Fools Rush In

Fools Rush In

by Kristan Higgins

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Rewarding job as a local doctor on Cape Cod? Check. Cute cottage of her very own? Check. Adorable puppy suitable for walks past attractive locals? Check! All she needs is for golden boy and former crush Joe Carpenter to notice her, and Millie will be set.
But perfection isn't as easy as it looks--especially when Sam Nickerson, a local policeman, is so distracting. Sure, he needs a friend after being dumped by Millie's fortune-hunting sister, but does she really need to enjoy his company that much? He is definitely not part of her master plan. But maybe it's time for Millie to start a new list...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460395790
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 04/10/2017
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 35,463
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA TODAY bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than twenty languages. She has received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The New York Journal of Books and Kirkus.

Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two atypically affectionate children, a neurotic rescue mutt and an occasionally friendly cat.

Read an Excerpt

ON THE FIRST MORNING in my new home, I awoke to the sharp, hopeful smell of fresh paint, the radiator ticking companionably against the cold March day.

Today held all the unsullied promise of a new school year. Residency finished. Home remodeled. Career soon to begin. And Joe...Joe was out there this cold morning, soon to find that I was the love of his life. Swinging out of bed, I looked around the room, noting with pride the bright, clean blue walls and antique quilt. I padded barefoot to the kitchen, admiring my gleaming counters and shining porcelain sink. Turning on the coffeemaker, I breathed a deep sigh of happiness and gratitude.

As the coffee brewed, I rummaged through a box that was yet unpacked. Finding what I was looking for, I returned to the kitchen as the coffeemaker emitted its last gurgles, poured myself a cup, sat down and turned my full attention to the object before me.

An eight-by-ten photograph showed Joe Carpenter standing silhouetted against the sky, shirtless, as he nailed a shingle on a roof. The crispness of the black-and-white photo showcased his perfectly muscled arms as he performed this seemingly mundane task, which, with Joe's easy grace, became poetry. He was slightly turned away from the camera, but enough of his face showed that you could see just how beautiful he was. The caption had read Aptly named Joe Carpenter of Eastham works on the restoration of Penniman House.

How did I get this picture? I'd called the paper and asked for it, thank you very much. It had been in the Boston Globe, and they'd never suspected that I wasn't Joe's mother, as I'd claimed to be. Sometimes having an old lady's name comes in handy. After all, they wouldn't have believed me if my name had been Heather or Tiffany.... Of course, I couldn't keep this picture out in the open, so I secreted it away for special times. Now was such a time, and I gazed at it with the reverence it deserved.

"It all starts today, Joe," I said, feeling pretty idiotic. Still, as I traced the outline of the man I'd loved for so long, the foolish feeling dissipated like early morning fog. "You're about to fall in love with me. Everything from here on is for you."

Resisting the urge to kiss the photo, I got up and strolled around my little house, cup in hand, basking in the thrill of simply being here. Home ownership on Cape Cod is a monumental that I'd accomplished through no effort of my own. My grandmother had died just after Christmas. When the will had been read, I'd learned, with great shock and unsquelchable joy, that she had left her house to me—and only me.

The modest little ranch wore the requisite cedar shingles of the Cape, bleached a soft gray by the salt air and sun. There was no yard to speak of, just a scattering of pine needles, sand and moss. But the house was priceless because it was on protected land of the Cape Cod National Seashore. This meant that it would forever be free from development, I would never have a new neighbor, and I was pretty close to the water (three-tenths of a mile to be precise, though there was no view whatsoever). But I could hear the roaring surf of the mighty Atlantic, and at night the beam of Nauset Light swept across the darkness.

