Monday, April 23, 2012

My take on: Somebody to Love

If you want a break from reality, and want to believe in love again read a book by Kristan Higgins. Her books always feel very whimsical and funny. Her latest book, Somebody to Love has that same feel to it.

Parker Welles has always lived the good life. But she works really hard to not let family wealth go to her head. Just ignore the fact that she lives in a mansion, has a trust fund, has never really lived independent from her emotionally distant father Harry, and donates all the proceeds from her children's books to charity. Ignore all of that because she is just like everybody else. Right!! With that side of her life, it's hard to feel sorry for Parker. But after 50 pages you do. She has an adorable son Nicky. She has a great relationship with her son's father Ethan and his wife Lucy, who just happens to be her best friend, but the rest of Parker's family is a work in progress.

Her mother Althea, long-since divorced from Harry, bounces from rich husband to rich husband. Althea wants Parker to latch on to a rich man, rather than marry for love. Parker's cousins or the "Coven," as they are more commonly known, have their own circle and Parker isn't included. It's also been years since Parker has been in a relationship. A one-night fling several years ago with her father's lawyer, James Cahill (a.k.a. Thing One) was a great distraction, but ultimately a mistake in Parker's eyes. Why a mistake? Sure she spends so much time calling him "Thing One," that I thought it was his real name. But her father has had so many lawyers over the years, it's so much easier to call him "Thing One." As the book moves along, that nickname is more of a term of endearment.

Parker's world is thrown for a loop when her father, a Bernie Madoff-type, loses the family fortune, including her trust fund. It's a big betrayal, but Parker really has to grow up. All she has left is $11,000 in her checking account and a lake house in Maine left to Parker by a distant relative. First off, I would love to have $11,000 in my checking account, but to Parker it's rather meager. Maybe the house can be flipped and Parker can be flush with cash. But that's not meant to be since the house is falling apart and full of crap. Thing One, who just happens to be a carpenter in addition to being a lawyer, lends a hand. But Parker questions his motives. Is his presence genuine or at the bidding of Harry, who is now in prison?

It's hard to see James as anything other than her father's minion. Whenever her father couldn't make a family event, which was often, James was thrust into duty. Even the birth of Nicky couldn't drag Harry away from the boardroom. Despite his job, James always felt an emotional pull toward Parker. He sees something good in her, even if her own father can't.

Working side-by-side on the house is good and bad for Parker and James. James gets a chance to return to his Maine roots, and a chance to mend fences with his estranged family. He gets to do something that doesn't entail following Harry around. Parker gets a chance to see what she's made of not having to rely on her father's money. She gets a job at the local flower shop, run by her older cousin Lavinia. She's finally finds a job she enjoys, despite the hijinks from Lavinia. The "orchids" in the back are actually another plant. Here's a hint the plant is illegal in most states. I could read a book about Lavinia's character all day. When she's not cracking jokes, Lavinia is bragging about her sex drive. Of course there is sexual tension between Parker and James. But is it right to give into those feelings? How long can it last? Will he get along with Nicky? Why should James get involved with a woman who is emotionally unavailable? Is it worth it to get their hearts broken? All of the great elements you would expect from a Kristan Higgins book.

Rating: Superb

Note: I received a copy of the book from Little Bird Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

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