Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Next Best Thing (Gideon's Cove, #2)” as Want to Read:
The Next Best Thing (Gideon's Cove, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Next Best Thing (Gideon's Cove #2)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  8,490 Ratings  ·  650 Reviews
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 barbeque, 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 na
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by HQN Books (first published 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
There are things about this story I liked, but unfortunately, there are more things that didn't work for me.

KH is an intelligent writer and I never have a problem with the way her stories flow. This one was written in first person POV and I have no problem with that. I liked the setting and I enjoyed that it involved bakeries, cooking, chefs, etc. I like that there is always humor in her books as well as decent character development. This book had all that.

Unfortunately, by the middle, I was g
Sometimes I don't even know what to say! We've all read books that resonate with us and affect us long after we've turned the last page. This was one of those books for me. I LOVED IT! I've just come to accept that Kristan Higgins writes for me...well, not for me specifically, but for people like me. Her stuff is always emotional and sweet and funny. But sometimes it's also excruciatingly heartbreaking and sad. But there's always an underlying hope in her books, so yes, for people like me, WE LO ...more
Aug 08, 2016 BookLover rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews, tpl, romance, rs
I loved my escape to the fictional town of Mackerly this week. This story was rich with a town full of enchanting characters.

Lucy becomes a part of a group of family members dubbed “The Black Widows” after losing her husband Jimmy several years ago. I loved the interaction between these women consisting of Lucy’s mother and two aunts. They were very entertaining and I loved every scene they were in. Lucy handled all of their oddities like a champ, especially her mom's constant criticism of her l
Pros: Kristan Higgins can write. You won't find clunky phrasing or bad transitions in the book.The writing is tight and solid.
Ethan is a great hero. I loved him and his sexy, gentle ways.

Cons: Lucy was a totally unappealing and unsympathetic heroine. She's emotionally stunted (and surrounded by emotionally-stunted family, her mother being the worst), self-absorbed, dense, and obsessive. Almost 6 years after her husband of 8 months died, she is still wallowing in self-righteous grief. She can't
Suzie Quint
Jan 21, 2012 Suzie Quint rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
At 400 pages, this book is 100 pages too long. There are some fun things in this book but the heroine wallowed too much in the grief of being widowed. She was so blind to the hero's love that she was cruel to him. And selfish? Oh, man. Even at the end where she finally realized she wanted him, she had to tell him on her timetable. The hero was either a saint or a doormat, depending on how you want to see him. She walked all over him enough for me to vote for the latter. What gripes me the most i ...more
Miss Kim
May 18, 2010 Miss Kim rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the author, and First Person
Kristan Higgins is going on my ‘must read least’. This is my second read by her, after Catch of the Day, which I really enjoyed. She writes in first person, so that may put off some readers. However I don’t mind. I this one, the man communicates very openly so there really isn’t a question about what he is thinking.

Lucy has been a widow for over five years, after losing her husband in a car accident when she was 25. She’s still trying to put her life back together. She’s part owner of a bakery w
Jan 27, 2010 Tina rated it it was ok
Not the hit out of the ballpark her other books were for me. Kristan Higgin's trademark humor is still there, but it was at a lower simmer than usual. All in all, I think this one fell curiously flat.

I was very turned off by the perfect dead husband who seemed to really dominate the book. Ethan was way too understanding and a little too beta of a hero for my taste. Also KH usually does family dynamics perfectly. It is one of the things that I really appreciate about her books. But that too felt
MB (What she read)
Hmmm...this was kind of an anti-romance for me. I spent 348 pages developing a very strong dislike for the heroine who was so neurotic and blocked by her grief and her inability to move forward that she needed counseling considerably more than a happily-ever-after. (I started out with compassion, but by 2/3 of the way through, that had changed to annoyance.) I felt--and still feel sorry for the hero, and hope his martyr complex, and selfless unfailing love holds out for him and that the HEA and ...more
While I admire Higgins for writing different and difficult romance plots, this one was just too challenging for me. Falling in love with an in-law after you’re no longer in-laws is one thing, and Higgins does that plot fairly gracefully elsewhere. But a widow using her husband’s younger brother as a booty call... well, that’s pretty icky, and from skimming the book, she just generally comes off like a callous, clueless user. I'm not going to give a rating though, since I didn't read it through. ...more
Jun 14, 2015 Keertana rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5 Stars

While I thoroughly enjoyed THE NEXT BEST THING and fell head-over-heels for Ethan Mirabelli, the protagonist, Lucy, could grate with her naivety and obliviousness from time-to-time. Still, this is a solid Higgins novel--not her at her best but certainly not her at her worst.
Ugh, I really wanted to love this book. Heck, I would have taken to just really liking it, but **sigh** it was not meant to be.

