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Blue Heron #4

In Your Dreams

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Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancé's wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there's really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won't get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero.

But when the wedding festivities take an unexpectedly passionate turn, Em figures it was just one crazy night. Jack is too gorgeous, too popular, to ever end up with her. So why is she the one he can talk to about his deep, dark feelings? If Em is going to get her dream man, she'll have to start by believing in him…

480 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published September 30, 2014

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About the author

Kristan Higgins

61 books11.3k followers
Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than twenty novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. If you want to receive a free short story and be notified when Kristan releases a new book, sign up at kristanhiggins.com.

Kristan enjoys gardening, mixology, the National Parks and complimenting strangers on their children. The mother of two entertaining and wonderful humans, and the grandmother of one perfect child, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, cuddly dog and indifferent cat.

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3,935 (33%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,126 reviews
Profile Image for Didi.
865 reviews287 followers
October 2, 2014

have I mentioned how much I love KH??? Minus one book, everything she's written has earned 4 or 5 stars for me. She's incredible!

We finally get Jack Holland's story and I LOVED IT. I've often wondered about him throughout the series and I never knew he endured so much from a disaster of a marriage to a heroic rescue that left him debilitated emotionally. He and Emmaline were fantastic together. He'd had a history of rescuing and falling for the damsel in distress, but with Em, he found a woman not in need of rescuing but loving all the same.

This was emotional, evocative, distressing, hilarious, beautiful, sexy...GAH! I could go on and on! KH writes wonderful stories that are filled with depth and emotion, love and forgiveness and definitely romance. The plot here was centered around Jack and Em, but also focused on their lives and how the past defined them. I loved Jack, so kind and thoughtful, but also suffering internally over an incident that proclaimed him heroic. He was sexy, sweet and just a beautiful man!
I also loved Em! She was one of my fave KH heroines. Her broken engagement to Kevin was a blessing in disguise. He was such an arrogant and undeserving asshole! I totally got his obsession with his new 'life' but it crushed me how it came down on Em. Being the deputy in Manningsport, NY, she always harbored a small crush on Jack. Agreeing for him to accompany her to her ex's wedding was the beginning for both of them. She never thought he'd fall for a woman like her, but she never did see all she was worth. But Jack....Jack saw all her beauty and I guess that's what I love so much about KH's heroines: They're everyday women, could be a neighbor or a co-worker but they're relatable and wonderful.

I couldn't stand Hadley, Jack's ex-wife. She was such a shrewd cow! Her antics were so transparent and superficial, trying to get Jack to succumb to his white knight side. But she was no match for Em. The only thing I wished for was for Jack to quit being so accommodating to Hadley's lame ass ways! He's nice and completely empathetic to her and although he was long over her, he could have handled her more effectively. This story was so multi-layered that I could burst! I loved Angela, Em's sister and wanted to smack her parents a few times, they loved Em but could have showed it better. I also loved how Em's relationship with them really blossomed into what she's always wanted.

The trauma Jack went through was so heartbreaking and the scene where he resolved it had me shedding serious tears, actually several scenes in this book had me shedding several tears!! I loved seeing Faith and Levi, Honor and Tom, Colleen and Lucas...all the wonderful secondary characters that truly added to this series. The epilogue was beautiful and ended the story perfectly--did I mention I shed a few tears?!--My fave remains The Best Man in this series but I loved this all the same!! This and Waiting On You, tie for second place. Highly recommend this author, all her books and this fantastic series! Now please!!! Give me Connor O'Rourkes story! Maybe with Jessica Dunn? Just sayin'....;-D
Profile Image for Disco.
217 reviews8 followers
October 2, 2014
These are just getting worse and worse. At first I really loved Kristan Higgins' books, but now they are rote:
Heroine has dog? Check!
Heroine humiliates herself in public? Check!
Heroine goes on at least one terrible date? Check!
H or h are so nice they're a doormat? Check!
Heroine is still in love with someone who is awful? Check!
Bitchy comments about Vegans from alleged animal lovers? Check!
Heroine isn't obese even though she eats twice her weight in junk food? Check!
It just sucks because there are moments of brilliance in her books, but the cookie cutter formula is getting old.
Profile Image for Geri Reads.
1,232 reviews2,062 followers
September 15, 2014
If you're a fan of Kristan Higgins, especially her Blue Heron series, then you would undoubtedly enjoy In Your Dreams. This book is about Jack Holland, the all-around American hero and all around nice guy and Emmaline.

