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Friday, March 8, 2013

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins
Published: February 26, 2013; mass market paperback; Harlequin HQN
Grade: 4 stars out of 5
FTC: book was provided by publicity firm

Why are all the good men taken, gay, or married?

For Faith Holland, Jeremy was the perfect guy. Respectful, sweet, smart, just perfect, but because of Levi Cooper, Faith was left at the altar.
"Now a little older and wiser, she's ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family's vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there's some great scenery there….

Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancĂ©. There's a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it's not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she's having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosĂ©, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle."

Ever had the feeling where you read so many teen lit that you become desensitized and you just want something different. You want something spicier, a little more mature, but still craving fun and humorous. I found that with The Best Man by Kristan Higgins.

Faith Holland is this blend of nativity, whimsical, in-your-face directness that makes her endearing. If this were an urban fantasy novel, she’ll probably be gutting down demons with her adorable dog at her side. Alas, this is contemporary, but Faith can definitely hold her own against men. Her string of bad luck with men only draws more sympathy and definitely laughs out loud scenes. Faith also has epilepsy, and while 90% of the novel does not focus on it, it does place a heavy burden on Faith’s shoulder. Faith isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and with the death of the mother and her father’s non-interest of getting back into the dating pool, Faith’s guilt and the darker of her personality comes through.    

Levi Cooper, when initially introduced, is an ass. Plain and simple, he is a complete ass. Gradually over the course of the novel, my impression of him changed; he became dynamic, softer, caring, damaged. After several terms in a war, a failed marriage, a deadbeat father, and a childhood where money was very tight all the time, Levi had an edge to him. But as the novel delved deeper into his back-story, his sweet nature started to appear. What appeared to be an act that destroyed a potentially great marriage was actually an act of true friendship. Levi is a true and great friendship that will stick by someone through thick and thin. He has his own sense of justice that showcases his compassion. Granted there are still moments where he is a complete ass, but I believe his intentions are good.

The relationship between the two was a mixture of sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy. Their personalities at times can clash as neither fully trusts each other nor can they can admit that they like each other. Actions, however, can speak louder than words so while sweet nothings are hardly ever whispered in their ears it is undeniable that the two have a connection.

Family is huge in this novel and rightfully so. And while I can’t talk much about it without explaining and possibly spoiling the entire novel, I can say that it’s a nice break from the emotional tug-of-war which is love.

The Best Man is a delicious blend of dark, gritty experiences and light, fun humor. Kristan Higgins writing is crisp, easy to follow and straight to the point. I find her writing style appealing and her novels always entertaining. This being my fourth or fifth novel of Higgins I will say that it wasn’t my favorite of hers—mostly for wanting more from Levi in regards to his outright affection for Faith—but The Best Man was still one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristan Higgins writes down-to-earth romantic comedies...real life, true love and lots of laughs.

Find Kristan on Twitter or visit her website.

Purchase your copy of The Best Man on Amazon.

Booktrib.com is also doing a Live Chat with Kristan on March 12 at 3:00 PM EST. You can ask her any questions you might have, and hear about her new projects!!

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