“With Until There Was You readers won’t be disappointed; indeed, many may find this novel an accessible and engaging introduction to Ms. Higgins’s body of work.”
Kristan Higgins has danced along fine lines in her past novels finding success while pushing boundaries toward a number of romance novels pet peeves: first person narrators, no hero’s point-of-view, and close family ties (in one novel, the hero is the heroine’s sister’s ex-husband).
In Until There Was You, her latest novel, however, Higgins slides into a more traditional romance format. The story is told from the third person, includes the hero’s point-of-view, and though they’ve known each other for a long time the hero and heroine are not related in any way.
That’s not to suggest that Ms. Higgins still doesn’t play hard and fast with some of the genre’s “rules,” (the heroine has a relationship with another man during the course of the novel), nor does she stray from her signature small New England town setting, and her large cast of refreshingly developed secondary characters. But this novel is likely to appeal to a broader audience than her previous efforts.
Also, Until There Was You is very sweet and a lot of fun.
Poesy’s life is pretty good. She owns her own salvaging business that brings her money and satisfaction; she has good friends and a loving, if somewhat eccentric, family; she has a potential Romeo and Juliet style romance brewing.
Small towns, however, have a habit of bleeding the past into the present, and Poesy’s past comes back in a rush. Her noxious cousin returns to town after her cable show is cancelled, and Liam, Poesy’s first love—coincidentally also Poesy’s first heartbreak—moves back with his daughter. And while Poesy is all grown up, Liam can still give her that blushing schoolgirl feeling.
Liam left his hometown as a loser bad boy; his return as a successful business owner and single dad turns a few heads. But he’s not interested in slipping back into his old role; he has responsibilities and his daughter and a new life to build. He’s happy, nonetheless, to reunite with the Osterhagens, Poesy’s parents and the couple that gave him a chance and a job during his turbulent youth.
Getting a second chance to land the high-school dreamboat is a well-known plot for romance readers, and the relationship between Poesy and Liam is relatively standard—yet the story is not staid. The problems they face, their relationships with the other characters, their relationship with the past, and the choices they’ve made as adults all add color and shape to their story.
With Until There Was You readers won’t be disappointed; indeed, many may find this novel an accessible and engaging introduction to Ms. Higgins’s body of work.