Their romance is unconventional because you would never thought of them as being the perfect match. Emmaline suffered from residual insecurities due to her stutter and then being dumped by her fiance for a gorgeously lithe Barbie. Meanwhile, Jack was tired of being called a hero especially when, in his estimation, he failed spectacularly at it and just want to get away. Emmaline needing a date to her ex-fiance's wedding proved to be the distraction he needed to get away. Of course, sparks fly between Jack and Emmaline and sets them on a course of self-discovery and happily ever after.

One thing I loved about this book is the small town setting. I have a soft spot for small town romances and Kritan Higgins is a master of small town romance. Her characters are vividly drawn. They're not always perfect but their flaws is what makes them lovable and relatable in the first place.

In Your Dreams is vintage Higgins with its wickedly funny dialogue and quirky characters. I enjoyed reading this book immensely. If you're a hardcore romance reader who likes steam in her books, then a fair warning. This book doesn't have any graphic sexy scenes. In fact, all the love scenes were fade to black. I didn't miss it that much though. In fact, I found it oddly refreshing.

I'll definitely recommend this book if you're in a mood for some light, wholesome romance.

ARC provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for BookLover.
387 reviews80 followers
May 28, 2017
NOTHING KICKED OFF Emmaline Neal's weekend like using a Taser.

One of the best first lines of a novel I've read in a long time.

This book really packed an emotional punch! Even though I would categorize this as a romance, this book was so much more. Jack and Emmaline both have so much going on this story that their romance almost takes a back seat to everything else happening.

I felt like I was constantly being sucker punched while reading about Emmaline's past. The way her ex-fiance treats her towards the end of their relationship cut me up.

The whole ex-fiance wedding weekend was completely cringe-worth and I'm happy Kristan Higgins didn't linger on it. Jack totally brought the funny to the weekend though...

“I'm sorry. I know I said I didn't want the whole pretend boyfriend thing, but I told Kevin we're engaged."
"Then I demand conjugal rights."
"Shut up, Jack."
"Is that any way to talk to your fiance?" He rinsed the razor and continued shaving.

One of the great things about this series of books is the whole community of characters. The dynamic of the Holland family has had me laughing since the first book, not to mention the back and forth between Colleen and Connor.

I loved Jack's miserable attempts to woo Emmaline and her deadpan reaction to his attempts. He was a great hero, though Emmaline really stole the show for me.

I CANNOT wait for Connor's book!!

Profile Image for Mo.
1,362 reviews2 followers
December 9, 2014
3.5 stars

Not like me to give a Kristan Higgins book less than 4 or 5 stars. Not sure why this one fell a bit short for me.

Both main characters were likeable. Maybe because I have been reading some real alpha assholes that Jack came across as too nice. Dreadful, I know.

Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancé's wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there's really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won't get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero.

I really should do my reviews as soon as I finish a book.
Profile Image for bookedrightmeow.
706 reviews42 followers
September 30, 2014
Well, I know that I'm in the minority here when I say that I really disliked this book. And it pains me to say that because I'm a big fan of Kristan Higgins, but it's my honest opinion. Here's why I disliked it.

I despised Kevin and Naomi and hated how their characters are used as devices to constantly humiliate Emmaline. I don't mind a few cringeworthy moments, but every scene with Naomi--and there are many--involves Emmaline's public degradation. I understand that Emmaline was betrayed by Kevin. I got it: it was horrible what he did to her. I didn't need to be reminded again and again and again.

Speaking of too much, Hadley is a Southern fried nightmare. NIGHTMARE. So much of the book is dedicated to her--why? She is a Stage 5 Clinger. Frankly, Jack would have been right to file a restraining order against that crazy chick. Instead, he's constantly coddling and enabling her because of his stupid hero complex. How unfair to Emmaline, who deserves way better.

I kind of hated Emmaline's parents, too. In the end, her mom redeems herself, but they're so obtuse and uncaring that it wasn't enough for me to feel warmly toward them.

Things I did like: Angela, Emmaline's sister, annoyed me at first with her perfection but I grew to like her very much. Her and Sarge, the puppy. I liked the puppy. And I liked Emmaline, for the most part, even though she's head over heels for that bozo Jack. Throughout the story, Emmaline proves that she's great with other people. She's very empathetic. And I know Jack did some heroic things, which is really awesome and wonderful and all, but in matters of the heart, he's just a bozo to me.

