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Friday, April 22, 2011

My One and Only by Kristan Higgins

My One and Only by Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemp
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Azalea

Divorce attorney Harper James can't catch a break. Bad enough that she runs into her ex-hubby, Nick, at her sister's destination wedding, but now, by a cruel twist of fate, she's being forced to make a cross-country road trip with him. And her almost-fiancé back at home is not likely to be sympathetic.

Harper can't help that Nick has come blazing back into her life in all of his frustratingly appealing, gorgeous architect glory. But in Nick's eyes, Harper's always been the one. If they can only get it right this time, forever might be waiting—just around the bend.

When Willa asks her half sister to be maid of honor at her wedding, divorce attorney Harper James knows it’s not going to end well. For one thing, Willa has a history of making poor choices, and this particular bridegroom-to-be just happens to be Harper’s ex-husband’s half brother. To complicate matters, Harper’s relationship with her Martha’s Vineyard fireman isn’t going according to plan. Dennis says he loves her, but when she pops the question, he’s non-committal.

Willa and her fiance have decided to marry at a lodge in Glacier National Park and it’s Harper’s mission to try and talk her sister out of it before she makes yet another mistake. En route to the lodge, Harper and Dennis follow a slow driver in a red Mustang convertible who seems in no hurry to get to the destination. The driver turns out to be Nick Lowery, Harper’s ex who she uncomfortably discovers exudes as much charisma as ever. Not a good thing for the pragmatic Harper whose job is trying to make clients see their mistakes rather than work them out.

Despite Harper’s pleadings to give the relationship more time before marriage, Willa is determined to go through with the ceremony. Leading up to the gathering at the lodge, we learn about Harper’s family–the mother who abandoned her when she was thirteen, and her father’s subsequent marriage to Bever-Lee, a transplanted Texan with a young daughter Willard, whom Harper renames Willa.

Ms. Higgins has created several interesting characters in this delightful story of love lost and then found. Readers will love the irrepressible Bever-Lee and her ever-ready can of Jhirmak hair spray, her sweet daughter Willa, boyfriend Dennis who’d be perfect if only he’d lose the rattail and get himself some decent clothes and a car–and maybe stop calling Harper “Dude”. But be prepared to love dark-haired Nick Lowery with his gypsy eyes and penchant for doing good. Nick is a keeper that liberal crusader Harper tries not to like. After all, he’s the one who rushed her into marriage and then abandoned her for his job. However, Harper cannot deny that the attraction is as strong as ever, and their return East will have you cheering for both these delightful characters.

To say more would give away the plot. Suffice it to say that Kristan Higgins has created a story that will make you laugh and cry. Harper’s transformation is slow and painful, and beautifully told. The ending will surprise in a wonderful way.

I loved this story, loved Ms. Higgins quirky characters, including the dog. Normally, I find it difficult to get into a first person story if it’s not a gothic romance, but the author’s great characterization, zany prose and considerable skill pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go until I’d read THE END.