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When Posey was sixteen, the bad boy of Bellsford, New Hampshire, broke her heart. But now he's back, sending Posey's traitorous schoolgirl heart into overdrive once again. She should be giving him ...
When Posey was sixteen, the bad boy of Bellsford, New Hampshire, broke her heart. But now he's back, sending Posey's traitorous schoolgirl heart into overdrive once again. She should be giving him a wide berth, but it seems fate has other ideas .
- Publishers Weekly on My One and Only, starred review
"Higgins has a special talent for creating characters readers love... Fun, charming and heartfelt."
-RT Book Reviews on All I Ever Wanted, 4 ½ stars
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
Winner-2010 Romance Writers of America RITA® Award
"Cheeky, cute, and satisfying, Higgins's romance is perfect entertainment for a girl's night in."
CATCH OF THE DAY
Winner-2008 Romance Writers of America RITA® Award
"A touching story brimming with smart dialogue, sympathetic characters, an engaging narrative and the amusing, often self-deprecating observations of the heroine. It's a novel with depth and a great deal of heart."
-RT Book Reviews (Top Pick, 4½ stars)
That would've been nice. Much nicer, Posey Oster-hagen acknowledged, than being dressed in the waitress uniform of Guten Tag, her parents' restaurant—dirndl, ruffled skirt and vest embroidered with dwarves (yes, dwarves), not to mention the green tights and painted red clogs. Cheeks bulging with the potato dumpling she'd just crammed into her mouth, as she was at the near-fainting part of her flea-like metabolism. The back door opened and there he was, standing right in front of her.
Liam Declan Murphy, the first man she'd ever loved, and the only man who'd ever broken her heart.
No Clooney. No jewelry. Just an empty kitchen in an aging German restaurant and a fist-size dumpling practically splitting her cheeks.
Posey's mind blipped into the blue screen of death—all data erased. Fatal error. Speaking was clearly not an option.
His eyes were still that unnerving shade of clear, glacier green. Black hair showed no signs of gray or thinning. Still tall—obviously, Posey, people don't usually shrink in their thirties. Still radiating his bad-boy You want me/I ignore you vibe. Oh bieber. This was just not good. Chew, Posey, chew, her brain instructed. She obeyed with difficulty. It was a big dumpling.
Liam was dressed in jeans, T-shirt and leather jacket, pretty much the same thing he wore back in high school, if memory served. And memory seemed to be wicked clear where Liam Murphy was concerned. He'd come to Bellsford to live with an uncle after getting out of juvie (squee!—okay, okay, she'd been fifteen, it had seemed uber-hot back then) for car theft. Rode an old motorcycle (come on!) and, as legend had it, had turned quite a few girls into women (gack). But, to everyone's surprise, he'd fallen for the squeakiest-clean girl in school, just like a plotline on Beverly Hills 90210, Posey's favorite show back then. When Emma Tate had gone off to college in California, Liam had followed. Eventually, they'd gotten married. It had been in the paper, before Emma's parents had moved to Maine. And here he was.
"Liam!" cried her mother. Stacia Osterhagen, six foot two of Germanic engineering, tromped into the kitchen, rattling the stacked dishware. "Posey! Look who's here! We forgot to tell you! Max! Liam's here! Liam, sweetheart, why didn't you come in the front?"
"Force of habit, I guess," he said with a slight smile at her mother.
"Good to see you, son," Max said heartily, shaking their visitor's hand. Liam Declan Murphy. Holy Elvis Presley.
"You remember Liam, don't you, honey?" Stacia said.
Cheeks still bulging, Posey nodded. Could she look any more ridiculous? Not that she was exactly gifted with girliness when it came to clothes—her work required sturdy stuff, so, sure, there was a lot of flannel, a lot of Carhartt. But even that would be better than her uniform (same one from high school, still regrettably roomy in the bust, as Germans didn't take small chests into account when designing clothes, apparently).
"Hey," he said with the same disinterested tone she remembered with unfortunate clarity. "How are you, Cordelia?" His tone implied he really didn't care. And Cordelia. That was another thing. He'd always called her by her real name, for some reason a name Posey hated. Honestly—bad enough to have been stick-figure skinny in high school, but to bear the name Cordelia Wilhelmina Osterhagen (named for a half-blind great-aunt who'd died by falling into a well) Obviously, she'd had more than her fair share of mocking.
