Requested ARC Review + Interview & Giveaway: Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

Format: E-bookuntiltherewasyou
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Liam Declan Murphy
Heroine: Cordelia Wilhelmina Osterhagen
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 25, 2011
Started On: October 17, 2011
Finished On: October 19, 2011

Though I am no writer and don’t think I ever will rise up to that standard, I too have had my share of English assignments during which painstaking hour after the other, I have tried to give life to my words so that those who read it would feel the same set of emotions that I was going through as I was writing it. And with Kristan Higgins I think that’s exactly what she achieves with her novels, the laughter that comes with such ease as do the tears of the happy and sad variety together with those sheer moments of perfection that just makes her stories so entertaining.

Until There Was You is my second novel by Kristan Higgins and I am mighty happy that this was in fact not written in the first person. According to the author’s note, this is a first for the author because she has written the story from the male lead’s point of view as well, for the very first time in a novel of hers.

Liam Declan Murphy, the first man Cordelia Wilhelmina Osterhagen (Posey) had fallen in love with, the first man to ever break her heart is back in town, now a widower with his teenage daughter Nicole in tow. The significant role which Liam had unknowingly played in Posey’s life the night of her prom which had changed something deep inside of her, Posey never thought that her girl parts would sing & rejoice at the sight of the sexy as sin Liam who still manages to take her breathe away by just strolling into a room.

Circumstances find both Liam and Posey in each other’s company, more than once until the one sided awareness and attraction that Posey has had since forever for Liam suddenly ceases to be on her side alone. With kisses of the knee weakening variety, Liam and Posey find themselves in a friends with benefits sort of relationship that reaches its conclusion when Liam is forced to face the consequences of his relationship with a woman who really sees him for who he is, and makes him believe in his self worth for the very first time in his life.

Until There Was You is just more than a simple love story. Yes, there is a hero who can fulfill any woman’s fantasies and there is a heroine who just clutches at your heartstrings with the turn of the very first page. But, with a Kristan Higgins you don’t get the instant attraction turning into lust and love story. Rather you get to experience the journey that the hero and heroine embark upon in their joint quest towards a happily ever after, one that seems a very unlikely possibility when the story first kicks off.

As I have said earlier, Liam is the sort of man that we all base our naughtiest fantasies on. With the bad boy persona down to a fine art, looks good enough to have women practically hurling themselves at him and the way he can focus his smoky green eyes in that special way that makes a woman go weak at the knees, needless to say my hormornes were doing their happy dance throughout the story. But Liam is not just a pretty face, neither is he just the bad boy who fell in love with the kindest and most popular girl in high school. There is a depth to his character that bit by bit when revealed you can’t help but fall that much harder for him because his character demands nothing less.

The fears that Liam battles after the death of his wife, the way he is completely and utterly devoted towards ensuring that his daughter would never want for anything is one of the many reasons why I fell so hard for his character.

Posey, the adopted daughter of German parents is no traffic stopping beauty. But there is an inner beauty that shines through her right from the very start, the way she lusts after and loves Liam with everything she has got which turned out to be such a refreshing aspect to the story. The way Posey seems to understand Liam, see him for who he is and know his worth even when everyone else expected the worst from him was one of the reasons why Posey’s character endeared to me so much. The relationships that she has with her adopted parents, her gay brother and her brother in law together and that with her co-workers, all lend the story that extra fodder that made this novel an instant page-turner for me.

I swear that this is the very first time that I have practically questioned my sanity by laughing out so loud and laughing so hard at the way that Kristan seems to hit all the right spots with the humorous aspect of the story. I was thanking my lucky stars for the fact that I was alone when I was reading what follows the scene in the elevator because I’m afraid that otherwise someone might have reported me to the looney authorities.

There were moments in the story that were seriously deep, moments that I cried sad and joyous tears, moments that pretty much made it the 5-star read that this turned out to be. The moments towards the end of the novel, where Liam finally gets the courage to stand up for himself in front of his in-laws, the ‘speech’ that he gave at that moment practically had me bawling my eyes out.

Though I felt that Liam fell a bit short on the love-o-metre when compared to Posey, since I didn’t get the “to-hell-with-everything-else-I-love-this-woman-with-everything-I-am” vibe that I was expecting, I still managed to brush aside my misgivings because Liam does make up for most of it with the sweetest gestures ever!

A story that tickles your funny bones, tugs at your heartstrings and delivers one of the most wickedly sinful heroes ever, Until There Was You is a novel that comes highly recommended from the sunny side of life!

Favorite Quotes

The simmering lust, the raging interest exploded into love. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a man who took the time to feed a homeless kitty? She held that image against her heart like a secret jewel. Only she knew about it, she was sure. Those girls Liam might’ve slept with, girls who left their panties in his locker or wrote things about him on the bathroom walls…they didn’t know what Posey knew—
Liam Declan Murphy was not just the hottest thing ever to grace Bellsford High…he was a softy, too.

