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Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

Title: Until There Was you
Author: Kristan Higgins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Posey Osterhagen can't complain. She owns a successful architectural salvaging company, she's surrounded by her lovable, if off-center, family and she has a boyfriend—sort of. Still, something's missing. Something tall, brooding and criminally good-looking…something like Liam Murphy.

When Posey was sixteen, the bad boy of Bellsford, New Hampshire, broke her heart. But now he's back, sending Posey's traitorous schoolgirl heart into overdrive once again. She should be giving him a wide berth, but it seems fate has other ideas….”

Cornelia “Posey” Osterhagen dreamed many times of the day she would cross paths again with her former crush Liam Murphy. She imagined many scenarios were she would be looking her best. She never thought she would see Liam again fifteen years later while wearing her old and unflattering waitress uniform at her parents’ restaurant.

After the death of his wife Emma, Liam Murphy decided to move from California back to Bellsford, New Hampshire where his in-laws live. He thought it would be good for his teenager daughter, Nicole to be close to her grandparents. Liam was known as the bad boy of Bellsford with a reputation to back up his fame; he did many things he wasn’t proud of during his teen years. His life changed when he met Emma, the golden girl of Bellsford. Now as a widower he is trying to be the best father for Nicole and wants to protect her from boys that are the way he was.

Liam remembers Posey as the scrawny daughter of the couple who gave him a job when nobody else wanted to give him an opportunity. He knew she had a crush on him but he never paid attention to her out of respect to her parents. After fifteen years Posey hasn’t changed much, she is still tiny, skinny and a bit awkward in a cute way. What Liam likes most about her is that she isn’t throwing herself at him as half the woman in town are doing. She is also funny and smart and without noticing he is enjoying spending time with her.

Posey has had a crush on Liam Murphy since she was fifteen years old. It doesn’t matter that on the day of her prom he inadvertently broke her heart or that his heart belonged to another one the whole time. Liam is one of those guys hard to forget and Posey’s treacherous hormones and heart are not listening to her head. Now he is back and they are spending time together. He has been clear with her, he doesn’t/can’t have a relationship because of his daughter. Even though Posey doesn’t want to fall for him, she is already halfway in love. Should she try to fight for what she wants or should she just let it go?

Until There Was You was a little bit different from previous books by Mrs. Higgins. In Until There Was You not only do we get Posey’s POV but Liam’s too. I was glad for that, I think with just Posey’s perspective it would have been very difficult to like/accept Liam, but seeing the way he thinks and feels made it easier for me to connect with him. Even though I didn’t agree with all his actions, I kind of understood him.

Posey is a woman with many insecurities. It’s not just that she is tiny , dark and skinny, she is also the adoptive daughter of a German-American couple. Her parents are a very tall and very blond couple, completely opposite of what she looks. This doesn’t mean she hasn’t felt love by them, they have loved her from day one, sometimes they love and care for her too much. Her mother is an overprotective mother who doesn’t want anything bad happening to her, to the point of hilarity. To add to Posey’s insecurities her perfect model-look cousin and famous TV chef, Gretchen, has come to live and help Posey’s parents with their restaurant.
What I liked about Posey was that she felt real, she is a woman with insecurities but at the same time she is strong and sassy. I liked her uniqueness and even though sometimes I wanted her to value herself more I understood her behavior as the result of many years of feeling and seeing herself as the ugly ducky of the family and town.

On the beginning Liam was a bit hard to liked, he felt a bit pompous but after knowing him more I started to like him. He was really fun to read, especially his issues with his daughter and boys. He was once the bad boy that slept around with half the girls in the school, now he doesn’t want his girl to be one of those girls. Sometimes his overprotectiveness was a bit over the top, making his character feel a bit exaggerated. At the end it was clear his actions towards Nicole and Posey were based on good intentions making them forgivable.

What I liked the most about Until There Was You were the secondary characters, especially Posey’s brother in law and best friend Jon. Jon is the partner of Posey’s brother Henry who is also adopted. I loved how Jon was there all the time for Posey and was always truthful to her. He also brought the laughs in the story. I also liked Henry but his obsession for amputations was a bit too much (he’s an orthopedist). I liked how their relationship was portrait as an stable and happy one.
Posey’s friend Katie was also fun, but her relationship with her son was not a normal one. She is a good mother and all that but in my opinion she crossed the mother/son line more than once.
I liked a lot Liam’s daughter Nicole, she is a teenager who has suffered the loss of her mother but knows she has too continue living and even though her father was crazy with his overprotectiveness she knew how to handle him and understood and accepted his behavior for what it was, him worrying for her well-being.

Until There Was You was Mrs. Higgins at her best, great characters, spotless writing, humor with a social context and a nice and fulfilling HEA. If you are a fan of her books I’m sure you are going to love this one and if you haven’t read anything by Mrs. Higgins Until There Was You is a great book for you to get to know her work.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

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1 comment:

  1. Gah! I really need to read this author! Great review.


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