For months, I'd been driving up from Boston to work on the house, sanding floors, painting walls, sorting through my grandmother's things, and the end result was a nice amalgamation of old and new. Gran's needlepointed footstool sat next to my glass coffee table, bright new fabric covering her old beige love seat, a nice watercolor in the spot where a photo of John Kennedy at prayer had once hung. I considered the warm yellow I'd chosen for one wall of the living room, decided it was indeed fantastic, and walked into the bathroom to check on the pink flamingos my mother and I had stenciled on the pale green walls. Wait till Joe sees it here, I fantasized...he'll never want to leave. I stuck my head in the bathroom vanity to assess how much space I had. The small area still smelled pleasantly of lemon Pine-Sol, the fumes making for a rather pleasant buzz.

The phone rang and I jumped, whacking my head on the cabinet. I ran to the kitchen to answer my first phone call in the new house.

"Hi, Millie, hon," my mom said. "How was the first night? Everything okay?"

"Hi, Mom," I answered happily, rubbing my scalp. "Every-thing's great. How are you?"

"Oh...fine," she answered unconvincingly.

"What's up?"

"'s Trish," Mom murmured.

"Ah." Of course it was Trish, the usual topic of family conversation. "So what's going on?" I opened the fridge and eyed the few occupants: oranges, half-and-half and, purchased in a moment of self-delusion regarding my baking ambitions, yeast. Clearly, I would have to hit the market later on. "Is Trish visiting?"

"No, no, she's still in...New Jersey. But the divorce is final today. Sam just called us."

"I'm sorry," I said.And I was. My parents adored Sam Nick-erson, my brother-in-law. As did I. As did the rest of this town. Sam was the son my parents never had. He and my father often watched football games together and did manly things like dump runs and driveway patching. My mother loved nothing more than feeding him and my much-beloved seventeen-year-old nephew. "Well, it's not like we'll never see Sam or Danny again," I assured my mom. "They're staying put, at any rate."

"Oh, I know," she answered. "I just wish...I wish your sister had taken more time. I think she's making a mistake."

A sweet, guilty pleasure rushed through me at my mom's disapproval. Trish had always been Mom's favorite, and for years Mom had turned a blind eye toward my sister's behavior, always putting a positive spin on her selfishness. Even when Trish had gotten pregnant just after high school, my mother had defended her, taking comfort in the fact that Sam had immediately married Trish and taken her out to Notre Dame, where he'd been on an athletic scholarship.

I reminded myself that I should be over this sort of thing. Still, I couldn't help saying, "Well, of course she's making a mistake." Closing the refrigerator, I asked, "How are Sam and Danny?"

"They're all right. Sam seemed very sad, though."

"I'll go visit them later," I offered.

"That would be nice, honey. Oh, Daddy wants to talk to you. Howard, it's Millie."

"I know who it is," my father said. "I'm going to the plumbing supply store, punkin. Anything you need?"

"No, thanks, Daddy. I'm all set for now."

"Well, I need some pipe. The Franklins' septic system overflowed last night and their yard's a mess. I told them Scott tissue only, but who listens, right?"

"Serves them right, then. I don't think I need anything, but thanks, Dad."

"Okay, baby. Bye-bye."

"Bye. Have fun with the cesspool!" I answered, knowing he would. My father owned Sea Breeze: The Freshest Name in the Business, a robust septic service company, and he loved his job with the kind of zeal usually displayed only by missionaries or NFL cheerleaders.

Pleased with the sense of familial closeness, I hung up the phone. Then, with great moral fortitude, I readied myself for the next step of my plan to win Joe Carpenter.

As a medical doctor, I obviously knew that there is only one way to lose weight, and that is to burn more calories than are consumed. I'd put myself on prison rations, hence the dearth of anything good to eat in my house. My self-control lacked gusto. If I bought Ben & Jerry's Heath Bar Crunch, arguably the finest ice cream on earth, I would eat the entire pint in one sitting. With this fresh start of mine, I had resolved to improve my eating habits, and therefore I hadn't bought anything fattening or sugary or buttery—in other words, anything good. To facilitate the weight-loss process, to enter the golden realm of the physically buff, I had also decided to start running.

Running, I surmised, was easy. Just put on sneakers and go, right? Very little skill required in running. I had all I needed. Running bra, check. Nikes, check. Black running shorts, check. Not the spandex kind. Dear God, no! These were a nice, loose, breathable fabric. Cute T-shirt, check.

