I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
Also by this author: Waiting On You, , Anything for You
Series: Blue Heron #4
Also in this series: Waiting On You
Published by HQN Books on September 30th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
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Everyone loves Jack Holland, but Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancé is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can't go to the wedding alone. In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won't get the wrong idea. What Jack needs is an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he's been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy, especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back, angling for a reunion. He's always liked Emmaline. She needs a weekend date? No problem. So when they wind up in bed together, Em chalks it up to red wine and chocolate cake, just one impulsive night not to be repeated. But Jack's pushing for more, and if she lets down her guard, either she'll get her heart crushed again, or discover that Jack's worth more than just dreaming about.
I really hope that there’s more in Kristan Higgins’s Blue Heron series. After finished In Your Dreams, book four in the series, I felt compelled to go on goodreads and check to see if there are anymore books in the series. Alas, so far I do not see any listed. I devoured In Your Dreams. I thought the latest entry to this series was heartfelt with characters that I pretty much fell in love with — so really, it was a business as usual read when it comes to Higgins’s books for me. This book features Emmaline Neal, a character we are introduced to in the first book who starts out as secretary to Levi Cooper but is finally a full fledged cop. Playing romantic lead to Emmaline is Jack Holland, who has also been in the series since the first book.
Emmaline Neal has been invited to a wedding back home in Malibu. This wouldn’t typically be a huge deal, only it is the wedding of her ex-fiance Kevin to the woman who stole him away, Naomi. She would not normally go, however, her parents who are psychologists will be there as well her perfect adopted sister, Angela. Oh and Colleen O’Rourke because apparently she was somewhat friendly with Naomi in college. Emmaline does not want to look like a loser, so she’s in need of a date to the wedding. Of course, Manningsport being a small town and all, word gets out and essentially everyone who knows Emmaline conspires to have Jack Holland take her to the wedding. Emmaline thinks Jack is totally gorgeous, and out of league. Still, he agrees to go to the wedding with her, because that’s what he does. When a night together in California ends up turning into a night of adult times, Emmaline and Jack must navigate their hook up and potential relationship back in western New York. Meanwhile, Jack’s awful ex-wife is in town and she wants him back, badly.
I really gelled with Emmaline as heroine of the book. She’s tough on the outside, but soft on the inside if you know what I mean. I loved that Emmaline has a past that isn’t easy. When she was a kid she had this awful stutter and her classmates teased her about it. Everyone except for Kevin who was the obese kid – which apparently is a rarity for the area they grew up in. Kevin was Emmaline’s first love and so, the wedding brings up all kinds of unresolved feelings for Emmaline. She feels tossed over by him for what she deems to be a beautiful woman. It stands to reason that Emmaline has these same feelings again every time Hadley shows up. Emmaline doesn’t believe that she’s beautiful, yet she’s this really great person who makes an awesome cop and who runs this group for at risk kids and loves it. Further, Emmaline has adopted a german shepherd puppy named Sarge which further cements how awesome she is. Anyways, Emmaline sells herself short a lot throughout the book and well, that’s a part of In Your Dreams that I could really relate to. As a reader, I was glad to see Emmaline get past that and to be her fully confident, awesome self and to not brook with anyone’s BS. OH and her scenes where she’s taking a crisis negotiation class are awesome. Really you guys, Emmaline is awesome. She sort of has the shaft when it comes to parents, but she loves them in their own weird way. Also, she’s a bit jealous of her adopted sister Angela but really truly loves Angela because she’s honestly the best sister ever.
Jack, the romantic lead of In Your Dreams is a Holland, so he’s brother to Faith and Honor, who have their own books in this series. Jack is the vintner at Blue Heron. He also was in the Navy but never saw action, instead was recruited to the lab because he’s awesome at chemistry. Anyways, the book opens and Jack is having trouble dealing with his new reputation as the Midwinter Miracle hero. You see, Jack saved four kids who were in a car accident where they went into the lake. Except, one of the kids is in a coma and may have brain damage. The mother of that kid has lashed out at Jack for saving him last, and so, Jack’s got PTSD from the rescue and holds a lot of blame on himself. Anyways, Jack’s character really has this whole white knight syndrome going on. Which makes it seem like Emmaline is wrong for him because she’s the type of girl who is more than capable of saving herself and does so from time to time. While I am not quite swooning over Jack over here, I thought that he made a great partner for Emmaline. I liked that the two had things to teach each other and that they were different. I liked that Higgins shows scenes with them having a normal relationship and not some whirlwind romance. It’s very well done.
In Your Dreams is a fast read. There’s a few plot threads that vied for my attention and had me hanging on, even when I was supposed to be hanging out with people. I loved Higgins’s characterization of Emmaline’s dog, Sarge, a puppy that pretty much loves everyone and has a toy named Squeaky Chicken. Pretty much this dog is the embodiment of every german shepherd I’ve known and really made the book endearing to me. Then there’s another pet, Jack’s cat named Lazarus. Lazarus was all tore up from the floor up as a kitten, but Jack rescues the cat and the two have this sort of bond, but Lazarus doesn’t really seem to like anyone else. ALSO! Hadley, Jack’s ex, hates Lazarus. Anyways, okay so this tangent about pets is going somewhere I swear! Higgins has this talent with her writing where even the pets which could just be throwaway character traits like for Emmaline and Jack have personality. I just really loved this book and her writing and am hopeful for more books set in Manningsport.