every women should read!!Speechless……….. what an amazing book!!!It’s been a few days since I finished The Idea Of You and still I’m having a hard time writing the review… as it really took my breath away.. a book that will leave you with so much to think and so much to learn..A great story, with so much message. it was painful at times to read but it is the reality somehow of what we’re going through ..Solene was a beautiful woman living in LA, she was a very successful art dealer, divorce, with a teenage daughter who was in love with a boy band and their members.. Solene wasn’t looking for a relationship, she wasn’t looking for love.. she felt happy with her life.. but nothing was written, she didn’t see him coming, his life, his age, he was something very unexpected, something that it would change her life forever..”being a mother did not have to mean no longer being a woman. That she could continue to live outside the lines. That forty was not the end. That there was more joy to be had.”Hayes, he was a 20 year old guy in a boy band trying to figure his life.. a guy who was more mature than any other men around him. he was handsome and tall and his taste in women was diffrent. he had a “type” until a night that “Type” showed up at one of his concerts.. he didn’t expect her,he didn’t saw her coming, but his life was about to take a turn, he would never had seeing coming..The love between Hayes and Solene starts slowly building on.. with a lot of resistant at first from Solenes side.. but with time, their chemistry, their love starts to show up more and more, making their age difference less evident to them.. the need to be together, the constant missing each other.. their love was very strong, raw and very passionated..“I’m falling in love with you. I’m just going to put that out there, because I can. Because you told me I couldn’t if I was sleeping with anyone else, and I’m not, so there you have it…”So much to say about this book.. it really spoke to me, made me feel every emotion of the characters, the pain the happiness, how they were struggling to be together, trying hard to silence the noise and the world around them..The idea Of You touches a subject that a lot of women in these days are suffering.. the constant pressure of society and media to look young, good and perfect… the constant judgement towards women about how to behave, who to date, what to dress and how to act.. in the story of Hayes and Solene we get to see both sides.. how society can’t see a woman dating a younger man but for a man is very acceptable to date a young woman..”It grated on me. That no one would question him moving on. Him marrying and impregnating someone more than ten years his junior. Because that’s what divorced men in their forties did. His stock was still rising. His power still intact. Daniel had become more desirable, and I somehow less so. As if time were paced differently for each of us”I never felt the age difference between Solene and Hayes whenever they were together. it was something beautiful.. The age difference was evident to the world but not to them..”how women of a certain age cease to be seen. How society sweeps them under a rug, ignores them, discards them once past their prime.”Robinne’s words made me feel the sadness, the worry, all the emotions and the pressure Solene was feeling during the whole journey of their relationship.. it was hard to feel how she was alone in this.. her feelings didn’t matter for many of the people who were close to Solene, because still the age difference was more important for society than the love they have.. she was a warrior, an amazing heroine, a character to admire for all what she fought, to keep what made her feel alive..”I don’t think you should “care” (Modified quote for Amazon Policies) about what people may or may not think of our age difference. Furthermore, if our ages were reversed, no one would bat an eyelash. Am I right?”One of my favorite moments of the book is when Solene finally broke down with Isabelle, because in that moment Isabelle finally sees all her emotions.. it was very painful to read but it was also time for her to have some kind of a break down with someone who really love her and care for her..“Love is this very precious thing, Izz. It’s this precious, magical thing. But it’s not finite. There’s not a limited amount of it out there. You just have to be open to allowing it to find you. Allowing it to happen.”So many other great characters. Isabelle was also a very strong character, she was reluctant at first of Solenes relationship with Hayes.. but once she finally “accepted” she fought hard to support her mother in her on way.. Oliver, he is going to intrigue you, and make you doubt about everything.. Lulit, Daniel so many to mentioned that made this story so perfect..I wish i could say more about The Idea of you without giving spoilers.. but is a book every women should read.. definitely is one of my favorite books now!!Looking Forward for Robinne to find the time and the inspiration for the sequel.

  7. Anonimo

    Adrenaline rush!Oh My God! Just finish reading this book and my emotions are a mess! This story is so compelling, beautiful written. I wasn’t able to put the book down from the half of it until I finish it. And I cry with Solene and Hayes; I made their story mine. You’re in for a rollercoaster of emotions! Bravo, Robinne! For me it was magical!

