Series: Blue Heron Winery #2
Published by HQN Books on November 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Series Romance, Romance
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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, NY, 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 fiancé, 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...
One of my favorite authors, Kristan Higgins has taken a devoted space on my bookshelf for quite a few years, and continues to do so with her latest, The Perfect Match. The Perfect Match is the second of the Blue Heron Winery books, set in Manningsport, NY, population 715, depicting small town life, the idiosyncrasies of family, and finding love.
The heroine, Honor Holland, is a 35-year-old woman who is feeling the tick tock of her biological clock, as well as wanting someone to love her. When her long-standing relationship with her lifelong friend/crush/sex buddy ends, and her best friend takes him, she gets a nasty wake up call to take a look at her life and what she wants of it. The running narrative between her and her eggs is hilarious, encouraging her to be a bad girl, for, perhaps, to take charge and be something different for a change. She does, and the results are fabulous.
The hero, Tom Barlow, a Brit who emigrated to the USA, is a mechanical engineering professor at a local college, desperate to stay in the states as he wants to take care of Charlie, his dead fiance’s son, of whom he treats as his “unofficial stepson” and tries his best to find a way to do so.
Meanwhile, it seems that Honor’s friend/crush is getting married to her ex-best friend and she doesn’t know how to be anything other than nice to them because of how she was raised and her personality. Personally, I was hoping for more than what happened, and I was upset that that particular subplot did not have a resolution. I so wanted that to be resolved, but what ended up happening was so far below what I expected and desired. This is my problem, as a reader, and I know I have bemoaned this particular fact on twitter about other books. I think perhaps the one saving grace to distract from that subplot was the relationship between Tom and his unofficial stepson, Charlie.
Charlie is a rather difficult kid, with issues stemming from general teenage angst to resentment of his current situation. Tom tries his to do his best with Charlie, but it’s difficult to get through to the teen, and learning to accept that some things are unattainable in life and to not throw away what good things you do have. Honor takes a shine to him and also tries to be there for him, as it is important to Tom.
What I really like about this story is the fact that Honor has the ability to learn more about herself and her dreams and aspirations while staying true to herself. Family also plays a big role in this book, almost as a plot backdrop, where her grandparents bicker all the time, she lives at home, and takes care of most of the family’s business marketing. She also is the heart of her family, from what I gather from reading this story.
What I disliked about this book was the fact that no resolution was made for Honor’s ex-crush and ex-best friend. I think perhaps that the way it was handled may have been a resolution, but it felt like a cliffhanger, or an unfinished thought. I also disliked the general hokiness of the narrator. It may be a small town, but does it really have to be that hokey?
The Perfect Match releases on November 1, 2013, and you can preorder your copy here.