Review: The Next Best Thing

Next Best Thing, TheKristan Higgins, The Next Best Thing

After five years, young widow Lucy Lang is ready to start dating again. But she’s not looking for love; her late husband, Jimmy Mirabelli, was the love of her life, and she has no interest in opening her heart to somebody new. But Lucy does want the stability and comfort of marriage, and she’d like to have children someday, so she decides to start looking for a potential husband. Of course, this means she’ll need to stop sleeping with Jimmy’s brother, Ethan, with whom she has shared a secret friends-with-benefits arrangement for the past couple of years. But when Lucy tries to break things off with Ethan, she’s surprised to find that he doesn’t take it very well. In fact, he seems to want to pursue a real relationship with her. But Lucy is afraid of where such a relationship might lead; she’s not ready to get her heart broken again. Plus, there’s the issue of what their families would say…. Will Lucy find the courage to risk her heart, and will she ever be able to see Ethan as Mr. Right rather than just the next-best thing?

This novel is yet another light, romantic read by Kristan Higgins. Her books tend to be quite similar, so if you like one, you’ll probably like them all. This one actually reminded me a lot of Fools Rush In, which I read earlier this year, because of the familial complications to the romance. In Fools Rush In, the heroine ends up with her sister’s ex-husband, while in this book, Lucy ends up with her dead husband’s brother. (I don’t think that’s really a spoiler, is it?) And in both books, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the resolution of these issues. I especially think that Ethan’s family would have had a much stronger, more lasting reaction to the news that their son’s widow is now dating their other son. At the same time, I was rooting for Ethan from almost the very beginning; it was so obvious that he really loved Lucy all along! In fact, I was pretty irritated with Lucy for not noticing it! That said, I actually did like this book and would recommend it to fans of contemporary romance…it’s just not my favorite offering by Higgins.

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