Tag Archives: Kristan Higgins

Review- Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

Now That You Mention It

Title: Now That You Mention It
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Kristan Higgins
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: HQN, Dec. 2017
Pages: 416
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5-not graphic
Violence rating: 5-very graphic
Description from Amazon:

One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who’s always been distant, a wild-child sister in jail and a withdrawn teenage niece as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was, Nora has her work cut out for her if she’s going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family. Balancing loss and opportunity, dark events from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise…and the chance to begin again.

**
Spoiler Trigger Warning: There is an attempted Rape in this book.

Kristan Higgins can bring characters to life like no other author. They live and breathe on the page and because of this they draw us into the web of their lives so that we are living on that small Maine island along with them. Nora has had more hard times than anyone should have to endure but she is not a quitter, she is determined to bring her family together in spite of all their objections.

I love this author! I love that she can write violent dark scenes and then bring about laugh-out-loud scenes. She has me turning pages and losing sleep because I cannot put the book down. She is brilliant. I highly recommend this book.

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Advance Review-On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

on-second-thought

Title: On Second thought

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher: HQN books, Feb. 1, 2017 (Preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 480

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5 behind closed doors

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who’s struggling with a sudden loss of her own.

Kate’s always been the poised, self-assured sister, but becoming a newlywed—and a widow—in the space of four months overwhelms her. Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.

Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that’s always separated them, Ainsley’s and Kate’s heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.

**

Does the description above make you think you’ve read this book before?  Well the description may lead you to that belief, but this is a fresh and fabulous book. Not one you are likely to have encountered before this. Kristan Higgins is a master of bringing on the readers tears as well as laughter.  I was so totally invested in these characters that I couldn’t put this book down. Kate is so close to 40 and to have her first chance at happiness stolen makes us want to take her hurt upon ourselves.  Ainsley is majorly clueless about Eric but she does come into her own. That they each have a chance of overcoming their sadness is beautiful.

Yes, you definitely need to read this book. You’re welcome.

 

 

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Release Day Review-Anything For You by Kristan Higgins

Title:  Anything For You (The Blue Heron Series)

Anything For You

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher: HQN Books, Dec 2015

Pages: 416

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

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…

**

Have you ever wished that those very real characters were right in front of you so you could give them a good shake?  That was my frustration with the on again-off again relationship between Connor and Jess. Ms. Higgins once again gives us wonderfully nuanced characters along with realistic dialog. Both protagonists have appeared in earlier books in this wonderful series so it was a delight to have their own story told.  However their problems were so repetitive that I started to become bored.  I also started to not like either the H or h because of their repetitive pattern of dealing with their relationship. For me this was not the best book in this series of 5-star books.  I can only recommend this book to those who have read the previous books in the series and want an update on other characters because that part of this book was very good.

 

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Release Day Review- If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

Title: If You Only Knew

If you only knew

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher: HQN, August 25, 2015

Pages: 416

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5 not explicit

Description from Amazon.com:         

Letting go of her ex-husband is harder than wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate expected…especially since his new wife wants to be Jenny’s new best friend. Sensing this isn’t exactly helping her achieve closure, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she’ll start her own business and bask in her sister Rachel’s picture-perfect family life…and maybe even find a little romance of her own with Leo, her downstairs neighbor, a guy who’s utterly irresistible and annoyingly distant at the same time.  Rachel’s idyllic marriage, however, is imploding after she discovers her husband sexting with a colleague. She always thought she’d walk away in this situation, but her triplet daughters have her reconsidering her stance on adultery, much to Jenny’s surprise. Rachel points to their parents’ perfect marriage as a shining example of patience and forgiveness; but to protect her sister, Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a family secret she’s been keeping since childhood.  Both Rachel and Jenny will have to come to terms with the past and the present and find a way to get what they want most of all.

**

Kristan Higgins is definitely a favorite author of mine, especially her Blue Heron Series of Contemporary romances. So I was surprised to find out she has written a book in the Women’s Fiction genre and I was all so “I’ll be the judge of that”. I was hoping that it would not disappoint me like those authors who jumped ship from one genre to the other that did disappoint. I’m here to tell you that this author can write in any genre and be a 5-star entertainer.

This is a book brimming with a plot that is insightful as well as intelligent and so realistic you will swear you know these characters personally. Jenny is adjusting to a divorce and trying her best not to get hurt by the handsome, strange guy who lives downstairs. Rachel is struggling with anger and humiliation when her husband cheats. Her entire sense of “self” is threatened. What keeps us turning pages is for us to see how both of these women handle their personal journeys with love, marriage, children, lovers and sisterhood.

There is romance and Love in all its forms.  I think you will like this one as much as I did.

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Release Day Review- In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

Title:  In Your Dreams (Blue Heron Series, #4)In Your Dreams

 

 Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher: Harlequin HQN, Sept. 30, 2014

Source:  Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Everyone loves Jack Holland, but Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancé is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can’t go to the wedding alone. In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won’t get the wrong idea.

What Jack needs is an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he’s been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy, especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back, angling for a reunion. He’s always liked Emmaline. She needs a weekend date? No problem.

So when they wind up in bed together, Em chalks it up to red wine and chocolate cake, just one impulsive night not to be repeated. But Jack’s pushing for more, and if she lets down her guard, either she’ll get her heart crushed again, or discover that Jack’s worth more than just dreaming about.

**

This is the latest episode in the lives of that grape-growing, wine-making, hilariously dysfunctional Holland family.  Once again in this delightful series we are left holding our sides with laughter and having tears stream down our face with sadness.  Ms. Higgins is masterful at evoking emotion.  She has given us such a complete history of the lives of both Em and Jack that we feel like we know them intimately.  We also get snippets of the past Blue Heron/Manningsport characters and enjoy seeing how their lives are progressing. This is my favorite Contemporary Romance series and this addition to the series did not disappoint.

