37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Single mom Parker Welles is flat broke thanks to her father's insider trading debacle. The only thing left to her name is a cottage on the coast of Maine that she inherited from an Aunt that she barely remembers. Visions of cashing in on some ocean front real estate are soon dashed though. The cottage is a ramshackle affair more accurately described as a shack. A shack that's filthy and packed to the rafters with junk, junk and more junk.
Enter James Cahill, her father's flunky/attorney. Turns out James is quite the handyman, and he's offered to help Parker fix up the dump (er, cottage) so she can sell it and hopefully turn a profit. But there's a catch...Parker doesn't trust James and is excruciatingly uncomfortable around the man. The old saying "beggars can't be choosers" comes to mind, and Parker finds herself sharing a house (and maybe more) with the handsome lawyer. Will the process of flipping a house end up turning Parker's life around as well?
Kristan Higgins really does write some of the best feel-good, humorous contemporary romances out there. Parker and James are very appealing characters, and we learn their history in small doses, almost like piecing together a mystery. The supporting characters, especially Parker's cousin Lavinia, really add a lot to the story. The third person point of view allows some good insight into James's personality and what motivates him.
A "typical" Higgins heroine is often desperately searching for love, a little needy and often pining after someone unattainable while ignoring the great guy that's standing right in front of her. Parker was a nice change of pace from all that. She's self-confident and while meeting "Mr. Right" would be nice, it's not a huge priority in her life.
Now I wouldn't be totally honest if I didn't say that one of the reasons I loved this story was a chance to revisit Maggie and Malone from Catch of the Day (Hqn). Malone speaks! You don't have to read that book in order to enjoy this one, but if you have read it you're in for a treat.
There are some very funny scenes in this book, and I like that the humor is more situational and doesn't always come at the heroine's expense. (I dare you not to laugh at the scene in the jail cell!)
This one hits all the right notes: great characterization, smart humor, realistic dialog and an interesting storyline. My only real gripe (and I know I'll be in the minority ) was the saccharine laced epilogue. Good grief, that was my sugar allotment for the next six months! A great read though and highly recommended.
Very occasional strong language and some very mild (non-explicit) sexual content.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2012
Single mom Parker Harrington Welles has led a life of privilege and wealth. She's a well-loved children's author who gives her profits to children's charities because she doesn't need the income. She's just finished the last book in her series and is looking forward to starting something new. Little does she know, the "something new" is going to be her entire life; her father, Harry, spent her trust fund (and her son's trust fund!) and is now headed to prison for insider trading. The Feds take everything, and all she's left with is a small amount of money in her checking account and a house she inherited from an aunt in Gideon's Cove, Maine. The plan is to `flip' the house and use the profits to buy a small home for her and her son, Nicky. The reality is the house is falling down and needs a lot of work.
James Cahill is one of Harry's two attorneys that never leave his side. Parker disdainfully refers to him as `Thing One' (to his face!!) and has no room in her life for a man who means more to her father than she does. What she doesn't know is that James believes he owes Harry a huge debt of gratitude for turning his life around and would do anything for Harry. When Harry goes off to prison, he vows to watch out for Parker and help her as best as he can. Luckily, James knows his way around a tool bench.
As you can tell from my 5/5 rating, I loved Somebody to Love! Parker is not your typical `spoiled little rich girl', she's down-to-earth, self-deprecating, and funny. She's angry at her father and angry at James, but she needs his help. She hates her children's series, and her relief at ending it is short-lived - her little characters, The Holy Rollers, won't get out of her head and their running commentary about the state of her affairs is so funny.
James is a great hero. He knows how Parker feels about him but feels badly for Parker; he likes her and doesn't think she deserves the circumstances she finds herself in. He's got a few demons of his own, and my heart broke as his backstory was revealed.
I loved the back-and-forth between Parker and James. Their attraction to each other despite their determination to dislike each other is absolutely delicious. But I also love the cast of characters in Gideon's Cove - Ms. Higgins has visited this town twice before and it's pure delight to be back. Even if this is your first Kristan Higgins book, you will enjoy the quirky residents of this tiny seaside town.
