Customer Reviews for

The Next Best Thing

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Higgin's has done better....but still worth reading!

This is probably the least favorite book by Kristin Higgins.sadly. I still enjoyed it, and I am sure many people can relate to the main character after losing a spouse. I did feel bad for her and Higgins did a good job portraying her emotions throughout. I thought th...
This is probably the least favorite book by Kristin Higgins.sadly. I still enjoyed it, and I am sure many people can relate to the main character after losing a spouse. I did feel bad for her and Higgins did a good job portraying her emotions throughout. I thought though that Higgins dragged the book out with having the main character go back and forth, back and forth. It was also kind of weird that she had a fling with her deceased husband's brother. But, like I said, I did enjoy it. I like Kristan's writing style. Her books are usually comical, romantic, and sad/heartfelt. I now think I have finished all of her books.can't wait for more!

posted by RZAZ31210 on April 21, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Too many flashbacks

It was a lovely book, but I found myself skipping chapters at a time because of the ridiculous amount of flashbacks. I wish she had spent more time addressing the relationship between the two main characters, than focusing on the woman's relationship with her dead husb...
It was a lovely book, but I found myself skipping chapters at a time because of the ridiculous amount of flashbacks. I wish she had spent more time addressing the relationship between the two main characters, than focusing on the woman's relationship with her dead husband. *sigh*

posted by Niff on March 7, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2010

    Average at Best

    I really enjoyed reading "Just One of the Guys" so much so that I downloaded "The Next Best Thing". I found this book to be rather farfetched and depressing. Lucy needed a psychologist. Too many flashbacks and much too much talk about the dead husband. The family focus on everyone being widowed was much too much as well.

    I am anxious to read "Too Good To Be True".

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2010

    Too many flashbacks

    It was a lovely book, but I found myself skipping chapters at a time because of the ridiculous amount of flashbacks. I wish she had spent more time addressing the relationship between the two main characters, than focusing on the woman's relationship with her dead husband. *sigh*

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Energizer Book

    I've read 1 of Kristan Higgins' books and it was pretty good. This one however just kept going and going and going. Honestly, about 1/2 through I wanted the male character to just walk away and find someone that didn't treat him like crap. Inevitably they would get back together everything was fine then she would treat him like crap again. I'm not sure if K. Higgins wanted you to sympathize with the lead character...but it's hard to pull for someone that uses people the way she did. She had her reasons but still. You just don't treat people that way.

    After reading this book, I'm not sure I'll read any of her books again. Kind of disappointing because I thought I'd found a new author to read. Oh well, the search continues.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bittersweet

    Author Kristan Higgins is an award-winning author of several published books in the romance genre. Other titles include: Too Good To be True, Just One Of The Guys, Catch Of The Day, and Fools Rush In. She resides in Connecticut with her firefighter husband and two children.

    Lucy Lang has been a young widow long enough. Finally feeling like it's time to settle down again and remarry, she says goodbye to her 'friend with benefits', Ethan Mirabelli, and hello to the dating scene. Except finding the right guy for her isn't as easy as she thought. After all, all she wanted was a nice guy with whom she could have kids and not form a deep attachment to. A broken heart once was enough. But much to her dismay and delight, Ethan isn't going anywhere, and Lucy knows he's the one man who could break her heart again. And this time, she may not recover.

    First person point of view typically isn't my first choice, but this is a perfect example of what stellar writing is about. If you haven't laughed, cried, and sighed with contentment a hundred times while reading this, then there's something wrong with you. The hero and heroine are relatable, and the secondary characters are memorable. From the setting to the story-line, this is impossible to put down. Bravo. Recommended.

    Kelly Moran,
    Author of SUMMER'S ROAD

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Higgin's has done better....but still worth reading!

    This is probably the least favorite book by Kristin Higgins.sadly. I still enjoyed it, and I am sure many people can relate to the main character after losing a spouse. I did feel bad for her and Higgins did a good job portraying her emotions throughout. I thought though that Higgins dragged the book out with having the main character go back and forth, back and forth. It was also kind of weird that she had a fling with her deceased husband's brother. But, like I said, I did enjoy it. I like Kristan's writing style. Her books are usually comical, romantic, and sad/heartfelt. I now think I have finished all of her books.can't wait for more!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2010

    Best of Higgins!

