The Best Man
As much as I’ve enjoyed Kristan Higgins’ novels, I’ve always been somewhat disappointed by her heroes, finding them too insecure, or willfully obtuse, or remote – until now. The hero of The Best Man is the best man so far, making this latest novel her most enjoyable effort yet.
Faith Holland believes that her hometown nemesis, Levi Cooper, is the reason that she was left at the altar by Levi’s best friend, Jeremy. After all, Levi was there during the entire courtship, knew there was a problem, and never said a word until the wedding. Humiliated in front of everyone she knew, Faith moved away to make a life far away from Jeremy.
Years later Faith is so traumatized from her romantic experiences that before she dates, she spies (both cyber and binocular type) on her prospects. In a hilarious opening to the book, she accepts a date after thoroughly vetting the man, only to have his wife and young son ambush her at the restaurant, while her date saves face by blaming Faith for the whole scenario. Faith is ready to give up on love when a family situation requires that she return home and re-enter the sphere that includes Levi and Jeremy.
As I said in the beginning, Levi is Higgins’ best hero to date. He’s a lot hotter than her normal hero, for one, and for two, his responses make sense to me, which is not always true of Higgins’ heroes. It also seems as if the reader gets to live more inside the hero’s head in this book. Levi’s confusion regarding Faith, his animosity toward her, his contempt, and his attraction are all logical and felt real. His self dialog in regards to Faith changes as he gets to know her, and his road to discovering the real Faith is sweet and often amusing.
The rest of the cast is typical Higgins fare. The heroine is smart and plucky, devoted to family and pets. Faith differs from the norm in that she’s more damaged than the heroines of previous books by this author. That damage causes everyone, including her own family, to misunderstand Faith, which leads to some difficult self discovery for her and some great entertainment for readers. The secondary characters are zany, sympathetic, annoying, and hilarious by turns, but all are well fleshed and add to the story.
I don’t know anyone who reads contemporary romance that says they don’t enjoy Kristan Higgins. There is too much to like. The writing is excellent, the plot is inventive, the characters are fascinating and the conclusion is always satisfying. All of this is true of The Best Man, except this time you have Levi as a bonus. What’s not to like?