Not a page turner but still a satisfying, descriptive presentation of locations and complex personalities.

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THE KNIGHTS CAME RIDING

An open, sensitive story about a robust, life-loving father and his adult son, Nicolson’s third novel takes the reader on a journey of discovery.

Two-time widower Seumas McKinnon is the story’s anchor, a man who must untether himself from his son, Alasdair, who has had all the blessings of life handed to him. Seeking the solace of the Isle of Skye in Scotland, Seumas embarks on a quest to re-discover his roots and learn a bit of Gaelic. While there, he meets Morag, a lovely middle-aged “copper-haired” woman who works in a local coffee shop. Slow to trust men after a failed relationship, Morag gradually develops a deep and loving connection with Seumas. The book’s parallel storylines also explore Alasdair’s changing life. A playboy lawyer with striking good looks, Alasdair finally meets his match in beautiful Annie O’Hare, a physiotherapist with roots in Hong Kong. At first, Annie and Alasdair treat their relationship with casual abandon—no strings, no expectations.  But Annie is unlike other women. She spars with, challenges and draws the best out of Alasdair. Fascinated by each other, the two move their relationship to the next level as they both slowly recognize the love they share for each other. Nicolson uses their romance to contrast a number of relationships in this story. For example, Seumas’ neighbor has an antagonistic marriage that makes Seumas appreciate his connection with Morag, a relationship that finally helps him overcome the guilt of remarrying when his first two wives were taken from him. The story drags a bit toward the center, with often predictable plotlines and not enough conflict or surprise. But the pace accelerates as both father and son move toward their destined relationships. Things really pick up when a nearly fatal accident challenges both the father-son bond and Annie and Alasdair’s love.

Not a page turner but still a satisfying, descriptive presentation of locations and complex personalities. 

Pub Date: July 19, 2012

ISBN: 978-1475938043

Page Count: 300

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2012

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On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving...

THE BEST MAN

When Faith Holland was abandoned at the altar three years ago, she left her hometown for San Francisco to regroup; coming home to Manningsport, she’ll have to confront her past and Levi Cooper, the disturbingly handsome chief of police she blames for ruining her life.

On the day her fiance came out and left her at the altar, Faith escaped to the West Coast, where she’s had a thriving professional life and a comical romantic life. Summoned home for a few months to work the harvest at her family’s winery and help with some crisis management, Faith realizes that some things in her small town will never change—for the good or the bad—but she knows the time has come to establish a new reality with her ex, her family and maybe even Levi Cooper, the best man who forced Jeremy to be honest with her and himself on their wedding day. It’s so much easier to blame and despise him; if she lets down her guard, she might have to deal with their short but profound shared past and her own guilt and secrets from a long-ago tragedy that has haunted her for most of her life. Higgins’ newest heart-tugging romantic comedy juggles a spectrum of emotionally powerful elements, including the death of a mother, the abandonment of a father and a sigh-worthy high school romance gone awry. With her typical engaging voice, compelling storytelling and amusing dialogue, Higgins keeps the audience flipping through pages as quickly as possible, but it is her spot-on ability to make her characters at once funny, authentic and vulnerable—vulnerable to the point of breaking, so they can heal, stronger and better and more able to love—that is her true genius and guarantees most romance fans will both laugh out loud and get teary, sometimes at the same time. Another sweet, touching must-read for Higgins fans and anyone who enjoys a perfect combination of humor and romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-373-77792-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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Anyone who believes in true love or is simply willing to accept it as the premise of a winding tale will find this debut an...

ONE DAY IN DECEMBER

True love flares between two people, but they find that circumstances always impede it.

On a winter day in London, Laurie spots Jack from her bus home and he sparks a feeling in her so deep that she spends the next year searching for him. Her roommate and best friend, Sarah, is the perfect wing-woman but ultimately—and unknowingly—ends the search by finding Jack and falling for him herself. Laurie’s hasty decision not to tell Sarah is the second painful missed opportunity (after not getting off the bus), but Sarah’s happiness is so important to Laurie that she dedicates ample energy into retraining her heart not to love Jack. Laurie is misguided, but her effort and loyalty spring from a true heart, and she considers her project mostly successful. Perhaps she would have total success, but the fact of the matter is that Jack feels the same deep connection to Laurie. His reasons for not acting on them are less admirable: He likes Sarah and she’s the total package; why would he give that up just because every time he and Laurie have enough time together (and just enough alcohol) they nearly fall into each other’s arms? Laurie finally begins to move on, creating a mostly satisfying life for herself, whereas Jack’s inability to be genuine tortures him and turns him into an ever bigger jerk. Patriarchy—it hurts men, too! There’s no question where the book is going, but the pacing is just right, the tone warm, and the characters sympathetic, even when making dumb decisions.

Anyone who believes in true love or is simply willing to accept it as the premise of a winding tale will find this debut an emotional, satisfying read.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-57468-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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