Title: Somebody to Love
Author: Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN Books
Format: Mass Market Paperback & eBook
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5
Kristan Higgins has long been a favorite author of mine. I love her contemporary romances, no doubt because they ALL have adorable dogs in them! Somebody to Love is no exception, and it has some howling good times. While Somebody to Love is a stand-alone novel, the heroine, Parker Welles, is the best friend in The Next Best Thing, and most of the action takes place in the small town of Gideon’s Cove, Maine, setting of Catch of the Day. I’m afraid Catch of the Day has the dubious distinction of having caused me to bawl my eyes out, because a certain pivotal character passes away, but I still re-read it regularly, thanks to my highlighting feature on the Kindle, which allows me to skip any crying parts. Just like Catch of the Day, I plan on re-reading Somebody to Love many times, because it’s another winner, with strong, likeable characters and a good dose of humor.
As the novel begins, Parker Welles’s father shows up at the family mansion and announces that he’s lost all his money on Wall Street (through insider trading, no less), including both Parker and her son Nicky’s trust funds. They’re broke, and single mother Parker has to find a way to find them a new home. In the wreckage, Parker discovers that a great aunt left her a house in Gideon’s Cove, which hopefully can be flipped and turn enough of a profit to bulk up her small savings while she finds work.
James Cahill is one of Harry Welles’s lawyers, but he’s not the yes-man Harry’s other lawyers have been. He offers to help Parker flip her dilapidated house in Maine, since he spent years as a teenager working construction, and Parker reluctantly agrees. Add in the presence of a rescue dog named Beauty and some hot summer lovin’ and you have the makings of a great romance.
Despite Parker’s trust fund baby roots, she’s a really appealing heroine. I love her sense of humor, especially with the Holy Rollers, characters in the children’s books she wrote. As a sarcastic joke, she pitched a story about young angels needing to earn their wings and travel around on roller skates, eating only angel food cake. Naturally the saccharine sweet mess was a huge success, and Parker finds herself “talking” to her now teenaged characters throughout the mess that is her life. Her humor makes her a likeable character, but it’s her reaction to learning that she’s lost everything that makes her so engaging. She manages to keep it together for the sake of her son and works hard to make the best of things without dwelling on her situation.
James is a fabulous hero, sexy and vulnerable. He has a troubled past that’s caused problems within his family, but ever since he met Parker he’s had a thing for her. Unfortunately his choice of profession and relationship with Parker’s father has made it hard for Parker to see what a great guy he is. My one complaint with James is that he had a bit of a martyr complex, but once you learn about his past that becomes more understandable.
Overall, Somebody to Love was a heartwarming romance with two very likeable characters. This is the second contemporary romance I’ve read recently that features a formerly rich girl with a greedy Madoff-like father, and I enjoyed both of them. (Serendipity by Carly Phillips is the other – also a winner) If you’re looking for a fun summer read, I definitely recommend Somebody to Love.