    The Next Best Thing is by far Kristan Higgins' best work. You'll fall in love with Ethan, Lucy, & the rest of their crazy family. It will make you laugh out loud & shed a few tears. Great read! Highly recommended for those who love a good romance.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    You will laugh, cry and just feel when you read this book

    Kristan is known for her quirky characters, and everyday heros and heroines and of course the dogs, cats and other animals that play such large roles themselves in her stories and you will get that and more when you dig into this wonderful read.
    Lucy has something that runs in her family, on her mother's side, a lot. She's a widow and it happened early in her marriage and in her life just like her mother and two great aunts it's their own private club and no one wants to join. Well Lucy has made a decision and unlike the rest of the "Black Widows" she's decided that she wants to remarry, even though Jimmy was the love of her life, but before she does that she'll have to stop sleeping with his younger brother. Gotcha didn't I.
    Those of us who love Kritan's romances have come to expect her witty descriptive dialogue where she makes her characters and settings pop off of the page and makes us laugh out loud and cry. Her story line is unique in the fact that these "Black Widows" aren't murdering psychopaths but female family members who jointly own a bakery in a picturesque little town. So let's talk about her characters they are a cast of unforgettable folks from the kooky great aunts, the overly cautious sister, the vogue mom, the old school Italian In-Laws, the cute confused heroine and the hot hunky hero. And they all have a major role to play in the telling of the tale. Her romance is funny, sad, serious and so full of pitfalls you're constantly looking forward to the next disaster. Her love scenes are hot and spicy, but also very tender and sweet.
    So if you've never read Kristan Higgins, what's wrong with you get this book. And if you're an old fan re-discover just what it is we all love about her writing and get this fall on your face funny and cry in your coffee tear jerker together in one incredible novel, you won't be sorry you did.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Could not like female character.....

    It was irritating for me to read a book with a main character who was annoying and often unlikeable. She is incredibly self centered and lives in a fantasy world. No one is that perfect, referring to dead husband Jimmy, even if only married for 9 months. Love the Author, but this one did not work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Rating: 4.5 Star Review In The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgi

    Rating: 4.5 Star Review

    In The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins, Lucy Lang has convinced herself it's time to wade into the dating pool, five years after losing her husband to a tragic accident. Jimmy was the love of her life. Now she's looking for someone who will be a good companion and wants children. Not someone she will fall madly in love with, if that could even be possible for her again. She can't take the risk with her heart. Lucy is expecting problems when she announces her intentions. Her mother and aunts, lovingly known as the Black Widows, never dated after losing their husbands so Lucy's not sure how receptive they'll be. And her in-laws still live in town and work just down the street, which will make things awkward. Not to mention she'll have to break things off with Ethan, her friend-with-benefits who has been so kind to her while she's been recovering from her loss.

    It turns out that while her head might be telling her she's ready to move on, her heart is still not ready to let go of the past. Lucy fights her anxiety with the help (and hindrance) of her friends and meddling family only to find out Ethan wants to be considered as husband material along with the town's other eligible bachelors. Lucy isn't so sure. He's one of her best friends. Wouldn't a relationship potentially ruin their friendship if things don't turn out well? She just knows that she's tired of being viewed only as a widow and wants to feel like herself again, to possibly have some fun at some point. Lucy's small town life in Mackerly, Rhode Island, will be completely tossed upside-down in her search for a husband.

    Kristan Higgins wrote The Next Best Thing as a narrative from Lucy's point of view, telling the readers...well, basically Lucy's life story in bits and pieces. I felt like she was flawed and damaged and just plain wonderful. It's almost a relief to read about a female protagonist who isn't perfect. She doesn't always know exactly what to say or do and she makes mistakes. A LOT of mistakes, but so don't we all. She does (eventually) learn from them and that's what truly counts. She's not ready to think of herself as one of the Black Widows yet and still has a lot of living left to do, but she's having a hard time making that first leap. Which is understandable.

    Ethan is probably one of the most selfless, patient, sexy and caring guys I've read about in a long time. He's the perfect blend of nice and naughty. He's already a loving father, having a child from a previous relationship, and it was so sweet the way he interacted with his boy. But Ethan also has a mischievous side which he lets Lucy see from time to time. I found it easy to sympathize with him over his situation and could feel his emotions through Kristan's expressive writing.

