Tag: Kristan Higgins

Sunday Spotlight: Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

Posted January 21, 2018 by Holly in Features | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I haven’t read a book by Kristan Higgins in ages, but the “coming home” premise is one of my favorites. I’m looking forward to this.

Sunday Spotlight: Now That You Mention It by Kristan HigginsNow That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There's only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn't necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who's always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter--a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was--Nora has her work cut out for her if she's going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.

But as some relationships crumble around her, others unexpectedly strengthen. Balancing loss and opportunity, a dark event from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise...and the chance to begin again.

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Excerpt

Jake helped me off the ferry. It was a three-hour ride, and I felt a little seasick. Or a little nauseous from my throbbing knee.

Or maybe it was just being back home.

Without a word, he got my bags and led Boomer off the boat, leaving me to crutch it alone, hobbling awkwardly up the gangplank, then onto the old dock.

Though it was mid-April, spring had not yet come to the island. My mom wasn’t here yet, and the downtown was quiet. A raw wind blew the smell of fish and salt and donuts from Lala’s Bakery, and with it, childhood memories. On cold winter Sundays, my father used to wake Lily and me at 5:00 a.m. to get the first donuts Lala made, almost too hot to hold, the sugar crusting our faces, the heat steaming in the wintry air.

I would see her soon, my sister. I would set things right again. That was the chance Beantown Bug Killers had given me, and I would make good on it.

And I would find out what happened with my parents.

Where my father was. If he was still alive, I was going to find him, damn it.

When I was in my first year of residency, I’d stitched up a former Boston cop who did private investigation. I hired him to find my father, but he’d come up empty. With such a common name—William Stuart—and nothing else to go on since the day he left, the cop didn’t turn up anything. It was time to try again, and this time, start from square one.

But for now, I had to get down the dock. One thing at a time.

With the sling, the brace and the crutch, I had to think about every step, and the rough, splintered wood of the dock didn’t help. Step, shuffle, crutch. Step, shuffle, crutch. It was slow going.

Jake was already tying Boomer’s leash to the bike rack; I was only halfway there. He walked back to his boat. “Thank you so much, Mr. Ferriman,” I said as he passed. He grunted but didn’t look at me, the charmer.

Slightly out of breath, I got the end of the dock and patted my dog’s head. A seagull landed on a wooden post, and Boomer woofed softly. Otherwise, the island was quiet, and ominously so, like one of Stephen King’s towns. I missed the cheerful duck boats of Boston Common, the elegant shops of Newbury Street. Here, nothing was open.

Scupper Island Clam Shack, where I had worked for two summers, sat at the end of Main Street, right on the water. It wouldn’t open until Memorial Day, if it was the same as it used to be.

I’d worked there with Sullivan Fletcher, one of the two Fletcher boys in my class. Sully had been in a car accident our senior year shortly before I left Scupper, and I wondered how he was. I’d wondered often over the years. Word had been that he’d recover, but I’d never asked for details (nor was my mother the detail type).

I looked to my right, and there was my mother’s elderly Subaru turning onto Main Street. I waved, not that she could miss me; I was the only one here. She pulled over, turned off the engine and got out, looking the same as ever, and unexpected tears clogged my throat. “Hi, Mom,” I said, starting to move forward for a hug.

She nodded instead, then hefted my two suitcases into the back of the car. “I didn’t know you were bringing your dog,” she said. Boomer wagged his fluffy tail, oblivious. “He better leave Tweety alone.”

Tweety was Mom’s parakeet (and favorite creature in the world.) “Tweety’s still alive, then?”

“Of course he is. Where’s that dog gonna sleep?”

“It’s good to see you, too, Mom,” I said. “I’m fine, thanks. In a lot of pain, actually, but doing okay. After being run down in the street. By a van. Sustaining many injuries, in case you forgot.”

“I didn’t forget, Nora,” she said. “Get in the cah.”

Boomer jumped in at the magical words, filling the entire backseat.

Giveaway Alert

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Kristan Higgins

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. She is a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for Best Work of Fiction, and her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year of many prestigious journals and review sites.

Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two children with advanced vocabularies and long eyelashes, two frisky rescue dogs and an occasionally friendly cat.


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Guest Review: Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

Posted January 8, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Now That You Mention It by Kristan HigginsReviewer: Tracy
Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There's only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn't necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who's always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter--a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was--Nora has her work cut out for her if she's going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.

But as some relationships crumble around her, others unexpectedly strengthen. Balancing loss and opportunity, a dark event from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise...and the chance to begin again.

