Friday, October 28, 2011

REVIEW: Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

I'm wearing circles under my eyes all this week because I stayed up way too late the other night reading Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins. I was glued to the pages and could not put it down until I finished!

I've been a fan of Kristan Higgins' novels ever since I read Catch of the Day a few years ago. I've since read--and loved-- five other books by Kristan Higgins books, including her latest book, Until There Was You, which was released earlier this week on October 25, 2011. [I still have to read Fools Rush In and Just One of the Guys]. I wasn't at all surprised at how much I enjoyed Until There Was You because I adore Ms. Higgins' quirky, yet familiar characters and down-to-earth story telling--the layers of humor, familial issues, female drama and those sad moments of life that we never forget and how they shape who we are-- all wrapped into a charming romance and tied with a satisfying happily ever after ending. All of which is consistent in all of Kristan's books.

Thirty-four year old Cordelia "Posey" Osterhagen owns a salvaging company in her hometown of Bellsford, New Hampshire. Posey was a very shy, skinny and awkward teenager and consequently doesn't have many great memories of her high school years. In fact, she was at her lowest back in high school when her heart was broken by her long time crush and high school bad boy, Liam Murphy. Posey is a kind, generous and well adjusted adult now and happy enough in life. She has a great business, a loving family, a handful of close friends and even has a boyfriend of sorts. Until Liam Murphy shows up in town after all these years, that is, widowed and raising a teenage daughter on his own and as attractive as ever. His arrival sends her heart in a tailspin and Posey knows right away that she has to distance herself from him before she falls unrequitedly in love with him all over again. As if she ever stopped...

Liam Murphy had a troubled family before he moved in with his uncle and attended high school in Bellsford all those years ago. Once in Bellsford, girls were constantly throwing themselves at Liam and he took advantage of it. Until he fell for the smart, pretty and popular Emma Tate, whom he followed to California after high school. Emma got pregnant and she and Liam married and became parents at a young age. Fifteen years later, Emma dies from leukemia and a few years after that, Liam decides to return to Bellsford with his teenage daughter, Nicole so she can be closer to her grandparents.

While Posey has matured and moved on from high school, she still has some insecurities--mostly about her body image, a bit caused by some family dynamics and in general, she tends to herself short in a lot of ways. I think these are things that most women can relate to at some point in our lives.

Women still hit on Liam wherever he goes, much to his annoyance [except Posey!], but he's not the same person he was as a teenager. He's matured and has learned a lot about love and loss. Not to mention how becoming a father has changed him in ways he never imagined. Despite all his fears about parenting all by himself, and knowing first hand what teenage boys are like, he's responsible, attentive and tries so hard to understand and be there for Nicole. He's ultra protective of her, but truly a great dad. Liam's relationship with his daughter is definitely one of the strengths of his character.

Despite Posey's attempts to put a wide berth between herself and Liam--they continuously cross paths and rekindle a tentative friendship that they sort of had back in high school when he worked in her parent's restaurant and slowly begin to see each other for the person they have each become. Both of them have clearly been affected by their pasts and haven't quite gotten over a lot of their teenage insecurities, but over time they kind of show each other how to see themselves in a different light, move on, live and love. They're there for each other in ways they both truly need and deserve. It was simply heartwarming to see Posey and Liam at ease with each other, having fun and finally being loved for just who they are.

I just loved reading Until There Was You--it's entertaining and heartwarming. There are numerous little side stories threaded throughout Posey and Liam's story involving their friends and family that tie the story together in a really fun, but also meaningful way. All of those little subplots reveal details about Posey and Liam's character and how they see themselves. Posey and Liam are on a soul searching journey of sorts as they figure out who they are, where they belong and what kind of life and love are they worthy of, and in the end, how to fight for it. Most of all, it's a story about a second chance at love and how we all deserve a happily ever after. Until There Was You is a charming story that shouldn't be missed.

Visit author Kristan Higgins on her website at

Ms. Higgins' next novel, Somebody to Love is coming out in May 2012. This new romance will brings us back to the same town in which Maggie and Malone from Catch of the Day live and I hear we get to see snippets of them again! I can't wait!



