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On Second Thought

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  9,892 ratings  ·  1,164 reviews

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 poise

Paperback, 470 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by HQN Books
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  9,892 ratings  ·  1,164 reviews

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This showstopper earned five glittery and blindingly bright gold stars from me. On Second Thought, Kate and Ainsley deserve them all; every single shining beauty you can see when you’re far away from the lights of the city and take the time to gaze up in wonder at the night sky. That awe-inspiring feeling that miraculous sight stirs up is akin to my feelings for these easy to adore characters and their all too relatable story.

Only three books in to her extensive backlist and Kristan Higgins has
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*4.5 stars*

One time might be a fluke but two times? I'm in LOVE!

Kristan Higgins blew me away with another book set in the fictional New York town of Cambry-on-Hudson. I absolutely adored my first ever Kristan Higgins book, If You Only Knew, and this one was just as magical.

I have a little bit of trouble classifying the genre of these two recent Kristan Higgins books because they straddle the line between women's fiction and contemporary romance. Honestly, it doesn't matter what box you put t
Jennifer Kyle
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

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This is my first book read by this author and her writing and in particular her sense of humor was a perfect fit me for me! This story is told in the povs' of two sisters, Kate and Ainsley. Who through tragedy and loss, become closer.

The two different circumstances in both women’s lives devastates and then leads them on a path for both heroines to second chance at romance. My only complaint is the cover for this book. The title is perfect, but the cover is just too bland f
Susanne  Strong
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
3.25 Stars* (rounded down)

Sweet, though it failed to tug at my heart strings.

“On Second Thought” by Kristan Hannah is a story about two Step-Sisters, who were never all that close - that is until Kate’s husband of 4 months, died in a freak accident and Ainsley’s boyfriend of eleven (11) years broke up with her instead of proposing, which is what she had been expecting.

Both Kate and Ainsley are beside themselves thereafter and thankfully, they have each other to lean on. Both are so different:
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars..

Really enjoyed this one. Kate and Ainsley have never been that close but tragic circumstances bring them together ... they realise that they do get on, they like each other, they have each other's backs.

Loved both characters and their interweaving storyline.

Gram-Gram - LOL. What a character!

Of course we have the obligatory dog, Ollie.

I think there was only one of her books that disappointed me a little but overall, she is an auto-buy and I usually end up enjoying them. Lover her droll
One of my favourite reads so far this year! Wow. My heart actually ached a little bit while reading this. I felt bereft and gutted. Such an emotional story. Again, like with If You Only Knew, we get two stories in one - half sisters Kate and Ainsley, each telling their point of view during a devastating time in their lives. (And coincidentally told in the same community as If You Only Knew with appearances from many of the characters in this book, a real bonus for me.)

I’m not really sure what I
Dani C. (Paulette's Papers)
I will admit the two reasons I picked up this book was the cover (I love purple tulips) and the author (I love Kristan Higgins). I didn’t read the synopsis which is not normally something I do. I just knew based on who the author is and the lovely cover that I would enjoy this book.

I was right.

I honestly hate books the switch between characters each chapter yet Ms. Higgins made it work. We get a chance not only to see what each sister is going through but we also see how they view their sister’s
On Second Thought is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by the fabulous Kristan Higgins. In my opinion, this would be an ideal read after experiencing the perfection that is If You Only Knew – at least this is the order I followed due to publication dates and the fact that we get a few cameos from the former's MC's. Yay!!! But other than that, On Second Thought stands on it's own and it's just as good (well a close second place at least). It features alternating POV's from two half
Kate O'Leary Coburn is a 39-year old photographer who after four months of marital bliss finds herself a widow after her husband Nathan's sudden death. Her half sister, Ainsley has lived with boyfriend Eric Fisher for 11 years and is excited about getting engaged only to find herself unceremoniously dumped. Surprisingly, Kate and Ainsley turn to each other for support, even though they haven't ever had a close relationship.

I'm used to Higgins creating quirky, interesting characters and this sto
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
Loved that these two sisters became closer and formed a bond during their trials.

