Review: Too Good to be True by Kristan Higgins
February 1 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Yummy Man – Callahan O’Shea
Kick Ass Chick – Grace Emerson
From Goodreads –
When Grace Emerson’s ex-fiancé starts dating her younger sister, extreme measures are called for. To keep everyone from obsessing about her love life, Grace announces that she’s seeing someone. Someone wonderful. Someone handsome. Someone completely made up. Who is this Mr. Right? Someone…exactly unlike her renegade neighbor, Callahan O’Shea. Well, someone with his looks, maybe. His hot body. His knife-sharp sense of humor. His smarts and big heart.
Whoa. No. Callahan O’Shea is not her perfect man! Not with his unsavory past. So why does Mr. Wrong feel so…right?
Too Good to be True is the first book by Kristan Higgans that I have read. I have, of course, heard of her and have been told by many fans of contemporary romance that she is one of the best, yet I had not taken the time to read her yet. Well, I decided to change that recently and dug into my book closet (because after receiving many recommendations of course I went out and purchased one of her books) and pulled out my copy of Too Good to be True. And I’m glad I did as I found it to be a cute and delightful read.
The story follows Grace, a high school history teacher who absolutely adores her subject, as she tries to get past the fact that her ex-fiancé is now dating her younger sister. Everyone is so worried about her…to the point where Grace is going crazy. To reassure everyone that she is, in fact, doing “just fine”, she makes up a boyfriend. A really good boyfriend. That way, her sister can be happy without feeling guilty and people will stop giving her the ‘pity eyes’ every time they see her. And her plan pretty much goes as planned, until Callahan moves in next door.
Callahan O’Shea. *sigh* What a dreamy character he is. He just got out of prison, charged with embezzlement. He is very up front about this with Grace but Grace is not completely sure how she feels about all this. So she not only uses her made up boyfriend to keep her family happy, she also uses him to keep some distance from Cal as she tries to figure out how she feels about his situation. Problem is, it’s easier said than done because Cal is so dreamy!
Cal is at a crossroads in his life and is not expecting Grace. Grace, who is also at a crossroads in her life, is not expecting Cal. Stories like this are fun to read for me. I like when both parties are taken by surprise. I find it builds a more natural feeling romance as opposed to someone who is desperate to find a man or someone who needs to impress his boss with the perfect girl. The way Cal and Grace meet is awesome. A meet-cute with a hilarious twist. And their chemistry is really well written. Their dialogue is great too.
I only had a couple little issues with the story. Grace is trying so hard to make everyone happy that she often overlooks herself. She really is unhappy but she can’t see the extend of it. Not such a bad thing but at times she was taking things a bit too far. But it was all done from the goodness of Grace’s heart so it never really got too heavy on my nerves. And there is a plotline where Grace’s sister is thinking of separating from her husband. I understand that the point of all that was to show how giving a person Grace is but really, I didn’t feel it was necessary to the story. There were plenty other examples of Grace’s giving nature without having to add that whole story in. I was also wanting to shake Grace’s younger sister Natalie a few times. I understand that they are close and I understand why they are but c’mon Natalie! Get a clue! (If you have read this book, you will understand what I mean and if you haven’t, read it and you’ll get it immediately).
There were many moments in the book that may not have been useful in forwarding the story but they did provide giggle worthy moments. For example, Grace loves to take part in Civil War re-enactments with her dad and those are cute. Especially when her older sister tags along. And the dating lessons and dancing lessons, all fun and providers of great chuckle moments.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is definitely not the last time I read a Kristan Higgins book. The comedy was just right, the character very likable and the romance sweet. I can’t think of much else to hope for from a chick-lit sort of book.
Giggle worthy quotes –
“’You shouldn’t give him a ride, Grace!’ Meme snapped. ‘He’s likely to strangle you and dump your body in the lake.’
‘Is this true?’ I asked Callahan.
‘I was thinking about it,’ he admitted.”