When rich-girl Parker Welles’s father loses all their family money in an insider-trading scheme gone wrong, she’s faced with some tough realities. Forced out of her house, she picks up and moves to Gideon’s Cove, Maine, to sell the only property she still owns: an old house in serious need of renovation. Her father sends his lackey, lawyer James Cahill, to help her, and while Parker’s not thrilled about this, she has to admit that he’s pretty hot–and seems to have a background in construction.
There’s no beating around the bush here–Kristan Higgins writes contemporary romance that fits the genre to perfection, but her novels are so fresh, funny, and full of well-developed characters that it’s impossible not to enjoy yourself. While Somebody to Love was my first foray into Higgins’s oeuvre, it won’t be my last. Genuinely funny dialogue, a fairly believable premise, and a vivid supporting cast make this a memorable read.
What Higgins does well is provide the perspectives of two very different characters and allow their own viewpoints to build tension. Parker and James are both headstrong, smart, and self-motivated. They’re also very proud, and they both let their pride get in the way of what might make them really happy. Their banter drives much of the book–their interactions was what I most looked forward to when reading the book. While Parker is a total mess, James borders on being almost too perfect. In fact, his actions are too perfect: it’s only through his thoughts that James comes close to being an actual human, and it’s a good thing, too. Perfect people are boring.
The plot, while predictable, is still a light, fun read. Because it’s a romance, the reader knows that the two protagonists are going to get together. However, watching them fight–their own feelings and each other–makes for a fun experience. This is escapism at its best.
Even the book’s more serious aspects–Parker’s struggles to raise a child with a man who never loved her, her struggle to understand why her father is so distant–never felt overly heavy or too after-school-special. Higgins manages to balance humor and emotion very well, making for a completely enjoyable reading experience. She’s a good writer, and she does humor exceptionally well.
Recommended for fans of contemporary romance. Somebody to Love is out today.
Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins. HQN Books: 2012. Electronic galley accepted for review via NetGalley.