This one said Tony Blair Is a Hottie. Gaze upon Joe's picture, check. Sigh dreamily, check. And out the door I went.

I'd never really exercised before. At all. Oh, I played a little softball as a kid, as it was something of a religion around here, but I never did aerobics or Jazzercise or Pilates, as did, say, sister Trish. And the difference showed. Trish, who was thirty-five, looked about twenty-three, with toned, tanned arms, tiny waist, firm bottom. As an adult, I had been too engrossed in college, med school, etc., to spend any time on my physical well-being. Residents are notoriously unhealthy. We eat Twinkies and call it a meal. Sleep for four hours and call it a night. Exercise? That's something we advise for our cardiac patients. It's not for us, silly.

After a minute or two of vague stretches, I walked down my long dirt driveway and onto the road. Since the Cape was pretty deserted in March, I was fairly sure I'd be safe from unwanted spectators. It was overcast and cool, a good day for running, I thought. Off I went. Trot, trot, trot. Not bad. Easy, in fact. Mercifully, no coordination was required. Trot, trot, trot. It was pretty cold, and my bare legs and arms stung in the damp, raw air. I passed my neighbor's driveway and continued down the road, finding that I had to breathe through my mouth now. My stomach jiggled. I wondered how far I'd gone and glanced at my watch. Four minutes.

I tried to distract myself, get into the zone, by looking around at the pretty sights. Twisted locust branches clacked together in the salty breeze. I came up to the lighthouse, its bright red-and-white tower starkly beautiful against the gray sky. Ouch! A sharp pain lanced through my left side. Run through the pain, Millie, I coached myself. Pain is weakness leaving the body. My feet slapped the pavement. Nine minutes now. The cold air scraped my throat, and I was not encouraged to hear my lungs convulsively sucking air. Agonist breathing, we call it on the hospice ward. Had I run a mile yet? Was I doing something wrong? Was my oxygen saturation dangerously low?

I lurched to a stop, bending over and wheezing pitifully. Just taking a breather, I consoled myself as my heart thundered sickeningly in my head. After a couple of minutes, I regained my composure. Off I went again. Immediately, the wheezing was back. I tried to concentrate on hard could it be? In, out, in, out, in, out, oh Jesus, I was hyperventilating! And now I could hear a car! I feigned athleticism and forced myself to lengthen my stride in case it was someone I knew. Smiling through the incredible pain, I waved, which caused my shoulder to spasm and cramp. The car passed. Crisis over.

No, not over. A hill loomed ahead. Keep the feet slapping, Millie. Don't stop now. This hill didn't look like a hill to the naked eye; it was more of a grade, really, but as far as I was concerned it was Heartbreak Hill. I imagined myself in the Boston Marathon, that pinnacle of all athletic events, often imitated, never duplicated...and here comes Millie Barnes, that's Dr. Millie Barnes, ladies and gentlemen, from beautiful Cape Cod—

Was I about to lose control of my bladder? And/or throw up? My watch said thirteen minutes. Clearly, it was broken. At the top of Heartbreak Hill, I turned around and started back. Ah, this was easier, except that I was hyperventilating again. Calm yourself! I commanded. The hill, so horrifically long on the way up, was far too short on the way down. My legs were as supple as oak beams, and my shins practically mewled in agony. The pain in my side had yet to go away, and my shoulder cramp had now spread to my neck, forcing me to tip my head at an awkward angle.

The lactic acid in my body was building up to toxic levels. I imagined them diagnosing me at the ER in Hyannis. "Christ, what happened to her?"

"She was running, Doctor."

"How far?"

"Almost a mile, Doctor."

