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Book Review: Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

Written by: Beth Woodward, CC2K Books Editor


Good contemporary romance novels are hard to find.  Unlike other types of romances (paranormals, historicals, romantic suspenses), there is often very little plot to them other than the hero and heroine getting together, with some obligatory obstacles in the way.  Also, the genre seems to rely on stock characters quite a bit.  That’s not to say that there aren’t good contemporary romances out there, but I often find myself with a “meh” feeling from many of the contemporary romances I’ve read—which is why I get really excited when I find one I really enjoy.

Kristen Higgins’ Until There Was You is just that kind of book.  It’s funny, sweet, and features well-developed lead and supporting characters.

The book description, courtesy of Kristan Higgins’ website:

Posey Osterhagen can’t complain. She owns a successful architectural salvaging company, she’s surrounded by her loveable, if off-center, family and she has a boyfriend—sort of. Still, something’s missing. Something tall, brooding and criminally good-looking…something like Liam Murphy.

When Posey was sixteen, the bad boy of Bellsford New Hampshire, broke her heart. But now he’s back, sending Posey’s traitorous schoolgirl heart into overdrive once again. She should be giving him a wide berth, but it seems fate has other ideas…

I think what I liked most about this book were the characters.  This is one of the few romance novels I’ve read where the supporting characters may have outshined the primary ones.  From Liam’s cranky teenage daughter to Posey’s flamboyant brother-in-law, the supporting cast both humanity and humor to the story.

I also loved that romance wasn’t the only type of relationship presented in this story.  Familial love is also very important here.  Liam is a widower who has a challenging relationship with his teenage daughter.  Posey was adopted, and during the course of the story she discovers some information about her birth parents; the adoption angle is treated realistically, but not melodramatically.  Posey also has a rivalry with her cousin, a television chef and know-it-all.

There’s also a lot of humor in the book.  From Liam using scare-tactics against his daughter’s date, to Posey’s friends’ commentary about her sex life, I found myself laughing out loud at several points during this book.

Until There Was You was a fun, happy weekend afternoon read, and I’d highly recommend it for fans of romance.