Sunday, September 29, 2013

{Dane #Review} Contemporary Romance: The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins

THE PERFECT MATCH by Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 448 pages
Publisher: Harlequin HQN (October 29, 2013)

What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise?

Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there…or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn't easier said than done.

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancĂ©, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn't easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love….

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Let me start this review by saying that I have already pre-ordered the paperback and October can't get here fast enough.

Honor Grace Holland is an integral cog in her family's wine-making business. She runs the show, from interacting with clients to updating their social media to…basically doing everything administrative while the rest of her family does the farming and wine-making. But when her gynecologist reminds her that, at 35, her eggs are…a little older…she decides that it's time to pay attention to her neglected love life for a minute. She figures that it's high time she and her best friend/occasional sex buddy Brogan made things official.

Except Brogan, man of her dreams, object of her long time crush, rejects her proposal. Compares her to a rather unflattering piece of athletic equipment. And then, a few weeks later, turns up engaged to Honor's best female friend, Dana. One catfight in a bar later, and Honor figures her chance at true happiness has passed. Which means that when her grandmother suggests marrying a man she doesn't know in order to secure him a green card, she's just about in the right place to agree.

Tom Barlow is a British professor who is trying to stay in the country to be near the young man who was almost his stepson. When his work visa fails to come through, he figures that there's nothing else he can do. But then he meets Honor, and while initially he thinks the entire idea is crazy, eventually his love of Charlie overcomes his reservations and he agrees to Honor's plan.

It's simple. They marry and get him his green card, and in exchange he agrees to try and make the marriage work and give her children. Of course, nothing goes smoothly, least of all the path to love.

How much did I love Tom? Words have not been invented to do it justice. He was such a well developed character, just like Honor, and the pair of them together was a wonderful combination. Watching them circle each other, find their footing, was great. Personally I kind of thought Brogan was a tool, and he certainly didn't seem to understand much of anything about his interactions with Honor (besides, what is with that nickname? "On" for Honor, really?).

The relationships are really what make this book. Tom and Honor, Tom and his almost stepson Charlie, Honor and her family, just her family in general. They are all wonderful. I especially adored her older sister Pru, for all her inappropriateness. Higgins seems to do a great job of putting relationships on the page and making them vibrant. And heartbreaking. Everything between Charlie and Tom made me hurt; Tom tries so hard, misses Charlie so much, and poor Charlie is struggling to deal with the frankly crappy hand life dealt him--a father who is absent, a mother who died, grandparents who are lackluster at best. And you can see his struggle with all of that. Watching him slowly come around was almost as sweet as seeing Tom and Honor figure out how much they care about one another.

Not that this book is all sad. Honor's grandparents, Goggy and Pops, reminded me of my own grandparents, Mrs. J and Honor's dad cracked me up, and the commentary from Honor's eggs? I frequently snorted in amusement.

What it boils down to is this: why are you reading this review and not getting this book right this moment? Keep tissues nearby--the last 15% of the book had me sobbing like a baby.

Favorite Quote:
"He's a math teacher. I mean, mechanical engineering. He's a professor at Wickham. And he's very nice. British, too."
"What does that have to do with anything?" Dad asked. "Don't they make serial killers in England? Haven't you ever heard of Jack the Ripper?"

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