All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Waiting On You – Kristan Higgins

on March 19, 2014

Waiting On YouWaiting On You (Blue Heron #3)
Kristan Higgins
Harlequin MIRA
2014, 464p
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Colleen O’Rourke loves fixing up the people in her hometown of Manningsport. She owns the local bar with her twin brother Connor and can be found behind it mixing drinks and dispensing advice to her customers. She’s quick to spot a potential couple and move to make it happen. There are a plethora of little Colleens in Manningsport, named for her by grateful parents. There’s even a Colin and a Cole, the birth of a male baby not deterring some from honouring Colleen for her contribution.

But the one person that Colleen has never secured romantic bliss for is herself. She’s been (mostly) happily single, unable to commit but willing to have fun with the odd man that crosses her path. Ten years ago her first and only love, Lucas Campbell broke her heart. And Colleen hasn’t been willing to get involved with anyone else after that. Colleen prefers harmless flirting with everyone from eighteen to eighty. It keeps her heart protected.

But now a family situation has bought Lucas Campbell back to Manningsport. He’s still as attractive and charismatic as ever and it seems that Colleen is as unable to resist as she was ten years ago. But Colleen has made her home in Manningsport and Lucas is only here temporarily. Colleen can’t afford to let her defenses down around this man again – he almost destroyed her last time and she knows the sort of happiness she could find with him. Does she take the risk again with him, even if just for a little while? Or does she turn her back on a second chance at love?

Waiting On You is the third installment in Kristan Higgins’s Blue Heron series – the first two books revolved around sisters Faith and Honor Holland. I absolutely adored the first book, The Best Man. Levi and Faith had an amazing chemistry and the setting was so enjoyable and Faith’s crazy family were a big part of the book’s charm. I was less into the second book, The Perfect Match – I loved the setting and characters still but I didn’t really get the romance as much as I did in the first novel. The hero didn’t carry it off for me but I still enjoy the series enough to be really excited about this one. For the first time we leave the Holland family (although they do still appear) and focus on Colleen, a friend of Faith’s and Honor’s who has been a part of both of the previous books.

Colleen is fun and outgoing, able to charm pretty much anyone and she loves love. She loves fixing people up and gets satisfaction out of seeing people find happiness. Her job at the bar that she owns with her brother keeps her right in the middle of the social scene in their small town and she enjoys knowing everyone. However ten years ago, Colleen had her heart broken by her high school boyfriend and she’s never been able to forget about it. Add in some damage from the disintegration of her parents marriage and although Colleen loves getting others together, she’s firmly anti-commitment herself. And then Lucas Campbell strolls back into Manningsport…and her life.

I loved Colleen and Lucas’s background – I’m a bit of a sucker for the ‘teenage love story gets a second chance’ storyline and I think the misunderstandings and problems were serious enough to cause the events to happen the way they did, however I’d have liked a little more of Colleen and Lucas in the past to really get a stronger sense of their connection. There’s a few scenes but there could’ve been more, and I’d have like Lucas to be fleshed out a little bit better, perhaps with a flaw or two. In many ways he reads as too good to be true, how patient and tolerant he is of the way he has been treated by his aunt. He did make a pretty big mistake which led to a few small mistakes but most of the time Lucas feels a little lacking in dimension.

I think that more of the book could’ve been devoted to Colleen and Lucas and their prior relationship and their reconnecting. A lot of the book is taken up with Colleen attempting to matchmake Paulie, an acquaintance of hers from high school and although this is amusing, it could’ve been less invasive into the main plot. I was also a bit disappointed at the portrayal of Colleen’s stepmother. It lacks any kind of originality and taps right into the trophy wife trope – tight clothes, homewrecker, only slightly older than Colleen. I think Higgins attempts to give the character a bit of depth towards the end but it comes after so many pages of deriding her dress sense, her looks, her character, everything that it doesn’t work as well as it could have. Colleen idolised her father so she probably needed to justify his actions to herself by ridiculing her stepmother as much as she could and although she does have her eyes opened to her father, the resolution there seemed really clunky and rushed. That sort of relationship can’t be repaired in a paragraph or two.

Colleen and Lucas had some good interactions and their backstory was strong. Their current story could’ve been a bit stronger. What I did really enjoy (and I use that term loosely because it affected me in a hugely personal way) was Lucas’s relationship with his uncle Joe, who is on dialysis and dying of cancer. My grandfather died of kidney failure last year, so there were some things in this story that were similar and very hard to read for me but I think it was portrayed very well. I think grieving adult males are difficult to write but Higgins nailed it.

7/10

Book #63 of 2014

 

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2 responses to “Review: Waiting On You – Kristan Higgins

  1. Stephanie Scott says:

    I’m a huge fan of Higgins so I’m sure I’ll read this as soon as I catch up with her last release!

  2. Marg says:

    I need to read this soon! Like you I loved the first one, liked the second one. Hope I love this one too.

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