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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 11, 2008
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
Journalist Chastity O'Neill has returned to her hometown and taken a job at a local paper. The youngest of five children and only daughter has a family full of heroes, yet she faints at the sight of blood and gore. Her heart still belongs to Trevor, a firefighter and the only guy she's truly loved. He also happens to be her brother's best friend and an honorary son to her parents, who recently divorced when dad refused to retire and put mom first for a change. As she and her mom enter the dating pool (and mom is much more successful), they take a defense class taught by a local surgeon, and she captures his attention and being the oafish nearly six foot Amazon that she is, manages to hurt him in a demonstration. As she and Ryan start a new relationship, she can't seem to forget Trevor. But will she take the advice of her mother and let another one into her heart?

Higgins' third novel retains the charm, humor and excellent storytelling as her other novels. She creates rich characters - people you want to call your friends, and gives them the flaws that make them endearing and real. This book is loaded with secondary characters and subplots, but all the characters are fully developed - particularly her family - who each have a distinctive personality and voice. The family bantering is great - I loved the nicknames and teasing - it made them even more realistic. And as always, she has a canine in the story that steals many scenes, in this case, a 120 pound mongrel hound named Buttercup. While I was a little lost on all the "Lord of the Rings" references (Chas embraces her inner geek big time), Higgins has proven that she just can't write a bad novel.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed Higgins humorous writing. If it wasn't for that, I'd have stopped reading. Here's my problem with the book: 80% of it was spent on heroine's family members' various relationships & heroine's relationship with another guy. Higgins did well in making me care about the heroine & Hero's relationship but the reason for Hero's not pursuing a r/s with heroine was very unconvincing. His declaration of love towards the VERY, VERY END was also abrupt & super short. Suffice it to say, their reconciliation was abrupt, very brief (last 4 pages including the epilogue), & unsatisfactory. I mean there were more details about heroine's sex life with her ex-fiance than with the hero!...something I'd expect more in a chick lit than romance novel.

Warning: may be a frustrating wait for Hero & heroine's coming together.ether.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After waiting anxiously for Kristan to finish her third book, I found that it was worth the wait! Kristan Higgins keeps getting better and better! There's only one problem: The books don't come out fast enough!

Just One of the Guys is definitely a fabulous story. After reading Fools Rush In and Catch of the Day I was expecting Just One of the Guys to be equally fascinating. I was right.

Chastity is one of most fun female characters I've read about. Trevor is by far the most fascinating of the male characters.

This love story is not a perfect romance like other novels. It has its twists and turns that keep you glued to its chapters. The ending is fantastic.

One of Higgins' greatest writing assets is that she makes her characters so down to earth and so loveable that you wish her characters were real.

This book is a definite read. This type of author doesn't come by too often.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Just One of the Guys" is the story of Chastity O'Neill, six feet of girl power who just can't seem to find the right guy. She's been secretly in love with Trevor Meade, a friend of her large, meddling family's, since she was very young. Trevor doesn't seem to return her affection. In the meantime, another guy enters the picture, and it's Chastity's big chance to show Trevor that she's a little more than one of the guys.

Will he realize this before it's too late?

Kristan's books keep getting better and better. To read them is to wish that you lived in the towns she writes about, knew the characters whose stories she's telling, and remember what it's like to fall in love with the everyday guy that won your heart. This book is no exception.

Congratulations, Kristan!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I bought this book based on the many excellent reviews. Other reviewers have pointed out many of the good things about this book. Chastity's family is great - very endearing. Higgins also has a very entertaining writing style - it's funny and energetic. Some of the scenes are laugh out loud funny.

On the downside, the book is written in first person, present tense which is a form I find somewhat awkward to read. Of course, that is a personal preference.

Unfortunately, although there is great energy in the style, there is little energy in the story. About a third of the way through the book I realized that nothing had actually happened. Thank God for the entertaining style since the story was at a standstill.

Last, but not least, Higgins is very fond of using "bleeping" as a substitute for a four letter profanity ("out of this bleeping world", "blah, blah, bleeping blah"). Either use the profanity or don't use it. The use of the word "bleeping" as a substitute got old fast. By the 15th or 16th time it was used, I was ready to bleeping scream.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Just One of the Guys

*Be aware that this is a re-print - NOT a new book!*

With her usual good humor and almost slapstick comedy, "Just One of the Guys" shows us what it is like to be a nearly 6 foot tall woman with rowers shoulders and able to wrestle most men to the ground. Chastity may at times appear to be 'one of the guys' but she wants what many women want---to be married and have babies. And she wants to be married to Trev or who sees her as just another buddy...at least that is what Chastity thinks! While this may be a somewhat predictable novel, it will tickle your funny bone with some unusual plot twist.

I've loved this entire line of books from the very first one I read a couple of years ago, right until the very latest one. We get a guaranteed happily ever after with each book. We get to laugh and cry along the way. Yes, you could say Kristan's books are predictable, but while we are reading these contemporary romances, don't we want to be assured that the outcome will be a happy one? It is the journey we are anticipating and Ms Higgins gives us a good one with each book she writes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book was well written, and I liked most of the characters. The characters were fleshed out well, the story moved along at a good, if predictable, pace. We get good insight into Chas and her motivations, and along the way, get to know her family, friends and coworkers. Liked the brothers, LOVED the dog, MELTED over Trevor, our misguided hero. Trevor really struck a cord with me. He was ever there for Chas, occasionally (twice) crossing the line from brotherly love to lover. We spend very minute amounts of time with Trevor, who I really wanted to get to know better. I was sitting there talking to the book, saying "C'mon, c'mon, give us more Trevor time, for the love of GOD!" This is not a good sign. We get just enough of Trevor to figure out that while he loves Chas, he is so afraid of losing her and her family that he cannot be what she needs him to be. Chas decides to quit wasting her time waiting for Trevor, and starts dating Dr. Perfect. We spend lots of meaningless time with this disaster of a relationship that I could not possibly have cared less about. While I understand Chas' unwillingness to wait, and even admire her decision to move on, I just felt a whole lot of ickiness reading about her and Dr. Psycho. The last 2 chapters were somewhat redemptive, and I will admit to sobbing at a couple of crucial resolutions, but it was not enough to mitigate the rest of the book.