Great characters, great plot, great ending. Somebody to Love is definitely "Keeper Shelf" material - I'll be saving this to re-read when I need a pick-me-up.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
After reading "Fools Rush In" and "Just One of the Guys" I was hooked on Kristan Higgins. I went and got all of her books at that time (early 2011) on ebook. Before now, Grace and Cal have been my two favorite, but this book is Kristan's best yet. It came out today and I sat and read the entire book with a glass (bottle) of wine in hand. I do think my husband was annoyed... I have not attempted to write many book reviews so please try not to laugh at me!
Parker and Thing One (James) are the best characters to come from Kristan Higgins so far. The story goes back and forth from Parker- who is an independent woman thrown into a difficult time and James- who is completely new. James is a big unknown at first to the reader and to Parker. Slowly you fall for him as you see beyond the initial impression... just maybe Parker will as well! Lets not forget that someone spends a night in jail- besides the obvious!
I hope my review does the book justice. Thank you Kristan for a wonderful book. I, along with all of your readers, look forward to many more characters to love and books to read over and over!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2012
If you read Kristan Higgins, then what I am about to write will come as no surprise to you. If this may be the very first Kristan Higgins book you pick up: Congratulations! You are going to be SO happy you did. Plus, there is a small bonus in that there are companion books to read as soon as you finish! Not that you have to, but you'll want to. And I don't believe they are official companion books - but they should be. Catch of the Day (shares the same setting) and The Next Best Thing (Parker is a supporting character) are the titles.
Getting back to my impressions of Kristan Higgins' writing style: I love, love it. She's funny, witty and sentimental. She writes leading women who could, realistically, be your best friend. Her Heroes are divine. Smart, intelligent, a tad bit arrogant (but considerate), personable men - who happen to be sexy too. Their flaws aren't so severe that they can't be forgiven. The kind of men you cheer for. You WANT them to get the girl!
I cannot impress upon you enough that this book is a worthwhile read. You'll pick up on some life lessons - learning them through Parker's eyes. You'll fall in love with the residents of Gideon's Cove. And you'll love James, who never gives up...even when it seems like all is lost.
The Heroine: Parker - Rich girl who loses everything after her father screws up in a big way. Prior relationship with father already bad as it is (hint: scandal). It's not too hard for Parker to assimilate with everyday life - minus the fact that she is broke, broke. But, this single mother is determined to start fresh for both herself and her son. That's all she really wants. She has enough spirit to do it, but her doubts and fears tend to creep up on her periodically.
The Hero: James - Attorney for Parker's father - a fact that immediately puts him on the No Fraternize list. He has a better relationship with Parker's father than she does - another point of jealousy. If only his relationships with his family were as good. There's history there... James has it bad for Parker. He's not the kind of man to watch her flounder helplessly. He's in control and has a great deal of patience. A kind and rational man, who is easy on the eyes.
The Story: In her typical fashion, Kristan Higgins creates a charming story of two individuals who deserve to be love, yet for some reason have failed to find one strong enough to last a lifetime. James and Parker are not necessarily strangers when we first meet them - there is some history, hard feelings, and other strong emotions that tie them together. Whether Parker likes it or not, James is there to help her sort her life out - fortunately - at a time when she needs it the most (even if she's unwilling to ask for it).
She's destitute, jobless, and has no immediate prospects. Between James and the other residents of Gideon's Cove (all wonderful characters), she works her way towards stability and success. I think she can't help but win, she's a character with all the best qualities built into her.
As is common, there are some rocky moments - especially when you think Parker and James are going to miss their connection with one another. There are also a couple of scenes that involve Parker's son. It is not always easy introducing someone new into your child's life...is it? Fortunately, this is a romance book - so we are guaranteed a Happily Ever After, aren't we. Yes, each one learns about the other's darkest secrets and fears - yet still chooses to love them. That's what we all want, isn't it? To be accepted unconditionally for ourselves? Warts and all?
I heartily recommend this book to everyone looking for a pleasant read with a sweet storyline. It's not overly racy (typical Higgins fashion), so if you enjoy the lighter side of Romance...this may be the book for you.