Damn it! If I stopped now, I knew I would never again attempt this stunning torture. Think of Joe, I ordered my brain, think of being naked with Joe and having a fabulous body. "Oh, Millie, you're in such great shape," Joe will sigh reverently as he gazes upon neighbor's mailbox! I was almost home! And yes, there it was, home sweet home, my own beloved washed-out driveway! I staggered into it and careened to a stop. Knees buckling, legs shaking uncontrollably, T-shirt soaked, throat dry and rasping, fighting off the dry heaves, I wobbled drunkenly into my house and collapsed into a kitchen chair.

Here she is, ladies and gentlemen! Dr. Millie Barnes, winner of the Boston Marathon! I looked at my watch again. Twenty-eight minutes, 1.7 miles. That was awesome! I had done it. My convulsive gasping took a while to stop, but after all, what a workout! After twenty minutes or so, I heaved myself out of the chair and downed a glass of water.

Then I made the large mistake of looking in the full-length mirror. My face was a shocking shade of red. Not pink, not flushed with the glow of a good workout, not even just red. A shocking shade of beet-red. The whole face, just one solid color. My eyes were puffy from sweat irritation, my lips chapped and flaky white, providing the only break from the Crayola crimson. My sweaty T-shirt clung to the doughy skin of my upper extremities and neck. My legs were red and wind-burned, better, I supposed, than the chalk that was my normal skin tone. Oh, well. I was a work in progress, after all.

I took a hot shower, forced out far too soon by the tiny water heater's shortcomings. As I made myself a pot of greenish herbal tea, I decided to call my sister. After all, her marriage officially ended today, and I thought I should be, well, sisterly. Still...Trish scared me a little. I remembered her hissing fury when Gran's will had been read. Trish had received several thousand dollars, a pittance compared to what this house was worth. That was the last time I'd seen her.