  8. LA Day

    Another book about Harry Styles but it’s pretty darn good!I have seen this book around for so long. It was widely talked about during the pandemic and I know a couple podcasts that spoke about it. I had heard it is loosely based on Harry Styles (similar to After which started out as a One Direction fan fic) but that is an understatement as it is pretty much Harry Styles in this book as Hayes (the fingers with all the rings?). I know nothing about One Direction as *NSYNC was more my generation, but I was curious while reading this book why so many people are obsessed with Harry Styles and writing books about him and I feel like after reading this book and googling a few things online, I can kind of understand the hype. This book is a guilty pleasure. But perhaps the best part about it is the ending. Now, I knew what the ending would be because I accidentally listened to a little bit of a podcast where they spoke about the ending a year ago, which is maybe why I didn’t read this for so long. The only thing I wish the ending included was him singing the song S sometime in the future while he was doing his own solo career or something. But maybe the genius of this book was that I pictured him doing that anyway. I’m not sure why that wasn’t included, but I really like the last lines of the book and I heard it’s going to be a movie with Anne Hathaway. So I’m curious to see what they make of it. I also loved how every chapter was in some exotic location. It really added to the dreamy fantasy of the book!

  9. Carlene

    4.5 Passionate and Engaging StarsI’ve had The Idea of You on my Kindle for a little while, unsure sure when I would get a chance to read it, but my friends were leaving phenomenal reviews and I couldn’t ignore a book this popular for very long. If you know me, you know I love forbidden romance and The Idea of You features a unique forbidden storyline, one I’ve not read very often. Main character Solène Marchand is twenty years older than Hayes Campbell, the dreamy “swagger” one of boy band August Moon, her daughter’s greatest love. Solène, a cultured art gallery owner, finds herself escorting her young daughter Isabelle and two young friends to their concert one evening and in the tight stadium basement they meet the boys, with Hayes drawn to Solène immediately. What starts as lunch becomes a secret affair, their trysts taking place in several continents as they navigate the rough waters of lust transforming into something more. Solène attempts to protect Isabelle from the crazed fandom, but in time she must face the reality, that her romance is not just hers alone and it has caused a domino effect in the lives of those she cares for.”They were bewitching, yes, but still flesh and blood.”I thought I would struggle to relate to main character Solène, her age and life experiences so different than my own, but Robinne Lee brings her to life and makes fame, and the heartaches that come with it, a tangible thing. Solène is still bruised from her divorce, struggling to parent a teen whose biggest interest is a boy band, and trying to find herself, her best self, again. She’s jaded, unaware of her beauty and draw, and certainly not prepared for a twenty year old admirer willing to do anything for her. Hayes is the most handsome, dreamy boy band member you can picture; he’s also mature beyond his years and charming, so very charming. He lights Solène up, embracing her art, her daughter, her inability to travel with him daily. What starts simply soon grows to something beyond their control, a promise of something more is whispered, but it is obvious that Hayes wants Solène around all the time and Solène has no idea what comes with being the much older girlfriend of the number one member of August Moon. Her fears of judgement were once the biggest issue between them, but the fans hatred and the pain Isabelle is experiencing soon begin to feel insurmountable.”‘Twenty.”Twenty,’ I repeated, and then downed the rest of my champagne. One gulp.””But at that moment his eyes caught mine and the charge was so strong, I had to look away.”The romance, the lust and chemistry they share, is nothing compared to the companionship they have together. I love how much we see them interact, the subtle shift we see in Solène and Hayes as each realizes lunch did not stay just lunch. We see Solène’s career, and even her daughter, take a backseat to the affair and we see when the walls start crumbling down, with Solène and Hayes none the wiser. Their romance is addictive; I too fell in love with the idea of them and Robinne Lee convinces us that the love can weather the fame. Of course, love and fame are not quite as glamorous as we believe and soon the rose-colored glasses are stripped away.”I leaned into him then to kiss his cheek. Not an art world air-kiss, but the chance to press his skin against mine, breathe in his scent, and lock it in my memory. A little like stealing.”The Idea of You explores the difficulty of promises between two engaging characters who are so intelligent and who seem like puzzle pieces meant to be together. Solène and Hayes’ passion spilled from the pages and swept me up with it and the end left me hoping, leaving behing a massive book hangover. Robinne Lee tells a beautiful story with The Idea of You, The writing is descriptive, the art fairs, hotel rooms, and beach getaways coming to life as Solène and Hayes tangle their lives together. I could physically hear the piercing screams of the young girls when Solène first watches August Moon, specifically Hayes, enter the Las Vegas stadium. I never expected to be so engaged with this novel, but now, upon completion, I’m not sure there’s another book suitable to follow it. I want more, not just of Solène and Hayes, but more of the other band members too.

  10. H.S.

    guttedThis book haunted me more than any other book I’ve read. I loved Solene and Hayes. It didn’t seem like they should work as a couple, but somehow, they did. I loved what each brought out of the other. It was also fascinating to be behind-the-scenes of the super-famous lifestyle, both the good parts and the bad parts.Well written, great, complex characters, and some serious heat.

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