Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Don’t go there again […] We know how this ends.
Colleen O’Rourke found her one true love as a teenager and lost it when she and the boy she loved had a fight that led him to marrying someone else. Now ten years later, he is back in town because of a family emergency and Colleen finds herself torn between wanting to keep hating him and wanting a second chance with him.
Lucas Campbell has never felt wanted by anyone except Colleen. Raised by his uncle’s family after his parents pass away, he was always made to feel like a fifth wheel. Colleen was his saving grace but when his fear gets the better of him, he makes some questionable choices that causes him to lose Colleen. Called back to Manningsport he sees a chance for him to try and repair the damage he did so long ago. But Colleen’s mistrust is strong. Unless Lucas can prove to her that this time he’s willing to fight for her, he will once again lose the only woman he has ever loved.
Waiting On You is the third book in Kristan Higgins’s Blue Heron series. A frothy humorous light hearted small town romance tells a tale of love, loss, and second chances. Fast pacing, witty dialogue, and laugh out loud scenes takes on a journey into the lives of two people who are given another chance to recapture what they lost so many years ago. Higgins’ interjects our protagonist’s back story through little memory snippets to show us what happened to tear them apart and how it could happen easily happen again. Multiple subplots intertwine throughout, allowing the reader to meet more residents of this little town and see what our protagonists have been up to during their long separation. The characters are all delightfully quirky and wonderfully flawed with a deep vein of realism running through them. The story is written in an enjoyable conversational style with engaging laugh out loud dialogue that will keep you entertained all the way to the end.
We first met Colleen O’Rourke in book one (The Best Man). Best friends with Faith Holland, Colleen and her twin brother Connor run the local watering hole and have provided much entertainment in their dealings with the local clientele. Colleen, a self professed matchmaker, works hard to make sure cupid’s arrow flies in the right direction and has an impressive success rate. It’s her own love life that Colleen can’t fix. Her heart was shattered years ago and she has never really moved on. When her first love blows back into her life, Colleen is at a loss on how to act. She still loves him even though she tries hard to deny the attraction.
“Hell’s to the no, Lucas,” she hissed. “You’re not here for me. You’re back to help your uncle, and then it’s bye-bye, Manningsport, back to Chicago and your swanky life there. So don’t you dare kiss me. Don’t you dare, Lucas. I’m not about to become some little fling you have in between the important chapters of your real life. Been there, done that.”
Colleen is pure joy who keeps on giving as we watch her interact with her friends and family. I loved her in the first two books and Higgins’s builds her in a way that showcases all her facets perfectly. Sexy, smart, and a genuinely nice person, she tends to use humor to keep herself from letting people get too close. She was shattered by what she felt was Lucas’s abandonment and had thought that pain was long buried but Luca’s return brings back all those emotions and memories rushing to the forefront. The pain we feel coming off her breaks your heart at times
“What’s wrong with me?” she asked. “I have this thing for men who reject me.”
Lucas is a bit of an enigma. He too is a master at deflecting his emotions, revealing only so much of himself to avoid being hurt. A building projects manager who is getting ready to leave his mentor and ex father in law to strike out on his own, he comes home to help his uncle who is like a father figure to him. Quiet and watchful, he always strives to do what is right even at the risk of his own happiness. You never doubt for a moment he truly loved Colleen when they were together but circumstances and his own emotional issues overwhelmed him…so he chooses to run.
“… it came back to him like a tidal wave, what it had been like to be loved by Colleen O’Rourke.
Colleen and Lucas’s reconnection is filled with enough heat and snark to leave you laughing as these two waver between ignoring one another and striving to drive each other insane.
There are actually three story lines about love in here that intertwined; romance, friendship, and family. I did at times feel the other storylines overwhelmed the main story. Between Lucas’s uncle and Colleen’s parents, the book struggled with all the competing sub plots. As Colleen and Lucas begin to get closer, they indulge their passion but do not share what’s in their hearts. They have some serious issues that I never felt they addressed beyond a singular level. We learn what happened through flashbacks and internal thoughts but neither made much effort to have that one on one conversation to explain the emotions behind what led up to their relationship demise. It was as if once they reconnected, they only wanted to move forward and forget that awful time.
The sparks between our couple flames back up from their first glance. Their chemistry is smoking hot and shows us that in this area, they never had a problem. Higgins’s doesn’t push them back into a relationship and that works well for the overall theme. The sexual tension is at a definite premium.
“What seems clear,” he murmured, stepping a little closer so that they were almost touching, “is that this is going to happen. You and me. It’s just a question of when.”
The secondary characters are all well fleshed out as they add delish snarkiness and humor to the story. The town is a virtual plethora of laughs and giggles. Colleen’s mother is hilarious in her struggle to find happiness and I loved the relationship Colleen and Conner have with one another. There is so much love and snark between them.
“So this mystery waiting on you woman, Con, she must be dying to meet your beloved twin.”
“She is. Admit it.”
“We’ve been on three dates, Colleen.”
“No comment. And you’d better not be sleeping with Lucas.”
“Really! So you’re doing it. Good. Is she blonde? I bet she is. She is, isn’t she? Lovely. You know, Con, for a while, I thought you were gay. Figured you and Jeremy would make a great couple—”
Lucas’s all encompassing love for his uncle and cousin is wonderful to see and I like that his feelings of inadequacy were eventually resolved.
Though I enjoyed the story overall there were some sticky points. Lucas’s inability to open up at times drove me nuts. He would answer a question with a question, avoid certain topics all together, and a scene towards the end almost had me tossing the book down in anger. His feelings of insecurity comes back to bite him in the arse and he didn’t do anything to convince me this wouldn’t happen again. I just never felt he truly understood the depth of the pain he caused Colleen. I felt Higgins’s barely scratched the surface of Lucas’s and Colleen’s issues and the secondary story lines cast too long of a shadow over the main storyline.
Regardless of my issues, Waiting On You is a fun romantic romp that engages you to the end. I am looking forward to more from Higgins and her Blue Heron cohorts.
Overall Rating: C+