Review: All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

Title: All I Ever Wanted

Author: Kristan Higgins

IBSN13: 9781426864087

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…

My Thoughts:

Callie Grey knows what she wants, and his name is Mark. She completely understood when after a five week fling he confessed it was a bad time for a relationship and so spends the next year admiring him from her desk in his advertising company. When Mark announces his engagement to Muriel, the daughter of their biggest account, Callie is crushed.
Her best friends convince her that a new man will drive him wild with jealously and bring him back. Good thing there is a new single vet in town because internet dating sure isn’t working out.

This is the first book I have read by Higgins and she has gained a new fan. All I Ever Wanted is labeled as a contemporary romance but I feel it is more than the romance between Callie and Ian with a cast of secondary characters that are as compelling as the blooming relationship.
Callie likely reminds you of someone you know (he is a dirtbag- let go already!)and therein lies her charm. Almost relentlessly optimistic and friendly, Callie is easy to relate to. You get a real sense of who she is and what she thinks given the first person narrative which is deftly handled by Higgins.
The development of the romantic relationship between the outgoing Callie and private Ian is satisfying because you want Callie to have that happy ending, and you just know they are going to be good for each other. The “fade to black” is a little disapointing but there is enough emotional intimacy to counteract that.
What I adored most is that All I Ever Wanted has a wicked sense of humor that made me snort in laughter more than a few times.
What makes this book special however is Callie’s dysfunctional family, grumpy one legged grandpa Noah, man-bashing sister Hester struggling with her teen daughter’s disdain and youngest’s preoccupation with inappropriate pop songs, near genius but directionless younger brother and parents that continue to battle it out over a long past hurts. These characters are heartwarming, hilarious and play a huge part in my enjoyment of the story. Not to mention the creepy funeral home assistant, bitter work colleagues and appalling internet dates that add moments of humour and pathos.
All I Ever Wanted is a fabulously entertaining read and I’ll be picking up a few more by Kristan Higgins as soon as I can.

Goodreads Review

The Book Depository

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Book Blogger Hop « book'd out
  2. Trina
    Sep 10, 2010 @ 17:08:53

    Hi there, I am stopping by from the Book Blogger Hop.

    Have a great weekend.




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