I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron #2
Published by Harlequin on November 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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 fiance, 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....
The set up
Honor Holland hears her biological clock ticking and wants to have a child before it’s too late for her to have one. Tom Barlow is a British professor who is facing deportation unless he can get his visa renewed. He needs to stay in the country to look after his “almost” stepson and his current employer’s budget can’t handle the cost of the renewal process. After meeting, the two of them agree that an arranged marriage will allow them both to get what they want.
Honor has been in love with Brogan, her good friend with benefits, since high school but he’s never going to see her as anything more. While she’s committed to her arrangement with Tom, she regrets that she might never experience true love. Tom isn’t excited about marrying someone who may still be in love with someone else as he’s traveled that path before. While they’re both attracted to each other, they’re also leery about fully committing to each other for fear of being hurt beyond recovery.
Why I loved this story
With any Higgins story, you’re either going to really like the heroine or be turned off as there never seems to be middle ground. Fortunately, I found I could connect with the serious and competent Honor Holland who doesn’t have anything really wrong with her but is so focused on running the operations of the family business (Blue Heron Vineyards) she doesn’t have much of a personal life. She’s no dummy but she’s not real skilled on relationships, men or women. But, she’s also not afraid to allow herself to be vulnerable, which led to some very heartbreaking moments along with the triumphs.
Tom is one of those heroes that you love one minute and the next you want to throttle. His devotion to a boy who was of no relation went beyond admirable and his affection for Honor kept me in the romance, flawed and shaky as it was. I hesitate to call them damaged as that sends the wrong message. They’re just normal people faced with unusual circumstances and are trying to make the best of less than ideal circumstances.
And another thing…
The surrounding characters (I just can’t call them secondary because they are too important) were sometimes hysterical and vexing at others. No matter which, they kept the story lively and interesting. Brogan, however, will be a permanent resident in my anti harem…you’ll just have to read the book and find out why.
The bottom line
I thought this a wonderful story with the classic blend of romance, humor and heart wrench I’ve come to expect from Higgins. I really liked the first book but I loved this one. I couldn’t put it down and didn’t want it to end. There’s a lot more going on but I’ll leave that for others to discover.
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