Kristan Higgin's last several releases have been a major disappointment to me. So much so, that when this book came out I hadn't even planned on reading it at all. But a forgotten kindle and a very long wait at the Dentists' office where this book was on a swap-rack conspired to against me.
I must say, I have never been so pleased to have forgotten my ereader.
This book is a sequel to The Next Best Thing. Even though that book was one of my least favorite of all of KH's books, I thought Parker (a major supporting character in that book and now the heroine in this book) was a major stand-out character.
I won't summarize the plot but I will list some of the reasons why I really enjoyed this book:
1) Great romance between Parker and James. He's massively in love with her and really wears his heart on his sleeve. Parker is a great, root-able heroine. You like her even when you get a little bit frustrated with her.
2) Funny. James' inner dialogue is particularly funny especially his jealousy driven snark on Ethan (the father of Parker's son). Parker, is a children's book author with massive writers' block. Her failed ideas for a new book series pepper the book and are quite hysterical (and pretty macabre).
3) Great supporting characters. Much of the book takes place in Gideon's Cove, the small town where KH's first book Catch of the Day is set. We have a nice reunion with many of the characters of that book including the H/h Maggie and Malone (a.k.a Maloner the Loner). But this book also features Parker's botoxed, much remarried mother, her larcenous father and the absolute stand-out as far as supporting characters go, her cousin Lavinia. Lavinia alone is worth the book. She is an old, crusty broad who puts out cigarettes in the palm of her hand and has a sex life that George Clooney would envy. The descriptions of her geriatric booty calls and the fact that she's sexing up a judge to get out of a legal pickle cracked me up.
4) But some angst too. James' back-story is sad and makes you want to give him a big old hug. Parker's relationship with her father, Harry, is also a nice, more dramatic touch in a fairly light hearted book. I also loved how the dynamic between James, Parker and Harry plays out.
All in all this book was just the lightly comedic, straight contemporary full of memorable characters that I really enjoy. Glad to know this author has recaptured some of the magic with this book that made me really like her earlier work.