18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2012
3 ½ Stars
I have mixed feelings about Somebody to Love. There were things I really loved and others not so much. One of the things I didn't like much was the main character Parker. You know you have a problem when you don't like the heroine in the story. It's not that Parker was bad, or anything like that, but she felt somehow immature for a thirty-something year old woman and her reactions were or too much or too little. For example, when she learned that her father has lost everything including all her money and her son's trust fund she doesn't have any significant reaction. When she learns she and her five-year-old son are now homeless her reaction is: When do I have to move out? I needed more emotion from her. At the beginning I thought maybe she is in is shock and she is going to have a reaction later on, but the reaction never came. But with James Parker's reactions were a little bit over the top. Something happened involving her son almost at the end of the book and even though what happened wasn't James fault she was a complete bitch with him, she should have been upset with her son not with James. She apologized to James but for me the apology came too late.
Another thing I didn't like about Parker is her hate for her own books, if she hated her books so much why did she continue writing them, that was something I couldn't understand, it was not that she needed the money or something like that. Also her mental conversations with the characters of her books were annoying and unnecessary.
For me James saved the book; he is a gentleman, he's selfless, caring, sweet and with many more qualities a perfect hero should have. At the same time he has a sad past that tortures him and makes him believe he is not worthy of love. He tried really hard with Parker, he loved her since the first time he saw her but somehow I couldn't understand what was that he saw in her. At the beginning every time they were together she was condescending and infuriating. She didn't show any kind of respect for him, calling him immature nicknames like Thing One or making degrading commentaries out of jealousy for his good relationship with her father.
The secondary characters provided some humor and some balance to the story. Some characters from other books by Mrs. Higgins are also present in this book and new characters are introduced. And here with the secondary characters I found another problem. I have read couple of books by Mrs. Higgins and come to realize she uses the same formula over and over with her supporting characters. There may be new characters but the characteristics that give them life and are supposed to make them unique are the same as other supporting characters from previous books. It's almost as if Mr. Higgins recycle them giving them a new name and tweaking them a bit to make them feel new but failing in the intent, in this I'm also including the ever present dog of her stories.
Despite my problems with parker and the predictability of the plot I can say I enjoyed Somebody to Love, as with previous book of Mrs. Higgins the writing is good and entertaining. Somebody to Love is an easy, quick and fun read, perfect for a beach read or for a gloomy afternoon.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
Parker Welles has had a trust account to support herself for most of her life until her father loses the entire family fortune, including the family home, in an insider trading scheme. She's a single mother raising her five-year old son Nicky with the help of her best friends, Ethan (his father)and Lucy (Ethan's wife). Parker is also the author of a hit children's book series that she absolutely loathes but the profits have always been contributed to charity so she doesn't have a source of income. She finds herself homeless except for a house in Gideon's Bay, Maine that she inherited from her maternal great Aunt Julia years ago but has never seen.
Parker is excited to start a new life in her home by the sea until she sees in for the first time. It's a dilapidated shack at best and needs a lot of work and she's got limited funds. Her father's personal attorney, James Cahill, who she's always referred to as "Thing One," accompanies her to help get her fix it up and get settled. He has family in the area and stays for the next couple of months to help out a reluctant Parker. Meanwhile, Nicky goes on a three-week vacation with Ethan and Lucy so Parker and James are going it alone.
The charm of this story comes from Parker's resilience and commitment to making the best of her life. Her past is revealed throughout the book and we learn more about her relationships with members of her family, especially the complicated one with her father. James is a pretty good sport, taking Parker's initial disdain of him in stride and giving her time and space to get to know his true character. It was a nice change of pace to see a romance be given time to develop and grow while they learn more about each other. When their feelings begin to deepen, it seemed natural for James and Parker to consider the possibility of a relationship.It isn't an easy one but it's terribly realistic as they grapple with commitment, parenting and trust. You cannot help but like Parker as she immerses herself into the small community and develops relationships with the people in the town and even begins working as a florist assistant with her distant cousin. James has a bit of baggage as well so they both are tackling issues from their past as they move forward with their relationship and what's next for them career wise.
