All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

All I Ever Wanted – Kristan Higgins

on December 21, 2013

All I Ever WantedAll I Ever Wanted
Kristan Higgins
Harlequin Books
2010, 413p
Bought for my Kindle

Callie Grey is turning thirty and by this time she thought she’d be getting ready to marry her boss Mark. A five week fling had her dreaming of a happy ever after until Mark ended things, telling her that the timing wasn’t good. The timing was perfect for Callie but she’s prepared to wait for Mark, until he’s ready. She’s sure that he just needs a little time to come around and then everything will be perfect.

Until Mark announces his involvement with someone else, someone who has her eye on Callie’s job and will stop at nothing to undermine her. Callie blurts out her devastation to her sister on the phone in the DMV and earns the ire of the man standing behind her only to discover later that he’s the delicious new vet that all the local single women are trying to meet by using their “sick” pets, Callie one of them. Dr Ian McFarland isn’t going to fall for any of that but Callie with her expertise can see where she can be of use to him. The former vet was very friendly and Dr McFarland is much…icier which is seeing a dip in business. She decides to help him appear more friendly and draw the community back to his practice. And maybe being seen around town with Ian will get Mark’s attention. It’s perfect.

Things get complicated when Callie suddenly starts to see the real potential lurking behind Ian’s icy blue eyes and formal suit. He might not be much good with people but he’s got his own qualities and Callie is beginning to admire them more and more. He’s also rather damaged and distrusting due to the break up of his marriage….. and if he finds out that this started as a plan to make Mark jealous, it could be the end of the best thing that’s ever happened to Callie.

After reading two of Kristan Higgins’s most recent novels not too long ago I wanted to try more of her work. This one was a Kindle Daily Deal on the Australian site one day and I have to admit, I’ve been going a little nuts on these. They’re usually 0.99c or $1.99 and I’ve gotten some pretty amazing books. I don’t buy a lot of eBooks (they tend to be more expensive here and if I’m going to pay upwards of $10, I prefer a print copy) but I have been snapping up quite a few of these cheap deals.

Callie has been in love with Mark since she was a teenager. At 14 he was her first kiss at a party and although they’ve both been to college, they returned to their hometown. Mark started a business and Callie interviewed and got a job there. When a business trip went slightly wrong they went headfirst into a brief affair that Callie read a lot into and Mark apparently did not. He’s now distanced himself from Callie but keeps her ‘sweet’ in order to keep her with his company where she’s extremely good at her job and liked by the clients.

Ian McFarland is everything Mark is not. He’s not charming or flirtatious or easy in other people’s company. In fact Callie does describe him as having a “touch of the Aspergers” but I’m not sure if that’s official or if Ian is just not interested in relating to other people. He’s definitely solitary and he and Callie are so very different and that provides so much fodder for fun in this book. Their interactions, from Callie’s “emotional diarrhea” at the DMV in front of Ian, before she meets him as the new local vet. Ian is hilarious because he’s quite stand offish and pretty much every time he sees Callie she is way too familiar with him, tries too hard to make him like her or talk to her, etc. She’s like that with everyone – she makes a huge effort to always be the one that people like, the nice girl. Despite their differences and Ian’s awkwardness they have a really nice chemistry and I loved pretty much every scene they were in together. I’ve only read three Kristan Higgins novels and 2 of them now have had pretty unusual heroes and I’m really enjoying that about her books. Ian and Callie work so well together because she encourages him to relax a little and helps him get to know people and settle in to the town and she doesn’t have to try so hard with him. With Mark, she is always trying so hard to do what he wants an be everything that he wants and it’s so obvious that she’s getting played and she just can’t see it. When Mark brings his girlfriend into the company, she undermines Callie in every way and it’s almost painful to watch.

Another thing that seems to be a bit of a theme for Higgins is the heroine having a delightfully eccentric family and I enjoyed this one quite a lot! Callie’s sister and brother are good fun and her divorced parents provide equal parts horror and amusement as her father seeks to win back her mother, whom he cheated on 22 years ago when she was pregnant with Callie’s younger brother. However the shining light in this novel is Callie’s beautiful relationship with her grandfather Noah, who lost a leg. Callie moved in with him to help him and the two have such a beautiful affection for each other that is often hidden under quips and sarcastic comebacks and little taunts. Noah is an amazing character and I loved him to pieces.

I am now on a mission to read all of Kristan Higgins’s backlist over the summer!


Book #323 of 2013



2 responses to “All I Ever Wanted – Kristan Higgins

  1. Lily Malone says:

    I just *have* to start reading some of her books. I want to. The Best Man is high on my list – I think I will really enjoy her writing too. Next year. It’s a resolution! Thanks for another great review.

  2. I just went on a Kristan Higgins reading binge. I only have three books left that I’m still waiting on from the library. I love her writing style and her characters are so quirky and fun.

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