Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins

Somebody to Love is Kristan Higgins’ latest, which I got to read in advance thanks to NetGalley. I heard from a friend that it would be better to read Catch of the Day before this one because the couple in that book reappears here. I agree, much better to find out how Maggie and Malone got together first. The main characters in The Next Best Thing also show up in Somebody to Love, they’re good friends of Parker so you might want to pick that up as well if you’re particular about that kind of thing. Although, I don’t think it’s necessary and I still haven’t read The Next Best Thing.

Here’s the summary from Kristan Higgins’ website:

After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon’s Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns — a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father’s wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she’s not thrilled… even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox.

Having to fend for herself for the first time in her life, Parker signs on as a florist’s assistant and starts to find out who she really is. Maybe James isn’t the glib lawyer she always thought he was. And maybe the house isn’t the only thing that needs a little TLC…

I’m liking the dual POVs in Kristan Higgins’ most recent novels – this one and Until There Was You. It’s nice knowing what the two main characters are thinking while the story unfolds. I found it funny that even though Parker chose to be a children’s author, she finds her own characters sickeningly sweet. She’s an heiress so she really doesn’t need to work and was beyond surprised when her series became popular. She donates what she earns from her books to charity because she doesn’t really need the money. You’d expect someone like Parker to be spoiled rotten but she isn’t. So it’s not surprising that she’s willing to do what it takes to survive (financially speaking) when she discovers that her father loses all of their family’s money – including her trust fund. Enter one of her father’s minions, James Cahill a.k.a. Thing One. In Parker’s eyes, James is just a slick lawyer willing to do her father’s bidding. She doesn’t realize that there’s much more to James than that. I liked the tension between these two. Parker doesn’t think highly of James at the start but slowly changes her mind as they work together. Kristan Higgins’ does a great job of developing the romance between her characters, letting them get to know each other first before they’re willing to admit that they’re attracted to each other.

Kristan Higgins’ novels are light and fun – perfect reads for the hot summer weather that we’re having lately. Like her other books, Somebody to Love would make a really good beach read. Even though I enjoy reading her novels, there’s always something that puts me off and prevents me from really loving them. In her other novels that I’ve read, it was heroines being too desperate to find THE ONE. It was frustrating for me because I couldn’t relate to the desperation involved in finding the right guy – hey, I’m single and you don’t see me wallowing in my loneliness. In Somebody to Love, I got really frustrated that bad things kept happening to James. I mean he’s a really good guy but people in his life kept blaming him when he’s really not at fault. I found it annoying that Parker found it easy to think negatively of James and to hold him responsible for things that are beyond his control. I would have liked Parker to have been more understanding. I still found Somebody to Love an enjoyable read and would recommend it to anyone who wants a taste of contemporary romance. It’s just that I’ve yet to find a Kristan Higgins novel to love (as much as I love Julie James’ books).

Other reviews:
One More Page
A Girl, Books and Other Things
Reading Tsinoy
The Sweet Bookshelf

Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

I was able to read Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins through NetGalley. I read and reviewed Just One of the Guys a couple of months ago and that made me more curious about the author’s other books. Also, bloggers are comparing Kristan Higgins to my two favorite contemporary romance authors, Jennifer Crusie and Julie James. I’ve been reading more fantasy novels lately and I decided to pick this one up to cleanse the reading palate.

Here’s the summary from Kristan Higgins’ website:

Posey Osterhagen can’t complain. She owns a successful architectural salvaging company, she’s surrounded by her loveable, 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…

Well, that was a lot of fun. Posey (real name: Cordelia) is the kind of girl I’d like to be friends with, everything about her is quirky. She owns an architectural salvaging company, which others refer to as a junk shop. She’s surrounded by an interesting set of secondary characters – her overprotective German parents, her brother and his outgoing husband and so many others. She lives in a church that has been converted into a house and even has its own belfry. She has an unusual fashion sense, her girliest attire consists of a dress that doesn’t really compliment her boyish figure, paired with engineer boots. She eats like a construction worker and doesn’t gain weight. Wouldn’t you want to hang out with someone like that? Posey doesn’t have a perfect life though. The first scene of the novel involves her reunion with her high school crush, bad-boy-turned-devoted-father Liam Murphy. He’s back in town with his teenage daughter and has no idea that he broke Posey’s heart when they were younger. I enjoyed the slow build up of the romance between these two. Sure, Posey has never gotten over Liam but it takes a while for him to realize that he’s attracted to her. So they get to know each other better, develop a friendship and move on to something more. I liked the banter between the two main characters and there’s a lot of humor included in the book, which is something that I always appreciate.