The story is about Lucy who is a widow, she lost her husband Jimmy in an auto accident. She's been having a friends with benefits relationship with her brother-in-law Ethan for over 2 years until she decides it's time for her to get back into the dating game. She wants a family one day, but she doesn't want to be in love like she was with Jimmy.

Let me preface my next s
Nov 18, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it
I actually avoided this book for so long because of the generally low reviews and the very overt use of my least favorite, icks-me-out Higgins trope (relationship with a brother figure, in this case a brother-in-law), but I was actually quite fond of protagonist Lucy and her reluctance to get attached to another man after being widowed at a very young age.

I thought the way the relationship between Lucy and her brother-in-law Ethan developed was a) surprising and unexpected and not the approach a
Mar 03, 2010 Renee rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hardcore Kristan Higgins fans.
This is a hard one to review. I LOVE Kristan Higgins engaging writing style, and her cast of characters. I was up until the wee hours last night finishing it, because I really wanted to see how it turned out.

Yet, Lucy made me so frustrated. Through most of the story, I kept thinking, "You seriously need to get into therapy. Grief counseling. Something." I didn't expect her to "get over" her husband's death. But, by the end of the book, I never really felt convinced she dealt with her grief in an
Jul 05, 2010 Tina rated it liked it
I don't really care for books written in first person POV, especially when I don't like the main character as it was the case here.

The first 100 pages was alright, your typical chic-lit. There were some witty dialogs and some laugh-out-loud moments (I dont think I will ever breast feed after reading this book).... and then, the heroine just started getting on my friggin nerves.

Did the author have to create a girl this self-absorbed and selfish? Seriously, the book is all about, me, me, my pain
Duchess Nicole
4+ (such a tough book to rate - I may change this to a 5, b/c I have a feeling that I won't be able to get it out of my head!)

What an emotional roller coaster! I was five starring this all the way until around page 200, when it started to get a bit redundant and I kept wanting to smack Lucy. She's a widow who lost a truly wonderful man, the love of her life, in an accident after a very brief marriage. It's now been almost six years, and she's still dealing with the emotional baggage that comes f
May 31, 2011 Sabrina rated it really liked it
Cheeky Summary: CRIED! LAUGHED! ADORED! Seriously, there are too many good things about this book to sum up except to say that Kristin Higgins continues to win over my reader heart with each and every book I read. She's a master at funny, emotional books that stay with you long after you close the book. I'm not kidding – I apparently talked about this book so much that my husband came in when I was writing the review and asked, “Is that the book you talked about and cried over on our vacation?” ...more
Shannon Stacey
I don't know what to say about this one. I loathed the heroine and yet I couldn't stop reading. And I actually wanted the hero to live happily ever after with one of the secondary characters. But the ending was so emotional and I got that warm and fuzzy AWWWW feeling. Not my favorite, but still a good book.

** 4 "angsty and emotional" stars**

"It's not Ethan's link to Parker -or Jimmy-that stops me from being with him. It's the knowledge that I could love him in a way that would rip me in half if anything happened to him. That losing Ethan as I lost Jimmy could ruin me, and that this time, I might not make it back"


Lucy lost her husband 6 years ago in a car accident. Their marriage although brief was like a shooting start that illuminated her life, and now that he is gone, all the light went with
Cover & Title - 3 out of 5.
Favorite Character - Ethan.

Jesus christ the first 40% of this book was dull with a capital D. I barely got into the story at all, i actually considered giving up but since 9pm was too early to go to bed i continued. In the end i am glad i continued as i enjoyed the ending (and i hate not finishing a book), that was my favorite bit (maybe actually the only bit i liked - yikes). I found the story really depressing and not in a way that i liked or enjoyed, in fact i
Carly Ellen Kramer
Jul 12, 2015 Carly Ellen Kramer rated it liked it
The Next Best Thing is entertaining, but not my favorite Kristan Higgins novel. I actually enjoyed the side characters more than Lucy and Ethan. Lucy's issues began to irritate me after a little while. The dimes were clever, as was "Check the toast!"
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
I'm sorry. I didn't LIKE her. Her being the main character. I just, wow, didn't like her. This book was too much trainwreck, not enough heart-warming romance.
Feb 12, 2010 SheLove2Read rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
** spoilers abound **

If I had to rename this book I would call it "Changes". That seems to be the underlying theme for all the characters and the main storyline and bylines.

This is about Lucy Lang. She comes from a family of widows. All the women in her family seem to end up a widow and Lucy is no exception, having lost her beloved husband Jimmy in a car wreck only 8 months after marrying him. The book picks up roughly 5 years later with Lucy having made the decision she's ready to try a relatio
Mar 02, 2013 Desere rated it it was amazing
When meeting the man of your dreams, having children, building a life together and growing old together is pretty much the only thing on your minds, and thinking of being apart is the last thing that is brought into the equation. But things to happen to tear us apart, be it divorce or death, and in the end there is not much we can do about it, except fight our way back to the top in our own way.

