The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

Grade: B+
Hotness Level: Ember
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary

Published 2/1/2010, 8/27/2013
Reviewed by Kate
400 pages 

Lucy’s husband died very young and for the past 5 years, she’s walked around in a funk — doing her best to just get through each day.  When her sister has a baby, Lucy decides it’s time to strive for something a bit more.  She wants to get married again and have some kids.  But that means getting rid of her friends-with-benefits, Ethan.  But Ethan doesn’t want to be gotten rid of.


The characters in this book were so well written.  Ethan’s character was endearing and the way he kept waiting for Lucy made me want to give him a hug quickly followed by a smack upside the head.  Lucy made me tear up a few times with her agonizing, but managed not to cross that fine line into annoying.  You really felt the pain she was going through, trying to move on with her life.  Lucy’s aunts and mother could rival Jill Shalvis’ Lucille of Lucky Harbor for the quirky older lady character of the year award.  They definitely provided some comic relief for the story.


My one complaint with this book was that it was told solely from Lucy’s point of view.  I really would have loved to hear Ethan’s side of things as well.  Of course, that might have spoiled some of the emotional build-up of the story.


I think it should also be noted that this book has fade-to-black, behind closed doors sex scenes.  I mention that strictly because this blog tends to focus on more steamy books in general and I don’t want anyone to be surprised by the lack of heat.  However I was almost finished with the book before I realized that there wasn’t really any on page sex.  I think that says a lot about the story that it could distract me from noticing that.


The Next Best Thing provides everything a strong romance requires.  Engaging characters, a moving story, and an ending that leaves you wanting more from the author.  Well done, Kristan Higgins.

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