  1. Wasn't it good? I did that when read it, too!

  2. I stayed up late reading it, too. *g* I'll admit I didn't read the one before this one (I'm not a fan of -ex's and their issues.) However, I loved Until There Was You. Thanks for the info on then next book! Can't wait!

    Great Review!

  3. Well... I always wind up reading Kristan Higgins books and I generally enjoy them - Though I didn't like the previous one.

    Anyway, I liked this one well enough but I felt Liam was a bit over the top sometimes.

    Still, I'm really excited about Somebody to Love! :D I just haven't heard much about it :D

  4. Back in the same town as Maggie and Malone?! YAY.

    I'm happy you loved this one, Christine. I did, too. I really need to get around to reviewing it. Such a fun read.

  5. This is quite a polarizing book, people either love it or hate it. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t my favorite. Some parts were brilliant but I found the romance lacking, I felt like Posey loved Liam too much, but Liam didn’t love her as much, he was too busy adjusting to life and dealing with his issues to really pay attention to Posey. It just didn’t work for me, but it’s nice to see how everyone feels about it and it’s been a great source for debate.

    I did read it all at once because I couldn’t stop! And the family was so much fun, I loved Jon and Henry, they were my favorite characters.

  6. Well at least we can all agree that this is one we ALL stayed up WAY PAST our bedtimes to finish! :)

    Regina, YES! So much fun to read! I loved visiting with all of the characters, too. I never felt like rushing through the side plots to get back to Posey & Liam together. I liked them separately as well as together.

    Brandy, Glad you liked this one, too!! I understand about the ex thing... but did you know that the ex's ARE the couple? They get their second chance to fix things. Anyway... May couldn't get here fast enough for the next one!

    Alex, Liam was definitely over the top at times, but I thought it really fit. He matured and learned a lot married to Emma and especially becoming a dad. Then to be thrust into single parenthood with a teen? I can tell you, I could see my husband being just like Liam, heaven forbid.

    Oh, you read it, too! Yay!
    I KNOW! I can't wait for Somebody to Love! I might just re-read Catch of the Day next spring to bring me back to Maine! :)

    I read your review [will comment tomorrow!] and do understand where you're coming from, but I guess it just worked for me because I could see how much Liam grew as a character while he was away from Bellsford as well as upon his return. His return and his interactions with Posey were critical to his growth, his journey to find where he belonged, where he was accepted and even to improve HIS self esteem. So yeah, he did have a lot going on in his world. Posey grounded him... and kind of gave him wings at the same time.

    And can I just say how much I adore the name Posey? ; )

  7. Loved the review Christine. :) I've only read one or two of Ms. Higgins books but you make me want to read this one!

  8. Leslie, I hope you get around to this one. It's very sweet. And since you have a teenage daughter, too, I think you'd appreciate and get a kick out of the scenes with Liam and his daughter Nicole. They are spot on!

  9. Glad you enjoyed Christine :) Just posted my review up :) I think it was a nice book :) It wasn't too neurotic or sugary and I liked that we understood their actions. Given their personalities and what they were going through at the moment, it made sense :)

    Oh, interesting about the next book. Hmmm, Catch of the Day was not one of my fave though...

  10. nath, I'm glad you liked this one, too! I will come read your review shortly. I agree! The characters in this one were not nearly neurotic as some of Higgins' others. The story was very believable--and the major conflict surrounding the "misunderstanding" was believable and not too over the top. I liked it.

  11. Great review Christine! I have two of Kristan Higgins' books on my shelf and I really want to read them sooner than later! I love her covers and I love the blurbs on all of them. I'm happy you are still enjoying her work and it's good to see that you are looking forward to her next book coming out this next year. :-D

  12. Deanna, I think you're going to like Kristan's books. There's great humor and genuine characters with life issues and love stories that are easy to relate to.

  13. I loved this book also - it was my first KH and I can't wait to tackle her back list!

  14. Dev, YAY! So glad you loved it, too!!!

    Just so you're prepared, Kristan's other books are in the first person POV. Some people struggle with that, but there's so much funny stuff going on inside the heads of her heroines, that I get such a kick out of it! I hope you like them. I've got two unread books from her backlist and hope to get to those myself!


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