Nora Stuart heads home to Scupper Island after she gets hit by a car and then breaks up with her boyfriend.  She needs some emotional downtime and needs her home.  Of course her mother is a pretty unemotional Mainer and her teenage niece is pretty angry at the world so things are a little rough at first.

Nora had been bullied throughout her high school years. She gained a lot of weight, had anxiety issues and acne. She was a good student, however, and won the coveted scholarship to Tufts.  Once she left the island she lost weight and became a different person.  When she returns to Scupper she finds herself fighting herself to become the old Nora.  She’s not about to let that happen.

Nora runs into an old friend, stays away from others and makes new ones.  She tries to come to terms with her life and what she needs emotionally and also deals with her mother and the reasons her father left suddenly when she was in Jr. High.  She also happens to fall in love, but that’s really a side story.

Now That You Mention It is different from other KH books that I’ve read. I thought it was more women’s fiction than romance and that was ok.  Higgins still has a wonderful writing style and she’s a great storyteller so it was still a great book.

I really liked Nora and her quirky, funny ways.  I’m sure it was awkward being back in a town that you had perceived as hating you.  Yes, she pretty much thought the entire island hated her.  She learned that she wasn’t the only one who had changed and sometimes that was even for the better.  I loved that she worked out her relationship with her mother as well as with her niece.  The romance portion of the book was also engaging, just not the central theme of the book.

Overall I really enjoyed NTYMI and definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

Posted May 23, 2017 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Second Thought by Kristan HigginsReviewer: Tina
On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

Publication Date: January 31st 2017
Pages: 480
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who’s struggling with a sudden loss of her own.

Kate’s always been the poised, self-assured sister, but becoming a newlywed—and a widow—in the space of four months overwhelms her. Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.

Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that’s always separated them, Ainsley's and Kate’s heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.

First of all, Kristan’s books always seem to have the best covers!! I admit that I am a total cover snob, and that is one of the first things that make me want to pick up a book – even before I see if it is one of my favorite authors or not! And, I also can count on a well-written story filled with endearing characters whenever I pick up one of her books, and On Second Thought is no exception.

This book not only tugged at my heart, it also made me smile once in awhile too. I don’t really see why this book is listed as a romance though, because to me it is more centered around the character’s lives and about their struggle to get past the things that life has dealt to them. I felt like the romance part was actually more secondary in this book.

Overall, I thought this was another good book from Kristan HIggins. Like I said, I have been a fan for a long time and will continue as such. For anyone who is not familiar with her books, you really need to go check her out, as her books are definitely worth it!

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me an advanced copy of this ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

three-half-stars


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When It’s Time to Let Go: 5 Series I’m Breaking Up With

Posted October 22, 2015 by Rowena in Discussions | 17 Comments

break up

There comes a time in every book nerds life when they have to make difficult decisions. Decisions like what to read next or who our book boyfriend of the week is and when it’s time to let go of a book or series. It’s never an easy decision to give up on characters before the series is done. I mean, you still have stories to read and characters to get to know but sometimes, it just has to be done.

For me, what it all boils down to are two things. My enjoyment and time.

There’s too many books on my TBR list. Hundreds and hundreds of them and I know that I’m not going to read them all. There’s just no way. So that’s all the more reason to start calling it quits with the series that I’ve fallen out of love with.

Here are the series that I’m breaking up with this…for good.

1) The Dark Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. This was the first paranormal series that I ever read and that was way back in the day. So long ago that I can’t even remember what year it was. It was back in our years on the JGBB, that’s for sure. I remember when Holly and I used to be obsessed with all things Dark Hunter. We would spend hours upon hours talking about books, characters, share our theories with what was coming up and we loved everything about the world that Sherrilyn Kenyon created for these supernatural characters. Over time though, she started moving away from the rules she created for her own world and our enjoyment of the books started dimming, not to mention she kept writing book after book after book. There’s like 100 books in the series now (not really but you get the idea) and I just don’t see myself ever picking up another book to read. I still have quite a few DH books in my possession but those will sadly go unread. shrugs Oh, well.

2) The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I know that this series was turned into the hit TV Show that everyone and their Mom loves. I know that Jamie is all kinds of wonderful and is one hot ginger. I had every intention of reading this series because one of my old book friends absolutely adored it and would not stop pimping it to me so I bought the first three books in the series and almost had a heart attack when I saw how big those suckers were. Have you seen how big those suckers are? Their sheer size has intimidated the hell out of me and when I read the first book, I really enjoyed it but thought that it could have been chopped in half and still been a really good read. I even wanted to read the next book in the series but every time I passed it while browsing my books, I always skipped it. That was years ago and so much time has passed that meh, I’m over it. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m never going to finish this series…but I might rent the series and watch that.

