The Perfect Match

perfect matchThe Perfect Match (The Blue Heron Series)
by Kristan Higgins
Published by Harlequin
448 pages
Genre: chick lit; romance
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5

I heart Kristan Higgins. Like, a lot. I’ve read all of her books and I’ve enjoyed every one. I like the quirky families, apparently mismatched lovers, and I like that love doesn’t come easily to them.

I enjoy the way she writes.

So here we are with her latest, which revisits the Holland family last seen in The Best Man. This time our heroine is Honor, the middle daughter. She is as disciplined and rigid as they come. In fact, her brother-in-law tells her she is unapproachable. She’s also in her mid thirties and not married, so when she decides that she has to change that, she proposes to Brogan, a man with whom she has had an on-again, off-again (a lot more off than on) fling since they were in college. Brogan enjoys the sexy times, but marriage? Brogan doesn’t enjoy the thought of that at all, at least not with Honor.

So now what is she to do?

Fortunately, grandmother Goggy sets Honor up on a blind date with Tom, a British professor. The date is disastrous, but Tom and Honor soon discover that they can help each other out: Honor wants marriage and babies, and Tom needs a green card.

Honor is a difficult character to like, but like her I did. She is so narrowly focused on work and her family that she doesn’t know how to open herself up to someone else. That deficiency, however, allows her to be non-judgmental. Aside from suspecting that Tom enjoys his booze a bit too much, she accepts him as he is. When she realizes that she cares about Tom, she goes all in, albeit with a certain amount of awkwardness.

Tom, however, does not know how to give himself to someone else. His past attempts did not end well, and he has no interest in getting hurt again. He’s far slower to understand love and affection than Honor is, which is a welcome spin on most romances.

Okay, the characters are not all that lovable. I liked Honor, although most of the time I couldn’t figure out why. Tom, likable. The two of them? Likable. But the rest? Uh, no. This is the first time in a Higgins book that the number of unlikable characters outnumbers the likable.

But … that’s life, isn’t it? I think, aside from some of the slapstick, that this is the most realistic of her books. Nothing comes easily to Honor. She’s in her mid thirties, unmarried, no prospects. She feels desperate enough to marry a man just so she can get married. And he’s desperate enough to marry a woman for a green card. You can feel how much each needs this to happen, and that’s one of the things I enjoyed most about this book. Yes, the characters are not the sort you’d want to share an evening with at the pub. But they also do not feel fictional. They feel real.

We have Higgins’ stock quirky characters in evidence, along with a couple of slapstick scenes. Tom’s and Honor’s dance with each other, though, is fun to read. Is it new and different? No. It’s pretty typical Higgins fare, except that we feel we know Honor and Tom.

But it’s fun, sweet, and entertaining. And it’s Kristan Higgins. Even on her worst day, she’s someone I love to read.

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Filed under chick lit, kristan higgins, romance

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