"I'm good," she squeaked, finally swallowing the last of the dumpling. "Hi. How are you?" "Fine, thanks."
"Good! Good. Um how's Emma?"
"She died," he answered coolly.
Posey's head jerked back in shock. "What? Are you kidding?"
He gave her a glacial look. "No."
How had she missed this news? "But when did this happen?"
"It'll be three years in October."
That explained something, at least. Two and a half years ago, in October, Posey had taken a rare vacation and spent a few weeks in North Carolina. And she'd been a latecomer to Facebook, so if there'd been chatter, she'd missed it. And she and Emma hadn't exactly run with the same people.
"I'm so sorry," she said, her face burning.
Emma Tate, dead? Crikey! She'd been a nice girl. A very nice girl and a very popular girl back in high school, when such things seemed mutually exclusive. "So, what happened?" Posey asked. Then, aware that perhaps this was none of her business, she added, "I mean, you don't have to tell me. It's I don't have to know. It's your private, um thing."
"Leukemia," Liam answered.
Posey flinched. "I'm so, so sorry."
"A tragedy," Max added. "Such a sweet girl."
"He told us at Home Depot the other day," Stacia said. "You know how the fan in the upstairs bathroom has been broken for years? Well, we thought it was time to finally fix it, since Gretchen's coming home, and there we were and who did we see but this handsome boy! We were so sad to hear about Emma. So sad."
Granted, not sad enough to tell Posey, despite the fact that Stacia called her every morning at 8:15. Then again, not passing on big news was a family tradition. Stacia had told Posey about Carol Antonelli's gallbladder surgery in relentless detail, as well as how much they'd saved by driving forty miles to buy coffee at Stop & Shop instead of Hannaford's, sure. But bigger news—deaths, births, marriages, etc.—tended to fall through the cracks.
A sudden flash of memory caused a lump to come to Posey's throat—Emma at Sweetie Sue's Ice Cream Parlor, loading up a waffle cone with four scoops instead of three, a conspiratorial wink as she handed it over the counter.
"I'm really sorry," she said more quietly.
"Thanks," Liam said, still staring with that cold, disinterested gaze.
Posey looked away, torn between sympathy, guilt for not knowing about Emma, trepidation (Liam had done some damage, after all), and, yes, lust. "You guys have a kid, right?" she asked. At least she remembered that.
"Nicole. She's fifteen now."
"Wow. Fifteen. That's Wow. Fifteen."
Liam didn't answer, but his look was loaded with that same disdain Posey so well remembered.
Once upon a time, when he was channeling Bono, Liam had worked right here in Guten Tag, a miraculous and agonizing time for Posey. The fact that the Osterhagens had given Liam a job at a time when his reputation was questionable (and fascinating) hadn't caused Liam to warm up to Posey, however. Nope. He always treated her with the same interest he might give a speck of dust.
At first, anyway.
Whatever. Mom was gabbling away. "Liam, sweetheart, you haven't changed a bit! You have to stay for a drink! You have to! Did you eat? We'll feed you. I insist. Max, you insist, too, don't you?"
"I also insist," Max said, smiling.
"Just a drink," Liam said. "I have to get back to my daughter."
Just then Otto, a longtime waiter and accordion player at Guten Tag, poked his head through the door to the dining room. "Max, Stacia, the Schmottlachs are leaving."
"Posey, make Liam at home, would you? Liam, this will just take a minute. Bruce and Shirley are our best friends. You remember them, don't you?"
Liam's mouth pulled into a reluctant smile as Stacia grabbed Max by the hand and towed him into the dining room. Said smile caused Posey's girl parts to clench in a warm, strong squeeze. Hello! Her stomach began flipping like an overexcited dolphin. Alone. She was alone with Hottie McSin, widower. Oh, crikey, that wasn't nice. She shouldn't be lusting after the poor guy. Except the words poor guy didn't seem to apply to Liam Murphy. She swallowed, the sound louder than a gunshot in the now-quiet kitchen.