3) The Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. The first two books in this series rocked my socks. The third book? Not so much. The fourth book? Couldn’t even finish it. So yeah, I’m calling it quits on this one.

4) The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. I absolutely, positively loved the first book in this series. I loved Jack. I loved Mel. I loved the small town of Virgin River and had such high hopes for the rest of the books. I loved the second book and enjoyed the third but I can’t remember anything about the fourth book but the fifth book? I remember that book. I remember it well. I remember that I spent most of the first read frustrated with both the hero and the heroine but the second time I tried reading it? I didn’t like it at all. Everything got on my nerves so much more than the first time I read it. The heroine? Ugh. The hero? Meh. I didn’t even finish my re-read of the book. I just gave up, on that book and since it’s been years since my re-read, I guess I gave up on the series too because I never read another book. I don’t plan to either. So it’s official, I’m dumping you Virgin Rivers.

5) The Vicious Cycle series by Katie Ashley. As much as I love those sexy ass covers, I don’t think I’d survive another book in this series. The hero and heroine in the first book drove me absolutely bonkers in both their book and the second book. The hero and heroine in the second book had such potential but the entire story just fell flat for me so I think I’m officially out of this one.

What about you? Are there any series that you’re thinking about breaking up with for good?


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Guest Review: In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

Posted October 9, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: In Your Dreams by Kristan HigginsReviewer: Tracy
In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron #4

Publication Date: September 30th 2014
Format: eARC
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Everyone loves Jack Holland, but Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancé is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can't go to the wedding alone. In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won't get the wrong idea.

What Jack needs is an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he's been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy, especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back, angling for a reunion. He's always liked Emmaline. She needs a weekend date? No problem.

So when they wind up in bed together, Em chalks it up to red wine and chocolate cake, just one impulsive night not to be repeated. But Jack's pushing for more, and if she lets down her guard, either she'll get her heart crushed again, or discover that Jack's worth more than just dreaming about.

 

Tracy’s review of In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4) by Kristan Higgins

Emmaline is a cop in the small town of Manningsport, New York. When she gets a wedding invitation to her ex-fiance’s wedding she knows she has to attend to prove to him and everyone else that she’s over him, but she needs a date. She doesn’t want a fake boyfriend date, more like a friend who’ll be a human shield.

She tries to find one but strikes out with her friend Allison’s ex-husband’s cousin’s friend – who is a piece of work (this scene had me laughing so hard I almost fell off my chair) but that doesn’t work out. Of course Manningsport is small so everyone finds out she needs a date and her friend Faith asks her brother, Jack, who acts as date to a lot of women. He just loves helping out and he agrees to be Em’s date for the wedding from hell.

Em and Jack know each other because they’re on the same hockey team together but they’ve never said more than hi and bye to each other. When they head to California for the wedding they get to know each other better and Jack really like what he sees. He’s not looking for a relationship but he loves being with Em and soon they’re dating.

Jack loves being with Em but he has some issues that he’s not facing at all. One of them is huge – he’s got a serious case of PTSD from saving four boys from a car accident. One ended up in a coma and he blames himself that he couldn’t save that one boy faster. He denies he has an issue but Em can see it clearly. On top of that his ex-wife, Hadley, is in town trying to get him back but that will never happen. The problem is is that he’s a really nice guy and he’s not mean or rude to anyone. This makes it look to Em as if he still cares about Hadley even though he really wants her gone.

Em and Jack are wonderful together but they have their moments. Unfortunately his PTSD, Hadley and her machinations, and a couple of bad decisions on Em’s part might just have them broken up for good.

I really liked this book a lot! I loved that Em wasn’t this petite little thing and that she was more of a tomboy. I thought it was a great contrast to Hadley was a sweet little southern belle (hold on while I choke). It was nice to see Jack not dating just one type of woman and branching out. He saw the beauty, the loveliness in her that apparently not many other people had seen and I loved that he did.

The story had so much involved in it but it was done well and I didn’t feel like I was ever overwhelmed with information. We got to see Em as a cop in action, her working with at risk kids, her psychologist parents who are amazingly nuts, her wonderful sister who loves Em dearly and her with her friends. Then for Jack we got to see him with his wonderful family and their nutty goodness and his work with his father. With the flashbacks to Jack and Em’s former lives with their significant others we got a huge insight into the people they’ve become.

All of the parts of the book worked so well and I enjoyed almost every minute of it. The story was witty and fun, incredibly funny at times as well, but it also had some very touching and heartfelt moments in it that brought tears to my eyes. It really was a great blend of love, family and friendship.

I’m the first to say that I’m a fan of Higgins’ books but this one is definitely one of my favorites.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This title is available from Harlequin HQN. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-half-stars


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