Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 27th August 2013 (1st published Jan 2010)
Pages: 400
Book Source: Harlequin & NetGalley

Synopsis: Lucy Lang isn't looking for fireworks… 

She's looking for a nice, decent man. Someone who'll mow the lawn, flip chicken on the barbecue, teach their future children to play soccer. But most important: someone who won't inspire the slightest stirring in her heart… or anywhere else. A young widow, Lucy can't risk that kind of loss again. But sharing her life with a cat named Fat Mikey and the Black Widows at the family bakery isn't enough either. So it's goodbye to Ethan, her hot but entirely inappropriate "friend with privileges," and hello to a man she can marry. 

Too bad Ethan Mirabelli isn't going anywhere. As far as he's concerned, what she needs might be right under her nose. But can he convince her that the next best thing can really be forever?

My Thoughts:
I was a bit concerned early on that I wasn't going to like this one - Lucy 'doing' her dead husband's brother, Ethan, had a slight 'ick' factor for me. But in all fairness Lucy had been widowed for a number of years before they tried the whole friends with benefits thing on for size. Chalk one up to Kristan Higgins, her writing style is just so real and down to earth I couldn't help but be carried along ... laughing, crying, sighing and cheering. 

Lucy is the bread baker in the family bakery where she works with her mother and Aunts who are also widows. I've come to the conclusion recently that baking bread is really good therapy and way cheaper than actual therapy, although Lucy could have done with some professional help. I found common ground with Lucy and her baking which gave me a bit of a soft spot for her even though she was also a right royal pain in the ass. 

A pathetic, drunken, smeary widow with orange skin, insane asylum hair and a rash. Insult to injury. Not only had God taken my Jimmy ... He'd let me go on a White Russian bender while armed with scissors and tan-from-a-can! It was enough to make me an athiest.

But you know what, that's great writing too, when you're of two minds about a character, love - hate - hug her - slap her. Lucy could have done with a bit of both I think. Her grief and fear prevented her from moving forward and her often oblivious cruelty to Ethan had my hand itching. Ethan was her "emergency nutella" it was just a little irritating it took Lucy so long to realise he was so much more than that. 

Ethan on the other hand was a darling and deserved so much better than Lucy (or so I thought at the start.)  Anyhoo the good, the bad, the ugly, you really can't go wrong with Kristan Higgins, she's my go to author for a laugh or three :)

The scent of fresh bread is what heaven must smell like, comforting and homey.  










Connect with Kristan Higgins





Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs.



15 comments:

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    1. lol nothing better than freshly baked bread ...

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  2. I wasn't sure about this one ... but I am thinking I will now give it a try!! :)

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    1. oh good, let me know what you think Julie :)

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  3. I really like her books and have this on my TBR stack. Can't wait to read it!

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    1. I'll keep an eye out for your review Mary, I'm a Kristan Higgins fan :)

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  4. I love baking bread and it's finally cool enough here to get baking! I love that "emergency Nutella" line. LOL.

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    1. I baked quite a few loaves while reading this one Beth, it really put me in the mood!

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  5. I listened to Catch of the Day and laughed and cried (a little of each!) I will probably look for this one on audio too. We used to have homemade bread more often, but husband on a low-carb diet means no more homemade bread in the house for a while!

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    1. Catch of the Day is on my TBR stack, I can't wait to read Maggie and Malone's story!

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  6. I'm not too sure about the novel, but the bread photos have me drooling.

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  7. That bread does look good; I can almost smell it.

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  8. I have yet to read this author, but I agree with you that it's good writing when "you're of two minds about a character, love - hate - hug her - slap her."

    Emotion of any kind is a good sign. Thanks for sharing...will have to check out this author.

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  9. Still haven't read her (hanging head in shame) but I've had plenty of that yummy bread. The proof is in my thighs :)

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