Debbie's World of Books
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The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

July 14th, 2013 by Debbie's World of Books

The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

Source: NetGalley

Publication date: August 27, 2013 (Paperback version – Hardback version released in 2010)

Publisher: Harlequin

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Summary from Goodreads.com: Lucy Lang isn’t looking for fireworks…

She’s looking for a nice, decent man. Someone who’ll mow the lawn, flip chicken on the barbeque, teach their future children to play soccer. But most important… someone who won’t inspire the slightest stirring in her heart…or anywhere else. A young widow, Lucy can’t risk that kind of loss again. But sharing her life with a cat named Fat Mikey and the Black Widows at the family bakery isn’t enough either. So it’s goodbye to Ethan, her hot but entirely inappropriate “friend with privileges” and hello to a man she can marry.

Too bad Ethan Mirabelli isn’t going anywhere. As far as he’s concerned, what she needs might be right under her nose. But can he convince her that the next best thing can really be forever?

I’ve been on a sweet romance kick lately with some awesome sweet romance reads and especially Susan Mallery’s latest, Three Little Words.  I was eager to dive into The Next Best Thing since I’ve heard so many good things about Kristan Higgins.  I have to say I was sadly disappointed.  I actually felt guilty for most of the book because Lucy seemed like a character you should feel sorry for but she was just so darn irritating I couldn’t stand her!

Yes, I can only imagine what it must be to lose the love of your life but it’s been years (I can’t remember exactly but over 5 years) since her husband, Jimmy, died.  She idolizes him and behaves as if he died just the week before.  While she’s doing this she is totally oblivious to the pain she causes Ethan with her whole friends with privileges arrangement.  I can’t understand how a girl can be so blind to the torch Ethan is carrying for her over years and years.  Lucy’s actions also came across as selfish many times like how she railed at Ethan when she found out her arch nemesis was an ex-girlfriend of Jimmy’s.  She also acts like everyone betrayed her by never mentioning this relationship.  WTF.  It was in the past and what’s the big deal?  Jimmy married Lucy, not his ex so get over it!  She also gets upset when Ethan isn’t waiting on her 24/7 after she cuts him off from their friends with benefits relationship (while never getting he’s in love with her) and is bitter when he shows an interest in other women.  It’s not even an “I’m in love with him I can’t stand to see him with someone else” bitterness.  She still moans and pities herself for losing Jimmy after just 8 months of marriage.  And when Ethan doesn’t immediately leave his job to come celebrate her aunt’s waking in the convalescence home she gets upset.  Why should he drop everything in his life every time she wants him to come running?

On the opposite end I loved Ethan.  He is such a sweetheart and I felt so bad for him for the way his family treated him.  Talk about feeling like the red headed step child.  Just because he wasn’t as handsome, outgoing or traditional as Jimmy he was always relegated to being second best in his parents eyes as well as Lucy’s eyes.  He is a wonderful friend and has the patience of a saint.  Honestly the only thing I couldn’t stand was his continuing love to Lucy.  I felt like any guy with brains would have given up on her a long time ago but I suppose love made him blind.

Honestly, if I hadn’t heard so many good things about Kristan Higgins I would have DNFed this book but I kept hoping it would get better.  Alas, that never happened.  Not sure if I will pick up another Kristan Higgins book but I do know if I do it won’t be any time soon.

Posted in 2 Star Books, Books, Romance

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