HATED Eric with a passion! What a self-centered, delusional ass!

Can't say I was terribly thrilled with Nathan either after finding out about (view spoiler)
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was my first Kristan Higgins book, and I absolutely LOVED it. How someone can take such a heartbreaking story and fill it with so many emotions, joy and laughter and then an ending that brought me to tears... I'm a little speechless. Great book.
On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins was a read that I couldn't put down. I came back to it any time I had, other things I thoroughly enjoy were put aside. I was totally hooked into this book, I laughed and at times a few tears slipped down from the sheer perfection of some of the relationships and how they worked out.

The book is told from the point of view of two sisters. Kate the older one, not long married to Nathan has found the love of her life and is hoping for a child, until the unthinkab
Theresa Alan
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this book. This is exactly what I like to read—women’s fiction with comedic and romantic elements. This novel delivers in every way—humor, heartbreak, complex family and romantic relationships, and characters you root for the whole way.

In chapter one, we know that Kate’s husband will not live through the day. You would think a novel that begins with a loved one’s death—a quirk of an accident—would not be funny, but there is a lot of humor throughout this story.

The other th
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'd give this book endless stars if I could. I absolutely loved every minute. It was perfect in every way!!
Sheyla ✎
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing

"Don't make me wait too long."

Kristan Higgins is one of my favorite authors. I'm always super excited when she releases a new book. On Second Thought had everything I have come to love about her books.

On Second Thought is about two sisters, step-sisters as it is.

Kate O' Leary is the older sister. She has recently married a man after knowing him for just four months. She and her husband Nathan are anxious for her to become pregnant since she's almost forty. She loves her husband and she
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Gosh, I am so happy I ended up loving this one. I wasn't sure I would. I had made it to the 35% mark and I wasn't getting the I LOVE IT feeling like I did with the other books I have read by her.

I was feeling so sad by what was happening and I didn't like that feeling. But then it happened. The magic that KH pours into her stories bubbled to the top and I found myself smiling, laughing and shedding tears just like I have with her other books.

❤'d Ainsley
❤'d Kate
❤'d Jonathan - He was one of my
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All of my reviews can be found on

Every time Higgins releases a new book and I finish reading it I think, this is her best one yet, it’s my favorite, she’s topped herself again. She’s that’s good you guys, her work gets stronger and she was already extremely talented to begin with. I don’t even have to read the blurb for her novels, I’m reading it no matter what, but when I did read the blurb for this one I was thrilled. Her last book, If You Only Knew was also about sisters a
10+++++ STARS!

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book. Seriously. This is why Kristan Higgins is my favorite author. Everything she's written, I've read and loved. I have a few special favorites, of course, but this woman knows how to string a few sentences together and make you laugh, cry, smile and sigh because of it.

KH also revisits the fictional and lovely Cambry-on-Hudson, a beautiful town full of character and relaxed wealth. We get cameos from Jenny and Leo, who featured in If You Only Knew but
I needed On Second Thought. I didn't realize it until I felt myself smiling. Or laughing.

Kristan Higgins' female characters have such a unique outlook on life. They are women that you'd want as a sister or close friend. They are lovable. They have warmth. They can be funny. Or fragile.

In this narrative, the two women are half-sisters and in committed relationships at the beginning of the story. Kate is married and Ainsley is in a long-term romance waiting on a proposal. Then the unthinkable ha
Ainsley and Kate are sisters who become close when Kate's husband suddenly dies and Ainsley's boyfriend of 11 years dumps her. However, this contemporary romance is about the sister's relationship and making yourself happy. This is my third Kristan Higgins' novel this summer and I have enjoyed all of them so much. She has the perfect blend of funniness and lightness and seriousness. Like her other books, I find myself neglecting my responsibilities to read a few more chapters. There is nothing e ...more
Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
It's been a really long time since I have read a Higgins book, but when this was brought to my attention, I knew I had to get my hands on it.

On Second Thought was a book that not only surprised me, but blew my expectations out of the water. To date, I think this is the best book Higgins has ever written.