This story also includes updates of the characters from The Next Best Thing and Catch of the Day. If you enjoyed those books this one will be even more delightful. The characters come to life and the story is well written. I'm hoping there's another sequel as I was reluctant to let these characters go.
(I received an ARC from NetGalley.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2012
After reading both Until There Was You and My One and Only, I started to realize that Kristan Higgins was an excellent chick lit/ romance writer. Her books contained such fun and witty characters, and the romance was always the perfect mixture of realistic and swoon, so when Somebody to Love, her newest book, showed up in my mailbox, I couldn't wait to get started. As it turns out, it was everything I hoped it would be and much, much more. Actually, it was probably my favorite book of hers so far.
Somebody to Love had a lot of great things going for it, and one of those aspects was the characters! Parker's story was enchanting from the start. I always love a good riches to rags story, and Parker's definitely fit the bill. What I loved most about her, though, was that she wasn't the typical rich girl. Instead, she was sweet and normal. Well, except when it came to James, her father's crony and later her assistant when it came to fixing up her aunt's house. Talking about James, he was just as fun to read about as Parker! I always enjoyed seeing his POVs, because not only were they sweet, but they showed a side to him that Parker's didn't always allow from the get go. The wide variety of side characters in this one were also terrific. I liked Parker's child, her well meaning but messed up parents, and the people to be found in Gideon's Cove. Everyone was just fully developed and likable, which made it even more enjoyable to dig into their stories.
The plot in this was plenty of fun as well. It was predictable in some parts, but it still managed to surprise me in some ways as well. I enjoyed seeing Parker and James fix up her aunt's old house as well as seeing how Parker continued her career as an author and began one as a florist. It was lots of fun to say the least! The romance between Parker and James was also great. It had a fantastic and witty build up with plenty of laughs along the way. Best of all, was the ending, which was the definition of adorable, but I won't say anymore about that.
Higgins' writing was also great as per usual. I felt she did a great job of bringing this story to life, and I particularly enjoyed seeing how she intertwined past characters of hers in this one. It makes me want to read her past books all the more now!
In all, Somebody to Love was a spectacular book, one that I highly suggest to fans of chick lit, and I really fill like older teens would enjoy this one as well, as at its core it's a story about finding yourself again as well as following in love.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2012
Parker Harrington has never had to fend for herself or her child financially before - after all, she comes from old money and has lived off a trust fund all her life. But when that ground falls out from under her feet, Parker heads to tiny Gideon's Cove, Maine, to the house a distant relative left her, to put the pieces back together. But how's a girl supposed to concentrate when a certain smug, persistent lawyer insists on following her? A lawyer who is way too hot for his own good. A lawyer with kind eyes and a sexy smile...
This was my first taste of Higgins and I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up being happily surprised. The book was far from perfect and there was plenty I wish she'd done differently, but there was also plenty of great material, and overall this was a very enjoyable read.
Despite all the trials and tribulations involved, Somebody to Love managed to be amusing, perky, lighthearted, and downright funny. In that way it was reminiscent of Jill Shalvis' work. That's a very good thing. :) The plot was nothing too complicated but still managed to be quite interesting, largely due to the engaging and (mostly) likable characters. The heated parts were very, very sexy, but too short and too few. What's worse, when it came to the actual doing of the deed, the narrative brakes screeched on and we were unceremoniously deposited on the far side of the scene. I suspect Higgins could write some very hot sex scenes and the book would have benefited enormously from actually including them. Of course that, like everything else about the experience of reading a book, is a matter of personal opinion - some folks will be glad to be spared the details. I am not one of them.
The hero and heroine both had a lot going for them, but also had some aspects that weakened their impact on the reader. James was very sexy, though it would have been nice to read some more varied descriptions of him - I can clearly see his hair, tan, smile, and warm eyes, but I want more than that. He was a kind man, a good man. But he didn't inspire quite the level of respect one hopes for in a hero, being a bit too aimless and failing to take better control over his life. He could have been a REALLY great hero with a little more alphaness! Parker was frequently endearing and amusing, but sometimes she was also an idiot and a downright jerk. I'm not a hundred percent sure I'd want to be friends with her in real life, and that's a very important quality in a heroine. Their relationship was tasty to watch progress, but I also felt cheated out of some of it. I wanted to see more of the scenes of minutiae, the little day to day stuff that people fall in love during. For example, Parker once mentions that James has been endlessly patient with her dopey questions during their house flip, but we don't actually get to see much of that, and that's a shame.
