Have you ever read a book series that you were so in love with the setting you wished you could move there? I have. I would love nothing more than to move to Manningsport, New York. I’d take a trip to Lorelei’s Sunrise Bakery, get a beer at O’Rourke’s bar, go to a wine tasting at Blue Heron, and even go to the Manningsport Police station to visit Deputy Emmaline Neal.
I loved the newest character in the Blue Heron series instantly. Emmaline (or Em to her friends) is a smart, funny, and tough, but also beautiful in a way she doesn’t even acknowledge herself. She has always been on Jack Holland’s radar since they play hockey together, but after his divorce he has served as a “friend date” to the single ladies who needed one in town.
When his three nosy sisters nudge Jack into taking Em to her ex-fiancé’s wedding in Malibu, he doesn’t expect it to be any different from the other dates. The warm air and company give him a chance to explore something with Em he never expected to.
I have kept a close eye on Jack throughout this series, praying that he would get the happily ever after his sisters had. It was in question several times in this book due to Em’s reluctance, the appearance of his ex-wife, Hadley, and his trouble with PTSD after saving four teenagers when their car crashed into the lake. I ached along with Jack as he struggled in front of the rest of the world to keep his fear at bay. Em was the only one who had an inkling of what was really going on, yet she couldn’t seem to get him to admit it to anyone else.
There is a lot going on in this story and I don’t want to give too much away. While Jack and Em get to know each other in a new way, life outside keeps cutting in. Not good since Em was completely on the fence to begin with. Hadley, who has the damsel in distress act down pat, causes most of their hiccups. I kept screaming at Jack to just walk away, but he just couldn’t be the bad guy.
Two very important secondary characters in this story are the household pets. Em has a German Shepard puppy named Sarge and Jack has a cantankerous cat named Lazarus. Their acceptance of their owners new interest was paramount, especially since Lazarus hated Hadley. Lazarus even likes the spunky puppy and ends up curling up with him by the fire. These two were a big plus for me. Animals are such a great judge of character.
All the Holland’s were back and bold as ever in this story. I loved hearing a little more from Levi Anderson, since he is Em’s boss as Chief of Police and Jack’s brother-in-law. A secondary story was the progress of Levi and Faith as they get ready to become parents for the first time. I was so happy to read more about their lives since their story is told in the first book in the series, The Best Man.
I have read this series and a few others from Kristan Higgins and what I love about her is her ability to make me laugh out loud as I’m reading. Usually I chuckle or giggle every once in a while when reading a story, but Higgins really knows how to make me stop because I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. There were several passages in this story that had me stopping to wipe my eyes, but I’ll share one with you.
“Welcome,” said the valet as she pulled up to the huge wooden doors. “Are you here for the Norman-Bates wedding?”
“We sure are,” she said, getting out and handing him the keys. “I’m Janet Leigh, and this is Anthony Perkins.”
“Nice to meet you!” he said, flashing a smile so brilliant Em almost shielded her eyes.
I had tears of joy and tears of heartbreak while reading this story, yet I didn’t want it to end. At over 450 pages one would think getting to the last page would be a triumph. Even though I have been given a great insight into the goings on in Manningsport through four novels, I would love to know more. I’m not sure if there is any others planned at this moment, but my bid would be a story for Connor O’Rourke, the cranky, yet lovable town bar owner. His twin sister, Colleen, got her story told in Waiting for You. It would be nice if Connor could find someone of his own since Jack has left him as the only eligible bachelor in town. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Thank you so much to Kristan Higgins, Harlequin HQN, and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of In Your Dreams in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Kristan divides her time between home in Connecticut and summers on Cape Cod. She is the mother of two lovely kids, the wife of a brave firefighter, and a devoted Ben & Jerry's fan. Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous naps...so much more satisfying than folding laundry. She holds a BA in English, which enables her to identify dangling participles and quote many great novels.
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