That moment when she’d crouched behind the tree…it did something to her, something that made her grow up and toughen up. But one question throbbed in her brain for a long, long time. Why? Why would Liam say something so hateful? How could he—who had tamed a stray and starving cat—be so cruel to a girl who had only ever wanted to be his friend?

“OH!” KATE GRUNTED as she sat down behind her desk.
“My side is killing me. I’m ovulating, I think. That sucker must be huge.”
“Must we discuss?” Jon asked.
“Man up, weenie boy,” Kate said.
“You man up, Venus Williams,” Jon replied. “I’m a gay home-ec teacher. I never have to man up. I never will man up. As God is my witness, I’ll never man up again.”

“You want to go to the movies tomorrow night?” he asked, and Posey was so shocked she actually choked.
“What?” she managed.
“The movies? Tomorrow?”
“Um…I, uh…um…what movie?”
He narrowed his eyes just a little, and Posey’s nether parts gave a long, happy squeeze. Get his clothes off, those parts advised. We’re lonely.

There was a little smile on his mouth—the mouth that had been kissing hers. Otherwise, he was incommunicado.
“Liam?” she said again, more loudly this time.
Nada. He was out cold. Down for the count.
She straightened abruptly. Face was burning, joints buzzing with adrenaline, chest filled with helium.
Liam Murphy had kissed her.
And he’d fallen asleep in the middle of it. She didn’t know whether to burst into song or kick something.

Then she smiled, just a flash, and something moved in Liam’s chest. Something warm, and something he hadn’t felt in a long time.

Kristan’s Interview on Until There Was You

So I managed to find just a bit more about this fabulous book from Kristan who was kind enough to answer a couple of questions about the characters and the writing process which makes this book such a perfect addition to your must-read pile.

MBR: Underneath all the humor and laugh out loud moments, you have created a story of healing, love and second chances. How did you come up with Until There Was You? Did the story end as you envisioned it at the beginning or did Liam and Posey stumble through their own paths towards happily ever after?

Kristan: Oh, thank you so much! I wanted to write what’s a classic theme in romance—the return of the bad boy. You’re right, the book is absolutely about second chances…for Liam, Posey and everyone else. I did have a plan for how the book would go, and generally, it did follow the path I’d envisioned, but you know how it is. The characters would occasionally veer off and do something I didn’t expect, and those are usually the best moments.

MBR: What would you say was the most difficult aspect of this story to write?

Kristan: You know, writing Posey was tricky. I am neither small nor skinny nor adopted, and it took me a while to get into her vibe. Once I did, I absolutely loved her.

MBR: There isn’t even one side character that I would do away with in the story. And though I am not one to enjoy gay romances I found myself totally charmed with Jon and Henry’s characters. How do you manage to so effortlessly weave all these characters and their traits together? As a writer do you find it challenging to juggle all the characters and their nuances together in a story?

Kristan: Thank you so much! Jon and Henry were among my faves, too, but there’s no effortlessly about it. I take a long hard look at all the secondary characters and make sure that in addition to providing color and richness, they actually serve a purpose in the story. I do find it a challenge, but it’s my favorite kind. I love writing secondary characters!

MBR: Would you ever consider writing a sequel to Until There Was You? Maybe a story featuring Kate, Posey’s best friend or maybe even Brianna and James?

Kristan: For now, no. I love where the story ended. Kate was so supremely happy with life, I don’t think she needs her own story. As for Brianna and James…I picture them happy already.

GIVEAWAY!! GIVEAWAY!!

There are two copies of Until There Was You up for grabs. A paperback copy open for US residents only & an e-copy open for everyone else!

All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment behind sharing with us your favorite Kristan Higgin’s romance. If you haven’t read any romances by her just share with us your favorite romance that made you laugh out loud and cry happy tears at the same time. Easy right?

And don’t forget to leave behind a valid e-mail address for a way to contact you.

The giveaway will end at 12:00 hours Maldivian time on the 27th of October 2011.

Winners will be randomly chosen and announced soon after.

Good luck & don’t forget to spread the good news either via Twitter or via Facebook by recommending this post.

25 Comments

  1. I haven’t read a book by Kristan yet but i would love to. I’ve read so many good reviews about her last book. Books by Jill Shalvis make me always laugh but still have a serious side to them.
    Thank you for the interview and giveaway!

    claudigc at msn dot com
    international

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  2. I have not read any of Kristan’s books yet but as soon as I can afford to I am going to. I can’t think of any one book right now because I have read so many by many different authors. I have been an avid reader all my life. And at 52, my mind goes blank…lol. Thanks for the contest!

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  3. I haven’t read any of Kristan’s books yet. But sure will soon. Can’t think of any particular books that made me laugh or cry lately. So I definantly need a Kristan book.

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  4. Hi!

