Parker is a grown-up trust fund kid living in her family’s mansion with her 5 year old son, Nicky. She has written a successful series of saccharine children’s books called the Holy Rollers, but has donated all the profits to charity. Her life is rocked upside down when her father liquidates her and Nicky’s trust funds in the wake of an insider trading scandal. Parker’s only remaining asset is a house in Maine she inherited from a great aunt. So she sets off to Maine to flip the house and begin rebuilding her life. The complicating factor comes in the shape of James Cahill, her father’s lawyer, who insists on coming up to Maine to help Parker fix up the house. Parker initially lumps James into the same category as her morally-bankrupt absentee father and keeps him at a distance, referring to him as “Thing 1.” But James is a better guy than she gives him credit for and the time they spend working together on the cottage stirs up some deeply buried feelings for one another.
This is the first Kristan Higgins novel I have read and it was just what I look for in a romance– cute with plenty of quirky characters and romantic leads with believable obstacles to their budding relationship. Parker is a bit spoiled, but she doesn’t shy away from hard work or learning new things or asking for help. She is pretty down-to-earth for a someone who has never had to earn a living for themselves. She does have real daddy issues and is definitely afraid to trust men, especially James, who has a closer relationship with her father than she does. James struggles to deal with feelings of inadequacy, particularly as a result of a tragic accident in his youth. But they are able to confront their pasts and communicate openly with one another, slowly gaining one another’s trust. And as a bonus, the story is told from both Parker and James’s perspectives, which added a lot to the story. It was good to see that James had good intentions, even when Parker had a hard time believing he did. Even better, the town in Maine is filled with quirky small town residents who know everything about everyone. And there is a sweet, shy dog that Parker adopts on a whim and who becomes Parker’s companion when she misses her son (who is living with his father for the summer).
I read this after A Game of Thrones, when I needed something fluffy and sweet and this definitely fit the bill. I will certainly look to Kristan Higgins in the future for a light quirky romance. If you like genre romance and haven’t given Kristan Higgins a try, I’d definitely suggest you do. While I wouldn’t say this story will stick with me forever, it was the perfect sort of fluff to recover from the dreariness of my previous read.