Review: All I Ever Wanted by Kristin Higgins

Publisher: HQN

Where did you get this book from: e-ARC from Netgalley

Release date: Out now.

Blurb is taken from author’s official website:

“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…”

I so enjoyed this book. I did. I did. I did. I’ve been in a reading slump lately, and this book was a fresh breath of air. It made me laugh, made me a little teary in the back of the throat, and most importantly, glued me to the pages.

Callie was fun, bright, unashamedly looking for love and she did have a Miss Happy persona, but I didn’t find her annoying in the least – until the end, which I’ll get to later on at the end of the review.

Callie wants love and she thinks she has found it with Mark, her boss of the PR company she works for. Mark is the man she has loved since they first kissed in a cupboard when they were kids during a truth and dare game. Of course, the reader knows beforehand that Mark is not the one for Callie, mainly because we can see his douchebag behaviour from the start. But for so long, Callie has dreamt of Mark as the one, and her fling with him not so long ago reinforces this. But when Callie finds out from him that he is seeing someone else, what can a girl do but breakdown and sob on the phone while waiting in line to renew her driving licence. All on her thirtieth birthday.

Callie decides that she needs to get on with her life, and when she hears about the new vet, Ian McFarland, that has arrived in her town, she doesn’t hesitate in taking Bowie, her adorable husky dog, to the new vet for a checkup (checking out the vet that is) and in the process, might have met the man of her dreams.

All I Ever Wanted is a super fun and very romantic story. Even though Ian was the total opposite to Callie, they meshed together so well. Callie slowly but surely gets past Ian’s emotional barriers, and it was so great seeing Callie getting her man. You can’t help but root for Callie because she’s just so damn nice. And I know that nice heroines can sometimes be boring, but Callie was so fun in nature.

Ian was a great foil for Callie’s upbeat personality, and at first, Ian does come across as emotionally stunted, but he just doesn’t share his emotions like Callie does and keeps to himself which is not a bad thing at all. Especially after what his ex-wife did to him. And I thought what Ian did for his ex-wife afterwards showed what a truly great guy he was.

Callie soon charms Ian, though, and a friendship begins. No romance at first, but a friendship that both protagonists needed due to their past experiences with love. I felt that this upped the romantic tension, and it’s great seeing characters take their time learning one another before jumping into anything. Ian was great. He was very quiet, not prone to showing of his emotions, and he wasn’t an alpha who didn’t show any emotions just because. He was hurting from his past, and he didn’t know what to make of Callie, who must have been like a firecracker going off right in his face.

All I Wanted also had a great support of secondary characters such as Callie’s oddball of a family. Each and everyone one of them had their own storyline, and each of them was fully fleshed out. I loved Callie’s Grandfather who was such a grumpy git, but one that loved Callie to pieces. Higgins definitely knows how to write secondary storylines that complement the the main story.

I truly enjoyed this book, but if there’s one thing I hate and that’s forced obstacles to separate the hero and heroine. And that is what exactly happened towards the end of All I Ever Wanted that drove me CRAZY. The kissing your ex to make sure you don’t have any feeling left for him was like WTF? Every thing was going so well with Ian and Callie. Ian was truly himself with Callie, and their interactions with one another were so romantic. This forced separation was not needed.

I was very irritated with this because I loved the rest of the book. And I can’t give this book 5 stars like I wanted too.

So despite the irritating forced separation, All I Ever Wanted is a lovely read so if you can, try and skip over the irritating part because this book is worth the read.

I give All I Ever Wanted 4.5 stars.

Comments

  1. says

    Great review, I loved this book too! Kristan Higgins hardly ever lets me down, but this is definitely one of my favorites of hers :)

    ReplyReply
  2. Lou says

    Thanks, Alison.

    I think this has to be one of my favourite of Higgins’ titles also. I had no issues with the book until the end, which I’m still irritated about. lol

    ReplyReply
  3. says

    This was the first of her books I read and I mostly enjoyed it. I admit, I only picked it up because the Smart Bitches were doing it as part of their summer book club. I looked at it in the store and decided to go for it.

    I found parts of it predictable, and Callie’s mother to be pretty much a one -note character. She did develop more eventually but she was very grating and offputting IMO.

    Still, I enjoyed the book and will probably read more by Higgins.

    ReplyReply

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