Friday, 1 November 2013

ARC Review: The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins

Title: The Perfect Match
Author: Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron #2
Release Date: October 29th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Buy: Amazon | BookDepository
Goodreads Summary

What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise? Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there…or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn't easier said than done.

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn't easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love….

I didn’t go into this expecting to have as much fun as I did because honestly, I was NOT in the mood for chic lit. Which also explains why I was so much more critical with this then I would have been otherwise.

This was definitely not my favorite book by Kristan though, even if I look past all my other issues, I honestly think she could have done better. Or maybe the whole idea just didn’t work for me, even though it kind of reminded me of The Proposal, which I loved.

The first couple of pages were extremely painful. I was banging my head on the wall and trying not to give up on the book completely but it did get better as Honor matured and stopped acting like a doormat.

Honor is at that stage in life where her biological clock is ticking pretty damn fast and if she doesn’t have a baby soon the chances of her ever having one will decrease. So she decides to propose to Brogan, who has been her friend forever, and they have had an on-off sexual relationship throughout the years. He declines using some baseball glove metaphor and she is heartbroken. She takes her broken heart to her bff Dana, who in turn breaks the Bro Code and sleeps with Brogan. If you have a friend like her you don’t need enemies. And Brogan, the asshole is so SHALLOW! If your friend just asked you to marry her, you do not call her a couple of weeks later to announce you’ll be marrying her best friend. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? At least Honor decided not to act like a doormat this time around and actually threw wine at Dana’s face, except that Dana slapped her and she stood there with her jaw hanging.

She does get better from there though, and in the end her biggest 'fault' was that she decided to forgive Brogan. He didn’t deserve her forgiveness.

Back to her character, Honor has plenty of ‘self-image’ issues. She doesn’t think highly of herself and hasn’t ever really been in a real relationship, which may or may not be due to the fact that she was hopelessly in love with her friend for a big chunk of her life. She has always been the tough birdie of the family but really, she’s got plenty of her own issues. She isn’t really an open person either so it’s usually pretty hard for her to communicate with anyone other than her friend Dana, who turns out to be a huge bitch. But Honor’s character undergoes a lot of development throughout the book and she comes out a pretty likable character.

Tom was a pretty interesting character as well, he is a college professor for *scratches head* mechanical engineering? Yeah that was it, mechanical engineering so he’s got brains, as well as brawns. A combination that would usually have me swooning but it just didn’t work this time around. I liked him as a character but I never really fell in love with him.

Tom also comes off a cliché to me. He says mate way too often, I am pretty sure that even British people don’t say it all the time (I’ll even ask Paulina to confirm that!) and I am pretty sure British people don’t say Cheerio, unless they are acting like a British cliché.

His ex-wife was a messed up woman who never really got over her ex. Even when they were engaged she had an on-off relationship with her ex. She ends up dying of course, which makes it a lot harder for him to maintain his relationship with his step-son, who he really loves. They share a bumpy relationship. They used to be close but now Charlie is closed off, he doesn’t talk much and doesn’t understand why Tom tries so hard.

Charlie was a pretty annoying kid. In fact now that I think of it, most of my run ins with kids in books lately haven’t been all that great. I cannot even remember the last time I actually read a book with a kid I liked. For starters Charlie seemed pretty naïve for a 14 year old. I realize that he has been through a lot but shouldn’t that make him more mature? He just seems so sheltered in someways. I’d realize if he was angry at the world for what happened to him and that actually realized that his father was a douchebag but he doesn’t, he is an angry teenager who thinks his father still wants him even though it’s been 4 years. Maybe I am overestimating the intelligence of a 14 year old  seeing that I was kind of mature for one so I shouldn't be comparing him to the 14 year old me. 

The romance between Tom and Honor was slow to develop and kind of fun to watch. They had tons of awkward scenes but other fun ones as well. Which is to be expected because after all, this is Kristan Higgins!

The family remains one of my favorite things about the series, they are so FUN! Although I was pretty bothered by how the author chose to portray Faith and Levi in this book. It almost made me question why I loved them so much in The Best Man and had to re-read some parts of the book to remind myself. It was pretty annoying to see them so love sick because even though they were in love in The Best Man, they were a pretty fun couple. This time around they just made me gag. Of course Pru and Carl still remain my favorite couple. What I wouldn’t give to read their story. They are like the ideal couple. I am also happy to say that I totally saw what happened with Mrs. J and the dad coming! It didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would either so I am pretty happy about that.

This book was a fast read and it contains the usual Kristan Higgins elements. It was fun, had some self-discovery, family and a happy ending, not much more you can ask for from a chic lit.

Even though I am not usually one for series based on families/small towns, I am still going to go on with this one because

  1. This is Kristan Higgins
  2. The next book will have a second chance romance ‘nuff said.

If you’re a Kristan Higgins fan like moi you’ll love this if you’re not and looking for a chic lit you’ll love this so just pick it up!

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