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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Rosemary

One Happily-Ever-After Rocking Chair…
and no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol' Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company's new Miss Perfect. If that isn't bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a three-oh birthday bash in the family funeral home.

Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a crazy relationship with the town's not so warm and fuzzy veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark's attention. So Ian is more comfortable with animals…. So he's formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it's time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But dang, if he doesn't shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Vermont's unlikeliest eligible bachelor….

The combination of a lovable wise-cracking heroine, a family who puts the “fun” in dysfunctional and unrelenting comedy makes All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins a must-read novel.

Callie Grey and Ian McFarland’s first few meetings definitely start off on the wrong foot. Callie wears her heart on her sleeve, and she is devoted to her wacky family. Ian keeps his life (and emotions) tightly contained, and he has a distant relationship with his family. When Ian’s vet business begins to drop off, he takes Callie up on her offer to give him an image makeover, and that is the beginning of a growing friendship. Before long, Callie and Ian find themselves falling for each other, but a misunderstanding soon drives them apart.

Kristan Higgins has a delightful writing style that is entertaining and engaging. Snappy dialogue, caustic wit, and smart-alecky comebacks keep All I Ever Wanted moving at a brisk (and hysterical) pace. Ms. Higgins' clever use of Callie’s slightly dysfunctional family is a stoke of brilliance that provides valuable insight into her character and keeps the reader laughing as Callie finds herself embroiled in one situation after another with them. Callie’s relationship with her grandfather tugs at the heartstrings and provides the backbone of the novel. Ian is the perfect love interest for Callie. His closely controlled world could use some loosening up, and Callie’s exuberance certainly needs to be reined in just a bit. They perfectly balance one another, and it is highly entertaining and touching watching them come together.

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins is a light-hearted fun read combined with just a touch of seriousness that will bring a few tears. A deeply fulfilling romance, All I Ever Wanted will take its rightful place on many readers’ keeper shelves.