Estelle: Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins

Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HQN Books
Target Audience: Adult
Genre: Romance
Pages: 424
Format read: ARC sent to me by Katie @ Little Bird Publicity! (Thanks!)

Summary: Parker’s life changes drastically when she finds out her father’s investment schemes have left her and her son without a trust fund. All she’s left with are a few boxes, anything she bought with her own earned money, and a house she inherited in Maine. Ready to make the best out of a bad situation, she plans on moving to Maine for the summer, tidying the house, and selling it. But no one prepared her for the home’s unkempt condition. And then there’s the unwanted help from her father’s minion/attorney, James…

After books about abuse, bullying, and death in too many forms, all I needed was a little stomach flipping romance and some kissing. Preferably, the kind of kissing that led to one person being pushed against a wall. In a sexy way, of course. Kristan Higgins’ Somebody to Love fulfilled all of my needs and then some (even if I did get Justin Bieber’s version of this song in my head every time I saw the title).

When I was kid and used to spend many hours in the car on family road trips, I would always bring a big bag of books. (I’m not so different now.) But when I got bored with my own stash, I could always count on my mom to have a collection of Harlequin romances to steal. What can I say? I was a girl who loved the “girl-meets-boy/girl-loses-boy/girl-wins-boy-back” stories. There was always that little bit of agony over whether or not these two characters could make it work and joy when they finally found their way back to one another. It made me feel all swoony then and still does now.

Can I also say how good it felt to read a book about adults in their 30s? Whoa! Maybe I needed that too. (Although, the book cover makes them look a little younger, no?)

So here we are with two characters with a lot of baggage: Parker, a single mom, just found out her and her son’s trust funds are drained thanks to her father’s bad investments. James (lovingly known as ‘Thing One’) has been her father’s right hand man/lawyer for just about as long as she can remember and she can’t stand the guy. So when Parker is forced to move to the home she inherited years ago with hopes of flipping and selling HGTV-style, James insists on going along to help. And that’s where the fun begins.

There are secrets. There are glances. There is some juicy stuff. Sure, while the story isn’t entirely predictable, the back stories are nothing we haven’t experienced before. But the characters are awesome, especially the supporting ones like Nicky, Parker’s son, and Vin, her hilarious cousin, who had me literally laughing out loud with her sexual play-by-plays. And not to be forgotten (because they won’t let you), the voices in Parker’s head supplied by the characters of the children’s book series she wrote (and despises). It was also pretty refreshing for Parker to be the total opposite of typical rich girl. I loved that she was willing to get her hands dirty.

I’m probably the biggest sucker for books about home makeovers and second chances, and there are plenty of those to go around in this book. Gideon’s Cove, where most of the book is set, sounds like the most idealistic place to spend some time regrouping and starting fresh. Its town is full of caring (yet gossipy) people and Higgins does a great job of describing this tight community. In fact, if I could have booked a first class ticket there, I would have — by just about page 10.

Crazy chemistry, a lovely setting, and funny yet well-meaning characters make Somebody to Love, the perfect companion for a day at the beach or a cold, gray day in the city. (I couldn’t put it down… just ask my husband. I was in the middle of writing something entirely different and I just kept picking it up.)

Somebody to Love also helped me to discover Higgans’ other work. I’m already prepped to bring her previous book, The Next Best Thing, on my upcoming vacation (which is actual a companion book to STL).

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P.S. If this were to become a movie, Joshua Bowman from ABC’s Revenge would make the most delectable James. Don’t you think?

josh bowman