Why couldn't the book as a whole have been more like the final few chapters? I loved those. I loved seeing the extended Holland family interacting with a combination of warmth and humor, as they have done previously. But for the majority of this book, the tone is so snide and uncomfortable. I wanted less "Mean Girls" and more of the awesome Blue Heron series.

This one was odd--so much unnecessary, immature angst that easily could have been avoided. Unfortunately, the story overall just fell flat for me.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,743 reviews6,669 followers
November 27, 2017
In Your Dreams is the fourth installment in Kristan Higgins's adult contemporary romance series titled Blue Heron. This one is possibly my favorite of the series. The heroine presents with some pretty serious baggage: her past relationship ended as a complete nightmare that she suddenly has to revisit. In comes our hero who presents with some significant baggage of his own that feels never ending. Strong characters, an engaging plot, and plenty of palpable emotion that is lightened with sarcasm, humor, and a bit of romance. It was great. Check it out!

My favorite quote:
“Not everyone has to be in a relationship to feel good about themselves. Some people are better off on their own.”

The Blue Heron is a series of romances set in the community of Blue Heron. Each book showcases a different couple with cameos from past/future characters. The series includes the following installments as of November 2017:
#1-The Best Man
#2-The Perfect Match
#3-Waiting on You
#4-In Your Dreams
#5-Anything for You
Profile Image for Shawna.
3,545 reviews4,576 followers
November 19, 2014
4-4 ½ stars – Contemporary Romance

I really enjoyed this one! I’ve read every single KH book and despite their more chick-lit feel and the no/very low steam, fade to black love scenes, I always somehow find myself engaged, charmed, and entertained by her witty writing, fun, quirky characters, and sweet, humorous stories.

KH created another genuine, flawed, cute, funny, strong, insecure, loveable, lonely, relatable heroine in Emmaline and made me feel every emotion right along with her. Jack was a perfect, imperfect, romantic hero and exactly what she needed. I just wish there had been a lot more page time spent on Em and Jack together and much less on detailing their past relationships with their uber annoying exes. The ending felt slightly rushed, and I wanted a teensy bit more of an apology and groveling on Jack’s part. And of course, I keep hoping/wishing that KH will turn up the heat in her books by about 200 degrees! But it’s still a great read that made me feel, smile, laugh, and cry, so 4-4 ½ highly enjoyable stars!
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,242 reviews965 followers
September 14, 2014
Originally posted on The Book Nympho

Quick summary
Emmaline Neal was cruelly dumped by her fiancé three years ago and now he's getting married to the woman he left her for. She's over him (kinda) and needs a date to accompany her to the wedding (long but credible story as to why she has to attend). Jack Holland, the town's gorgeous good guy agrees to help her out as that's what he does and he needs a respite from the hero worship coming from a recent, daring rescue.

Jack's not avoiding all the accolades just because he's a good guy. He's quietly suffering from PTSD resulting from that rescue as it was frightening, dangerous and emotional. So, he tries to power through it on his own and not everyone is pleased with how he handled the rescue. It also doesn't help that his cheating ex-wife is back in town looking for a second chance. And, it looks like his "pretend" romance with Emmaline has taken a turn towards reality.

What I loved
Emmaline and Jack. They're both really good people and she's overcome some serious past baggage, sort of. At least she's handling it normally and there's a lot to admire about her. Jack seems almost too perfect but he's not, in all the best of ways. Their romance hit all the right notes, developing just the way I like. I loved disliking their ex's and they really made it easy and fun to do. There are cute pets involved and well-intentioned (but nosy) family and friends that provide comic relief typical of a Higgins story.

The bottom line
I'm struggling to pick a favorite in this series because every book has something special. This one has two very appealing main characters in a lovely romance that neither was actively looking to be in and it just worked. It wasn't easy but nor was it filled with a lot of angst. They both seemed to have used what they learned from their failed relationships and made it work. I'm still smiling about these two and enjoyed it, though I thought it wrapped a little hurriedly. 4.5 stars

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Profile Image for Karen.
809 reviews1,025 followers
March 6, 2017

I ended up really liking it. But I have to admit, there were quite a few times where I wanted to poke myself in the eye with a pencil. Emmaline took a bit long to grow a backbone, and Jack... Jack spent most of the book with his head up his ass. But in the end KH waved her magic wand made me love them both.

