Colleen O’Rourke is happy with her life – she’s good at playing matchmaker for the other people in her small town (7 babies, and married &/or happily engaged couples to her credit!), but since she got her heartbroken some years ago, she’s mostly stuck to short-term dating for herself. Which she’s perfectly happy with. Mostly. But now her best friend is getting married (a couple from a previous book in the series, I’m sure), her twin brother is being cagey about who he’s seeing, and the man who broke her heart is back in town.
Colleen’s ‘Emma-ness’ was generally endearing, as she attempted to set up yet another lonely heart with the man of her dreams (who, of course, did not deserve her), but it did cross the lines of believability a few times: There were things she asked her friend to do to put her in the path of the man she admired that had me rolling my eyes (and questioning what decade we were in) more than once. And, of course, Lucas (the boy, now man, who broke her heart) just happens to be the cousin of the man in Colleen’s friend’s sights, and so he puts obstacles in their way, which just happen to throw Lucas and Colleen together a lot, coincidentally.
But for all its lighthearted fluffiness, there are serious aspects of the book – what broke Colleen and Lucas up in the first place, and how Higgins tells that part of the story is particularly moving. It’s one of those no-win situations that you can see coming, and – looking back – understand all the ways you could’ve avoided it, but (as so often happens in Romancelandia) someone takes it one step too far and there’s A Big Misunderstanding That Snowballs.
Higgins is a great storyteller, she’s good at giving her characters sharp, honest & humorous dialogue, and she manages to make you care about the people you’re meeting – even the ones you want to sock in the jaw or poke in the ribs to wake them up. I do wish I hadn’t read the books out of order, but this book was a Netgalley grab, of one of my favorite contemporary authors, so I couldn’t pass it up. Now I’m going to have to go back and fill in all the Blue Heron blanks, see how the couples wound up with each other, and wait for Colleen’s brother’s book, which I know must be forthcoming.