Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins Review

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins 
Series: Blue Heron #1
Publish Date: February 26, 2013
432 Pages
Source: Library

Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


Sometimes the best man is the one you least expect….

Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she's ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family's vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there's some great scenery there….

Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancĂ©. There's a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it's not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she's having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosĂ©, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle. -(from Goodreads)



The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

My Thoughts:  Okay so lately - like over the past couple of months - I've sort of opened myself up to reading adult contemporary romance books and you know what? I'm seriously loving it. Like, a lot. I've made my way through a Susan Mallery book and two Victoria Dahl books and I'm basically madly in love with both of those authors so far. I was thrilled to pieces when my library told me that this book was ready for me to pick up because I only had to wait forever for it. 

The thing about Kristan Higgins, as well as pretty much all of the other popular adult contemporary romance authors, is that they have so doggone many books out there and it is very intimidating for me to know where to begin - I've mentioned this before in another blog post. So it was happy times everywhere for me when this book by this author was the beginning of a new series and had a good cover. YES PLEASE, says Asheley! I think I'll have some of that. 


The first thing you need to know is this
As the book opens, Faith Holland has had her heart broken. 
See, she's in the wedding dress and about to walk down the aisle when her fiance, Jeremy - the man she's about to marry - comes out. Yep, he announces that he's gay. That means not only will there be no wedding - not only is Faith Holland humiliated - but the entire small town that is sitting in that audience saw it, heard it, knows it. 

So what does Faith do? She runs off to San Francisco - away from the pain, the embarrassment. She runs away from having to see these people every day and makes a life for herself out there. 

The second thing you need to know is this:
Then...Faith comes back into town for a visit. 
Who should greet her but her fiance's Best Man. 
Why is this important?
This is important because the best man, Levi Cooper, knew all along that Jeremy was gay. And he didn't say anything. He could've spared tons of heartache, humiliation, and money had he just spoken up. But he didn't. So Faith doesn't really like him. To top it all off, as she comes back into town, she keeps running into Levi in the most awkward of situations. So embarrassing! 

But you know what? He's really hot. Like, he's a stunning, stunning man. This kind of thing plays tricks on her mind. 

Levi and Jeremy have remained friends throughout the years - and good ones - which is wonderful. The town seems to have moved on from the unusual circumstances of the wedding. But when Faith comes back into town, it's like she brings it all back up again. The stares, the comments, the questions. But none of that is as awkward as the interaction with the super good-looking Police Chief Levi Cooper. Why the heck does Faith even care? She can't stand the guy. 

The tension is quite good, you guys. I kind of loved it. 

The third thing you need to know is this:
Once again, there IS more to this story than Faith and Levi. 
The Faith-finds-love-with-Levi story is OH-SO-INCREDIBLE. And very sexy. And quite funny too. But there was so much more to this book that I found to love. The family dynamic between the members of Faith's rather large, rather rambunctious family at the Blue Heron Winery was hilarious. The interaction between Faith and her ex-fiance Jeremy ended up being really sweet. It's good to see that they are able to remain friends despite a horrible day and an event that could've defined them each as a person. The interaction between Levi and his sister, off attending college, was wonderful and lovely and also a little humorous. And there are also quite a few other people in the town that are colorful and add to the story in at least a dozen ways. I loved all of this.

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The Best Man by Kristan Higgins is a great first experience with this author. I enjoyed this story very much and found myself laughing out loud several times throughout the book. There was one instance in particular when I was sitting in a crowded waiting room at an eye doctor's office and was laughing so much, so loud that I was getting stares - I had to put the book down and have a phone conversation with Jess from Gone with the Words RIGHT THEN because she'd read and liked the book too. (You can find Jess' review HERE. She inspired me to read this one.)

Faith Holland has a horrible, horrible record in dating. For some reason, the girl just cannot get it together. The men she picks just...aren't right for her. Either they're married with kids or they're into super-kinky sex or they're, well, gay. She's just about given up on love when she goes back to her hometown to visit with her family. Faith really isn't looking to fall in love, especially with Levi Cooper, but we don't always get to choose what our heart feels, now do we? 

And that Levi Cooper...gosh, what a dreamy dude! I wanted this guy on the pages pretty much all the time. Aside from being good-looking and the caretaker of his younger sister (which is pretty darn hot, if you ask me), he just did super nice things for the people of the town. The bantering back and forth between Levi and Faith was so great to read and made for such great tension in the story, and the romantic build-up was perfect. I feel it my civic duty as an American, though, to mention that Levi was pretty obsessed with Faith's chest or rack or cleavage or boobage and a myriad of other names that he could come up with. Did this bother me? Pssst! Naw. It  made me laugh. A lot. 

Underlying the romance and the tension are the things about The Best Man that make it extra fun. The family. The vineyard and wine-making. The people of the town. The relationships. And the past - Levi and Jeremy (the ex-fiance) and Faith are all linked together from their younger days. As the story of their past unwinds, I fell a bit further in love with them all, even though Jeremy isn't in the picture as an actual love interest. Also, Faith has an issue or two from her past that sort of haunts her (not the wedding) and it's through a few incredible acts of kindness on the part of Levi to help Faith get over this terrible thing that I think I fell headfirst for the guy and the couple. 

Levi and Faith are fun together. I liked them a lot, and I loved their journey getting there. I loved laughing while I read it. I love the fact that I was able to catch this series from the beginning and I love that the next book, The Perfect Match, will be out in October 2013 and will focus on one of Faith's sisters (I think). I know that I'll snatch up a copy as soon as I can. 