The parts with Parker's son were mostly well done and realistic, especially his dialogue, but his attitude too conveniently matched the author's needs and in that way was inorganic. There were also some out-of-place parts involving swearing and smoking in front of him (WTF? It's 2012. Come on.)
As for the writing, a lot of it was really good, but there were some parts that seemed rough, like when Parker cocks her eyebrow three times in as many pages, or when she suggests she might 'bop out' somewhere (pretty sure I've never read that phrase in a piece of current writing before), or when a major plot development occurs without us and is revealed in a single sentence.
Overall, even though I think Somebody to Love could have been even better, it was a funny, engaging, satisfying read with the best possible ending - the one that ties everything up nicely and leaves you feeling satisfied and a bit goofy with love.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I love reading Kristan Higgins because her stories are always sure to make me laugh as the couple involved work their way toward their own happily ever after. This story was no exception, and there's the added bonus of catching up with Ethan and Lucy from The Next Best Thing (Hqn) and Maggie and Malone from Catch of the Day.
This story revolves around Parker Welles and James Cahill. Parker and James have known each other for years because he has been her father's personal attorney. Parker has had a longstanding resentment again James because her father shows him more affection than he does his only child. James, on the other hand, has always been attracted to Parker, though he has held himself in restraint. I loved, loved, loved James. He was smart, sensitive, and just an all-around good guy. His life has been shaped by a childhood tragedy for which he still feels guilt. It's this guilt that causes him to basically never think of having a family of his own. But he's also got a deep sense of integrity that is at the heart of his relationship with Parker. He lets her set the pace in their relationship, and her mistrust of men, due largely to her observations of her father, are what cause the conflict between the two.
Parker, who wrote a very successful series of children's books, sort of lives with her characters. They serve as her conscience throughout the story, and Higgins does this very well. They are cute without being cloying. Likewise, Nicky, Parker's son, adds to the depth of the story realistically--he's cute, but also problematic in the relationship.
I really enjoyed this story because it focuses on the relationship, not a big misunderstanding (though there is a little one thrown in, it is set up and resolved well). I enjoyed seeing Parker come into her own and learn to take care of herself, and I loved everything about James. It was nice to have a romance hero who is not rich, domineering, or overconfident for a change.
I think I've read everything by Kristan Higgins at this point, and I think this is her best book yet.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2012
Kristan Higgins brings back familiar characters from her previous book The Next Best Thing (Hqn)
Single mom, Parker Welles, has her life turned upside-down when she learns that her father is going to jail for insider trading. The biggest shock comes when her father's lawyer, James Cahill - whom she calls "Thing One" - reveals that her father's crime extends to her and her son in the form of emptied trust funds. With only about ten grand of money in her bank account, Parker is thrown for a loop. Salvation comes in the form of an inherited house in Maine; Parker leaps at the opportunity to check the property while her son Nicky is on vacation with his Dad, Ethan and step-mom Lucy.
Well... let's just say that the house isn't all that she thought it would be. Surprisingly it is Thing One, er, James who comes to the rescue in the form of carpenter and all-around-handyman. The thing is, James still hasn't gotten over his feelings for Parker that he's had from the first moment he met her in the hospital after the birth of her son. As her father's representative, James has attended many important events in Nicky's life and has faced the temptation that is Parker many times, only giving in to that temptation once at a wedding he went to in her father's stead. James uses his time at the small house in Maine to try and get closer to Parker, but with her recent emotional upheaval, will she even be open to exploring the spark between them?
Kristan Higgins has written yet another novel where her characters come to life. Somebody To Love is well written and shows that events occurring in childhood can leave emotional scars on people and the struggles they have while attempting to live their normal lives. Higgins understanding of human relationships and the various forms of love we exhibit is evident in her latest title.