Imagine that. :D
Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,258 reviews1,547 followers
October 2, 2014
4.5 Stars :D

Again, I prostrate myself at Kristan Higgins feet. Goddess of sweet, sexless contemporary romance, divinity of realistic, sometimes slapstick comedy, wise woman of heart and meaningful relationships...you get the idea.

I've never not loved a KH book. I like to think that this author, above most other authors I've read, leaves a little piece of herself in each story she writes. Most authors have a certain tone to their books, but it's more evident with this lady right here. Sometimes goofy, sometimes syrupy sweet (but it works!), and always, always heartfelt and genuine, her characters might actually be living in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

This particular story rounds out the Holland family's love lives with Jack Holland's romance with Emmaline. Jack is the nice guy of the town, always there with a smile and a helping hand. Of course, real life isn't all sunshine and rainbows, and when Jack agrees to be Emmaline's date to her ex-fiancee's wedding, he sees the cross country trip as a great escape from prying eyes and an ex wife turned stalker.

Meanwhile, Emmaline is determined to get through the wedding with her heart and reputation intact, and having the gorgeous Jack Holland on board with her plan makes the dreaded ceremony just a tiny bit more bearable.

I loved Emmaline's character. I love all of Higgin's heroines, but Emmaline holds a special place for me. She's tough on the outside but gooey on the inside. And I'm not talking the fake tough girl act. She's been through a lot, both growing up and grown up, and she's come through it all a fairly grounded girl...just maybe awfully lonely. When she feels herself falling for Jack, she really, REALLY doesn't want to go there. She doesn't want the broken heart that comes from loving a man so totally out of her league.

And get this...Emmaline doesn't play head games.


I know, right?!?! What a great girl. Jack is no slouch either, and it was delightful to read along with their romance.

Another absolute winner from Kristan Higgins. I'm a forever fan.

Advance copy provided by the publisher for review
Profile Image for Bj.
1,217 reviews262 followers
July 9, 2016
4.5 "Letting Go of the Past to Find True Love" Stars for the story and narration!

A funny, compelling, and uplifting look at how prior failed attempts at love can sometimes linger on and affect (and sometimes even bring together) future relationships. This was my first Higgin's book, and I'm impressed. Though chicklit is a romance sub-genre that I only read or listen to infrequently, and even then only from trusted authors that I already know I enjoy--Ms. Higgins drawed me in with her complex, humorous, and yet personable and believable characters. My interest has been piqued, and now I must explore more of of Ms. Higgin's works!

Source: Library copy.
Profile Image for Olga.
990 reviews140 followers
September 1, 2016
Como todos los libros de esta saga, me ha encantado , no solo por las risas ( y muchas ) que me han provocado por las situaciones y frases tanto de la pareja protagonista como de todos los secundarios ( todos de Lujo para que negarlo)...

Tanto Jack como Emmaline son una pareja atipica pero real... donde hay mucho del pasado en el presente y donde los dos tienen que enfrentarse para afrontar una posible relacion de presente y futuro... que importante es el pasado ( los hechos, las amistades , la familia) para afrontar el presente ....

Una saga para releer con el tiempo por los buenos momentos que me han hecho pasar y gracias sis por la lectura :)))
Profile Image for WhiskeyintheJar.
1,317 reviews539 followers
September 23, 2014
****Full Review****

