Book Reviews

The Perfect Match by: Kristan Higgins

17738218[1]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. -Goodreads

YES! Thank goodness for chick-lit/romance/women’s lit/whatever you want to call it. Or maybe it’s just Kristan Higgins. After reading some heavier and intense books, The Perfect Match was a breath of fresh air. I would normally tell readers that you DO NOT have to read Higgins’ books in order. All of her previous novels can stand alone but with her new Blue Heron series, I would recommend reading The Best Man first. Again, it’s not necessary but highly advisable. (Oh, and two words: Levi Cooper)

The reason being is that I LOVED returning to Manningsport and reconnecting with the Holland family. They are my favorite book series family to date with all of their quirkiness, unwavering love and support for one another and that close bond with Goggy and Pops is priceless. You feel as if you are a part of their family or member of the town peeking in on their daily lives. Can I move in with them, Ms. Higgins? Please? Can you write me in as one of the new characters that comes to town? Or a long lost cousin? Let’s see, I come to town, open a bookstore and…

Another reason to read The Best Man first is that you get to meet some characters that reappear like Jeremy, Connor and Jessica. You will understand more of the dynamics between Mr. Holland and Mrs. Johnson. Oh, and getting snippets of Levi and Faith’s relationship was a treat – I loved them in The Best Man, especially Levi. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Higgins never disappoints with balancing the humor and the tender moments. There were parts where I was laughing out loud (pretty much any scene with Goggy) and a few scenes where I was crying and caught up with the emotional strain Tom, Honor and Charlie were going through. The scene where Honor was explaining why she had that ratty dog, Spike? Yes, I was crying. When Charlie broke down with Tom? Deeply moved and choked up. No, I am not giving anything away, don’t worry. But those tender scenes were believeable, not overly done and the reason why the reader can connect with the characters. Whether you like them or not, you can feel their pain.

Some would say that the plot isn’t original in many of these “series” books and follow the same formula. I disagree. With Higgins’ books each one is very different from one another with the characters and the circumstances they go through. Yes they are all romances and eventually the main chracters get past all the misunderstandings and wind up with one another. But, what I LOVE about her stories is the realistic build up of the characters falling in love. Especially in The Perfect Match. Tom admits that he isn’t swept off his feet by Honor. But once he gets to know her, her little idiosyncracies grow on him and become endearing, something he can’t live without. Lust doesn’t last. Both Tom and Honor experienced that with past relationships. I appreciated the honesty and self deprication of the characters. It made me feel more in touch with them and not miserable after reading. You know those books with the “perfect in every way” protagonists? The ones with washboard abs and luscious hair. Piercing eyes and full lips that they are always biting. Clothes that fit every curve and turn heads as you walk through the door. Instant animal attraction and scene after scene of unrealistic sex. Please. I’m not against hot and heavy but throw in a storyline, plot, something. Make the characters identifiable.

The only thing that upset me was the ending. I just didn’t want it to end. I like the use of epilogues in her books but it still wasn’t enough for me. I was sad to have no more pages to swipe on my ereader. I was swiping for dear life people! One more page. One more scene. Pleeeeeeease!

Oh, and Tom is British. Did I forget to mention that?

The Perfect Match will be released tomorrow on October 29, 2013. I am jealous for all those “new” readers.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for allowing me to read this Advance Reader’s Copy. What an absolute pleasure. I was not compensated or required to review this novel. You wouldn’t have to pay me to read any Kristan Higgins book. I’m a fan. So get working on Blue Heron#3….I am ready and waiting.

Amazon       B&N        Public Library

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