Also by this author: In Your Dreams, , Anything for You
Series: Blue Heron #3
Also in this series: In Your Dreams
Published by Harlequin on 2014-04-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
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Is your first love worth a second chance…? Colleen O'Rourke is in love with love…just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell broke her heart…an experience Colleen doesn't want to have again, thanks. Since then, she's been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends. But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who's ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they've got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she's ever loved.
Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins is the third in her Blue Heron series and departs from the Holland family to focus on bar owner Colleen O’Rourke. I picked up Waiting On You despite having a list of books I needed to read which did not include Higgins’s latest book. You see, sometimes I crave certain books as kind of a getaway or kind of a break and Higgins’ book was just kind of looking at me from it’s pile on the floor and I could not resist it’s siren call. I read the book in pretty much a frenzy and of course, it consumed my thoughts during the day and then in the morning when I woke up. I love that her romances have that effect on me. Seriously, if you haven’t tried her books yet, maybe you should get started with her Blue Heron series.
Colleen O’Rourke has several babies named after her. She has a bit of a gift for matchmaking, in addition to her bar-tending gift. You see, she has an uncanny sense of which couples would pair well together. Yet, her gift has never extended to herself. She hasn’t been in love since Lucas Campbell walked out of her life. You see, Lucas was Colleen’s high school sweet heart as well as college sweetheart as well. Their breakup was particularly hurtful and terrible. Over the years, Colleen has had flings but never anything on the level of the passion she had with Lucas. When he picks her bar to walk into out of all the bars in the world, Colleen sees that despite the years apart there are still sparks between them. Lucas is back in town for a family emergency, his Uncle Joe is dying and he’s requested Lucas to be there for him. Uncle Joe wants Lucas to put his son Bryce on the right path and also, to help him get a divorce from this shrewish woman, Didi. Tension between Colleen and Lucas is high, so thick you could cut it with a knife. The way this romance unfolds in Waiting On You is perhaps my favorite of Higgins’s books thus far.
Colleen is an adult it-girl. By this I mean that she’s very well liked, she is beautiful, and pretty much one of the most popular women in town. She could have been a really high maintenance woman, but instead she’s really kind. In fact, her mission in Waiting On You is to pair off her friend Paulie with town hottie Bryce, who happens to be Lucas’s cousin. It’s a bit of a hard pairing because Paulie is not conventionally pretty and apparently well muscled, which to me is awesome but the book makes it seem like a bad thing. Bryce is more into glamor girls and that’s not Paulie at all. Anyways, back to Colleen. She’s captivating because she feels everything so deeply, at least when it comes to Lucas. We have this interesting contrast between Colleen around Lucas and Colleen not around Lucas. You see, with her other hook-ups she never lets herself feel anything, because there aren’t sparks there. Yet, when Lucas is around she turns into kind of an emotional mess, but in a good way. I really, really loved the chemistry between the two. I also loved Colleen’s kindness and her sass. There were some bits that were unexpected, but kind of made me love her character all the more.
Lucas is totally going to be your favorite of the men in this series, or at least he will vy for your heart with Levi from The Best Man. Like Levi, Lucas has grown up in less than privileged circumstances. You see, he is half Puerto Rican and grew up on the South Side of Chicago which apparently isn’t the best neighborhood. Lucas lost his mom at a young age and his dad got arrested for drug dealing and was then murdered in prison. So, he goes to live with his Uncle Joe because his older sister, Steph is too busy with her babies. Lucas grows up resenting his manchild cousin Bryce because he’s been privileged with everything that Lucas has not. Yet, he’s also more interesting for his suffering. Anyways, Lucas is honorable and direct and does not play games with Colleen and I have to admit I like that in a love interest. There’s definitely tension between them and unresolved business and history, but it’s not like you sit there wondering about his feelings for Colleen. Those cards are kind of laid on the table. I will say that Lucas has a lot of pain and pathos in his life, but he’s a pretty solid character. He’s not just a caricature.
Actually, even though I give Waiting On You five stars because I loved it so much, I have to say that some of the characters in this book were total caricatures. Like, Bryce is a manchild to the extreme. It’s kind of obnoxious to see how dumb he is. Like, it’s one of those really exaggerated things. Then his love interest Paulie is also shown as being over the top bad with men and also naive. As for Bryce’s mom, Didi, she is over the top as well and extremely mean without a good or redeeming bone in her body. Like, she would be moustache twirling if she was a man. It was a bit much for me.
However, this complaint aside, I really really loved Kristan Higgin’s latest addition to her Blue Heron series. I loved the revisits in the book from previous characters. I loved seeing what Faith and Honor were up to. I loved Higgin’s portrayal of Rufus the dog who has some interesting barks, is what I will say. I loved the setting and how tightly knit the small town is. I loved how the romance played out. I just, ahhh, pretty much overall fell in love with this book despite the flaws. Hence my five stars.