However we all deal with loss of any kind in our own way and sometimes it changes us for the worse, an
Jan 14, 2014 Mags rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I really did. The overall premise was interesting; widowed MC and the love interest is her brother in law? It was interesting enough to drag me in.

Sadly, the romance did not live up to my expectations. In the book the main character, Lucy, works at the family bakery. One thing that's brought up several times is that the bakery's desserts aren't very good. Lucy's aunt's use minimal effort in baking; plopping canned cherries onto frozen dough to make pastries etc. But,
Patti TheLoveJunkee
Feb 08, 2010 Patti TheLoveJunkee rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Okay, I think you all know I'm a Kristan Higgins fangirl. Out of the five books she's written, only one was disappointing to me and one is on my keeper shelf. I was really looking forward to The Next Best Thing, and I loved it!

Lucy Lang became a widow at the young age of 25 after less than a year of marriage. She's been a widow for almost five years, working at the family bakery with her mother and aunts. Who all became widows at a young age. It seems to run in the family, whose maiden name is F
Mar 04, 2010 Jess rated it liked it
This was a bit of a tearjerker. Lucy Lang is a widow and has finally decided to put herself back in the dating game. Her husband Jimmy died 5 1/2 years ago, and since her sister just had a baby she's beginning to feel the urge to have a family again herself. First thing to do, stop having a friends with benefits arrangement with Ethan, Jimmy's brother. Lucy knows that her new husband can't be anyone she really cares about, because she can't survive it again if he dies. When you come from a famil ...more
Sep 18, 2011 Mikki rated it it was ok
Generally Kristan Higgins manages to knot up my throat at one point or another in her books (sometimes it happens more than once), but that moment never happened in The Next Best Thing. Which is a bit of a letdown, considering how this book tackles a very emotionally heavy sort of subject matter.

Part of it may be that I found Lucy's grief and many neuroses too excessive, but maybe that's par for the course for that sort of grief. Maybe six years isn't enough time. What do I know, really?

Part of
Mar 10, 2010 Cherise rated it really liked it
Lucy married the love of her life, then not even a year later she was widowed. It’s been over five years now since her husband has died and when her niece is born and after getting a whiff of that yummy baby smell, she decides to start dating; she wants a family. The only trouble is she has to cut loose her best friend with benefits, Ethan, who just happens to be her brother-in-law.

This was the first book I have read by Kristan Higgans, but it won’t be my last. This book tugged on all my heart
Sheyla ✎
Jan 15, 2012 Sheyla ✎ rated it really liked it
Lucy Lang is in her twenties, she has been a widow for five years. After her sister gives birth to baby Emma, Lucy decides it is time to move on and start dating again. So maybe it is time to stop sleeping with her husband's brother- Ethan Mirabelli.

Lucy wants to find a man whom she can love just a little. She is terrified of falling head over heals and wants to settle for someone she can have a kid with but is not crazy for.

The females in her family seem to loose their husbands at an early age.
Jan 11, 2010 Tasha rated it liked it
Shelves: hqn-mira-club, own
This one was somewhat a disappointment for me compared to Too Good To Be True. I was really looking forward to reading this one but it was just "okay" for me. At first I could understand Lucy's apprehension to getting involved with Ethan, but after awhile it just became annoying. I began to find myself wanting Ethan to get with Parker and let Lucy be miserable by herself because of the way she was treating him.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: #190 The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins 1 1 Sep 27, 2015 04:41PM  
Parker 2 7 Jul 18, 2015 03:59PM  
  • On the Steamy Side (Recipe for Love, #2)
  • Lead Me On (Tumble Creek, #3)
  • Suddenly You (Porter Siblings, #2)
  • Instant Gratification (Wilder, #2)
  • Tall Tales and Wedding Veils (Playboys, #2)
  • Public Displays of Affection
  • Straight Up (Wild Hart Saga, #2)
  • Burning Up
  • Housebound
Kristan Higgins is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. Her books have been honored with dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, the New York Journal of Books and Romantic Times.
More about Kristan Higgins...

Other Books in the Series

Gideon's Cove (3 books)
  • Catch of the Day (Gideon's Cove, #1)
  • Somebody to Love (Gideon's Cove, #3)

Share This Book

“My blood pressure surges. Folks, unless you've walked the walk, never tell a widow it's time she moved on.” 3 likes
“So I guess I’m ready to...start dating. I want to get married again. Have a family.” Ethan leans forward, causing Fat Mikey to jump off his lap. “I see,” he says. I look at the floor for a second. “Right.” Risking a peek at Ethan, I add, “So we should probably stop sleeping together.” 0 likes
More quotes…