Thursday, June 5, 2014

(Review) Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins

Title: Waiting on You
Author: Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron, #3
Published: March 2014 (Harlequin HQN)
Rating: Staying in Tonight
Format: Paperback borrowed from the library
Summary: Colleen O'Rourke is in love with love... just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell, her first love, broke her heart... an experience Colleen doesn't want to have again, thanks. Since then, she's been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who's ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they've got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she's ever loved.
There is just something about a Kristan Higgins book. Her writing impacts me in a way that few other authors manage. It's something about her sense of humor and way of conveying emotions. I always laugh like a hyena multiple times and bawl like there's no tomorrow at the end - and sometimes at sporadic times throughout.

There's something else you should know about me: I don't do ex stories. Especially if the h/hr were high school sweethearts. There are very few faster ways to turn me away from a book before I've even started reading it. I don't know why; that particular plot device simply doesn't interest me.

So I had a little pang of disappointment when I saw this was going to be a story about exes. But it was Kristan Higgins. I knew if anyone could do it, she could.

I wasn't wrong.

She pulled it off with aplomb! The chemistry between Colleen and Lucas was mind-boggling. I'm all about the slow burn, but even I was practically shouting, "JUST KISS ALREADY!" Yet it wasn't all about the chemistry. It also wasn't entirely focused on their previous relationship (something that often bugs me about the few ex books I have read). Those were both definitely factors, but Colleen and Lucas also had a relationship in the present that could not be denied. They were a compatible and compelling couple; they won me over quickly.

I really liked both Colleen and Lucas as individual characters. Lucas was a "Southie" who was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago (try not to start singing "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" when you read that, I dare you) until he went to go live with his wealthy uncle's family as a teen. Colleen was born and raised in Manningsport? where she co-owned a bar with her brother and also worked part time at the nursing home where her grandfather lived. Colleen knew everyone. Lucas felt like he never belonged, in the town or with his family.

As usual, Higgins provided a wide and entertaining cast of secondary characters. I kept track of them easily, though that may be due to the fact that I knew some of them from previous Blue Heron books. Fun fact: Colleen was also a matchmaker of the first degree. Her current project involved Paulie and Bryce (Lucas's cousin), a pairing that seemed at the onset to be as strange as it was impossible. But fear not, Colleen to the rescue! There was also a subplot with Colleen's brother and his mystery girlfriend that intrigued me. I really hope he gets a book in the future!

At over 450 pages, Waiting on You could have easily dragged, but it never did. It moved at a steady pace (with a few flashbacks that told the story of Lucas and Colleen's previous relationship). Every page was entertaining, compelling, heartrending, or any combination of the three. In short, Waiting on You was another winner by Higgins. Now excuse me while I run off to Goodreads to stalk the release date of the next one.
“Drinks are on the house!”

“Bryce doesn’t need more complications in his life right now.”
“And by complications, you mean what, exactly?”
“The Chicken King’s virgin daughter.”
“Oh, cool! That sounds like a Harlequin romance. I would definitely read that.”

“As of right now, you’re my boyfriend, Jack, and I will castrate you if you deny it.”
“And we wonder why you can’t find a man.”

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