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Emmaline is a tough chick with a soft sensitive side that she tries to keep guarded. She grew up with a stutter that led to her being ostracized from the other kids, well except from the other outcast Kevin, who was obese. They ended up being each other's shoulder to cry on and their friendship evolved into a romance. As Kevin gets unhealthier, Emmaline tries to encourage him to make healthier life choices, this includes going to the gym. There Kevin meets an over the top trainer who shames and degrades but surprise, Kevin really digs this and decides Emmaline is part of his problem and dumps her two months before their wedding. Reeling from losing her bestfriend and having her life fall apart, Emmaline moves back to her grandmother's house that was left to her and chooses to pursue a life of protecting and serving as the town deputy. Things are going along good, if not for the pesky problem of still missing Kevin and the occasional rising up of the hurt he caused, when a wedding invitation shows up from Kevin and his lovingly abusive trainer. Emmaline decides she has to show up and a date is fast required. Enter Jack, the town white knight. Jack is such an incredibly nice guy, he's liable to give you a cavity. He is just coming off of saving a couple teenagers from a car in a lake, dealing with the guilt of not quite being able to save one of them, PTSD from the accident, and oh, hey, his ex-wife, who cheated on him, is back in town looking to reconcile. Jack, to say the least, is ready for a little vaca and so we have him agreeing to be Emmaline's date to the out of town wedding.
As someone who didn't read the other books in the series, the beginning with all the mentions of the past characters was a little overwhelming; a lot of names are thrown the reader’s way. However, this doesn't last long as the story settles in and focuses more on Emmaline and Jack. This was a problem too as it was Emmaline and Jack, not Emmaline with Jack. There is a lot of story told in flashbacks with Emmaline and her ex-fiancé and Jack with his ex-wife. With that and then Emmaline's unresolved hurt, family issues, Jack with his PTSD, guilt, family issues, and semi-threatening things happening to him, there just wasn't a lot of time left for a romance between our two characters. I never felt exactly why they wanted to be together, well, besides the great sex, but as this is a pretty clean story, we never see that either. Our leads have some great banter but fairly lukewarm chemistry.
The story was rather slow moving with a few redundant scenes, as I read an ARC copy, I hope this gets some editing as I think it would help bring Emmaline and Jack to the forefront more and alleviate some of the bogged down feeling the pace takes on. There are some great lines and the issues Emmaline and Jack deal with will hit home for a lot of people, it's just the romance aspect of the story gets lost in the all the clutter and the ending wound up feeling rushed.
Even with all the complaints I leveled at this book, the author's writing is credible enough that if you are looking for a solid contemporary where romance isn't the main focus but rather two people dealing with their life issues, this would be worthy of a purchase. Others who have read the previous books in the series will probably enjoy Jack getting his happily ever after, also. For me, the occasional witty banter couldn't quite make up for all the other jumbled and imposing elements.

Profile Image for Jultri.
1,096 reviews6 followers
December 18, 2018
It's official! Kristan Higgins is a brilliant writer! She has been churning out consistently entertaining reads and this one is no exception. Emmaline Neal is in the highly awkward and undesirable position of being an invited guest to her ex-fiance's wedding to the body-perfect woman he ditched her for. Unable to politely decline the invitation without subjecting herself further to her shrink parents' psychoanalyses, she is in desperate need of a date. Practically everyone in their small town (Manningsport, NY) volunteer Jack Holland as her perfect wedding companion - all round nice guy with the movie star looks and an integral part of the highly respected Holland Family's wine-making dynasty. For everyone knows Jack is a natural knight in shining armour. In fact, his heroics extend to far more than providing amiable companionship for women in need, for he single-handedly pulled four young local boys out of their submerged car recently (even though one remains in a coma). Jack himself is more than happy to accompany Emmaline to the Malibu wedding on the other side of the country, especially since his faithless ex-wife has just turned up in full seduction and reunion mode. Em and Jack have known each other for years, acquaintances and hockey team mates but never really went much beyond hellos and friendly waves. Of course the wedding changes it all, as they both discover one another's depths, fragilities and strengths. And very fine bodies!

Back in Manningsport, they try to negotiate the tentative new awareness between them and where to go from there. There are complications hampering their efforts to work out an understanding between them: his PTSD and lingering guilt over his perceived failure to save the last boy in time; her crushed self-esteem from childhood bullying, dysfunctional and emotionally neglectful parents and abandonment by her ex-fiance weeks before their wedding; and last but not least his stalky and needy ex-wife (Hadley).

Higgins imbues her stories with delightful, humorous dialogue and real emotions and issues, and the secondary characters are vivid and mostly likeable. Except I wanted to mess up Hadley's perfectly coiffed hair and chip her manicured nails. And I wanted to crush Jack's balls in a nutcracker for his failure to shut down Hadley and his hurtful treatment of Em towards the end. Enough with that nice guy gentlemanly behaviour already! Charity starts at home or with Em first, not with an undeserving two-timing conniving bitch. He visited Hadley daily after the jail incident but failed to check in on Em and apologise for his shitty reaction and comments. He made her stutter!!! He of all people should know, how distraught she must have been in order to trigger the stuttering. There was not enough grovelling. In fact there was no grovellng at all, as they met one another half-way and the resolution happened too fast. And we really didn't need a few chapters devoted entirely to the background stories of their prior relationships. Too much detail much better spent on the main characters and their interactions with one another. Still rounded up, because KH is such a superior writer. I do love Em's character and her refusal to play fragile damsel in distress to cater to Jack's compulsive hero complex. Em's cop is perfectly capable of heroic deeds herself and she wasn't going to pretend otherwise.

