Title: The Best Man by Kristan Higgins
Blue Heron Series, Book One
Imprint: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 432 pages
Book Rating: A+ & A Recommended Read
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
SOMETIMES THE BEST MAN IS THE ONE YOU LEAST EXPECT…
Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she’s ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family’s vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there’s some great scenery there….
Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancé. There’s a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it’s not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she’s having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.
With her trademark wit, realistic characters and zingy one liners, Kristan Higgins brings readers yet another outstanding romance that is outrageously funny and full of emotion. The Best Man is a captivating novel that will keep you laughing out loud as Faith Holland heals the wounds of her past and finds love with Levi Cooper, the gruff yet lovable man who broke her heart when he stopped her wedding to the love of her life.
Escaping to San Francisco when her marriage was called off, Faith Holland is finally ready to return to her small hometown and the family winery. When her siblings need Faith’s help ejecting a scheming woman from their father’s life, Faith agrees to temporarily come home and find their dad a more suitable partner. This visit will bring her face to face with all of the complex issues and people she has successfully avoided in the past. Faith soon finds her small town, friends and family slowly working their magic on her, and she is soon considering making her homecoming permanent.
Levi Cooper is just as scarred by his past as Faith is. Growing up in a trailer park with his single mom and much younger sister, Levi worked his way through high school, played on the football team and enjoyed a close friendship with his best friend Jeremy Lyon, Faith’s high school sweetheart and former fiancé. The military was Levi’s ticket to a better future and after four tours in Afghanistan, he returns home with a wife and finds a new career on the police force. Now divorced, he works long hours as the police chief and he is dedicated to his younger sister, Sarah. He remains close friends with Jeremy and he maintains his slightly skewed perspective of Faith. He is the strong silent type with a heart of gold and I absolutely adored him.
One of the things that I have come to expect in a Kristan Higgins novel is a delightfully quirky cast of characters. They are always richly developed with realistic flaws that make them easy to relate to. Their interactions are laced with humor that is laugh out loud funny and sometimes so breathtakingly poignant it will break your heart.
As with Ms. Higgins’ previous novels, there is a strong family bond between Faith and her extended family. These relationships are wonderfully imperfect but the love between family members is always apparent. Faith’s grandparents’ relationship is full of bickering and beautifully illustrates that love is not always full of romantic moments. Faith’s older sister’s marriage shows that keeping the passion in a long term marriage takes hard work and creativity. With Faith’s father, we learn that love is not blind and that we love our partners despite their imperfections.
The Best Man is one of those multi-layered novels that quickly engages the reader. Each layer reveals many different facets of the characters and enriches the overall story. The romantic plot between Levi and Faith is slow growing and deliciously steamy. But before Levi and Faith can find their happily ever after, they each must deal with their respective messy pasts. Each of these storylines is fascinating and provides a great deal of depth and growth to both of their characters.
The Best Man is a novel that will make you laugh and cry and it is a story that you will hate to see end. Luckily, it is the first installment of Kristan Higgins’ Blue Heron series and we will have the chance to revisit this charming cast of characters in the not too distant future.
I loved every outrageous, zany, and heartfelt moment of this wonderful story and you will too.