Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The Best Man by Kristan Higgins
Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥♥
First of all, KH is wonderful and amazing and I want to jump up and down every time I read a new book of hers. Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's begin.
He: Chief of Police* of a small upstate NY town. He used to be a bad boy in high school but has shaped up nicely and is now universally loved by everyone in town.
She: Girl who gets jilted at the altar and then leaves her hometown to get away from her ex-fiance and the inevitable gossiping, but also to "find herself". She does manage to rebuild a great life for herself in San Francisco but never quite stops blaming the H, her ex-fiance's best friend, for ruining her wedding to the "perfect man".
Conflict: 1) She has to get over the fact that the H "ruined" her wedding, 2) Will she really move back to her hometown and will the H sack up and ask her to stay?
A few things that I thought were especially great/interesting:
1) Lovely setting - wine country in upstate NY. Lends to the sweet and romantic mood but in KH's hands, avoids being trite. I mean, a vineyard? This could easily have veered off into a horrible morass of sickly sweet grapey-ness - remember a Walk in the Clouds? Oh Keanu, you beautiful dummy.
2) The H was more alpha that KH's usual Hs. Which I hearted greatly.
3) There were some interesting examples of difficult relationships - particularly the one between the h's grandparents. It was very refreshing to see that issue dealt with so well in a romance novel - some (maybe most) relationships are products of circumstance and chance and don't really progress perfectly. It was a good reminder that we are living in a generation that is lucky enough to get to even pursue love and romance for their own sake. All the examples of disastrous relationships also provide good contrast to the main romantic relationship in the book between the h & H.
4) Once again we get to see a KH protagonist have a passion for something other than her man. This h loves the outdoors, nature, and her family's land and legacy. She works as a landscape designer and is good at her job. And she has a dog.
Things that were strange-interesting:
1) The H's name is Levi Cooper... anyone else thinking about a dude in a denim shirt and jeans. Maybe a Lee Cooper shirt and jeans from Levi's?
2) Seemed like the h was angry at the wrong guy the whole time. Surely it was a good thing that the H put an end to her marriage to a TOTALLY wrong guy? Why did she stay so angry with him? She does thank him for it in the end, but seemed like he saved her from a huge disaster up front so her bitterness towards him was extremely misplaced.
That's it...I'm such a KH fan-girl that I can't even think critically anymore...
*There is something about this small-town sheriff/police chief trope that I am really beginning to enjoy. They're alpha but in a different way than a big-city lawyer/detective/biz tycoon is alpha. I guess there is the underlying theme of "caretaking" of the citizenry that automatically shows him to be a father-figure and a man of action and responsibility. Oooo mama. I feel safer just knowing such a man is out there (in my imagination).