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The Next Best Thing (Hqn) Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Hqn
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373774389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373774388
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Lucy Lang became a widow in her late twenties when her husband Jimmy fell asleep at the wheel and crashed his car. She blames it on the family curse: her mother and her aunts all lost their husbands at relatively young ages, and now she and The Black Widows, as she calls them, channel their energy into running their Hungarian bakery. But when Lucy’s younger sister has her first baby, Lucy starts to think that maybe it’s time to get back in the dating game—it has been five years, after all. She’s still young, and attractive, and she still wants a family, so she should put herself out there, even if nobody can quite measure up to her Jimmy. However, this means she has to stop sleeping with her best friend Ethan—who also happens to be her brother-in-law. But maybe she doesn’t need to look so far for what she wants. Higgins’ latest novel is just as sweet, charming, and tender as her previous books. --Hilary Hatton

About the Author

Kristan Higgins is the RITA award-winning author of CATCH OF THE DAY and three other romantic comedies. Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous naps...so much more satisfying than folding laundry. She holds a BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross, which enables her to identify dangling participles and quote many great novels. Kristan lives with her family in Connecticut.

More About the Author

Kristan divides her time between home in Connecticut and summers on Cape Cod. She is the mother of two lovely kids, the wife of a brave firefighter, and a devoted Ben & Jerry's fan. Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous naps...so much more satisfying than folding laundry. She holds a BA in English, which enables her to identify dangling participles and quote many great novels. She loves to connect with readers on her website www.kristanhiggins.com and her Facebook page www.facebook.com/KristanHigginsBooks

Customer Reviews

Lucy Loves Ethan, but again she won't admit it.
Xina143
It was a bit too slow for my liking and didn't have much excitement in my opinion.
ThisThatNEverything
This story is great with characters that are charming, funny and loveable.
GrandmaT

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Toledo on February 10, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a love-hate relationship with Kristan Higgins. I've read them all, and I'm sure I'll continue to read anything she writes in the future. But. There's always a "but," different for each book. The last one, "Too Good to be True," was definitely her best so far, so I had high hopes for "The Next Best Thing." And it does have a lot going for it. For one thing, I couldn't put it down. I read it in a day. The characters are compelling, and the idea of getting over a marriage that seemed perfect is heartwrenching. But. :-)

The quick summary: Lucy's marriage to Jimmy, the love her of her life, ended after just eight months when he was killed in a car accident. Five years later, when her sister has a baby, she decides she's ready to re-enter the dating scene because she wants children of her own. This involves breaking off her "friends with benefits" arrangement with Ethan, Jimmy's brother, who has been her rock and best friend for years. I confess I've never suffered through the death of a husband, so maybe I'm not the best judge here, but Lucy's utter devotion to her dead spouse FIVE YEARS LATER seemed overdone to me. I could completely sympathize with her reluctance to begin dating again, and her inability to visit his grave rang true. But two-thirds of the way through the book, she is still breaking down into broken-hearted sobs on almost a daily basis. She is unable to have the simplest experience with another man without comparing it to the wonder that was her marriage with Jimmy. She still watches their wedding video so often that she leaves it in the DVD player. She just seemed pathetic to me. I skimmed through about a third of the book, partly because it didn't seem believable, but mainly because I felt so sorry for Ethan.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By L. Burns VINE VOICE on January 25, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
At an age when many women are just beginning to think about getting married, Lucy Lang has already been a widow for a little over 5 years. When her younger sister has a baby Lucy realizes that it's time for her to move on - meet someone new and hopefully start a family of her own. There is however the small matter of Ethan Mirabelli, her late husband's brother. Ethan has been Lucy's "rock"; a friend, someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on. Well, to be precise, Ethan has been sharing more than just his shoulder with Lucy for the last couple of years ... and Lucy is determined to put an end to it.

This story has a lot going for it. The author has an obvious affection for her characters and they really come alive as the story unfolds. The small town off the coast of Rhode Island where Lucy lives is described perfectly (if it's based on a real place I'd love to visit it!). Many of the funniest scenes in the book take place in "Bunny's", the family-owned (and solidly mediocre) Hungarian bakery where Lucy, her mother and her two aunts (all widows) work. What surprised me is how touching some parts of the story were. Without dwelling on the sadness the author does give you a glimpse of what Lucy has been through and I thought it was very well done and gave the story a nice balance.

This is a first person narrative from Lucy's point of view, which does present the obvious problem of never knowing what Ethan is thinking or feeling. There were times when Lucy's treatment of Ethan bordered on callous and it stretched credibility a bit for me that he kept coming back for more. And as great as the characters were, I felt the story got a little crowded. ( I could have done without the neurotic younger sister and her henpecked husband). But these are minor issues and overall this was an entertaining read that I highly recommend.

There is some (very) mild sexual content and occasional swearing.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By jjmachshev VINE VOICE on March 22, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I need to admit right up front that if, for any reason, I dislike one of the main characters in a romance...I end up disliking the story. That's what happened to me with "The Next Best Thing" by Kristan Higgins. It's frustrating since I usually like the whole 'friends-into-lovers' theme, even if the friend is the dead hubby's brother as in this book--but the heroine Lucy just rubbed me the wrong way from the very beginning of the book and got worse as the story unfolded. She idealized her dead husband, was determined to protect herself from ANY strong feelings, and basically treated the hero like dog doo throughout the book! This made her a very troubled, and troubling, heroine and as my animosity towards her often hurtful actions grew, so grew my irritation with the story.

Having said all that, I will say that the writing was witty and the story unfolded at a good pace. The length of the story was just enough for an afternoon read which is always a good thing for my busy lifestyle. I understand that romance requires obstacles to overcome, but the more Lucy hurt Ethan, the more I wanted him to dump her for someone willing to open herself up to love. It's just a good thing for Lucy that Ethan has more patience than I do!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By jhl VINE VOICE on February 11, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I like Kristan Higgins's writing, and there are many enjoyable aspects to The Next Best Thing: the main character is interesting; there are many humorous secondary characters; there's a sense of real people living in a real place. Unfortunately, I don't think there's much chemistry created between the male & female leads. Ethan is pretty much perfect and lets Lucy jerk him around emotionally for years, yet keeps coming back for more. Nothing develops in their relationship because he's in love with her at the beginning of the book, and the plot is about her realizing that she's already in love with him too. The difficulties Lucy has with moving past the death of her beloved first husband seem too emotionally draining to fit with the goofiness of the secondary characters, and I felt a little bit like Ethan - jerked around until she made up her mind.
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