Chicklit Club
 

KRISTAN HIGGINS

 

If You Only Knew (2015)

 

Wedding dress designer Jenny is moving back to her hometown. She’s trying to escape her ex-husband, Owen, his new perfect wife, and their beautiful new baby. Despite Jenny’s ex-husband’s insistence that they stay best friends, Jenny knows that spending every weekend with her ex’s family is not helping her to move on. She starts a new business and finds herself drawn to her landlord, Leo. Rachel, Jenny’s sister, is married to a handsome lawyer and has beautiful triplet daughters. Rachel’s life explodes when she finds her husband’s text messages to a colleague. Rachel always thought she knew what she would do if she was ever faced with infidelity, but the desire to keep her family intact has Rachel prepared to forgive. Each chapter switches between the two sisters and is told in the first person. The characters are beautifully flawed and the bond of sisterhood is wonderfully described. The hero in the entire novel and my most loved character was Jenny’s landlord, Leo. Fans of Kristan Higgins will be surprised because this book is not her typical light-hearted romantic comedy. I personally thought it was her best work yet! (AO) 8/10


 

Waiting on You (2014)

 

Colleen O'Rourke enjoys her life as the feisty town matchmaker. She thrives on giving love advice to all the patrons of the bar she co-owns with her twin brother. Colleen swore off relationships after her heart was broken 10 years ago by her high school boyfriend, Lucas Campbell. Since then, Colleen is happy flirting with the town locals and the occasional fling. Lucas Campbell had a tragic childhood and was sent to live with his aunt and uncle after his father went to jail. His life took a positive turn when he met Colleen. Even though they were young, he knew she was the girl he would marry. They stayed together through college, but a horrible misunderstanding resulted in their break-up. Colleen stayed in their small town and Lucas moved away and married someone else. Lucas, now divorced, returns home when his uncle becomes ill. Colleen is determined not to get her heart broken again by Lucas. She tries to keep her distance but their past is hard to escape. This novel is the third novel in the Blue Heron series. With several laugh-out-loud moments and fun sexy characters, throw this book into your summer reading beach bag. (AO) 6/10


 

The Perfect Match (2013)

 

Picking up from The Best Man, we get to know another sister in the Holland family: flinty, controlled Honor. When she decides that she's in her mid-thirties and it's time to get married, she proposes to a man with whom she has had an on-again, off-again (more off than on) fling since college. He turns her down, which sends Honor back to the drawing board. Fortunately, her grandmother lines up a blind date with Tom Barlowe, a gorgeous British professor. These two do not hit it off straight away, but they discover that they can help each other out: Honor wants a husband and children, and Tom wants a green card. So maybe they should have a marriage of convenience. This is pretty standard Higgins' fare: quirky family, sweet but problematic romance, adorable dog. She tells this one from both Honor's and Tom's perspectives, though, which is different for Higgins. I liked getting into Tom's head and getting to know him better. It made me like him more. As prickly as Honor is, I liked her too. I am a sucker for all books by Kristan Higgins, and this one is no different. It's cute, sweet, and adorable. (AP) 6/10


 

The Best Man (2013)

 

On a beautiful day in June, Faith Holland was set to marry her high school sweetheart. Jeremy was the perfect man - handsome, loving and he adored Faith. He had a future in the NFL but gave it all up to become a doctor and practise medicine in their small hometown in New York. Faith wore a gorgeous dress and carried perfect pink roses. They stood before the minister and everything was perfect until Jeremy announced he couldn't marry Faith. Years later, after living in Colorado, Faith finally returns to her hometown to be with her family and help out their winery. She is ready to put the past behind her and move on. Faith finds an apartment that is unfortunately next to Levi Cooper, the local police chief and best friend of Jeremy. While Jeremy was always gentle and loving, Levi was always difficult and rough around the edges. Faith has always blamed Levi for Jeremy cancelling the wedding and the harder she tries to avoid Levi, the more sparks fly between the two. This is a charming yet predictable read that is perfect for the beach. (AO) 7/10


 

Somebody to Love (2012)

 

Parker Welles, a single mum and daughter of a wealthy businessman, is devastated when her father loses the entire family fortune in an insider trading scheme. Parker's first trip is to Gideon's Cove, Maine, to sell a house that she believes will be a beautiful ocean mansion. Her father's attorney, James Cahill, accompanies her on the trip. When the two arrive at Gideon's Cove, they quickly learn that the house is a dilapidated nightmare in need of major repair. James sticks around and helps Parker fix up the house. Although James and Parker had a steamy encounter years ago, Parker now views James as solely her father's wingman. Parker and James work extremely hard to fight any feelings towards each other, however, as they spend so much time together repairing the house, the attraction seems inevitable. Characters from Higgin's former novels, The Next Best Thing and Catch of the Day, make appearances throughout this novel. (AO) 5/10


 

My One and Only (2011)

 

