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.” ~ Goodreads
*RELEASING MARCH 25TH, 2014*
I LOVE Colleen O’Rourke! Love her, love her, love her, since the introduction as a secondary character in The Best Man as Faith Holland’s best friend and hilarious, snarky, one-liners bartender in Manningsport. What a thrill to be back in my favorite fictional small town surrounded by Faith & Levi, Tom & Honor and town favorites. Droog Dragul even has an appearance! Fans of Kristan Higgins will enjoy Colleen’s turn at romance with the ever brooding and sexy Lucas who she likes to nickname “The Spaniard”.
Colleen is a modern day Emma playing town matchmaker and has quite the success rate, even numerous children in town are named after her. But all that outwardly confidence and zinger comebacks are all for show. Heck, she even lets the town think she is the town “hussy” instead of letting on that she never truly got over her first real love, Lucas. So when he returns to town for family matters, Higgins goes into brilliant writers mode keeping the reader turning pages like a fiend. I was up until 4 am reading and then a mere four hours later back at it. Not because it was some edge of your seat thriller, but because the interactions of the characters, the dialogue, the laugh out loud humor and heartfelt sentiments were just too delicious to take a pause. She does it to me every time!
And to touch upon secondary characters a bit, Higgins is the master of character development. So much so, that in this novel the reader is privy to several side stories. We get to meet some new stand out characters like “Gail the Tail”, Lucas’ cousin Bryce, and townie Paulie and her obsession with Thneeds. Even Coleen’s mother gets ample page time with her quest to get back into the dating scene with nude male models and hiring the local hotties to work on her house. It’s not entirely revolved around the main characters, which is nice, but at the same time I wanted more Colleen and Lucas. I almost felt like there was not enough and it ended to soon. But that’s just how strongly I feel about this series. How vested I am with this small town of fictional characters. When it ended I was sad and aimlessly walked around the house to find something to do. Why haven’t any of her books (this series, please) been made into a movie? An “after the school bus leaves” special for Moms. Why? Huh? I’ll help with the casting.
For followers of this blog, you know how much I enjoy Kristan Higgins’ books. She isn’t just some author who writes *shudder* chick-lit, beachy, feel good romances. Her pacing is impeccable, the dialogue is heartfelt and hilarious, the emotions ooze off of the pages, character development is superb and her attention to small town details keeps me coming back for more. And more. And more. (Good news is that fans won’t be waiting long. In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4) will be out in September 2014 about Jack Holland and Emmaline Neal)
*Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin HQN for the advance reader’s copy. I was not compensated or required to review this title. I just wanted to. When I got approval of this book, I felt I won the lottery. Ok, yes. I have a serious problem with books. But a problem I thoroughly enjoy.