The Best Man
By Kristan Higgins
Book #1 in the Blue Heron series
Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she's ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family's vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there's some great scenery there....
Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief-and best friend of her former fiancé . There's a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it's not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she's having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé , she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.
The one thing you can always count on in a Kristan Higgins story is you’re going to experience just about every emotion before you reach the end…and that’s with the same characters! This one is no different in that your heart breaks for Faith Holland at the outset when she’s jilted at the altar after her Jeremy Lyons, her fiancé, announces he can’t marry her because he’s gay. And, his best man, Levi Cooper, is the one that halted the wedding to make him fess up. Since they were planning to honeymoon in San Franciso anyway, Faith goes alone and ends up staying there for three years.
When Faith returns home to work on a project at her family’s winery, she only plans to stay for a few weeks. She’s only visited a couple of times since her fiasco of a wedding and the town is so small that most everyone had attended. The first person she encounters is Levi, now the police chief and former Army vet (decorated at that) and the tension is thick; he never really cared for Princess Super-Cute and she hasn’t forgiven him for his responsibility in halting her wedding.
While you can’t help but like Faith, there are times you want her to get a backbone. But, there’s a reason for why she behaves the way she does and it’s an important part of the story. Her clashes with Levi sizzle with their animosity and lustful attraction, which neither really gets for a while. There are a lot of colorful characters in the town and no one is shy about sharing their points of view about and with the two. It doesn’t help that Jeremy is beloved by all of them and is still there, too. Add to that Faith’s pretty whacky family and you’ve got a story that is often hilarious, sometimes sad and always romantic in some form or fashion.
I love Higgins’ stories with her less than perfect characters who end up surprising you when you dig underneath the surface. Faith doesn’t look for your sympathy and you can’t help but admire how she picked herself up and never shied away from what happened to her. Levi is uber sexy and has his own issues to deal with and his journey to discover the real Faith helped him to look at his own situation in a different light. It’s a fun, adult romance that tackles some serious issues but not so seriously that you end up in a bad place. I laughed so hard at times it brought me to tears. I liked them as a couple and am glad this is the first book in a new series, which will allow me to revisit some favorite characters again.
(I received an ARC from NetGalley)