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Fools Rush In 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1052 reviews.
KittyCO More than 1 year ago
I read this book while on vacation, and it was perfect for my mood. Fairly light and quick with some humor thrown in. This story focuses on a young woman who has some self esteem issues and a competative relationship with her sister. The romatic relationship in this story begins with her pursuit of her ideal, a guy she has stalked since her youth. Now, back home from college, and a newly minted doctor, she is ready to finally win his heart. This is a story of, "be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it." I enjoy this author and appreciate that she consistantly delivers on expectations. I know that I am going to have fun when I pick up one of her books. This one does not disappoint.
star60 More than 1 year ago
I have just starting reading Kristan Higgins's book and they are laugh out loud funny. She rates up there with Janet Evanovich and when people catch on to her writing, I am sure she will be.
Katandjim More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! I laughed out loud at some points - and I think the plot was great - with a not entirely expected ending!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Eastham, Massachusetts Millie Barnes fell in love with Joe Carpenter when she was fourteen years old. Looking back she knows she was a stalker as she worshipped every fact she gathered on her hunk, every ¿coincidental¿ encounter, and even drove past his house several times a day. Nothing truly came of her efforts to become Joe¿s girl. She went off to college and medical school, but now has returned to the Cape as a doctor with a plan to become Joe¿s woman. Unlike high school, Millie succeeds in becoming Joe¿s squeeze, but the fantasy is much better than the reality. At the same time she finds herself attracted to her former brother-in-law Sheriff Sam Nickerson, father to her nephew Danny. Things are different in this adult relationship as her sis and his ex-wife Trish is no longer in the mix. Soon Millie realizes that she is falling in love with good neighbor Sam, making Project Joe a lemon. --- FOOLS RUSHED IN is an entertaining lighthearted romantic romp starring a likable lead female and a strong realistic support cast. The story line is fun to follow as Millie begins to realize her teen dream is no longer supreme in her heart. Contemporary romance readers who enjoy an escape to the Cape will appreciate this easygoing frolic. --- Harriet Klausner
AstarteQueen More than 1 year ago
This book is great for a Girls Night In! If it doesn't remind you of who you used to be, it will at least remind you of a girl you know (not women, hopefully). At some point in your life, you or someone you know had to be infatuated by someone. He might not have been from your town but possibly someone famous. I was busting a kidney laughing at some parts, then I reminded my self people were sleeping and I needed to keep quite. This is my first Kristan Higgins novel and I would say that I am going to hear another. I agree with some of the reviews out there that you didn't see growth and maturing over the novel, with Millie like you did the other characters, but I would still recommend it to a friend. This is not a serious read, it is for those looking to laugh or say I can't believe women really do this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
had a slow begining but once you got to about pg 35 or so you stared to get eveloped into the story and digger the dog was so sweet and reminded me of my dog Bambi. I thought that the eding was a little rushed. Wish she would of added maybe 20 or 30 pages to describe the wedding and honeymoon and life there after. Just like some movies are to me I wish I could just know more and more and more. This book would be a great movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i highly recommend this book to any girl who wants reassure themselves they are not crazy when it comes to guys. All I can say is where did the author get her material? First-hand experience or what? Cannot wait for more from her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have liked every kiristan higgins book until now....seriously, they should warn you in the description of the book that she is about to fall for her sisters ex-husband. I don't care how well you think you can write the story or how crappy a wife your sister, was you NEVER hook up with your sisters ex. They are off limits. Every girl knows this rule.
thecollector0 More than 1 year ago
interesting characters, good plot. Emotion, humor, a little suspense. One of my favourites. I enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book summary makes it clear that Millie is interested in Sam, who her sister has just dumped. What it doesn't make clear is the fact that Sam and Millie's sister were MARRIED for almost 20 years! After establishing the fact that Sam is like an older brother to Millie for more than 3/4 of the book, it felt a bit incestuous for her to set her sights on him. I feel like that alone was enough to negate the few parts of this book that I did enjoy.
WordPA More than 1 year ago
In general, I enjoyed reading the book. It was easy and pleasant to read. The story was interesting, funny and had a good ending. I was surprised that Millie was not developed into a mature person. I was becoming tired of her "teary eyes, legs buckling under her and so forth." Come on - she is a 30+ physician and acted to the end like a school girl. Trish, Joe, Katie all matured into responsible adults, except for Millie. I don't believe that I would choose her for my physician. Despite all of that - I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to others.
JulietKM More than 1 year ago
Kristan does a great job with this story, even though I tend to be more like the older sister Trish I still loved Millie and related to her in lots of ways which are the tell tale signs of a good book. This book is great for anyone who is in the mood for a love story without all the graphic details of the characters time in the bedroom which I loved. In the end I did not feel like I wasted my time reading it. It was truly a heartwarming story but not completely predictable either.
Priyankai More than 1 year ago
Nice book to curl up with on a rainy day. Extremely entertaining light hearted story written in a an easy style with humor thrown in makes it a comfy read.The characters are well described and I could quite relate to Millie Barnes being a young doctor myself! The story end is quite predictable once you reach the middle of it yet its a book you wont feel like putting down. This was my first Kristan Higgins read and I plan to read more of the authors works on my nook.
