What I Read This Weekend . . .The Best Man by Kristan Higgins -- Contemporary Romance
Faith had the perfect life with the perfect man. They were going to get married, raise beautiful babies and grapes on his family's vineyard next to her family. Then Jeremy left Faith at the altar and her world crumbled. She moved to San Francisco and became a landscape architect but still has problems in the love department. Now she's come back home to New York to visit and work on a special project. She has to deal with her emotions in seeing Jeremy again and not only that, his best friend Liam is back after four tours in Afghanistan. Liam is the only person who never really liked Faith and the feeling is mutual since he was the one who encouraged Jeremy to call of the wedding. Liam and Jeremy were close since high school when Jeremy and his family moved to town. Jeremy is the only person who didn't treat Liam different for being from the wrong side of the hill. Liam has had a tough life and has built up an emotional wall around himself. Now Princess Perfect is back in town and for some reason she seems to hate him. Too bad because Liam is tempted by her luscious figure. Faith doesn't have any interest in Liam but he sure is sexy. What would it be like if he took the stick out of his ass long enough to... no that's not even a possibility because Liam would never be interested in a relationship. Faith has enough to deal with anyway. In addition to work, she has to find a new wife for her dad, listen to her grandparents squabble and her sister's bizarre marital problems not to mention keep her dog happy by throwing his tennis ball constantly. Faith discovers a new side of Liam when a health crisis causes him to come to her rescue. Maybe, just maybe they can be friends after all.
This story is another disappointment from a great writer. The premise is really interesting but it wasn't executed the way I would have liked. First, there's way too much exposition. The heroine's backstory with her former fiance takes up a good chunk of the novel. I guessed right away why the wedding was called off. There's too much time spent on her life with him and it slows down the plot. Then there's Liam's backstory for another large portion of the novel. Too much of the plot centers on Faith's family problems, especially her sister's bedroom problems. They provide a lot of comic relief but it prevents the romance from really getting a good start. Faith and Liam lust after each other the whole book. I didn't like the love scene being where it was. I would have preferred actual emotional connection beforehand. There's very little emotional sharing on Levi's part. I get why he is the way he is but part of the idea of a love story is to make the characters and the reader fall in love. I certainly didn't love Liam but I could see his good qualities. I really wish he talked to Faith though. It would have made me like him more. Faith's emotional reveal made me cry a little bit. It helped me like her a little bit more because mostly I found her annoying. She tries too hard to please everyone and she is emotionally immature. I thought she was much younger than she really is. She doesn't act 30. Kristan Higgins excels at creating dysfunctional families and while I liked Faith's family, I felt that they were a bit stale after reading almost all of Higgins' previous books.
While the book has some light touches, the humor is largely crude. Some of the characters have been reading 50 Shades of Gray and announce their darkest desires publicly. If I wanted to read 50 Shades of Gray, I would but I don't and I don't appreciate another author sticking that into her plot. I get that this is a Harlequin romance and there has to be sexiness and love scenes but it didn't need 50 Shades references. There's such a thing as TOO much sharing. It was funny but didn't appeal to me. There's also some crude, offensive language used as humor that's just not funny.
I would give this book 2- 21/2 stars. I will probably read Honor's book next because she is a character I can relate to better and the library has a copy but I'll get to it when I'm out of TBR books again.