I have tried to figure out why Ms. Higgins' books annoy the snot out of me, and I have come to the conclusion that it is a marketing issue. When I read a romance, I want to read a ROMANCE. Ms. Higgins' books, with the exception of Too Good to be True, do not read as romance. In my opinion, they are more coming of age, standard fiction. Which is absolutely fine if that is what you want to read. Ms. Higgins does tend to repeat themes(dating anyone other than the hero, parental marital issues, family intervention) but the writing is good, if somewhat limited by the first person POV. If I am ever in the mood to read straight fiction about a woman finding herself, I will be sure to revisit this author. But when I am in the mood to read a romance, I will look elsewhere.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2010
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
I did not like the heroine in this book. The hero seems like a really sweet guy even though we don't get to hear his thoughts. What bothered me the most about the heroine in the book was that she slept with both men. Wasn't anyone else annoyed with the fact that she was engaged to the doctor and she cheated on him and slept with the hero. If that wasn't bad enough, after sleeping with the hero she went back to sleep with her fiance and then dumped him after. It would have been bad enough that she just cheated on her fiance with the hero and then decide to end it with the fiance but no she went back and slept with him and acted like everything was ok. Both men seemed like nice guys. In my opinion they both could do better without the heroine. I didn't buy the heroines love for the hero. The epilogue made me wonder if the babies belong to the hero since she was back and forth with her men but I suppose the timeline would indicate it is his. Disappointing book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I first have to say that I have newly discovered this author and have subsequently read five of her books in the past week, and I love her ability to write laugh out loud humor and tear jerking emotional scenes all in the same novel. She obviously has a formula that she sticks pretty close to, but nonetheless I still finished each book with a warm sigh and a desire to immediately begin her next book on my list....

But after this book all I was left with was irrational anger over a fictional couple who had a stupid-wishy washy-push then pull-hide my feelings but silently admit you're the love of my life-frustratingly annoying-relationship. Chastity and Trevor have know each other since they were kids, and he's basically an adopted member of her big boisterous heroic family (whose stories were realistically the only reason why I even finished this book). He's a firefighter (hotttt) just like 3 of the other men in her family and she's a newspaper editor, but is taking EMT classes to overcome her immobilizing fear of blood and gore. She has apparently been in love with Trevor forever, but in 12 years they have only slept with each other a few times over a 72 hour period in college and neither has actually spoken any words about love or a relationship. I mean come on!!! 12 freaking years, thats three presidential terms and nobody can say hey, I love you, lets give this a try?!?! But apparently as this is their love story, how they choose to court one another is to keep mum about their true feelings, sleep with and get engaged to other people, and basically give great advice to those in the family with faltering relationships and divorces and then be completely dumb about their own!

Needless to say though, this still is a romance novel so it's going to have a guaranteed happy ever after. But not before dragging you through 350+ pages of "blah, blah, bleeping blah" that make you want to pull you hair out and fantasize about holding them by their shirts, banging their heads together, and then shaking them until they understand that this is a romance and its supposed to be enjoyable, and obviously they love each other so grow the heck up and have a relationship already!!!!! So after the muttering and the eye rolling, the reader finally gets to see Chasitiy and Trevor declare their undying love, marriage and babies in 1,000 words or less (okay this may be an exaggeration, but it was literally the last five pages on my iPad) and then that's it...the end... and then again...irrational anger.

So, to save yourself time, money, and stressful anger (because nobody needs that) take a pass on this book by this author and instead read her books 'The Best Man' or 'All I Ever Wanted' both of which I would gladly pay 10x as much for is they would remove the memory of this book from my mind.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2010
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
The fundamental message of romance novels is that love conquers all. Although we readers live in the real world and know that love cannot always conquer all, we turn to romance novels to give us an escapist guilty pleasure, a break from the news, our hectic lives and often non-fairy-tale relationships. After all, if we wanted more reality, we'd read chick lit. Buyer beware: Kristan Higgins' "Just One of the Guys" is chick lit.

The book is an enjoyable, quick, emotional read. Higgins' Amazonian heroine, Chastity, is well written and relatable, as are many of the secondary characters. However, the plot focuses too much time on the heroine's personal development, family situation and a dead-end relationship with another man, devoting almost no time to developing the novel's primary relationship. As another reviewer noted, the central characters are together only in the last few pages of the book, with two sexual slip-ups along the way. This does not make a compelling romance.

The secondary characters and their relationships also overshadow the central romance. The deterioration of Chastity's parents' marriage, for example, is more emotional and climactic than the development of Chastity and Trevor's love. The choice of Chastity's mother to marry a man she doesn't love, however, goes against everything for which romance stands. Again, I know we make hard and complicated choices in the real world, but that is not what we look for in a romance.

Although I want to love the book's hero, Trevor, I can't. He's weak. Even when Chastity bares her soul to him, he crushes her, and not for some misguided, noble reason but because he's afraid. Then he follows up with a let's-be-friends email. Perhaps if the book was told in third person and the readers were allowed to see more of his inner struggle and personal growth, we could be more understanding; but with a first-person narrative in Chastity's voice, Trevor's declarations in the end scream too little, too late for me.

This was my second of Higgins' books, after "Too Good to be True." I may read more in the future, but only when I'm looking for chick lit or women's fiction.
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