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My One and Only by Kristan Higgins

Posted in Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Reviews 11th April 2016
My One and Only by Kristan HigginsMy One and Only by Kristan Higgins
Published by HQN Books on March 29th 2011
Pages: 382
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two-stars

Just when she thought she had life and love all figured out...
Divorce attorney Harper James can't catch a break. Bad enough that she runs into her ex-hubby, Nick, at her sister's destination wedding, but now, by a cruel twist of fate, she's being forced to make a cross-country road trip with him. And her almost-fiancé back at home is not likely to be sympathetic.
Harper can't help that Nick has come blazing back into her life in all of his frustratingly appealing, gorgeous architect glory. But in Nick's eyes, Harper's always been the one. If they can only get it right this time, forever might be waiting—just around the bend.

A second-chance romance after a divorce almost 12 years ago made me leery of what possibly could come out of it, but the (mostly) positive reviews did me in. Now I wished I’d followed my first instincts.

What I liked: Some secondary characters – as seen through Harper’s very insensitive, inner ramblings – like Nick, his brilliantly sarcastic wit and that mysterious, gentlemanly-hotness that got me going and for calling out Harper on all her instances of denial. The caricatures of BeverLee and Willa were enjoyable to say the least, because it was easy to take them at face-value.

But I’d expected more of the main characters, particular the ‘heroine’ whose POV and voice mattered the most, which the book didn’t deliver. We’re introduced to Harper in a manner that’s impossible to ignore and like: she’s jaded, cynical and convinced of the unhappiness of marriages to the point of irritating smugness.

I thought her rude to the point of being plain offensive because she couldn’t get past her own mummy-issues, projecting them far and wide on everyone around her.

Or as a reviewer has put it more succinctly: ‘bitchy’ might be the better word here.

Written wholly in her POV, it didn’t take long before that ‘strong, female’ voice started to sound patronising, high-handed and condescending to all around and for that reason, her antics – better suited to an emotionally-stunted juvenile who never quite grew up – grated…and grated some more. If that’s meant to induce laughter, I’m afraid that simply failed for me.

two-stars

Anything for You by Kristan Higgins

Posted in Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Reviews 2nd January 2016
Anything for You by Kristan HigginsAnything for You (Blue Heron, #5) by Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron #5
Published by HQN Books on December 29th 2015
Pages: 410
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two-stars

Before you get down on bended knee…
…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married.
When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her.
But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks…

I didn’t really know what to expect from this book, being really wary of Jessica Dunn the moment she was introduced in the series and unfortunately, that instinct proved me right this time. We’re told rather superficially of her standoffish yet slutty ways and in this book, the decades unfold in the pages – in a rather draggy manner – to come, telling of the on-and-off again hookups that she and Connor O’Rourke have over the years. All of them end the same way however: with Jessica walking away and Connor crawling back to her.

The reason for Jessica Does’s behaviour is sort of given some justification, and as misguided and flawed as Kristan Higgins wants it to be, I unfortunately, only saw stupidity. Her intellectually disabled brother had for too long, become a crutch and I didn’t appreciate the way she threw her past promiscuous acts in Connor’s face when she felt Davey was threatened. On the other hand, I wished Connor grew a spine and truly walked away because it felt as though Jessica never really got over her own prejudices or her unwillingness to truly trust him. Not that I expected her or Connor to be perfect, but I had hoped for some steadiness and more self-respect on both sides at least.

But clearly the ratings and the reviews give a contrary opinion to mine, so this is probably just me. I’ve got some mixed-feelings about the Blue Heron series and unfortunately, this one was quite a dud.

two-stars

Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

Posted in Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Reviews 24th August 2014
Until There Was You by Kristan HigginsUntil There Was You by Kristan Higgins
Published by HQN Books on October 25th 2011
Pages: 416
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four-stars

Posey Osterhagen can't complain. She owns a successful architectural salvaging company, she's surrounded by her lovable, if off-center, family and she has a boyfriend—sort of. Still, something's missing. Something tall, brooding and criminally good-looking—something like Liam Murphy.
When Posey was sixteen, the bad boy of Bellsford, New Hampshire, broke her heart. But now he's back, sending Posey's traitorous schoolgirl heart into overdrive once again. She should be giving him a wide berth, but it seems fate has other ideas….

I was apprehensive about even trying this out because of the negative reviews as well as the presence of children (which I barely tolerate) in relationships. I certainly understood Liam’s dilemma and his denial about the growing attraction that he has to Posey but I wished that a lot more had been written about him being able to let go of Emma.

Posey was one cool woman I thought; despite her inner-fangirl squealing, I really did like her loyalty, her dignified responses to difficult situations and the special brand of soft-heartedness she had for her adopted family. And she handled Liam’s rejection perfectly, with the right amount of caution and disbelief, minus the drama. Her HEA is deserved but there were times I thought Kristan Higgins was selling her short though.

four-stars
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