The narration is top notch.
Profile Image for Rebekah.
552 reviews28 followers
December 1, 2022
**11/22** Listening to this title on Audio read by Amy Rubinate. Prefer her greatly to Xe Sands, her usual reader.
Enjoyed this very much on audio. (No surprise.) My original thoughts and opinions have not changed from my first read. I just want to add that jack's PTSD and his refusal to acknowledge it was very irritating. His constantly blaming himself-ARGHH. I also thought blaming Emmeline for Hadley's meltdown was way too much. It was never acknowledged that it was Emmet's (the deputy's) fault for not checking on her in her cell. So it's still a 4-star KH. But grading on the curve.

Then again, her family dinners consisted of carefully modulated voices swapping bitter insults disguised in psychobabble, compliments from Angela, and grunts from herself. Topics of discussion included self-actualization, repressed memories and why Emmaline was wasting her life, with a side of martinis.
In your Dreams is another first-class romantic comedy from Kristan Higgins. Although not in my top 5 of her books, it contains her usual humor and pathos. It's not everyone who can include slapstick, witty banter, and situation comedy (the Norman-Bates wedding?)while always bringing a tear to your eye. Everything was fine. She is not losing her touch, as so many writers seem to, eventually. The one quibble I had with this one was that there was no cathartic comeuppance for the "bad guys." Emmaline's ex-fiancé and his abusive fitness trainer bride just did not suffer at all from their unjust and mean treatment of our heroine nor their over-the-top healthy lifestyle. Kristan delivers on the comic fodder here! Apparently, they live happily ever after. There was a long flashback setting up the very well-fleshed-out Kevin character (no pun intended) and how he came to treat Emmaline so unjustly, but all that build-up just did not pay off in him getting his just desserts (again, no pun intended) despite a bit of closure near the end. The wedding was fraught with comic and dramatic possibilities that went unrealized. The "big scene" was a disappointment, starting off well, but just kind of withering on the vine. I also felt that huge opportunities were lost on the distaff side with Jack's psycho southern belle ex-wife. The build-up was so great, but there was never any real catharsis. He had her number and, yes, Hadley finally revealed herself in all her damaged psychotic glory, but not publicly, and ultimately managed to turn it around to unjustly reflect poorly on Emmaline. Not enough good triumphing over evil for me. However, despite the lack of my seeing enough Karmic pay-off, Kristan has delivered again. She remains an automatic buy for me.
Profile Image for A_Ryan.
619 reviews178 followers
January 31, 2016
This was a tough one to rate because Kristan Higgins is fantastic at pulling on the heart strings and writing intensly emotional stories. But I felt that this book was too light on the romance between the two main characters and instead focused heavily on the relationship with their unlikable exes.

I thought Emmaline was a little bit of a doormat and I was waiting for her to get just a little more pissed off at people...which she never did. The best we got out of her was when she hung up on her awfully neglectful mother.

Both Em and Jack seemed to fall in love so suddenly. The kiss came out of nowhere. The relationship came out of nowhere. And the declarations of love seemed brief and utterly unbelievable. Certainly the ending was so rushed that if you blinked you'd miss it, suddenly finding yourself in the epilogue.

There are some stand out moments (the beach scene, the water sports, or even the bathroom sex) but there is also too much humiliation and heartbreak (mostly caused by Kevin and Naomi, as well as Emmaline's unbearable parents), and not nearly enough come-uppance, retaliation or social justice to make the gut-wrenching experience worthwhile.

KH's writing is wonderful but somehow comes across a little formulaic here. The humiliation factor for each of her heroine's; the pet dogs; the half-uninterested men; their questionable devotion to the main heroine; the men's poor taste in exes; the comfort eating; the death bed drama... all common plot lines/ devices in the Blue Heron books.

