Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins


Cover art: All I Ever Wanted Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: All I Ever Wanted
Author: Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77458-6
Release Date: August 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Contemporary Romance
Year/Setting: Present day, Vermont
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Kristan's Website: www.kristanhiggins.com

Callie Grey has her happily-ever-after rocking chair, but nobody to fill the happily-ever-after portion of her life. Just when she thinks things are going well for her on the romance front, the love of her life since high school breaks up with her after their five-week fling. Happy thirtieth birthday, Callie! Not only does Mark break up with her, he immediately turns around and announces his engagement to the new executive in their company. What’s a girl to do? Why not have a fling with somebody else to make Mark jealous and get him back?

When she tries to strike up a relationship with the new vet, Ian McFarland, she quickly finds he is more comfortable with animals than humans. He’s a suit and tie guy living in a jeans and t-shirt community and he’s not fitting in very well. Fun-loving Callie decides he needs a personality makeover and a little PR work with the community to keep his practice going. With all this working together, she starts to see a lot more facets of Ian’s personality. Can Callie move past Mark to consider a serious relationship with Ian? Will Ian ever be able to relax enough to even consider a relationship with a woman? Can he put his own past behind him or will he be haunted by it forever?

This story is filled with lots of charm and pizzazz. Callie is my kind of girl! She’s off-the-cuff, fun and energetic. She’s everyone’s best friend (something that Ian takes an instant dislike to). The secondary characters are as much fun as the main characters and I would love to read some of their stories as well. They help take the book to a new level of fun reading. Kristan Higgins writes characters that are true to life. She puts together a small New England community that is so realistic that I wanted to book a trip to visit everyone.

Callie is a sight to behold. I wasn’t so happy with her when she and Mark were together and when she was trying to get him back. He seemed a bit slimy to me and never really tripped my trigger. So I rooted for Ian and Callie to get together from their first ill-fated meeting and throughout the story.

Some of the predicaments Callie gets herself into rival the best moments on "I Love Lucy". She has the uncanny knack to have the one impossible thing that could go wrong happen to go wrong. Many books make me smile or laugh in my head, but All I Ever Wanted had me laughing out loud. I did a lot of reading of this book in waiting rooms and I kept guffawing out loud. I had to be careful to make sure the others in the waiting room didn’t think I was a nut case. Kristan Higgins paints a picture with her words that lets you watch the events unfold as if it was on your TV. And she puts her own brand of humor into the situation to make them laugh out loud funny.

On the flip side, I need to let you know that I became so attached to all the characters (and animals) in the story that when bad things happened to them, I was crushed. There are a couple places where the emotions were swirling so strongly through the story over some sad events that I found myself with tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t believe that the writing was strong enough to make me laugh out loud and find myself crying over events and characters in the book.

I gave this book 5 out of 5, even though the beginning was a tiny bit slow. It took me a few chapters to get in sync with the writing style and the characters. Once I started to figure the characters out, the book took off and I flew through the pages. I hope we will see some of these characters again in a future story.


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