Wednesday, February 20, 2013

(Review) The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

Title: The Best Man
Author: Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron, #1
Published: February 26, 2013 (HQN)
Rating: Staying in Tonight
Format: Digital ARC from publisher via Edelweiss
Summary: 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 fiancé. 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 rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk...

There's a reason why Kristan Higgins is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors, folks. I loved The Best Man! We first meet Faith as she is sitting in a car and chugging Red Bull...while she uses binoculars to spy on a guy she is dating. But in her defense, she has probably the worst dating record in history, starting with the wedding we learn about in the prologue...which concludes with the groom announcing he is gay.

This book takes place mostly in the present day, but there are also a lot of flashbacks, which I enjoyed a lot. I really liked seeing the development of both the characters and the relationships. As the book goes along, we learn more about Faith and her history with Jeremy (the gay almost-husband) and his best friend Levi. Honestly, the friendship between Jeremy and Levi was one of the best things about this book. It was so refreshing! I absolutely love reading about close male friendships, especially when done well. Jeremy and Levi were an unlikely pair, but their friendship rang true.

And as long as we're on the subject: Levi. Oh, Levi. I have officially found a new book boyfriend. A man of few words, Levi was an Army veteran, police chief, great friend, and big brother doing his best to help his little sister through her first year of college. Be still, my heart.

I also liked Faith. I was a little worried I wouldn't in the beginning, but I really should not have bothered. She was fun and kind-hearted and snarky when necessary. She also had epilepsy, which I thought was interesting. It was definitely a unique aspect of the story. I adored the interactions between Faith and Levi. Their scenes together ranged from so-hilarious-my-roommate-was-giving-me-strange-looks to heartwrenching to sweet to sudden hotflash-inducing.

In typical Higgins fashion, there was a pretty large cast of characters, and Faith had a big, crazy family. Her relationship with them was complicated, partially due to circumstances surrounding her mother's death when she was a child. I liked her family, though. There were some good scenes with them. I was also really intrigued by the possibility of romance between some of the side characters. I'm not discussing who, but I will keep my eye on her future releases for them!

All-in-all, The Best Man was a good one! I enjoyed the characters, the friendships, and the romance. The New England town with a background of winery vines and grapes was a thoroughly charming setting, and I am very happy to see that this is the first in a series to take place in Blue Heron. Maybe I can move there after a few years in Lucky Harbor...?

That’s how it went, right? Love came when you weren’t looking except in the case of the millions who’d found mates on, but, hey. It sounded good.

One does not meet one’s gay ex-fiancé without looking fantastic.

Yes, Levi Cooper was a sparkly unicorn of wonder.

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