Category Archives: Blue Heron Series

Review: Anything for You by Kristan Higgins

anything for you Title: Anything for You by Kristan Higgins
Blue Heron Series Book Five
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Before you get down on bended knee… 

…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O’Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she’s got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it’s the perfect time to get married.

When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who’s now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she’s positive married life isn’t for her.

But this time, Connor says it’s all or nothing. If she doesn’t want to marry him, he’ll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he’s never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn’t quite as sure as she thinks…


Anything for You is another heartfelt installment in Kristan Higgins’ marvelous Blue Heron series. Beginning with Connor O’Rourke’s ill-fated marriage proposal to his on again/off again secret girlfriend Jessica Dunn, the novel follows the couples’ rocky relationship through its twenty year history.

Despite their ups and downs over the years, Connor’s love for Jessica has never waned. He has abided by all of her rules and although she is the one who puts the brakes on their relationship, he has never asked or expected more of her than she is willing to give. But all of that changes when she rejects his marriage proposal. Vowing this is the last time he will let Jessica walk away from him, Connor finally asks his twin sister Colleen to work her matchmaking magic for him. After suffering through a couple of miserable blind dates, Connor quickly reaches the conclusion that he would rather be single than live without the woman he loves and he eventually reunites with Jessica yet again. Will this reunion be their last? Or will Jessica’s fears continue to come between them?

Connor fell hard for Jessica when he was twelve years old but their lives took them in very different directions. He is a professional chef who co-owns a popular pub with Colleen and while his relationship with his father is distant, Connor is fairly well-adjusted and happy. Although he is a little gruff and sometimes grumpy, he is charming, kind-hearted and prefers to stay out of the limelight. He and Colleen are close but they hide their affection for one another behind sarcastic and witty banter. The only real problem in Connor’s life is his secret liaison with Jessica and he is hoping the marriage proposal will finally convince her to take their relationship seriously.

Jessica’s life is and, always has been, complicated. She is the sole caregiver for her mentally challenged younger brother, Davey (who just happens to HATE Connor). Their childhood was incredibly dysfunctional and she was forced to grow up way too fast since their alcoholic parents could barely care for themselves let alone their children. Jessica learned the hard way that she could not count on anyone else and she does not easily give her trust to anyone. Although she has finally left her trailer park roots behind her, she does not have any faith that her good fortune will continue and she is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Davey comes first in her life and since he cannot stand Connor, Jessica is not even willing to consider Connor’s proposal and she is stunned when he tells her he is done being her secret lover.

Knowing that Jessica breaks Connor’s heart time and again, it is easy to assume she would be a difficult character to like. Fortunately, the flashbacks of their complex relationship offer incredible insight into her reasons for being unable to fully commit to him. The background information about her family explains her need to maintain an emotional distance. There is also residual guilt from her childhood that plays a major factor in her decision to always put Davey’s needs ahead of her own.

Anything for You is an emotional, poignant and heartwarming addition to the Blue Heron series. More than just a romance, the novel deals with serious issues such as alcoholism and fetal alcohol syndrome and Kristan Higgins deftly handles these sensitive topics with ease. The romance between Jessica and Connor is the perfect blend of heartache and hope and despite some frustration with both characters, seeing them finally find their happily ever after is immensely gratifying. An absolutely beautiful story of love and forgiveness that old and new fans of this outstanding series are sure to enjoy.

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Filed under Anything for You, Blue Heron Series, Contemporary, Harlequin, HQN Books, Kristan Higgins, Rated B+, Review, Romance

Review: In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

in your dreamsTitle: In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
Blue Heron Series Book Four
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HQN
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length:473 pages
Book Rating: A

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Everyone loves Jack Holland, but Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancé is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can’t go to the wedding alone. In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won’t get the wrong idea.

What Jack needs is an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he’s been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy, especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back, angling for a reunion. He’s always liked Emmaline. She needs a weekend date? No problem.

So when they wind up in bed together, Em chalks it up to red wine and chocolate cake, just one impulsive night not to be repeated. But Jack’s pushing for more, and if she lets down her guard, either she’ll get her heart crushed again, or discover that Jack’s worth more than just dreaming about.

The Review:

In Your Dreams is the long awaited and highly anticipated fourth installment in the hilarious and poignant Blue Heron series. Tantalizing glimpses of Jack Holland in the previous novels piqued my curiosity about the enigmatic but lovable Holland brother and I have been very impatient for his story. Kristan Higgins’ unexpected pairing of him with local deputy Emmaline “Em” Neal is sheer brilliance and their ensuing romance is funny, sexy and oh so sweet.

Em is a no-nonsense woman who tells it like it is. She is smart, funny and loyal, but the end of her engagement shattered her self-esteem. It has taken her a long time to get over her ex’s betrayal and she is stunned when she receives an invitation to his wedding. Unfortunately, complicated family ties between the two families make it impossible for her bow out gracefully and she reluctantly accepts Jack’s offer to attend with the wedding with her. Em’s return to the West Coast brings her face to face with all of her unresolved issues with her caring, but misguided and clueless parents, childhood bullies, her ex and his cringe-inducing bride-to-be.