Meanwhile, God's gift to women—because, yes, he was that good all smoldering male beauty made all the more inaccessible by that touch of disdain—folded his arms and looked around the kitchen.
It was hard to fathom that bright, bouncy Emma Tate was gone. Posey swallowed again, her throat thick. "How's your daughter handling things?"
"Pretty well." He allowed her a brief glance.
"So, what brings you here? Just visiting?"
"No. We moved to be closer to Emma's parents."
He was back? Staying? "Oh. Um that's nice. Good. I mean, it's good to be close to family. Good for children, I mean."
He didn't answer. Didn't ask what she'd been up to, if she was married, if she had kids. Of course not. Apparently he was still way too cool to care about—
"So, what have you been up to, Cordelia?"
Oops. Strike that. "Oh, I'm just filling in tonight. I own an architectural salvage company," she said, well aware of the pride that tinged her voice. He didn't respond, just gave a half nod. "What about you?"
"I'm a mechanic. I build custom motorcycles."
Of course he was a motorcycle mechanic. This would enable him to wear leather and smell like oil and have large throbbing machines between his thighs. At the image, Posey's legs weakened. Down, girl. It wouldn't do to wrestle him to the floor here in her parents' kitchen. But he'd always had that effect on her—and every other female. He was like the Death Star's tractor beam, pulling in whatever the heck it wanted. "Motorcycles. Neat-o," she managed.
Liam's glance bounced around the kitchen once more. He sighed, perhaps irked that there was no one else to talk to, then looked back at her. "You married?"
"Um, no. Nope. Not married. Not yet, I guess I should say. I, um well, you know. Haven't met the right guy." Oh, bieber. That made her sound unwanted. "Not yet. I mean, actually I'm seeing someone um, and, you know, I came close once or twice, but—"
"Came close to what?" Stacia asked, banging through the kitchen doors once more.
Posey jumped. "Nothing," she muttered, tugging at her dwarf-embroidered vest.
"Cordelia was telling me about when she almost got married," Liam said. Was that derision in his voice? Probably.
"What? You almost what?" Stacia pressed a large hand to her ample bosom. "My own child, and I don't know this—"
"Mom, stop. It was you know." Posey took a deep breath. "Ron. You remember."
"The one with the rash?"
Posey grimaced. "It cleared up very quickly."
"He was the one who turned gay, right? Liam, honestly. Posey just cannot find a normal man, not that she tries very hard, working out at that junkyard—"
"It's not a junkyard. It's architectural salvage." And I am seeing a normal man, I just don't want you to keel over if I tell you who.
"I always say, if she'd just clean up a little, some man would see what a beautiful, sweet—" Stacia broke off, a religious gleam beginning in her sky-blue eyes. Ruh-roh. Posey knew that look. It was the look of Matchmaker, one Posey had seen far too many times over the years. Ron the Gay with the Rash had been one of Stacia's better picks, actually. There'd been Carol Antonelli's nephew, who'd taken her to McDonald's on their first date and didn't even pay for her Big Mac. The restaurant-supply guy who'd turned out to have two families, one in New Hampshire, one in Delaware. And now, the look of Matchmaker with Liam.
Don't do it, Mom, Posey begged silently, hunching her shoulders to ward off the blow.
The blow came, though not the one she expected. "You'll have to come back and meet my niece, Liam," Stacia said. "Gretchen? From The Barefoot Fraulein? On the Cooking Network? She's my late sister's daughter. We're so proud of her! Have you ever seen her show?"
"Can't say that I have," he murmured. He glanced again at Posey, eyes dropping to her costume. Just in case she forgot that she looked like an idiot.
"Well, you'll have to come by," Stacia said. "We were just thrilled when she told us she wanted to come work here! And she's such a sweet, sweet girl." Mom paused cunningly. "Very pretty, too."
Gretchen was very pretty, Posey would give her that. She looked much like Stacia—tall, blonde, blue-eyed, voluptuous—German beauty at its finest. Posey, on the other hand, was adopted—five foot three (five two and a half, why lie?), a hundred and seven pounds, dark, short, difficult hair and brown eyes. As for Gretchen's sweetness Posey stifled a snort.