The story is told from the POV of two sisters, Kate and Ainsley. Kate is the older half sister from their father's first and current marriage, and she is also a 39-year old widow. For twenty year
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars, rounded up
An easy listen with excellent narrators that explores grief and the relationship between sisters as they depend on one another like never before after each is dealt a blow. Although it sounds dark, the snarky humor and heartwarming scenes saved it from being a depressing read.
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-love
4.5 stars


This will probably be my most heartfelt review that I have written in some time.
When you dive into a KH book you know what you are getting. A few tears, lost of laughs, that good ole loving feeling. Someone dies, or has died. You always have dogs.


This year, this month, currently I probably should not have read this book. Because the topics were straight fucking daggers to my heart.

Cancer. Death. Funerals.

I dont even want to begin to count the number of wakes/funerals I ha
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2017reads, netgalley
4.5 stars

Another wonderful and brilliant book by Kristan Higgins! I've been a fan of her books ever since and was glad to hear she had a new one. Her books have certain charm to them with real people, romance and comedy that all blend together. The family dynamic explored here is complex but done with a touch of humor and lightness, along with interesting cast of characters!

The circumstances that brought these two sisters together even closer maybe unfortunate and unexpected. Quite blindsided re
Finally! A 5 star read. This is actually two seperate stories, alternating between two sisters. This is the deepest, most complex Kristan Higgins novel I've read to date. Not the usual fluffy rom-com fare, this delved into family life and going from newlywed to widow in a matter of months. Despite the heavier subjects, it wasn't angsty. Not at all a bum-me-out kind of story, I actually felt happy.

Honestly, this KH novel had the best humor too. It wasn't manufactured horrible dates and super qui
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-2017
The biggest issue for me in this romance was besides there not being that much romance to really sink my teeth into, I ended up disliking one of the story-lines in this book. One of my friends who adores romance has one rule that she never breaks. She hates reading romance books when a spouse either dies during the book or has died before the book. That's because she hates how the authors always either change the backstory of the spouse (ie all of a sudden they had a secret life and didn't reall ...more
4.5. Nearly perfect novel! Well-balanced and well-written. A good story with easy-to-root-for characters.

*I received an ARC from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Earlier: Oh dear, 2017? That is far too long for me to wait for another Kristan Higgins novel!
Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms
This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional Bookviews
On Second Thought is one of the most tender and hopeful stories I have read. It's character-driven by women of incredible strength.

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Ainsley and Kate become close as sisters after they both ended up single once more, and On Second Thought follows them both in the aftermath of the shock they received. Kate tragically and unexpectedly became a widow after only four months of marriage. And soon after, Ainsley's live-in boyfriend of el
Gina *loves sunshine*
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, ebook
It's super silly of me to say this - but I feel like this week I stepped out of my romance box!'s not THAT far out of the box - but this book brought me back a decade or two!! Because this felt old skool to me, in a good way. Like the books I enjoyed back in the 90's. Who remembers the days? Kinda like Lavyrle Spencer meets Jennifer Crusie meets Emily Giffin?!?! This was a very nice visit to an old girlfriend!! I enjoyed it so much - thank you Kristan Higgins...I'll have to check yo ...more
Another contemporary fiction set in the fictional town of Cambry on the Hudson, more a companion piece to If You Only Knew than a sequel.

This follows two half-sisters and their travails with men and relationships. One sister is caught up figuring out how to recreate her life after her boyfriend of ten years decides to explore life (amusing side of the story) while the other tries to recover from losing her husband of four months.

Some of the banter and inner dialogue of the two main characters w
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Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 19 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal , People and ...more

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“Oh, let’s see. Judy came to see me at work today,” Ainsley said. “To beg me not to give up on Eric just yet. She thinks he’s got PTSD.” I thought he had asshole-itis, personally.” 2 likes
“Are you alright?" Jonathan stood before me, also soaked, though his hair looked quite... well, Darcy-esque; there was really no other word for it. Colin Firth and Jane Austen had ruined us chicks for other men, let's face it.” 2 likes
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