Jack is an all around nice guy who is charming, upbeat and friendly. He is devoted to his family and good-naturedly accepts his sisters’ teasing. Jack is everyone’s go to guy when a woman needs a date but he has not had a serious relationship since his divorce a few years earlier. Up until recently, he has led a pretty charmed life but his dramatic rescue of four teens has left him with lingering issues that he has been trying to deal with on his own. Adding to his problems is the unwelcome return of his ex-wife Hadley who is suddenly interested in a reconciliation. Needing a break from the pressures of his life, Jack quickly agrees to accompany Em to her ex-fiancé’s out of state wedding, but both are surprised when their faux relationship becomes real.

Back home, Em and Jack’s relationship hits a few bumps in the road when real life begins to intrude on the happy couple. Jack refuses to get help for his ongoing issues stemming from his heroic rescue and it is also frustrating that he continues to let Hadley manipulate him. The blow to Em’s self-confidence leaves her questioning what she has to offer Jack and she is also feeling threatened by Hadley’s continued presence in Jack’s life. With both of them under pressure, a family crisis leads to a misunderstanding that might end their budding romance.

In Your Dreams is written from both Em and Jack’s perspectives and flashbacks fill in the blanks about their respective pasts. The incidents from Em’s childhood and the events leading up to her ill-fated engagement are heartbreaking but she is surprisingly well-adjusted. Jack has always come across as a little too perfect, but the aftereffects of his rescue efforts provide him with some much needed depth.

In Your Dreams is another heartfelt and engaging addition to the delightful Blue Heron series. Once again, Kristan Higgins deftly blends her trademark wit with a serious and realistic storyline and the resulting story is insightful and moving. A compelling plot, strong family ties and a believable relationship make In Your Dreams a must read for anyone who enjoys contemporary romances.


Filed under Blue Heron Series, Contemporary, Harlequin, HQN Books, In Your Dreams, Kristan Higgins, Rated A, Review, Romance

Review: Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins

waitingTitle: Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins
Blue Heron Series Book Three
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 464 pages
Book Rating: A+ & A Recommended Read

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Is your first love worth a second chance…?

Colleen O’Rourke is in love with love…just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell broke her heart…an experience Colleen doesn’t want to have again, thanks. Since then, she’s been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who’s ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they’ve got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she’s ever loved.

The Review:

Waiting on You is another outrageously witty and occasionally heartbreaking romance from über talented Kristan Higgins. In this third installment of the Blue Heron series, peppy, cheerful and well-liked bar owner Colleen O’Rourke gets a second chance with the only man she has ever loved, Lucas Campbell. Will this fun-loving, flirtatious matchmaker finally find her happily ever after?

Colleen and Lucas were high school sweethearts whose long distance relationship survived the first few years of college only to crash and burn after a huge fight. Although he never quite forgot his first love, Lucas married and worked his way up the ranks to a successful career in his father-in-law’s company. A few years later, his marriage ended in an amicable divorce, and just as he is wrapping up his final project before starting his own business, he returns to Manningsport for a family emergency.

Colleen loves her hometown and she co-owns a thriving bar with her twin brother Connor. She is confident, sassy and popular with a big circle of friends. Although she has a successful track record as matchmaker, she has remained single since her break up with Lucas. When her friend Paulie Petrosinsky asks Colleen to set her up with Bryce Campbell (cousin to Lucas) just around the same time Lucas is returning to town, the former lovers clash over Colleen’s matchmaking efforts.

Lucas and Colleen still share an insanely powerful attraction to one another and there is hesitation on both sides to resume a relationship. With Lucas planning on leaving town when his family business is wrapped up and with Colleen’s roots firmly embedded in Manningsport, there really appears to be no future for them. However they eventually pick up right where they left off, but they take things day by day, never really looking too far into the future. And when their respective pasts collide with their present, their future together becomes extremely uncertain.

Waiting on You is written from both Lucas and Colleen’s perspectives and their past history is revealed through flashbacks. Lucas’s background is heartbreaking and knowing about his dysfunctional family helps explain his reaction to a revelation late in the story. Colleen’s family has its own brand of crazy and her relationship with her parents has its shares of ups and downs.

In Waiting on You, Kristan Higgins once again deftly blends a storyline that is full of heartache and humor into an extraordinary romance. With unforgettable, quirky characters, clever dialogue and a sweet, sexy love story, this latest addition to the Blue Heron series is a captivating novel that is guaranteed to tug on the reader’s heartstrings (in between bouts of hysterical laughter 🙂 ).

Although Waiting on You can be read as a standalone story, I highly recommend reading the entire series (my reviews can be found HERE).


Filed under Blue Heron Series, Contemporary, Harlequin, HQN Books, Kristan Higgins, Rated A+, Recommended Read, Review, Romance, Waiting on You

Review: The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins

Title: The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins
Blue Heron Series Book Two
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HQN
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….

The Review:

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.


Filed under Blue Heron Series, Contemporary, Harlequin, HarlequinHQN, Kristan Higgins, Rated B+, Review, Romance, The Perfect Match

Review: The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

Title: The Best Man by Kristan Higgins
Blue Heron Series, Book One
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 432 pages
Book Rating: A+ & A Recommended Read

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley



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.

The Review:

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.


Filed under Blue Heron Series, Contemporary, Harlequin, HarlequinHQN, Kristan Higgins, Rated A+, Recommended Read, Review, Romance, The Best Man