Yes, this is a standalone novel but do treat yourself to the entire series.

Below From Kristan Higgins’ website:

Book List in Order

Fools Rush In
Catch of the Day
Just One of the Guys
Too Good To Be True
The Next Best Thing
All I Ever Wanted
My One and Only
Until There Was You
Somebody To Love *

The Best Man (Blue Heron #1)
The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2)
Waiting On You (Blue Heron #3)
In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)
* While not exactly part of a series, Somebody to Love references characters from
The Next Best Thing and Catch of the Day (which themselves are not connected).

All of Kristan’s books stand alone, so if you haven’t read one, don’t worry! You can jump right in

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Review- All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

Title: All I Ever Wanted

All I Ever Wanted

 Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher: Harlequin HQN, reissue Feb. 2014 (originally published in 2010)

Source: purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

TURNING THIRTY HAS ITS UPS AND DOWNS…

For Callie Grey, coming to grips with her age means facing the fact that her boyfriend-slash-boss is way overdue with a marriage proposal. And that she’s way off track, because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company’s new Miss Perfect. If that isn’t bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a Big Three-Oh birthday bash…in the family funeral home.

Bad goes to worse when Callie stirs up a relationship with the town’s single—yet not so warm and fuzzy—veterinarian, in order to flag Mark’s attention. So what if Ian McFarland is more comfortable with animals? So what if he’s formal, orderly and just a bit tense? Friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it’s time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But, dang—if he doesn’t shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Georgebury, Vermont’s unlikeliest eligible bachelor….

**

Kristan Higgins is my new favorite contemporary romance author. I’ve reviewed a few of her recent books and now I’m delving into her backlist. This one, ALL I EVER WANTED, has some mixed reviews and I truly have to disagree with the negative ones. This is a delightful romance with ups and downs and it has the ring of authenticity. You know, like the events portrayed could actually happen, that the characters are actually walking around on the street out there. I love the way Ms. Higgins portrays extended families. She doesn’t sugar coat their dysfunction but she also shows how familial love conquers those foibles. Callie and Ian do not fall in love immediately. There is a believable build up with stumbles along the way. This is another gem from Ms. Higgins. Read it, you’ll like it.

 

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Recent Release Review- Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins

Title: Waiting On You (book #3, Blue Heron Series)

Waiting on you

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher: Harlequin, HQN, March 25, 2014

Source: Free For Review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Is your first love worth a second chance…?

Colleen O’Rourke is in love with love…just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell broke her heart…an experience Colleen doesn’t want to have again, thanks. Since then, she’s been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who’s ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they’ve got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she’s ever loved.

**

On March 14, 2014 I reviewed Book #1 of Kristan Higgins’ Blue Heron Series, THE BEST MAN. At that time I confessed to be not altogether enthralled with Contemporary romance novels but that Higgins’ THE BEST MAN had changed my mind. I really couldn’t wait to read another of her books and once again I am blown away by her writing skill, her characterization, her witty dialog and her cleverness at writing humor and pathos.

This, the third novel in the Blue Heron Series, is once again laugh out loud and cry like a baby, terrific. The romance is not a fairytale; it is gritty and real and so believable that it could be a true story. Both our hero, Lucas, and our heroine, Colleen, come from dysfunctional families and are dealing with those issues along with their own on again-off again romance. The side romance of Paulie and Bryce is both hilarious and heartbreaking.

This is a standalone story but you will have a broader view of the characters if you read from the beginning of the series.

I highly recommend this book.

Blue Heron Series:

  1. The Best Man
  2. The Perfect Match
  3. Waiting On You

 

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Review- The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

Title:  The Best Man (Blue Heron, book #1)

The Best Man

 Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher:  Harlequin, HQN, 2013

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Sometimes the best man is the one you least expect…

Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she’s ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family’s vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there’s some great scenery there….

Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancé. There’s a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it’s not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she’s having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.

**

This is my first Kristan Higgins book.  Yes, I know, I had my head in the sand but in my own defense, I was having trouble with the Contemporary Romance genre.  I kept reading books in that genre that just left me “meh” or “blah” or “good grief why?”.  Obviously, I did not read the right authors.  Because when I finished this book I immediately picked up book #2 in this series, The Perfect Match, (Don’t you just love it when there are a bunch of books in a series already written and you don’t have to wait for the next one?).  Now back to The Best Man:

Levi is alpha all the way, which is very important to Faith since she had a years long romantic relationship with a man who left her at the altar, Levi’s best friend. Levi and Faith never liked each other.  Levi thought her a rich, goody two shoes and she thought Levi just a royal PIA who ruined her wedding.  Opposites attract.

Kristan Higgins gives us a mix of laugh out loud moments along with emotional teary scenes.  Her dialog is so spot on that it is like listening to your own family argue or maybe your own inner dialog.  Faith’s delightful, if slightly dysfunctional, but more normal than not, family is well characterized and will provide protagonists for future books in the series.   Other side characters are also book worthy.  The sexual tension was pronounced between Faith and Levi although neither initially wanted to admit that there was an attraction and once acted on they were having trouble understanding how to deal with friends and family who knew.  Delightfully portrayed!

Yes, I really liked this book and the very real feeling of the characters.  The writing was terrific.  If like me you have yet to be seduced by Contemporary Romance books, then I highly recommend this book to start your affair.

Kristan Higgins Book List in Order

Fools Rush In
Catch of the Day
Just One of the Guys
Too Good To Be True
The Next Best Thing
All I Ever Wanted
My One and Only
Until There Was You
Somebody To Love *

The Best Man (Blue Heron #1)
The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2)
Waiting On You (Blue Heron #3)
In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)

 

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