"We could use a little help, to be honest," her mom continued. "Ever since that—" Stacia took a meaningful breath "—that Italian restaurant moved in down the street, business has been a little slow."
Business had been slow well before Inferno opened, though Posey knew her mom would never admit it. Guten Tag's food wasn't bad, if you liked old-school German cuisine (which, it must be said, most people didn't). The slogan—We'll feed you till you're stuffed!—didn't exactly scream gourmet dining.
Inferno, on the other hand, was only six months old and had already been reviewed by the New York Times (four stars). They had a slogan, too, one that appeared on the local television stations and in swanky tourist magazines—Our life's mission: to make the best meal of your life.
Posted August 13, 2011
Kristina Higgins is the master of romantic comedy. Not only does she weave a great tale but she has characters that come alive and leap off the page. You will laugh and cry with them just as often as you want to slap and shake them...just like your own friends and family, right? Higgins newest tale introduces us to Posey and Liam an unlikely couple, even by their own family's standards. He is the town bad boy who just moved back to town with his 16 year old daughter and she is the town's adopted sweetheart. The tale of their bumpy road towards love involves many other characters, from her crazy but lovable family to old lovers, who just can't help get in the way. But what stands most in their way is each other she can't help calling him "God's Gift" and he can't help calling her "Cordelia" (a name she hates!)..with all these obstacles will they ever find the yellow brick road to love? Read Until There Was You to find out, you won't regret it, and you won't be able to put it down.
8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 30, 2011
I read ALOT of books and Kristan Higgins is, hands down, my favorite author. I laughed out loud at some parts of this book, and literally sobbed at another point. I really identified with the main character in the story. If you like romance novels, with humor, you'll like this one. Really good story.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 3, 2011
I have read all of Kristan Higgins books and they just get better. This one was a "laugh out loud" book with very likeable characters. I can't wait till her next book comes out.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 29, 2011
I recently discovered this author and have quickly read all her books. She's got this amazing combination of humor, passion, warmth and familiarity that I totally love. This book has been especially enjoyable because the main character, Cordelia, wasn't the typical love interest. Externally she appeared fraile yet she had grater strength then any of the other characters.
I cant wait for the next book!!!
When is Hollywood going to discover these books and make them into movies! This is clearly the next batch of chic flics!!!
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Posted October 26, 2011
I have read all her other books and have found them incredibly entertaining but this book fell a little short for me. All her male hero characters are swoon worthy and this one is no exception but i just felt like his romance with cordelia was his consellation prize. In other books where there was previous or dead wife or husband ms. Higgans usually finds a way to assure the reader that the focus is now on the main love story and their love is amazing but this time i didnt buy it as much. I found myself wanting to here more about Liam's past relationship with Emma than with posey because kristan made it sound so epic. This was disappointing & kinda ruined the rest of the book for me. Some may say this a more reality based romance compared to her other stories but cmon when i spend money on a romance novel I wanna b swept away & be jealous of the main characters especially because kristan writes these characters so well and you truly feel for them. I hope her next one is better!
3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 29, 2011
Posey (Cordelia) Osterhagen has always stuck out as the tiny, dark haired adoptive daughter of the very blond, Germanic Osterhagen clan. The family business is a local German restaurant, while Posey works in her own architectural salvage firm, which does seem pretty interesting, although not a huge focus in the book. Bad boy (and former unrequited high school love) Liam Murphy returns to town, opening a motorcycle shop. He is widowed, with a teenage daughter in tow. This was a fun romantic comedy and the first novel by Higgins that I have read. I really liked the way Liam related to his daughter--definitely showed him what it's like on the other side of the fence!
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Posted September 21, 2011
In Bellsford, New Hampshire, Posey Osterhagen fell in love with town bad boy Liam Declan Murphy when they attended high school together. However she was way too thin, as Posey with her boyish figure attracted no male let alone the king of the school.
Still too skinny though she works at her parents' German restaurant; overall Posey is contented though would not mind a hunk in her life. A widower, his wife Emma was a hometown girl who died from leukemia; Liam is home accompanied by his fifteen year old daughter Nicole. When they meet, she still wants him while he struggles to control panic attacks and his obsessive need to keep Nicole safe. One CPR and a sweet Diamond of a song later have Posey expecting another broken heart.
