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All I Ever Wanted (Hqn) Mass Market Paperback – July 27, 2010
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Since she received her “happily-ever-after” rocking chair as a little girl, Callie Grey has imagined its place in her future family’s home. Now nearly 30, she lives with her curmudgeonly grandfather, while her dream man—her boss, Mark—is engaged to their biggest client’s daughter. Her hometown in Vermont is tiny, making it difficult to find new prospects for a husband or a job. Enter the attractive new veterinarian, Ian. His aloof demeanor calls for Callie’s public-relations skills and her love. Though Callie’s oversharing and Ian’s brusqueness cause friction, their mutual desire wins out. Romance abounds for Callie and Ian, Callie’s estranged parents, and even Callie’s überfeminist sister, while smarmy Mark gets his comeuppance. The latest from the author of Too Good to Be True (2009) boasts small-time charm, sentimental moments, and satisfying happy endings. Readers will scoop up this easy-to-read confection. --Aleksandra Walker
"Higgins [offers] strong storytelling and a refreshing, sarcastic wit...thoroughly entertaining."-People Magazine
"Well-placed flashbacks; snarky, snappy dialogue; and conflict both tender and traumatic will shove you into love with a perfectly irresistible array of imperfect characters. You'll adore every bit of this story...Higgins' latest is sexy, screwy, funny and fulfilling - a simply radiant read."-USA TODAY on The Best Man
"The result is a deliriously funny story...The Best Man is Kristan Higgin's best book -- and that's saying a lot."-Eloisa James
"A funny, poignant romance."
-Publishers Weekly starred review, on My One and Only
"Romance fans and lovers of women's fiction will devour this witty and tender novel. Highly recommended." -Library Journal starred review on Somebody to Love
"Both gut-wrenchingly emotional and hysterically funny at the same time...Kristan Higgins writes the books you don't want to end."-#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr
"Higgins specializes in the kind of prose that makes you laugh out loud...hilarious on the surface, but with a bittersweet subtext."-National Public Radio
"Higgins has a special talent for creating characters readers love."-Romantic Times, 4½ stars on All I Ever Wanted
"A heartwarming, multi-generational tale of lost love, broken hearts and second chances."
-BookPage on The Next Best Thing --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The only problem? He's wishy washy, enjoys her attentions and strings her along while he's dating the daughter of a big account for his business. Meanwhile Callie runs into a staid veterinarian who has the charm of a Russian mob assassin. He looks at her disapprovingly and refers to her emotional outbursts as "emotional diarrhea."
The story skips along merrily, supported by a quirky host of side characters, a mother who runs a funeral home, a sister who is an infertility specialist and a single mother of two adopted girls, a roustabout brother who specializes in dropping out, a repentant playboy father, a cantankerous amputee grandfather who builds boats, a funeral assistant who has the "chills" for her, a backstabbing suckup coworker, the boss's gay assistant and his hunky boyfriend who owns the neighborhood bar, the elderly hip-hoppers at the senior center, various dog owners, pet owners, a snake owner, a best friend with the perfect husband and perfect kid, a pair of computer nerd coworkers with their own private language, huh, huh, huh, running out of breath, oh, and not to forget the ex-wife of the vet and the clinic workers, aunt, brother-in-law named Alejandro.
Okay, okay, I probably missed a few, but all of these people are charming and there's a lot going on, but everything works out at the end for Callie. The story is enjoyable, even if the male characters leave a lot to be desired. For quite a while, I had no clue if the hero would be Mark who would reform himself or Ian, the ice-cold vet who disapproves of Callie on the surface. But it doesn't matter. Callie's character transformation makes this story worthwhile. You'll end up laughing, yelling at, and sad for Callie, but at the end, happy as she learns to stand up for herself and not seek constant approval. Oh, I didn't forget--Callie's husky and constant companion, Bowie, and Ian's beautiful Irish setter, Angie.
What carries this book is the voice and the humor. There were many laugh out loud moments and many unforgettable lines. A fun and light-hearted read.
Kristan Higgins is usually a guaranteed good choice when it comes to the cute and quirky romance novel choice for me. There is a talent she has that can write well placed banter and some laugh out loud situations, but....
Maybe it is just me, but I felt this story missed the mark. The writing style is decent, the humor is there, but the focus was off. It almost seemed more like this story was written in the focus of someone that had a severe case of Attention Deficit Disorder. When you thought it was going somewhere... the direction changed rather quickly and without reason.
This story was supposed to be about Callie and her "happily ever after". It started off alright with Callie's situation about being so in love with Mark, her boss, and how she was blindsided when she learns he did not feel the same towards her. It was painfully obvious that Mark was a smarmy tool that used Callie, but it took just about the full book for Callie to get a clue and really move forward. When it came to Callie's relationship with Ian, it severely lacked details for the reader to embrace the relationship as well as acknowledge it was going somewhere.
The character development of Ian was choppy, at best, and severely lacking when it came to his feelings for Callie. We never saw much of his point of view about how he grew to even like Callie, let alone how he grew as a character. Their relationship was so breezed over, I felt that this was impossible for her finding of "the one" that she so desperately needed we were reading about. In fact, Ian's realization that he loved Callie lacked so much... I had to reread his proclamation of love for her a few times and scratched my head in wonder if it was an insult or something remotely bittersweet.
I did feel that this story was more focused in "a day in the life of Callie", than a romantic journey to a happily ever after. There were far too many characters to contend with and their stories that really held no support to Callie and Ian's connection. Character development was lacking and the flow of the story lacked focus on one thing. Maybe Ms. Higgins wanted to write something less of a romantic tale and more of an introduction to a series of stories for the future. Doubtful, since none of the many characters really held much promise of another story building off this one. In fact, this one lacked so much that I am a bit disappointed I actually paid to read this.
If this is your first thought to read from this author, I would strongly suggest something else because this is not her best work. My favorite is JUST ONE OF THE GUYS, in my opinion, but I have enjoyed some of her other stories, too. Just not this one.
The characters come alive
and that includes her whole wacky family including the dog. More than just a romance but a real soulful experience.