A fabulous stand alone read, but somewhat disappointing after reading the other (similar) books in the series.
Profile Image for Tif.
472 reviews
October 8, 2014
Technically probably 1-1/2 Stars but I just can't bear to give Kristan Higgins a 1 star. Normally I really like her books but this one? Not so much. What was wrong with it? Let me count the ways...

1. LEAVE Manningsport. Why do authors insist on creating these series'?? It seems all at once lazy--not having to come up with new characters--and a lot of work--having to "catch us up" on the other characters from the past books or having to introduce new readers to them. Too many characters. Too much time taken up on them. It's boring, confusing, and distracting. "They walked into the bar and there's so and so who's married to so and so who's so and so's cousin who used to go out with so and so, but now is married to so and so and oh how sweet they're expecting a baby..." It's like on Dumb and Dumber when he bangs his head on the bar and goes, "No, and I DON'T CARE!!" That's how I feel. I much prefer KH's stand-alone books.

2. This book was very disjointed. The beginning when they are in California doesn't even feel like it was part of the rest of the book.

3. Most of the main characters in this book are over-exaggerated stereotypes--especially Naomi, Kevin, and Hadley.

4. NO CHEMISTRY. These characters have NO chemistry at all whatsoever. Jack is hot and he saved some kids. We get that. Beyond that, there's not much to him. He's not even funny. Eammaline is tough which is great, but she's also really blah.

5. Where's the humor? Sisters were sorta funny. Emmaline was funny a few times. Beyond that the normal KH humor was missing.

Please Kristan Higgins leave the Blue Heron series and give us something new!
Profile Image for Angie.
645 reviews1,013 followers
October 23, 2014
This book was a hot mess and that's all there is to it. I am a fan of Kristan Higgins' backlist, and the first book in the Blue Heron series was a delight. But this series has gone downhill with each installment and this was the worst yet. It had no focus, lacked any kind of reliable pacing, and continually treated its two protagonists as though they (and their readers) were extremely dense. What a disappointment.
Profile Image for Xoaniña.
163 reviews
July 17, 2017
Me encanta esta serie, sus personajes y sus historias!
Consiguen engancharme y sacarme una sonrisa.
Esperaba con mucha ansia la historia de Jack y no llegó a enamorarme como esperaba....... me gustó pero no me voló la cabeza con el chico guapo.....
una historia bonita pero en la que me ha faltado química, sobre todo por parte de el
Así que 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ para la historia de Jack y Em
Profile Image for Dee.
1,481 reviews158 followers
January 9, 2016
A pretty average book, I got bored at times and thought Jack very wishy washy, I did however like Emmaline. Didn't feel any connection between the two of them and cannot imagine them having a HEA!.....Stars of the show was 'Sarge' (Emmaline's puppy) and 'Lazarus' (Jack's cat)!!!

Like the author, like her style of writing but wouldn't rush to read this again :(
Profile Image for ShoSho .
991 reviews106 followers
September 2, 2014

From netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I've been thinking about this book and what to write about it for 4 days now. This was not my favorite book from Kristan Higgins and the reason is the heroine . IMO her character was not consistent throughout the book . One moment she was this confident police officer and next she was this crazy woman who said and did stupid things!(specially in the wedding scenes ).Those scenes were suppose to be funny but I didn't find it funny at all.

I liked the romance and secondary characters but I feel there was just too much going on .
Overall I enjoyed reading this book and I'm looking forward to read more books by Kristan Higgins .
Profile Image for Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method).
1,669 reviews475 followers
May 8, 2016
I liked this one. The only issue I had is that it stretched the conflict out with beautiful angst and then wrapped the whole thing up in a rather anti-climactic page which didn't balance out the earlier taffy pull of tension...
Profile Image for Sky.
303 reviews15 followers
March 16, 2017
I don't know why I didn't review this earlier; but I guess sometimes words fail you.

Now see, I liked this book, but I also hated this book. This is a 2-3 star book that gave me 5 star tears on my face.

This is the best Higgins book in my opinion, however, it still had some of the same usual flaws all Higgins's books usually have. I feel like the heriones always feel too much, whereas the heroes feel too little (until the very last two pages, that is). And the redemption always leaves highly dissatisfied.

Considering the course I took on communicational disorders, I appreciate that the author took the time to research about stuttering and include it in her novel (although there are still some slight inaccuracies, but nothing too damaging). I also appreciated that she included PTSD here. These two important topics are usually underrepresented in novels. And even though I appreciated this representation, I felt kind of manipulated; the PTSD triggers usually happened when Emmaline was around, and the stuttering usually happened when Jack was around (unless we're talking about the flashbacks) and although while reading it, it didn't feel manipulative nor wrong, it did once I started thinking about it.

