This is another of my books that has definitely benefitted from a re-read. The theme of Callie's story - that sometimes everything you think you wantThis is another of my books that has definitely benefitted from a re-read. The theme of Callie's story - that sometimes everything you think you want is FAR from what you really need - is not a new one in romance.
Kristan Higgans' take on it, though, is charming. It is also laugh out loud funny, poignant, and is going on my keeper shelf. It's a CLEAN romance as well; while Callie and Ian have tremendous chemisty, the love scenes are all fade to black. What we do see, however, is really well done - enough so that smutty old me barely notices the darkness. (Well, to be fair, I did on second reading but the chemistry between the leads balanced it out.)
This is the second of Kristan Higgins' books I've read in the past year or so; perhaps I should glom her backlist for the stories and characters and play out the love scenes in my head. God knows I've read enough of those. :)
3.5 stars the first time I read it; a year later it's getting a 4....more
Someone HAS to start telling me when I'm reading fanfic. Especially Twilight fanfic.
A friend recommended this to me (waves), I checked out the sampleSomeone HAS to start telling me when I'm reading fanfic. Especially Twilight fanfic.
A friend recommended this to me (waves), I checked out the sample from Amazon, it looked like fun, so I read it. And then found out it was P2P fanfic. I've said it before with other books, and I'll say it again - I feel like Eric Cartman:
So, without talking about the fanfiction angle, let me just say this about the book:
It was funny. Laugh out loud funny in parts, trying-too-hard to be funny in others. It had great bicker/banter. She called him "Wallbanger", he called her "Cockblocker". It had great tension. For the first 1/2 of the book. Then it just dragged on too long, IMHO. It had some great sex in it. 'Nuff said about that. It seemed like a pretty true portrayal of late 20-somethings. Or, at least how I remember late 20-somethings being. On an episode of Friends.
Overall I'd have to say I liked it. It was a fun read, even if it dragged on a little long, with a of other things that that brought my rating down. A Guest Reviewer at Dear Author reviewed this book the other day. She says things way better than I can, so here's the link to it (and if you read the comments there's an interesting discussion starting about fanfiction):
As much as I hate to admit it, I quite liked the Bridget Jones books. And the first couple of Shopaholic ones. I could iSPOILERS AND I RUIN THE ENDING
As much as I hate to admit it, I quite liked the Bridget Jones books. And the first couple of Shopaholic ones. I could identify with Bridget and Becky. They kept me in stitches with their adventures as they tried to find themselves, whether it was by keeping a diet diary or being chased by letters from VISA.
Their stories were told in a distinctive, breezy British manner. The wit in the writing and the charm of the characters was what made both of those series so hugely popular.
When I found this book (for free on Amazon - dammit, I should have known better) I was hoping to meet a heroine like Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood. Instead, I got Grace.
Grace is a elementary school teacher. During her free time she shops. Her pride and joy is the spare room in her house, which she has converted to a dressing room. She is shallow, materialistic and generally not very likable. She is engaged to a lawyer named Mark, who is equally shallow, materialistic and unlikable. They live in a pretentious little village where they pretend to be vereh impohtant and have dinner parties with their equally important couple-friends.
Grace and Mark have 8 years of DINK bliss until one day Mark tells Grace he'd like to have a baby. This causes a huge crack in their otherwise perfect shallow existence, as Grace is unwilling to have a baby with a man who won't marry her. (I had to agree with this point.) Mark can't understand why marriage is necessary, and they take turns pouting over it.
While Grace is pouting the principal at her school notices her and before you can say "holy crap, I really don't like any of these people" they are texting like crazy and she's thinking about having an affair.
So, suffice it to say that a fair bit of clandestine sex is had (including on a desk at their elementary school and if I ever caught so much as a WHIFF that my kid's teacher was boinking the principal after hours in the classroom I think I'd freak out), Mark turns into a completely different person, smooth and uncomplicated break ups happen and by the end of the epilogue the Grace and Mark have each married different people, one couple have had twins and the other is pregnant, they all hang out together and life is just one big perfect HEA. No hard feelings, no one is uncomfortable and everything is freaking peachy.
No problems with Grace's shopping. Or her sorrow over the loss of Mark's income, and the impact it is having on her shopping. Or the loss of "prestige" because Mark was is a lawyer and Tom is a principal. Or how Grace, who appears to be as deep as a mud puddle, will deal with watching Mark and her good friend have a wonderful, happy, MONEYED lifestyle while she looks on.
I see what the author was trying to do here, and it might have worked for other readers, but I simply didn't like the main characters. As a result none of what she was trying worked for me.
On the bright side? I learned a new British slang word: NAFF. Meaning stupid or lame. Hmm.