This is an entertaining New England romance starring a refreshing lead protagonist whose weight problem enables her to pass off as a high school student and a single dad with emotional problems. The evolving second time around relationship between the pair of thirty southings is fun to follow as he is all she ever wanted but she expects him to leave while he has doubts about being with another adult after Emma's death.
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Posted November 15, 2011
As usual, Kristan Higgans takes us on a romantic journey with characters we can relate to and love. I really do like that the heroines in her books are real woman and the heroes are flawed but struggling to be better men. Give me a man who washes his hands for 55 seconds over a shooting star any day. Kat
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Posted October 25, 2011
Because I haven 't had this blog that long, you may not realize this, but Kristan Higgins is one of my all-time favorite authors. I discovered her last year and quickly devoured every single one of her backlist books. So, obviously, I have been looking forward to her newest release. This is one of those that I received a couple of months ago, but because I loved the anticipation of it, I didn't read it until right up to release day. I may just have to read it again on release day, because OMG....this book was so worth the wait!! Such an amazingly good book!!!
Kristan has an amazing writing voice. She writes the most unusual, the most unlikely heroines of all time, but she makes them so real. You fall in love immediately with their quirkiness, with their realistic issues and self-doubts. She pairs them with heroes that are flawed, but so incredible and unlikely that you usually spend the first quarter of the book wondering how these two are ever going to get together. But then the magic of her writing happens and you fall in love...with the characters, with their romance, with their quirks, and with their dogs. OMG, I love Kristan's books...if only she could write faster.
Are you getting it yet?? I LOVED this book.
Posey grew up as the scrawny little kid that never quite fit in...not at school and not at home with the family that had adopted her. High school was particularly bad, that is until the popular girl, Emma befriended her. They were never bff's, but Emma was kind to her and gave her advice and helped set her up for a date to the prom. Nevermind that Emma was dating the bad-boy, Liam, that Posey was in love with...that was okay because Emma was nice enough to deserve him. At least that was the case until Liam broke Posey's heart on the night of the prom.
Now Liam is back in town. Emma died two years ago from leukemia and left Liam as the single father of a teenage girl. Not much has changed for Posey. She is that same scrawny girl, only now in her mid-30's, but she is much more comfortable in her skin ever since that night of self-realization at the prom. Her girl parts still react to Liam, regardless of what her heart says, and as they come to know each other better as adults, they are both more and more drawn to each other.
Liam is dealing with a lot. He was a bad-boy in high school and totally lived up to that reputation. He now has a teenage daughter with her mother's beauty and he KNOWS what those teenage boys have planned. It's enough to give any single dad heart palpitations. Add to that, he has come back to the town where he bedded or insulted half the female population when he was in high school and they haven't forgotten, even if he has. LOL...there are some funny scenes because of this. OMG, my dh kept asking me what I was reading throughout this book because I had so many laugh-out-loud moments. Kristan has an incredibly funny sense of humor and it shines through once again in this novel.
There are so many good things to recommend about the writing in this novel, but above and beyond...the best thing about it is the characters within it and the way that they react to one another. Liam, Posey, and Liam's teenage daughter- Nicole...the way that they all interact and react to each other...just some of the best dialogue EVER!!!
So good! If you don't read any other contemporary novel this year, make sure that this one is on your TO READ list!!!
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Posted December 20, 2013
Another really solid contemporary from Kristan Higgins! I like how the cover is actually accurate to the characters--you don't always see that! The author uses a lot of unique details in her stories, such as Posey living in an old church. I also love how pets are always featured in her books. Really fun characters and a nicely paced story that's actually funny and doesn't take itself too seriously. It's not fluff when it's written this well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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Posted July 26, 2013
This is a new author for me. After reading The Best Man I was hooked. I ordered book after book and was never disappointed. I love her story lines, character development, and style. I cry, I laugh, I smile.
Kristen Higgins is a delight. Thank you!
Posted June 8, 2013
I was disappointed with the protagonist and the relationship she has with her love interest. Her character seems undervalued, and that kept me from enjoying the book, among other things. Definitely my least favorite of her books so far.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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