August 21, 2011

Book Review: Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

Author: Kristan Higgins
Publisher: Harlequin
Category: Adult Fiction

She’s having serious prom-night déjà vu…
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…

The plot has been done many times over it's true. A bad boy from the past comes back, things get complicated, they fall in love against all odds and live happily ever after. So the ending itself is not the point of the book, it never is, but how the story is written. And written wonderfully this was.
I'm happy to say that typical Kristan Higgins style, Until There Was You is romantic, hilarious and quite sarcastic. Three points that sell well with women like me who just want to stop thinking when reading, have a laugh or two and get absorbed by the story.
As in most of her books, Higgins has the sarcastic heroine with a heart of gold, the funny friend with great one liners (or in this case friends) and the gorgeous man who proves that in the end it's all about the heart.

Here the heroine is funny, perpetually thin, successful but self doubting Posey Osterhagen. She is the adopted daughter of two hulking German Americans who own a restaurant called Guten Tag. Unfortunately she has a short affair with the competition who wants to run their business to the ground. The same man who later on dates her very own gorgeous cousin Gretchen, who seems to have it in for Posey. Then gorgeous Liam Murphy, the man for whom she suffered unrequited love for years, comes back to town with his beautiful daughter Nicole, and for some reason , they always seem to end up together and at each other's throats. And therein lies the complication. To love or not to love, because Liam thinks that he is not ready for a relationship after losing his wife to cancer or is he just not ready for Posey?

As for her friends, there's Jon, the gay bestfriend who happens to be married to her older brother Henry. Kate, Posey's bestfriend whose relationship with her adopted son James is just too close for comfort and too weird (in a funny way of course) and there's also Brianna, the emotionally stunted sister Posey never had.

I love how all the characters were well developed. You could somehow read into their minds and understand why they say what they say but at the same time laugh out loud because it came out of nowhere.  Of all her books, this probably has the funniest characters.
As for Posey, i like that she is tough yet unselfish. Self doubts aside, she really knows how to share herself with people she loves and even when they don't seem to deserve it, she gives them herself anyway. As for Liam, he is THE MAN. A bad boy biker with a heart full of love for his one and only child. He is the kind of father you would love to have for your own daughter but never for yourself. He is crazy scary in his need to protect Nicole, but after all is said and done, he is a great father.
So if you need to have a good laugh, to curl up with a good book and just relax, read UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. It will definitely leave you smiling at the end of the day....

August 20, 2011

Book Review: Mr. Right There All Along

Author: Jackie Braun
Publisher: Harlequin
Category: Adult Fiction

The one thing Chloe McDaniels has always depended on is her friendship with Simon Ford. even if it's been tough thinking of the gorgeous guy who makes her heart flutter as just a friend! But now, with their upcoming high school reunion dredging up memories of bullies and broken hearts, she needs him more than ever.
As Chloe plans to unveil her new and improved self, Simon creates a plan of his own.
Step One: Show her that Love is worth the risk.
Step Two: Give her the Happy-ever-after she deserves

I enjoyed reading this book. The start was quite slow and initially i didn't feel any connection to the characters, which tends to happen when a story is told in the third person. However a fourth into the story, I started falling in love with them, particularly with Simon.
Chloe tends to be too hung up on her past which could turn a person off, but then again having faced bullying personally, i understood her point of view, and her obsession to be her best, or at least LOOK the part when she sees her former tormentors. The character that stood out though was Simon. The whole book was just basically the two of them...from conversations to intimate moments...just really them! The only other characters i remember are Millicent and the other gorgeous guy.

But Simon...ahhhhh Simon... He is such a sweetie. From the very beginning he was loving and supportive to Chloe, no hang ups except for one, he has abandonment issues which complicated their already comfortable relationship, which of course was electrified with incredible sexual tension.
Simon has always loved Chloe. On the other hand she couldn't identify what she really felt for him until past half the book. But when she did, when things finally clicked for her, I loved how she took charge of her feelings for Simon. He on the other hand.... Well... Went in the other direction.
Mr. Right There All Along was a joy to read, albeit very short (it took me just two hours of relaxed reading to finish the whole book). And honestly i felt the ending was quite abrupt. But then again it gives one leeway to imagine and perhaps hope for a happily ever after for Simon and Chloe.