Divorce attorney Harper James lives on the small island of Martha's Vineyard. In the opening chapter she has prepared a quick, blunt and not very romantic proposal speech to her macho fireman boyfriend, Dennis (she has even brought her own ring). Of course as Harper likes to (read: needs to) have control over most parts of her life, she also has a list ready to give to Dennis of all the things she requires him to change once he says "yes". Unfortunately for Harper, life, like this moment, does not go according to plan. Just as Dennis starts freaking out about the idea of lifetime commitment, Harper receives a phone call from her baby sister, Willa, and two-time divorcee, who announces that she is indeed getting married for a third time - and to top it off, Willa is marrying Harper's ex-husband's brother, Christopher. In shock, Harper agrees to put her own proposal to Dennis on hold and set out to Montana to witness or stop, depending on who you are and what your agenda may be, the wedding of Willa and Chris. In a somewhat predictable yet always enjoyable string of events, Harper comes face to face with her ex-husband, Nick, and a past that she's been running away from for 10 years. What happens when a power outage finally forces Harper to stop running away and puts her back in the arms of her "one and only" on a cross-country trip as they make their way home from Montana to the east coast? This is a very modern tale of love that makes one couple wonder how they can put themselves through such hardship only to find out that where they belonged was right where they were in the first place. Although a bit predictable at times, Higgins devises an entertaining, romantic and often comedic tale of love, marriage, divorce and forgiveness. (CH) 7/10


 

The Next Best Thing (2010)

 

Death has always been a sensitive topic for Lucy Lang. Except for her sister Corinne, all the women in the family have become widows at young ages. Lucy was only 24 when the love of her life, Jimmy, died in a car accident. Five years have passed, and now Lucy wants to get back on the dating scene, and form a family of her own. But it turns out things aren't quite as easy as that. A combination of bad dates, panic attacks, career opportunities, a man who looks exactly like her husband, and her always caring brother-in-law Ethan, means Lucy is in an utter mess. Lucy was actually the character I least enjoyed reading about, but it was interesting to see the contrast between her and the other characters in the story such as Corinne, Ethan, and the Black Widows, and how the tiny details of their interaction brought out the essence of the entire book. (XT) 6/10


Second Opinion

 

Too Good To Be True (2009)

 

In sixth grade, she was already dating a cute guy named Tyler, whose family owned a horse ranch. At 15, her boyfriend Jack was the son of a restaurant owner. In college, she was with romantic Frenchman Jean Phillipe. But there was one thing these guys have in common - they don't even exist! Faking a boyfriend is nothing new to Grace Emerson - she sees it as an essential survival skill. When her ex-fiance Andrew starts dating her younger, prettier sister Natalie, in order to convince her family that she's moved on and totally over him, she does what she does best - make up a boyfriend. Everyone seems to believe her - except for her new neighbour, Callahan O'Shea, who's fresh from prison. Who is he to question the existence of her boyfriend? The more Grace tries to stay away from him, the more she can't control herself from getting closer.(XT) 7/10


 

Just One Of The Guys (2008)

 

Thirty-one-year-old Chastity O'Neil has just moved back to her beautiful hometown in Eaton Falls, secured a job as editor of a local newspaper, and is just one single step away from her dream of getting married and settling down. Growing up in a family of four older fire-fighter brothers has made her just like one of guys - both in appearance and behaviour, which makes it a little hard for her to get back to the dating scene. All hope is not lost when Chastity catches the attention of handsome trauma surgeon Ryan Darling while attending a self-defence class with her mother. However, in spite of her new romance, her heart still longs for her first love, Trevor. This book got me laughing and crying and I was hooked until the last page. It's an extremely relaxing yet delightful read and definitely worth recommending to a friend. (XT)7/10


 

Catch Of The Day (2007)

 

All Maggie Beaumont yearns for is just a decent guy who will stand by her and be a good father to her future kids. Despite being the owner of the sole restaurant in her Maine town, accepting any sorts of blind dates and eagerly volunteering and organising fundraisers, Maggie just can't seem to find The One. When she meets gorgeous bachelor Tim O'Halloran, she unintentionally tells everyone about her new crush, later discovering he's their new priest. Will she ever find true love? Or will the seemly cold and grumpy lobsterman Malone be The One? I found this a disappointing read compared to Higgins' other books because of its lack of surprises and twists. (XT) 6/10


 

Fools Rush In (2006)

 

For 15 years, Millie Barnes has never, for a single moment, stopped thinking about her high school crush Joe Carpenter, despite trading nothing more than a few polite nods. Now 29 years old, with her medical residency finally coming to an end, Millie is moving back to the Cape and one step closer to the man of her dreams. All she has to do now is to shed some of her excess weight, get a cute dog, and have a complete makeover so as to attract the ever-perfect Joe. Will her plan work? Or will her all-too-nice former brother-in-law get in her way? This book is a light read but it gets all too predictable. (XT)5/10

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