Kristan Higgins, Until There Was You
Cordelia Osterhagen, known to everyone as Posey, is largely content with her life. She lives in a picturesque New England town near her family, with whom she is close, and owns her own architectural salvage company. She also works at her parents’ cheesy but beloved German restaurant. But Posey’s love life is somewhat less successful; she’s never managed to find a man she loves as much as she once loved Liam Murphy, the high school bad boy whom she worshiped from afar. But now Liam is back in town, a gruff widower with a teenage daughter, and Posey’s old feelings immediately resurface. However, she tries to play it cool and slowly begins to form a friendship with him. Meanwhile, Liam is constantly stressed from his efforts to protect his daughter from every possible harm, but he’s surprised by how peaceful he feels around Cordelia Osterhagen. When their relationship takes a romantic turn, will he be able to face the possibility of real commitment? And will Posey be able to stop herself from falling head-over-heels in love again?
After the mental exercise of Embassytown, I really just needed a palate cleanser, so I naturally turned to one of the Kristan Higgins romances I hadn’t read yet. It perfectly fit the bill by providing a pleasant romance with minimal angst. All the Higgins trademarks are there: a quaint New England town, a heroine with a crazy-yet-lovable family and an improbably well-paying job, and a friendly dog or two. I liked Posey, although I couldn’t help being irritated by her job — what exactly is an architectural salvager, and how does she make enough money in her tiny hometown to stay in business? It sounds like one of those fake careers that TV people have, not something that could actually enable a person in small-town New Hampshire to make a living. Liam is a perfectly fine hero, although he’s a bit too perfect for my taste (sinfully gorgeous, loves his daughter, wounded just enough to be interesting). But despite all my nitpicking, I enjoyed the book, as I always do with Higgins’ contemporary romances.