Dooglebug More than 1 year ago
I love this author. She takes ordinary romance-type plots and turns them into engaging, interesting, and non-cliched stories. The characters are ones we become vested in so that readers don't just want to know what's going to happen with them, but care what happens with them. The "villains" are even believable and sympathetic, rather than straight-out stereotypes. Family dynamics are always strong and she tends to shows that drama exists not just for the main characters, but for the supporting cast, as well. It always makes the reader feel as if they, too, are part of the community that she develops. That takes skill and empathy. This particular book is wonderful because of the main character's angst over whether to give in to her love interest or abide by family expectations. Love is always portrayed as being both simple and complicated. I will read anything by Kristan Higgins!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book with 3 others and read the entire thing on a Sunday afternoon. The story was great and the main character Millie was real and not your average 'perfect' romance novel heroine. I've thought about the book all day and think I'll go back and re-read some of the good parts tonite. Highly recommended. I hope the author has more to come.
andrealmt More than 1 year ago
I should say "a good start", as this is Higgins' first novel, but it's the 7th one I've read. Millie Barnes returns home to Cape Cod to work as a doctor, and to pick up on her long-standing crush on hunky Joe Carpenter. She has it all planned out, including stalking him to learn who he hangs out with and what he likes--not too crazy, is it? She has remade herself physically through wardrobe, hairstyle and *jogging* (almost died laughing) and seems on the verge of getting everything she has always wanted . . . At the same time, younger sister Trish has decided to divorce good, reliable Sam and move to New Jersey, and Millie soon realizes that what she's been really looking for might be right in front of her. If so, how would her friends and the rest of the family react? How do Sam (and her nephew) feel about the possibility? Higgins' strength is in her development of the characters, who speak and act like real people--real people you would love to get to know! And, oh my God, she is so funny! You will probably have several LOL moments in any of her books. And then she makes you cry--gotta love that! Poignant, touching, funny and realistic--and highly recommended!
pat54 More than 1 year ago
This book is being marketed as a new release from Aug 2011. It was actually released last year. Same title-different cover. So irritating that this is done. I had already read this and purchased again thinking it was another new book by this author. Liked her books in the past but feel like this is a scam.
JGriff84 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book i cant wait for her next! Im just a little mad that I already own this and now its saying on nook that I dont so now what? If I want to read it again I gave to pay another 6 bucks!
Linda Thompson More than 1 year ago
The characters were enjoyable. Mil and Sam's growing together naturally was sweet and wasn't expecting the sister to show up but great drama. I have enjoyed this author each time I read her books. Definately recommend this one.
NookLova More than 1 year ago
This book was a bit slow for me to get into, but once I made it to a certain point, I couldn't put the book down. When Millie began running, I had to laugh at her desciption because I could totally relate to it. I also thought it was a bit weird the Sam connection, but I thought it was handled very well as the storyline played out. The poison ivy scene was hysterical. I liked this book because we all have that one "perfect" person whom we think will make us the happiest ever. How this was handled by Kristan Higgins was realistic and easy to connect to. :) I'd read more novels by her.
Faith Kadelbach More than 1 year ago
This book is by far one of the best books I have ever read! It only took me 2 days to read because I couldnt put it down! If you are considering buying this book i would highly recommend it, you wont regret it! This book is a tale that recognizes how easily people lose sight of how people are in their imagination and how they are in real life. It also shows how love can be right in front of you when you least expect it. And it was inspiring to me how the lead character was willing to change herself for one man when there was one right in front of her and loved her just the way she was. It shows you how important it is to not lose sight of who you truly are as a person. The book was so wonderful I very much hope to see it as a major motion picture some day in the near future!
Wendy Martinoni More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. A different and amusing approach to romantic fiction. Not filled with sloppy sex scenes as in other romantic fiction like harlequin. Great story. I really saw the locations in my mind. Great description and character development.
misty gothard More than 1 year ago
This book was annoying! I mean, seriously? She's 30 and a doctor and still stalking her high school crush. She admittedly jumps up and down 'acting like a 12 year old' after opening a birthday present... Her banter, I'm sure is supposed to be cute and funny, but really is just irritating. The main character most certainly needs therapy! I wish I hadn't wasted my money!
KimKat More than 1 year ago
This is my 2nd book by Kristan Higgins and I loved it as much as the first (Catch of the Day). I felt like I was listening to an old friend retell me her lovelife history and had me cracking up the entire time. Well, almost the entire time. There's a moment or two that was a tear-jerker for me, which I love. Make me laugh, make me cry, make me want to read more by this author! Which I will.... since I've bought all of Kristan Higgins books for my Nook now and can hardly wait to read them all!
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
A great little read. This is my second Kristan Higgins experience. I have to admit, my first experience was better. From the beginning, I found the story to be predictable, cute, but I could see where we would end up. A great little story about a hometown girl who returns as a successful woman ready to start a career and nab the boy she has been wishing for since high school. It was sweet and I loved her story, but I felt like I was watching a horror movie and kept saying things out loud to coach her to where she ended up. I would recommend this book to those ladies who are inclined for a light and fluffy read, where you may be way ahead of the characters.