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Anything for You by Kristan Higgins

There is an old saying: “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.
– The White Ribbon Campaign to Walk A Mile in Her Shoes®

25530076Title: Anything for You
Author: Kristan Higgins
Blue Heron, Book 5
Publish Date: December 29, 2015

Publisher’s Description:

Before you get down on bended knee…
…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O’Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she’s got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it’s the perfect time to get married.

When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who’s now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she’s positive married life isn’t for her.

But this time, Connor says it’s all or nothing. If she doesn’t want to marry him, he’ll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he’s never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn’t quite as sure as she thinks…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Ruby LRuby_Lee 100ee says…

When I sit down to read a Kristan Higgins book, there are two things that I need to consider: time and my heart.  When I open one of her books, I am making a commitment.  Once I begin the story, I will not stop reading until I run out of pages.  I have made some poor life choices in the past by thinking I could read a few chapters and go to bed.  Usually that ends with me being unproductive the next day due to a book hangover.  I will also forget to eat if I am in the middle of one of her stories.  It’s probably a good thing I don’t have children because I would probably forget to feed them too.

The second thing I need to consider is my heart.  Do I have room to add 2 or 3 additional characters into my heart?  Many people think that reading a romance story is only about the happy ending.  If that were the case, I would only read the first and last chapters of every book.  A Kristan Higgins book is about the journey of two partially damaged people and the hard but sometimes very humorous road they take to their happy ending.  (When you think about it, aren’t we all a little partially damaged?)

The thing that blew me away in Anything For You was the character badge4v4development.  She painted images of the them so crisply that I felt like they had been beamed into my living room.  Kristan unfolded Jessica’s story in a beautiful way by showing her flaws but then giving us the inner workings and the reasons behind the decisions that caused so many to judge her.  Growing up, I am sure that we all knew a Jessica or were a Jessica.  We judge females through “slut shaming” every day.  This book was a powerful commentary on how we should never judge until we have walked a mile in that person’s shoes.  It also showed how that condemnation by a community or by one’s peers can leave a mark on a person’s soul forever.

Okay… I may have gotten a little deep, but don’t worry.  Kristan still included all the hilarious dialogue and crazy situations that causes her readers to wait breathlessly until her next release.  I am not sure if this is our last visit to Manningsports.  I hope not because I am planning to relocate there in the Spring, but I am having a hard time locating it on the map.

Lucyfer’s Corner

 2 paws –  I was tricked into reading this book.  Tricked and manipulated by Lucy Facea small brown kitten.  Here is my story.  I found Izzy crying in a corner not long after she started reading Anything For You.  Between the sobs, I figured out she was upset because a dog had died.  Hot Dang!  I knew this was the book for me so I told Ruby I would read it since Izzy was a basket case.  Yes, a dog does die in the first few chapters but then they go on to rescue at least 3 more dogs and each of the seven hundred characters produce at least one cute baby apiece during the story. In addition, there is love and a happy ending.  I think Izzy just wants me to have nightmares for the the rest of my life. 

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If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

Someone told me the other day that all books are made up of the same 26 letters that are just put in different orders.  Well if writing is that easy, why aren’t we all prize winning authors?

51Yb2869hvL._SX313_BO1,204,203,200_Title: If You Only Knew
Author: Kristan Higgins
Publish Date:  August 25, 2015
Genre:  Romance
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s Description:  Wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate understands the happily-ever-after business, yet somehow she’s still involved in her ex-husband’s life. In fact, Owen’s new wife may—inexplicably—be Jenny’s new best friend. Sensing this, well, relationship isn’t helping her move on, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she’ll be able to bask in her sister Rachel’s picture-perfect family life…and hopefully make one of her own.

Her timing couldn’t be more perfect, since Rachel will need her younger sister. Her idyllic marriage has just fallen to pieces in spectacular fashion after she discovers her husband sexting with one of his colleagues. Second chances aren’t in Rachel’s nature, but the desire for an intact family has her rethinking her stance on adultery, much to Jenny’s surprise. Rachel points to their parents’ “perfect” marriage as a shining example, but to protect her sister Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a secret about their family she’s been keeping since childhood.

During this summer of secrets and lies, temptation and revelation, Jenny and Rachel will rely on each other to find the humor in their personal catastrophes, the joy in their triumphs…and the strength to keep hanging on.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Ruby LRuby_Lee 100ee says…

It just seems that some people are able to take each letter and craft together a masterpiece that a reader can get lost in. Kristan Higgins has that amazing ability to take each of these individual letters and turn them into three dimensional people that I am able to love, hope for, and cry over.

I was a little nervous starting If You Only Knew. The description gave me the sense that this was a slightly different book than Higgins’s past work. I love almost everything that she has written up to this point and didn’t want that magical record broken. I started the first chapter hesitantly but it immediately grabbed my arm and yanked me into the badge5v4deep end of the pool. (I should have worn nose plugs.) The story is different than Higgin’s past work but it only shows that you can improve on something that is already close to perfection.

Rachel and Jenny became real people to me in a matter of pages and I went through many layers of feelings which ranged from happy to exasperated to sad, and finally to content. The story ended well but not in the completely perfect ride off into the sunset sort of way. It was a real ending. This book will easily be one of my top 5 books for the year.

Lucyfer’s Corner

Lucy Face5 paw prints – This is a total spoiler but the dog actually dies. Does a story need anything else? I know the humans get all sad which leads them to sharing their feelings and you know how much I hate that. But the dog actually dies. Best book of the year.

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