The plot and the characters were well-written, but I won't really go into them; I feel too emotional for that (also, the blurb is enough). I do recommend this to people who don't mind the aforementioned faults.
Profile Image for Lisa Filipe.
Author 5 books242 followers
September 10, 2014
Ok...YES...I wanted to punch one of the secondary characters in the face repeatedly...BUT...I have to say, IN YOUR DREAMS just solidified that for me, Kristan Higgins is in a league of her own. Now, that is said not to put other amazing authors down..but it is just something about the magic of her talent, the writing, the plots, the humor, the emotion, the world building, the Special Something that is Kristan Higgins, and it just can't be duplicated.

For those who are HUGE Higgins fans like me, well, you might find that IN YOUR DREAMS has that feel of JUST ONE OF THE GUYS, which is my all-time favorite from Higgins, and maybe cause it was my first, but I just had that same little feeling when reading IN YOUR DREAMS, as I get when I pick up JUST ONE OF THE GUYS.

For those who have never read a Kristan Higgins romance, I will tell you that you are MISSING OUT on Magic! From CATCH OF THE DAY, to SOMEBODY TO LOVE, to UNTIL THERE WAS YOU to MY ONE AND ONLY...See I can't even write this without my chest squeezing in emotion...I swear I can't get through a Higgins Romance without the waterworks...they are just that "Special".

So..On to IN YOUR DREAMS...well...we meet the lovely Emmaline in THE BEST MAN (also AMAZING), who we get to know as a little snarky, no-nonsense kinda lady and that just continues through to IN YOUR DREAMS, and Jack Holland...OH MY...If you weren't already half in love with him already...well...just wait...cause Jack and Emmaline just made my heart feel so so good! Great Guy All Around Jack, and Emmaline, the Hockey Playing Cop are not to be missed. With "Crazy" Ex's (OMG...Yes...You will want to STRANGLE them both), the fun as EVER Holland Clan, and an "Underwear" scene that had me laughing almost as much as when Chaz's pup goes on a joy-run in men's tightie-whities!

I laughed, I cried, my heart squeezed, my chest clenched, and I simply ADORED, IN YOUR DREAMS!!!
323 reviews8 followers
July 17, 2014
I swore off this author a while back. I used to be a big fan, buying every book on the first day out. Then, things went south (you can read my not-so-nice reviews of her other recent books) to the point that I swore off this author a while back. This was done with my utter regret because my favorite author list was already really short. Then this book came along. I didn't intend to pick it up at first, but I was in a deep funk. I can't finish a book for a very long time, it's like nothing can entertain me anymore. I saw her book on Netgalley and said to myself 'Why not? You don't have anything good going on anyway.' And at first I had no expectation, just wanting a bit of entertainment because I know I can count on Kristan Higgins for her slapstick if not for anything else. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I liked everything else in this book except those slapstick bits which felt forced to me. I love the heroine's voice. She doesn't cute swear in her thoughts. She isn't obsessed (not quite when compared to other recent heroines from this author) with love and marriage all the time. The hero himself is super perfect (terrifying so, but I have no complaint). I feel the author is a bit more relaxed and doesn't try as hard to be funny in every sentence as the way she did in her several previous outings and the result comes off as a very natural, fluid romantic comedy that is quite well rounded on every front. There are a few flaws (for example, most characters from previous books are reduced to one note characters - sweet flowery Faith, brash horny Pru, sexy smart-mouth Colleen), but I am in such a good mood after finishing this book to be nitpicking. 5 stars
Profile Image for Leona.
1,731 reviews18 followers
October 13, 2018
I loved this one. Both Jack and Em were wonderful characters. They came with some serious baggage attached to each of them, but as a reader you couldn't help but cheer them on. I loved the secondary character development. It added significantly to the book. However, unlike the other books in the series, this one is better read in sequence. A reader who just jumped in, might get a bit frustrated and would definitely miss out on depth that prior knowledge gave to the story.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I would have liked to see more pages devoted to their working through the final crisis. It felt a little too conveniently solved. Thus, my rating of 4 stars versus 5. But outside of that teensy weeny issue, it's a great story.

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