All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins
Published: July 27, 2010 by HQN Romance
Summary from Goodreads:
One happily-ever-after rocking chair…
And no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol’ Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track, because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company’s new Miss Perfect. If that isn’t bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a 3-0 birthday bash in the family funeral home.
Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a relationship with the town’s most eligible — yet not so warm and fuzzy — veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark’s attention. So Ian’s more comfortable with animals… So he’s formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it’s time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But, dang — if he doesn’t shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Vermont’s unlikeliest eligible bachelor…
All I Ever Wanted really made me happy, and got me hooked on Kristan Higgins. This is why:
First, I loved the characters. Some were quirky (Louis the mortician, Noah her one-legged grandfather), some were funny (Her sister Hester! ROFL) Some were just mean. (MOM.) And some had the biggest heart in the world (Our hero, Ian). The relationships and the characters played out in such a real tangible way, and I loved every minute of it. Although I’m glad my family isn’t like Callie’s… it’s fun to sit back and watch.
Second: I was very pleased with the fact that the characters, dialogue, and plot weren’t perfect (happyland syndrome.) Some of you may know that happyland syndrome—everything working out perfectly all the time—will make me close a book in three minutes. All I Ever Wanted had nothing of the sort. It felt like real life, and because of that, it was relatable.
Third: It was a very sweet, very real, very good romance. And it was CLEAN. Yes! No skipping chunks of pages and trying to avoid unnecessary scenes! This pretty much made my day—maybe my week—that I’ve found a good romance author who doesn’t write sex scenes into her novels. Thank you Kristan Higgins, you’ve just made my bookshelf.
So that’s why I loved it. And that’s why I’ll be reading more of Higgins’ work in the future.
Content/recommendation: little language, very few sexual references. Ages 14+