    Wow, thank God I saw this link from Kristan Higgins’ Facebook page. Anyway, I’ve read almost all of her novels. The latest one I read was “The Next Big Thing” and boooyy was it good! But honestly, the one book that made me laugh like a crazy hag and cry like a hormonal pregnant woman and has made my Mom think her daughter needs medical help is the first book that I ever read by her It’s “Just One of The Guys” I already read it three times. And have kept on recommending it to my friends. But its kinda sad because I live in the Philippines and frankly, I can’t find any hard copies of any of her books here 😦 So, I had to stick with ebooks instead.

    Anyway, I can’t wait to read this one!

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  5. I love all the books she’s written. But the very first one I read, The Next Best Thing is probably my favorite (it’s so hard to choose!). That was like a rollar coaster ride. I laughed, I cried, I laughed so hard I cried. Truly a wonderful story. Then again, all her books have great characters, and a story that really grabs you. Can’t wait for this one.

    tara919 @ optonline dot net

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  6. I love all of Kristan Higgin’s novels, so its hard for me to choose. I can’t wait to read Until There Was You!:-)

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  7. My favorite Kristan Higgins book is each and every one that makes me laugh out loud. That would be ALL of them. I eagerly anticipate the arrival of each new book she writes. I am a 48 year old who can be seen giggling, (yes giggling,) out loud whenever I am reading one of her books. I love humor in the books I read and Kristan never disappoints! Also, I am an avid dog lover and delight in the fact that dogs are featured in her storylines and she truly gives them their own adorable starring roles. I hate finishing one of her books, because then I have to wait for her next one to be published.

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  8. I have been a Kristan Higgins fan since her first book. She is utterly awesome! My personal favorite is “Just One Of The Guys.” I’ve read it a dozen times and a cry like a baby each time. But every single one of her books are five star. Outstanding author.

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  9. I’ve read most of Kristan Higgins’ books & I’ve really enjoyed them! It’s hard to pick a favorite, they’re all so fabulous! To pick just one, then “Just One of the Guys” is probably my favorite. I laughed a lot & cried some too. I love the ending at the wedding because it was totally unexpected. I don’t want to give too much away if there are some that haven’t read it, but the ending was a pleasant surprise! Really love her books & recently purchased “Catch of the Day” & “My One & Only”; can’t wait to read them!

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  10. I have faithfully (and eagerly) waited for each of Ms. Higgins’ new releases, but my favorite is Just One of the Guys. MMMmmmmm Trevor. Sigh.

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  11. I LOVED All I Ever Wanted, Too Good to BE True, & The Next Best Thing. All I Ever Wanted had me in (happy) tears at the end. I love Kristan’s books and I can’t wait to read Until There Was You.

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  12. My favorite is My One and Only – another book about 2nd chances! It’s followed closely by All I Ever Wanted, though I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed all of Kristan’s Books – once I pick them up I can’t stop reading! What sets Kristan apart from other romance writers is her ability to create flawed yet winning characters readers can relate to – they’re not fabulously wealthy with movie-star looks, they have families (for better or worse), they even watch Project Runway! I look forward to reading many more books by Kristan Higgins – it sounds like she’s getting ready to write a trilogy set in New York! Woohoo!

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  13. I have read all of her books, and each and every one is absolutely amazing! They make you laugh, they make you cry… perfect books! That being said, it is hard to choose a favorite, but I will have to say “My One and Only”. I cannot wait to read “Until There Was You!” 🙂

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  14. “Catch of the Day” was one of the best contemporary romances I’d read in a long time, possibly ever. I laughed, I cried, I didn’t want my journey with the characters to end 🙂

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  15. I have loved all of Kristan’s books, but special favorites have been TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE and ALL I EVER WANTED. Please toss my name in the hat for only the paperback edition of her new book. Thanks!

    castings at mindspring dot com

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  16. I have to choose a favorite Higgins book? Ugh. That’s so hard. I’ll go with All I’ve Ever Wanted, but they are all so good. It’s hard to choose.

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  17. Do I have to pick just one? Probably her latest, My One and Only. Of course, I haven’t read this one yet and can’t wait. Great review, great interview. Thanks!

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  18. I have read all of Kristan’s Harlequin books….she is a great author!! My fav is “Just One Of The Guys” (firemen, need I say more, YUMMY!!)….It was VERY hard to choose ONE!! 🙂 Anyone that hasn’t checked her out, you missing out!!

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  19. I have read all of Kristan’s books, in order of publication, and enjoyed every one of them! Her books are funny, touching, and full of love – and I smile, laugh, and cry with each and every book. Up until recently, my most favorite (they are all favorites) was Catch of the Day with the silent but lovely hero Malone. I have just finished Until There was You, and Mr. Liam Declan Murphy has stolen my heart. I just love those bad boys … and married one myself!!

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  20. I love Kristan’s books and can’t wait to read Until There Was You. Kristan’s novels are ones I often re-read because no matter what mood I’m in they always brighten my day.

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