    It's not all heavy emotions, though. Sure there are quite a few tender and even heart-wrenching moments perfectly blended in. But we also get to see the comedic side of entering the wonderful world of dating at the age of thirty. Not everything goes as planned, of course, and between her family's meddling and her interaction with the locals in town, I was in stitches. Throw into the mix Lucy's cat Fat Mikey, who's all attitude with just a touch of love/tolerance for his humans, and you have a hysterical story.

    If you like your romance with a lot of heart, a good laugh and a dramatic sigh-worthy ending, I highly recommend The Next Best Thing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A pastry chef by trade, Lucy Lang has ended up baking the bread

    A pastry chef by trade, Lucy Lang has ended up baking the bread in her family's bakery after the death of her husband five and a half years ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, since the bakery is run by her mother and her aunts, all widows, the Black widows. Her name may not be Black, but  her curse to end up a young widow just as crippling.




    Ethan Mirabelli has been her best friend since college and the only male who is able to charm the collective Black widow clan, except perhaps for his 4-year old son. Ethan is also the person who introduced Lucy to her husband, Jimmy, his older brother and chef for their family restaurant. And the last few years Ethan has also become Lucy's 'friend with benefits', nothing more, and purely for convenience.......after all, he's her neighbour too!




    But now Lucy is ready to date, or so she claims, she doesn't want to spend the rest of her life alone, even though she is determined to keep her heart out of play this time around. If she should fall in love, she might lose another husband to the 'curse', so any potential risks must be eliminated beforehand. That means Ethan has to go.......first of all, he drives a motorcycle.....right. Also, he likes adventure, that's a definite strike against him, and lastly......he might have the ability to really destroy her, should something happen, and there is no way she can do without her friend! 




    Ethan is not impressed with that plan, in fact he is quite tired of playing second fiddle, especially when it comes to Lucy. But will he be able to convince her to let go of her fear and take hold of what was hers all along? 




    ****
    Ohhhh it's a great book when you've laughed and you've cried and everything in-between!! I've had the pleasure of reading more of Kristan Higgin's work and knew she was capable of pulling out every possible emotion I have in my arsenal, and she has done it again!! And yes, that includes anger and frustration!!!




    I uttered OMG in frustration plenty of times, when Lucy's internal struggles came up, but I have to admit, I'm generally one to make a decision and throw myself in. Not so Lucy, poor thing has not had the best of examples either, with a mother and a bunch of aunts who continue to worship their long deceased husbands as if they were virtual Gods when still alive, perfect and faultless. HA. She also gets no assistance from her in-laws, heck, they continue to mourn their son as if it was yesterday and expect her to do the same. This girl needs some hair on her chest, not her lip!!! I wanted to poke my elbow in her side or teach her to whistle on her fingers, anything to prompt her to take a stand for herself.
    Ethan was also not one of the most decisive people, although I appreciate he wanted to let Lucy come to her own conclusion, part of me wanted him to grab her, shake her and tell her how it was going to be!! I also wanted him to give his parents a good talking to, geeze....I was ready to give them a piece of my mind!
    But both of them learned, they unstuck themselves from the place they had almost become rooted and found a way to choose the path that was meant for them.




    I love the mute character working in the bakery, amidst all the crazy cackle of the sisters, he was an oasis of quiet reason. Without saying a word, he ended up providing that little injection of encouragement at the exact right time. That was perfection and told an entire story in itself.
    The interaction between the Black sisters and also Lucy's in-laws is at times hilarious. Especially when you throw in the questionable Gypsy psychic, then the bakery becomes a true three-ring circus.




    Kristan Higgins has found a perfect balance in using clever humour to ensure that the serious and quite emotional nature of the story doesn't become too overwhelming. Your emotions will run the gamut, but you will end up with a big smile on your face, that I guarantee!




