Title: The Best Man
Author: Kristan Higgins
Date Published: February 26, 2013
SOMETIMES THE BEST MAN IS THE ONE YOU LEAST EXPECT…
Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she’s ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family’s vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there’s some great scenery there….
Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancé. There’s a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it’s not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she’s having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.
This book was hard to review because there is so much in it that I enjoyed and it had so many layers and subplots (in a good way). The Best Man starts out with the reader learning that Faith was left at the altar and what she did in response to that. It then goes back and forth between past and present as we follow Faith’s journey. Most of it continues in present day. I am not typically a fan of this back and forth type story, always wanting to get on with the present, but in this book it really worked.
Levi is the hero of the story. He doesn’t really act like a hero most of the time, though. He is currently the chief of Police and a very closed off individual. He is raising his little sister after their mother died and trying to keep the town happy. He was once the little boy from the trailer park that the rich kids didn’t want to talk to but now he is the town hero. Levi is Jeremy’s (Faith’s ex-fiance) best friend. He couldn’t quite stand Princess Super-Cute (his nickname for Faith) growing up while Jeremy and Faith dated. Levi is very gruff to Faith through most of the book which is a little annoying, but fits his character and the good thing is we do learn why.
Faith is the fourth Holland child, a family that owns a vineyard and is one of the founding members of the town of Manningsport. Not only was her wedding called off during the ceremony (thanks to Levi for urging Jeremy to do the right thing) but she believes she is the cause of her mother’s death 20 years prior. She holds onto this guilt and does everything she can to make it up to her family. You really felt bad for her because she tries so hard at everything she attempts. She also tries her hand in dating in order to get over Jeremy. That doesn’t go especially well, either.
Throughout the book Levi and Faith continue to run into each other. Sometimes it is funny (like when he helps her get unstuck from the bathroom window at a restaurant) and other times it isn’t because he is rude. I almost wasn’t sure if they were meant to be together because their relationship was just so off. Slowly, they each start to learn more about the other one even though they grew up together in a small town. Kristan did a wonderful job with the romance aspect of this book. It wasn’t a fall-head-over-heels or love-at-first-sight type of love, but a slow build with lots of bumps along the way. It was a refreshing story and I really didn’t know what to expect, which made it hard to put down.
The secondary characters were a hoot in this book including Faith’s friend Colleen. I would love to have a friend like her. She lays it all out there and doesn’t waste time or words. I actually enjoyed Jeremy throughout the book, despite breaking Faith’s heart. He really does love Faith and wants to see her happy. He is ecstatic when he finds out Levi and Faith are together. One of the scenes that had me laughing out loud was when Jeremy set Faith up with his accountant, Ryan, and their first date resulted in Ryan trying to talk dirty to Faith at a restaurant and she was not having it. Faith’s sister, Prudence and her husband were quite the entertaining married couple that I think those who have been married for a long time could relate.Faith’s grandparents were a little frustrating, but were essential to the story and had their moments. I always like stories with pets in them so I enjoyed Faith’s dog, Blue. He sure liked to greet Levi personally.
I really hope that this book is the first in a series, as there are several other characters in the family that I would like to see explored and I am not quite ready to let go of Levi and Faith. If you are looking for a fun, sweet, emotional, contemporary romance with great characters, I recommend you try The Best Man. You won’t be disappointed.
Reviewed by: Amy R.