I recommend The Best Man by Kristan Higgins to fans of Adult Contemporary Romance that enjoy lighter stories and enjoy laughing a little bit while reading them. I'm gonna be checking out the rest of this series as well as trying to catch some of this author's backlisted titles. 

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The Best Man will appeal to fans of:

Adult Contemporary Romance/ChickLit
Romance: Slowly Developing, No Triangle.
Small Town Setting
Stories Incorporating Family

The Best Man by Susan Mallery
is currently available for purchase.

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Have you read THE BEST MAN?
Or anything else by Kristan Higgins?

Tell me! I enjoyed this one!



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15 comments:

  1. I've been reading quite a bit by this author lately and am LOVING her work! Great review, Asheley - I'll have to check this one out soon! :)

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    1. Thanke Keertana! I loved this one and will absolutely be checking more out by her. It was so much fun to read!

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  2. I had so much fun talking with you about this book!!

    This review totally reminded me of so many details I loved about this book...particularly the flashbacks to their past and what it was like for them. It just let us get to know and understand the characters so much better. Kristan Higgins does this in UNTIL THERE WAS YOU too, and I loved it even more in that one.

    Great review, Asheley!

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    1. I think my library has that one, or at least I think I've seen it there! I can't wait for the next one in this series to come out because I think it's about Honor, if I read correctly. I'm kind of stuck on these characters! Loved it. You're steering me SO WELL in these adult contemps. Keep it up!

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  3. Yes, I love this one! Levi was wonderful, and I loved the whole story. The Bathroom Escape scene had me laughing so hard, I almost fell off my bed.

    Your comment about her backlist made me laugh, because I totally binge read Kristan Higgins when I discovered her. Admittedly, it was a few years back, so she didn't have quite as many books. But it was still a great experience! I would recommend Just one of the Guys and Fools Rush In especially! But really, anything she writes is made of win. :)

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    1. Oh yes! The bathroom scene was hilarious! And I loved the scenes when Faith would be on dates but they were disasterous. I cracked up at one in particular, I mean laughed out loud, right in public!

      I can't wait to read her backlist. Seriously. I sort of feel like I've made a new friend. :)

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  4. Okay, so yay for your exploration into adult contemporary romance because I've recently embarked on the same journey.

    The only author I will forever swear by on the subject is Nora Roberts. I just love everything about her books, from her main characters to their families to the romantic build-up and so forth. I like that her romances aren't necessarily extravagant but practical and real and emotional. So, it was quite a surprise to me, being quite prejudiced, that I picked up a Susan Mallery galley not too long ago and LOVED THE CRAP OUT OF IT. In fact, I totally geeked out at BEA when I received that book signed and another of her books because I can't wait to read more!

    Now, I'm going to request this book from Kristan Higgins from my library, because, like you, I'm really getting into this reading adult contemp thing. I love the whole messy, complicated best man story line and I'd love to see Higgins's rendition.

    ALSO: It was lovely meeting you at BEA, m'dear. <3

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    1. LOVED MEETING YOU AS WELL!!! xo

      Yes, this Best Man thing was so messy and that's what made it so fun. BUT there was a meaty storyline underneath the fun of the mess, and it was so endearing - which is what I really love about these adult contemps. I'm SO READY for the next book in thi series to come out and YAY that it's only a few months away!

      And YES to the Susan Mallery book. I read one a few weeks ago and was all huggy with the book. Madly in love. For serious. Where have these adult contemps been all of my big-girl life?? I stay up so late to finish these books!

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  5. Normally, I'd avoid this book like the plague. You know why...totally not my genre cup of tea...yet, you make it sound pretty dang appealing. Plus, if there's a healthy dose of humour to pepper the romance aspect, you've got me, hook, line and sinker. Great review, Asheley!

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    1. Oh the humor is there! It isn't often that a book will make me do more than a nice chuckle, but this one had me laughing big-time. It was genuinely funny at parts, but it was also serious and sweet at parts, which was a nice mixture. It was a really great reading experience and I feel like I really meshed well with and got to know the people of this small town. I'm invested in this series and I want to read more from this author. I'm glad I started reading these adult contemps because not too long ago, they weren't my cup of tea either, but they're sort of my go-to now when I need a nice break from...everything. They kind of make me happy. :)

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  6. I've never read this author before, but I pick up "sexy" and "steamy" out of your review and I'm running with that, hah. It is always hard to figure out where to start with a super prolific author--I'm glad you found one that grabbed you with Kristin Higgins!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Hi Wendy! I was lucky to find a first book in a series with this author and to click with it! It was a fun read - I flew through it - and it was light and humorous, which is a great in-between book sometimes after a particularly heavy or long book. Plus I love the cover! I'm gonna definitely pick up the next book when I can grab it - out in the fall so it shouldn't be too long!

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  7. I read this one and LOVED it! I was a total Higgins newbie and, like you, was SO OVERWHELMED and had no idea where to start. All I knew was that she was a super popular author and a ton of customers ask me for her books on a daily basis.

    :) I thought it was about time I check out her stuff and, luckily for me, this one was just about to be released. It was so much fun and made me laugh and tear up and want to eat a carton of ice cream. In other words: fantastic.

    Yeah, I'll definitely be reading more of her books.

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  8. I don't often read this genre, but I love Kristan Higgins...yes, there may be a bit of a formula with awkward heroine and best friend pooch, but I've yet to find one of her books that does make me laugh out loud and make me want the best outcome for her characters. Great review.

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  9. The Best Man sounds like such a fun contemporary read! I'll admit, I don't read a lot of contemporary romances. But if I do decide to pick it up again, I'll definitely have to check this one out since it sounds so quirky and sweet.

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