Title: The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins
Blue Heron Series Book Two
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 448 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise?
Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there…or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn’t easier said than done.
Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.
In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn’t easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love….
In The Perfect Match, Kristan Higgins puts a unique and humorous spin on the familiar marriage of convenience storyline. In this delightfully charming second installment in the Blue Heron series, Honor Holland agrees to marry Tom Barlow so he can remain in the US to stay near the son of his heart, Charlie. Sounds simple, but their plan is quickly complicated by a surprising attraction, unwanted emotions and a surly teenager. Add Honor’s eclectic family to the mix and you have a romance that will warm your heart and keep you laughing out loud at their outrageous antics.
Honor is the responsible one in the Holland family. A workaholic in the family winery, Honor is still living at home with her widowed father when her comfortable world begins to crumble. Her long time friends with benefits guy pal rejects her marriage proposal then turns around and becomes engaged to her “best” friend. Her dad decides it is time to hire an assistant for Honor so she can get a life. So when her grandmother encourages her to meet Tom, the nephew of one of her friends, Honor reluctantly agrees to meet the British professor.
Tom was pretty damaged by his previous relationship with Charlie’s mom, so he has plenty of barriers in place when he first meets Honor. He agrees to marry her, but they decide to take things slow and get to know one another before they marry. They move in together, but they are incredibly awkward with one another. Tom is flirty and affectionate with her in public, but behind closed doors, he keeps an emotional distance from her.
One of the absolute best things about Tom is his unconditional love for Charlie. His heart is fully invested in the moody teenager and his patience with him is endless. Of course Charlie’s surly, prickly attitude is understandable given the loss of his mother, his grandparents indifference and his absentee father. The only good thing in Charlie’s life is Tom’s steady presence and their relationship begins to blossom once Honor enters the picture but their fragile bond is threatened by a person from Charlie’s past.
The romance between Tom and Honor is slow growing and full of sexual tension. Neither of them are willing to risk their hearts so they tend to be a little closed off from one another. It takes about half the novel for them to get together and even then their relationship continues to be a work in progress. Just when it looks like Tom and Honor have a real chance at happiness, a major obstacle stops them in their tracks.
Honor’s crazy family is on tap to provide plenty of support and laughter throughout the story. Pru and husband Carl are still going at it hot and heavy, much to everyone’s chagrin. Levi and Faith are still in the honeymoon stage and Faith quickly rivals Pru when it comes to oversharing intimate details. Jack is still the same clueless, happy go lucky brother. The siblings’ grandparents are still squabbling and resisting all efforts to move them into a retirement home. And an unexpected romance for their long widowed dad takes everyone by surprise.
The Perfect Match is another outstanding romance from Kristan Higgins. A beautiful mix of humor and seriousness, it is an engrossing story with appealing and realistic characters. An all around feel good read that will touch your heart, I highly recommend this latest addition to the Blue Heron series.