After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon’s Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns—a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father’s wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she’s not thrilled even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox. Having to fend for herself financially for the first time in her life, Parker signs on as a florist’s assistant and starts to find out who she really is. Maybe James isn’t the glib lawyer she always thought he was. And maybe the house isn’t the only thing that needs a little TLC.
Rich girl, Parker, is told by her father that he’s liquidated her and her son’s trust funds due to bad insider trading advice and is now going to jail for five years, leaving Parker with absolutely nothing, not even an apology. And even though she’s a wildly successful children’s book author, she gave all the profits away to charity and has recently wrapped up the book series. She doesn’t really have any other marketable skills and cannot come up with another book idea to save her life. Well, that’s not true. The ideas she comes up with are downright hilarious, but not really sellable to a public used to her Holy Rollers books about angels on roller skates.
The only thing she does have is a house that she has never seen left to her years ago by an aunt she didn’t know. She intends to flip it for some fast cash. So, when her son goes with his father and his new stepmother on their honeymoon (Ethan and Lucy from Higgins’ book The Next Best Thing), Parker goes up to Gideon’s Cove, Maine, for a few weeks to fix up the house. Her father’s lawyer and friend, James (who Parker not-so-lovingly calls “Thing One”) follows her up there to atone for his part in the whole debacle. James is famililar with the town and the area because he’s from near there, spent summers there with his uncle.
When she arrives in Gideon’s Cove, literally the first person she meets is Malone (from another of Kristen’s books, Catch of the Day), who she immediately develops an insane crush on, so that was funny. Then she finds her inheritance and, let’s just say, she’s got her work cut out for her. Lucky for her, despite her insistance that James not help her, he shows up anyway.
James was decidely not the person I thought he would be. Of course, most heroes do have more depth than they tend to show. I really liked James. He was attracted to Parker since the first time he met her, but her role in his life (as his boss’ daughter and somewhat kind-of out of his league) as well as her obvious disdain for him (as her father’s lackey) made it impossible for him to act on his feelings.
I have to mention how much I love hearing James’ point of view. If you’re a fan of Kristan Higgins, like I am (and I’ve read all her books), then you know that this is a new development in her writing. And there was a lot about James to love. He was incredibly sweet, smart, and a genuinely good guy, despite his involvement with her father.
Parker is also a surprise, for a couple of reasons. 1) She’s not the spoiled rich girl you expect (even though she really didn’t seem like it in The Next Best Thing, the book she was introduced in); 2) She was much less flighty or goofy or socially inept than most of Kristan’s heroines. I loved how she rolled up her sleeves and did what needed to be done. She was a great mother (book mothers always make me feel so inadequate), a great friend, and a generally great person. I wish she was real so we could be BFFs.
Somebody to Love is definitely vying for the title of my favorite Kristan Higgins book. Not only is the Grand Romantic Gesture beautiful, but the ending rivals that of my favorite Higgins book, Just One of the Guys. She has made me love these new characters and she’s made me want to go back and reread about Maggie and Malone, Ethan and Lucy.