I liked this one more than Just One of the Guys, probably because the point of view shifts from Posey to Liam so we get both sides of the story. Like I said, there are a lot of secondary characters in this one and Posey and Liam’s interactions with them lets readers see more of their personalities. I’m starting to notice that Kristan Higgins isn’t afraid to put her heroines in embarrassing situations and that’s what makes it so easy to relate to them. It’s entertaining to read about how they overcome their insecurities and how they go through hilarious situations as they work on relationships with the men in their lives. And they all love dogs! Check out the covers for her books, they all feature a couple with a dog beside them. I’m definitely going to pick up her other books the next time I want to read something light and fun or when I need to squeeze in a contemporary read in between my fantasy books. Until There Was You will be released on October 25.

Other reviews:
Book Harbinger
The Allure of Books
My Guilty Obsession
Cocktails and Books

Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

In my recent post about summer reads, Nomes recommended Kristan Higgins’ books. Earlier that day, Sarah Rees Brennan mentioned the same author in a tweet, saying that her work is similar to Jennifer Crusie’s. I took that as a sign that I should read one of Kristan Higgins’ books as soon as I could. The premise of Just One of the Guys looked interesting so I thought it would be a good introduction to the author’s work.

Here’s the summary from Kristan Higgins’ website:

Being one of the guys isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

So when journalist Chastity O’Neill returns to her hometown, she decides it’s time to start working on some of those feminine wiles. Two tiny problems: #1 — she’s five-foot-eleven of rock-solid girl power, and #2 — she’s cursed with four alpha male older brothers.

While doing a story on local heroes, she meets a hunky doctor, and things start to look up. Now there’s only one problem: Trevor Meade, her first love and the one man she’s never quite gotten over — although he seems to have gotten over her just fine.

Yet the more time she spends with Dr. Perfect, the better Trevor looks. But even with the in-your-face competition, the irresistible Trevor just can’t seem to see Chastity as anything more than just one of the guys…

I could relate to the title, Just One of the Guys, and Chastity’s situation. My major in college was electronics engineering and there were a lot more guys in our class than girls. I have been part of groups where I was the only girl countless of times and my classmates treated me like I was just like them. So because I knew what it felt like to be just one of the boys, I had a feeling Chastity and I would get along just fine. And we did. It was easy enough to like Chas because she’s smart, funny, athletic and loves her big family like crazy. I think the O’Neill family is wonderful even though I couldn’t keep track of the names of all the nieces and nephews. It’s only natural that Trevor gravitated to this family when his own fell apart. He’s now the honorary O’Neill son and Chastity knows that she should only treat him like family even though he has always been her one true love. Now that Chas is back in town, working as an editor in the local newspaper, she wants to finally get over Trevor, settle down and start a family of her own.

The book had several scenes that had me laughing out loud. The embarrassing situations that Chastity gets into were hilarious. Based on the covers, I think that all of Kristan Higgins’ heroines own dogs, which I think is adorable. Chas’ own dog, the ugly Buttercup, was a funny character in this one. The pacing for the first half of the story was really good – it kept me captivated and I wanted to know how everything will unfold. However, the latter part of the story kind of dragged for me. Look at that premise, you already know how’s it going to end, right? I kept waiting for it to happen and I wanted to shake the characters and say, “Oy, you better shape up so we can go on with the story!” I just felt like it took too long for Chastity to get her happy ending. As a result, I didn’t like this one as much as I’d hoped. That’s my only quibble with this book but overall, it’s an enjoyable read and I wouldn’t be surprised if other people say that they loved this. I think it’s a perfect summer read and I’m glad I was persuaded to pick it up. I look forward to reading the author’s backlist.

Other reviews:
Dear Author
The Allure of Books
Impressions of a Reader
Book Addict