Monday, February 13, 2012
Review: Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins
Posey Osterhagen has a comfortable life with a thriving salvage company, occasionally helping out at her family’s local German restaurant…but the return of Liam Murphy sends her back to her teenaged self. The classic bad boy, Liam took their small New Hampshire town by storm, and Posey was obsessed with him—until he unknowingly broke her heart. Posey has tried to move on since then, but Liam’s reappearance—still working with motorcycles but now a widower with a teenaged daughter—awakens old feelings and makes her wonder if she ever really got over him after all.
Think you’ve read all there is to be written about bad boys? Like all of Kristan Higgins’ contemporary romance novels, UNTIL THERE WAS YOU takes a potentially clichéd idea and spins it into an absolutely adorable, quirky, and swoon-worthy love story.
I’m not sure if Higgins has written other books in third-person before, and at first the change from the beloved first-person POV was jarring for me, but I quickly appreciated the best part about third-person in this story: that we get to go inside Liam’s head and see what he’s thinking, understand how his past influenced his present in a way that we wouldn’t have gotten to otherwise. This, I think, puts Liam a cut above other bad-boy love interests: he becomes less of an enigmatic, unapproachable, mythical bad-boy figure and more of a multidimensional man. It doesn’t hurt that he’s an overprotective father to his enviable teenaged daughter—there’s nothing like paternal characteristics that ups the desirable factor for a love interest in a romance novel, eh?
Posey is a pretty typical Higgins protagonist, with a quirky family, fairly independent means, and a cringe-inducing weakness around men. But it’s Liam, and the development of his character, that really carry UNTIL THERE WAS YOU for me. If you’re a Higgins fan, then UNTIL THERE WAS YOU will not disappoint. If you haven’t read any of Higgins contemporary romances yet, what are you waiting for?!
Cover discussion: Lalala... ooh, a short-haired girl!
HQN Books / Oct. 25, 2011 / Mass Market Paperback / 416pp. / $7.99
e-review copy provided by NetGalley and publisher.