18 April, 2012

Book Review: Somebody To Love by Kristan Higgins

Published: April 2012, HQN Books

Series: none
Source: Publicist, no other compensation given for an honest review

From Good Reads:
After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon's Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns—a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father's wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she's not thrilled -- …even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox.

Having to fend for herself financially for the first time in her life, Parker signs on as a florist's assistant and starts to find out who she really is. Maybe James isn't the glib lawyer she always thought he was. And maybe the house isn't the only thing that needs a little TLC….

My Review:
SOMEBODY TO LOVE starts off with Parker's father's fall from grace, and the subsequent loss of her and her young son's trust funds. I like Kristan Higgins as an author, which was why I jumped at being able to review this book. It's the first book where Higgins has a wealthy female protagonist, which was another reason why I was willing to give it a try. Usually, I wouldn't pick up a book that has a riches-to-rags plot. Why? Because in fiction, as in life, most wealthy people cannot even fathom what it's like to not have expendable income or a monthly expense account. I've read a few books in the past where the whole novel comes off laughable and disingenuous.

Luckily, that's not what happened here. As with UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, one of Higgins other novels that I've read and reviewed at Read My Mind, I was really drawn into the story. It wasn't just the journey that Parker took: travelling to Maine to take control of a house unseen, taking on its restoration, and her slow starter of a romance with James. These elements came together well because of how engaged I was in Higgins writing.

Honestly, the romance and Parker's transformation into a lobster town resident aside, what shined in SOMEBODY TO LOVE was the family relationships. Parker and her son, Parker and her ex and her ex's wife, Parker and her mother, James and Parker's father, James and his own parents, James and his sister... there was no shortage of entanglements, and of course, the most complicated and acrimonious relationship of them all was Parker and the father that essentially stole her money through an insider trading deal.

The twists and tangles of these relationships and how they played off of each other (though I loved every time Parker called James, Thing One) far overpowered the riches-to-rags plot, and instead built off of the situation that Parker found herself in, to showcase issues that anyone might have to deal with in their lifetime, regardless of wealth.

With James' character, SOMEBODY TO LOVE explored some of the deeper issues of loss and guilt, but it didn't bog me down in depressive seriousness. In fact, I found myself laughing through much of the novel and appreciating the sense of humor woven throughout that both James, Parker, and some of the ancillary characters (like Parker's cousin) possessed. Higgins is definitely an author whose books I'll continue to read.

4/5 for plot
4.5/5 for characters
4/5 for language

My Rating: 12.5/15 (3.5 stars) Highly Recommend

Find the author at:
Website | Blog | GoodReads | Facebook

Purchase book at:
Barnes and Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Amazon

Available formats: Print (Mass Market Paperback), NookBook, Kindle

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