    A moving, witty and captivating story of overcoming.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins Lucy lives on an island o

    The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins
    Lucy lives on an island off the coast of Rhode Island and had first met Ethan at Johnson and Wales Culinary School in the city. He had introduced her to his brother Jimmy who she fell in love with and after she finished college they married.
    He ran his family place and died coming home from NY after checking out new ovens for the place. Since then she's been sleeping around with Ethan but now that her sister Corinne has produced a baby she wants one also and tells Ethan they are a thing of the past.
    How she and Parker-Nicky's bio mother (Ethan is his father) go about dating is hilarious!
    Lots of drama and everyday life events: births, deaths, funerals, retirements, dating and the baking industry and the publishing industry with The Holy Rollers.
    Hot steamy sex and I love the boat excursions seeing that I live in RI and in the vicinity of the island they are referencing. Everybody in her family has lost their husband so she is terrified her next husband the same thing will happen...
    The bread man Matt complicates their relationship and she's not sure whether she wants Matt or Ethan... Remake of an earlier years version.
    I received this book from Net Galley via Harlequin HQN in exchange for my honest review.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    Lovely

    Lucy can't seem to get over her husbands death and the curse of the Black Widows seems to hang over her head as she attempts to start a relationship with his younger brother Ethan. Delightfully funny as the a group of her aunts and mother are lovingly called the Black widows (because their maiden name is Black and they are all widows) bicker over everything and Lucy isn't sure she wants to expand their business at the family bakery with her bread through a whole foods executive who looks just like her late husband. Ethan struggles himself as he tries to have patience for the indecicive woman he loves and hopes she will choose him and a life of happiness rather than a life of comfortable widowhood. A lot of laughs and even more tears in this book. I loved it and the recipes too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    Took her long enough...

    ... to figure it out. A little painful because some things are too hard in life but great ending. Someone said they were annoyed with Lucy and wanred to yell at her but anyone who knows real loss, pain, and fear can see where she is coming from. Most of my family died before I was 21 and the idea of getting close to anyone else was nearly impossible. Takes a while for us that are a little broken to open our hearts to someone knew. I liked this story bc it seemed to true to life.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    Interesting storyline

    This one was a bit different than Higgan's other books. The main character was not as loveable as in other stories and just downright stubborn for the entire book. Still a great read, just not as humorous as her other titles. This is my 4th Higgan's book and I'm still heading to the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    slow start.

    I read the first couple chapter's of this book and set it down diciding I didn't like it. But a couple of day's ago I gave it another try. And dispite the slow start and the sad flashbacks i'm glad I gave it second try. I thought the ending was so great that it actually made up for avrage majority of the book. Overall I think you should give this book a try if only just to witness everything come into place and form a happy ending after so long.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    Love it!

    This is the 3rd book I've read by Kristan Higgins. I thought all the character's in the book were great. It did drag some through the middle, it was alot of I'll be with you, I can't be with you and then back to I'll be with you. All and all though I loved it. I've read To good to be true, and Fools Rush In, The next best thing and now I'm on to Just one of the guys. Happy reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    Better the second time around!

    I read this book once and highly enjoyed it. I didn't give it 5 stars because I thought some of the anguish moments may have dragged on a little too long or repeated a bit much. But after reading it a second time, the book grew on me more. The relationship between the main characters were developed in more detail than a few of her other books. It made me appreciate the depth of their love.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Great Kristan Higgins Book

    Enjoyed the characters in this book and the journey they went through. I felt like they were very relatable, especially if you have lost a loved one or experienced a loss similar. Kristan was able to develop those emotions and that arch very believably and well, but at the same time it wasn't a depressing book. Especially loved the theme of family that was tied throughout.

    Loved surprise of the "toast" throughout the book, very unexpected and sweet. Could have done without the letter from the author at the front of the book that I felt gave away most of the plot. Not sure why it was there--should have been at the end of the book in my opinion!

    Overall, a solid book that was well developed. If you have read and liked other Kristan Higgins books than you will like this, I liked it more than others.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book!

    This was a really good book. I had every emotion going. I cried, laughed, was shocked, and frustrated. There were times you just wanted to scream at Lucy to Wake Up! Over all a really good book with a very happy ending.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    Not my favorite

    The beginning of the book was very catchy. I enjoyed reading it at first and then realized I was in the middle of the book and the same details were reoccuring. I found myself able to skip some pages by quickly reading the first and last sentence on the page. I felt the story was far too long and could have ended very quickly without being so windy at the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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