Title: Somebody to Love
Author: Kristan Higgins
Published: (Today!) April 2012 (HQN Books)
Disclosure: Received for review.
Summary: 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 financially 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 .
My Review: Somebody to Love is absolutely charming. No surprise there! As one of my favorite contemporary romance authors, I always have high expectations when I pick up a book by Kristan Higgins. I was so excited when I saw she had a new book coming out! As my first ARC, the excitement I felt about this book was multiplied even further. It was worth every single little bit of excitement and anticipation. I read the majority of it down on the dock of our lake and outside lounging underneath my favorite tree on campus, both of which were perfect settings. I really feel like this is a book that is best read outside, although it would obviously be good anywhere you read it.
There are so many things to love about this book. Parker is a children's author who dislikes everything about her hit series, The Holy Rollers (with whom she sometimes has hilarious internal conversations). She is a mother to an adorable little boy, Nicky (who is super well written, by the way, a feat not a lot of authors can accomplish). She also happens to be crazy rich, due to her family legacy, her father, and his not-entirely-legal activities. James Cahill is her father's lawyer and, as such, holds Parker's disdain, shown in her nickname for him, "Thing One." James has had feelings for Parker since they first met, but at the surface, they appear to have a relationship of mutual dislike. This leads to a deliciously charged dynamic with plenty of barbs, banter, covert (and not so covert) insults, and all sorts of fun stuff. However, when circumstances change, Parker's world - along with the relationship between Parker and James - is turned upside down. I don't always do the riches-to-rags stories, but Higgins pulled it off with aplomb. Parker is spoiled in some ways, yes, but she's not a stereotypical, super spoiled little rich girl, and because of this, she is easier to identify with.
One thing I enjoyed about this book was the gradual reveal of James and Parker's history. There is more to them than originally meets the eye. The history is revealed intermittently throughout the story, shared at a perfect rate. My curiosity was equally satisfied and intrigued. It never overwhelmed the story, but it never felt irrelevant. It added a complexity to the characters and the relationship they would not have had otherwise.
I love that this book is set in Gideon's Cove, one of the most charming locations I have come across in fiction. I would so love to move there. We also get to interact with some characters from other Higgins books, which I absolutely adored. If you've read other Higgins books written in the area, it adds a special element. If you haven't, not to worry! You will be in no way lost. Although I'd definitely recommend you read them simply because they're super awesome. But I digress. The supporting characters are all quirky and a blast to read about. There are plenty of them, but not so many as to become overwhelming.
❝Aside from staring at a blank computer screen and possibly watching a Gerard Butler movie or three, she had no plans.❞
❝She tended to attract emotionally unavailable men, anyway. Married men, engaged men, sociopaths, that sort of thing. Better not to date at all. The fact that she’d spent a lot of time watching gritty TNT dramas and eating Ben & Jerry’s should not be construed as jealousy. It was more like a filling of the gap.❞
❝James pushed her against the wall and kissed her again, and it was so welcome, so wonderful, being kissed like that, as if the building could burn down around them and it would be more important to keep kissing, hard and hot and fierce.❞
❝The memory of what had followed would live on the trophy shelf of James’s mind till the day he died.❞What did I think about this book? I think Higgins said it perfectly herself:
❝Parker felt a bit as if she’d swallowed the sun, so warm and brightAll in all, Somebody to Love has interesting characters, a romance to melt your heart (and also possibly leave a few scorch marks here and there), and a charming setting. It all comes together to form the perfect summer read.
his chirpy little voicethis book made her feel.❞
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