Colleen O'Rourke is in love with love... just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell, her first love, broke her heart... an experience Colleen doesn't want to have again, thanks. Since then, she's been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.
But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who's ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they've got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she's ever loved.
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Title: Waiting on You (Blue Heron #3)
Author: Kristan Higgins
Release Date: March 25th, 2014
Published by: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary Romance
While Waiting on You is book three in a series, it can be read as a stand alone novel.
Life in the small town of Manningsport, New York suited Colleen O'Rourke just fine. She was the town flirt, local bartender/bar owner, and everyone's friend. Life was good, but something was missing. Lucas Campbell, to be exact.
Manningsport was just a place to crash with his uncle and cousin while he finished high school. Lucas never thought he would find Colleen, the love of his life, the first day at a new school. After dating four years, an outside complication splits the two young lovers. After a few more misunderstandings, Lucas finds himself in a difficult situation and marries another. When Lucas is encouraged to return to Manningsport by his dying uncle, a divorced Lucas agrees.
Colleen is the best friend to Faith Holland who found love in the first book of the Blue Heron series, The Best Man. There is so much more to Colleen than I ever expected from her portrayal in the first two books. I will admit, I was wary when I read the summary and realized this book was focusing on a character outside of the Holland family I utterly adore from the first two books. I should have realized to just have faith, because Kristan Higgins was able to make me fall in love with a new set of characters and fall even more for those I already loved.
Colleen is fun and witty, yet with a set of real world problems. She was the beautiful woman who could be completely alone in a room full of people and often was when behind her bar at O'Rourke's. When Lucas walks back into Colleen's life (and into her bar), pain and promise take over, both holding tight to her fragile existence.
Lucas was dealt a hand that would lose at any poker table. He knew he would have to fight for every ounce of success he could attain. By the time he makes it back to Manningsport, he had been fighting for so long and had no one to share his spoils with.
As with all of the books I've read by Kristan Higgins, I didn't want this one to end. I wanted more Colleen and Lucas, more Holland highjinks, more Manningsport. The way Higgins creates a world that you never want to leave is a marvelous talent. I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more. I have several favorite sections from this book, but I'll share just one between Colleen and Faith.
"I want to get this over with and go home. Oh, hey, Levi. Where's Faith?"
"I'm right here," Faith said. "You okay? Want me to come with you?"
"That'd be great. Thanks, pal."
"Oh, hang on, I have to puke. Be right back."
"Next," Colleen said as Faith bolted, Levi on her heels.
I know that is just a glimpse and maybe doesn't make sense out of context, but I was laughing so hard, I was crying. It took me a full five minutes to stop laughing and continue reading. I snickered my way through the rest of the chapter.
This novel deserves my full five stars and more. The writing was fresh and witty. Colleen and Lucas were a dynamic duo while bantering or in the bedroom. The addition of the unlikely couple of Bryce and Paulie "The Chicken Princess" was a comedy bonus, one I greatly appreciate.
Thanks so much to Kritan Higgins, Harlequin, and NetGalley for granting me with an Advanced Reader's Copy of Waiting on You in exchange for an honest review. I will be rereading all three Blue Heron novels as I wait for book four, In Your Dreams, scheduled for release in September 2014.