Where did you get the book: e-ARC
Release date: February 26th
Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she’s ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family’s vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there’s some great scenery there….
Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief-and best friend of her former fiancé. There’s a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it’s not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she’s having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosÉ, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk…
*blurb taken from Goodreads*
When I saw The Best Man over at Netgalley, I decided to give the author’s books another chance because I did like the sound of the blurb. Unfortunately, I wished I hadn’t requested this title because I found parts of the book to be very distasteful.
When Faith Holland’s fiance, Jeremy, broke up with her on the day of her wedding after admitting to her that he was gay, Faith moved away from her town and made a career as a successful architect. Faith still hadn’t had any luck in the romance department after making passes at other men who she failed to note were gay. When she arrives back home, Faith meets the hero, Levi Cooper, in one of the most over-used plot scenes in small-town romances by making her race back into town where Levi stops her for speeding (I have read this scene about a MILLION times). Faith has had an intense dislike for Levi because he stopped her wedding to Jeremy. Yes, the heroine dislikes Levi for making Jeremy admit to Faith he was gay before marrying her. And yes, despite Jeremy being gay, Faith would have still married him.
Whilst trying to find love for herself again and settling down to marry, Faith is also matchmaking for her father after a ‘gold digger’ comes into the picture. Faith also has to meet up with Jeremy again and sort out old feelings and hurts. Amongst all this is Levi who always dismisses her with a glance. But when Faith moves next door to Levi, the dislike that’s festered between them for so long changes into something else entirely.
I want to talk about what I enjoyed in the book and then I’ll get to the problematic areas. The romance between Faith and Levi was one of the better romances I’ve read by Higgins in a while. Levi was a typical Higgins hero–he was gruff, silently broody and didn’t show his feelings. Faith was a cheerful heroine whose mission in life was to find love, settle down and do the family thing. I admit it’s hard sometimes to stomach heroines such as this because children are not the be and end all to make your life complete. Higgins has a talent for creating memorable secondary characters that always make an impression, and Faith’s family were an example of this.
What disappoints me about this book is that this would have been a top read but for the distasteful jokes and use of the world ‘slut’ which left the book with a horrible taste. This following section here will contain spoilers, so be warned.
My first raised eyebrow was when there was a flashback to when Levi was a teenager, and how at a glance he knew instantly that Jeremy was gay. I would love to know how Levi had that super power. Secondly, the horrible way in which the author used a transgender character to be the butt of a joke. That was horrid. Faith is trying to set up her dad on a date, and the “she-male” (I’m actually quoting what was used in the book) is revealed.
There’s also a scene in the beginning of the book where Faith is dating a man, and it turns out he’s married with a kid. The wife arrives to make a scene and I’m pretty sure every word that was uttered at Faith was YOU SLUT AND WHORE. Levi’s sister also makes a casual comment that her roommate is slutty.
I really wanted to like this book but all I could think of is that horrible scene where the transgendered person was called a “she-male.” Why make such a cheap joke and scene aimed at character who, in real life, has to deal with transphobia in their lives. It was a very ugly scene. All in all, I can’t rate this book highly because of what occurred. This definitely will be my last Higgins book, and I can’t say that I’m that sad about it.
I give The Best Man a D.
*Update: Was rereading this review and saw that I’d previously screwed up on the terminology through my ignorance! My sincere apology.