ANYTHING FOR YOU – Kristan Higgins
A Perfect 10
Manningsport, New York - Current Day
For ten years Connor O'Rourke and Jessica Dunn have been trying to make their relationship work. It's been an on again, off again relationship to be sure, but Connor believes that he and Jessica Dunn are finally at the place where they can be together, permanently. So, bended knee and all, he proposes to Jessica who turns him down flat. Flat as a pancake flat. No hesitation, no second thought, no tremor in the voice. For Jess the relationship is perfect so why get married now? Her primary responsibility is to her disabled brother who cannot stand the sight of Connor, so the answer has to be no. But this time, Connor warns Jess, it will be the last time she breaks up with him. He lets her go. Finally. Forever.
Connor and Jess's relationship is a complicated one. It began twenty years earlier, when they were just twelve and Connor was indirectly responsible for the death of Jess's dog. And truth be told, Connor felt terrible guilt about the whole incident and always tried to be nice to Jess, even though she was not exactly popular. No, Jess was from the trailer park and eventually became the class slut, but even with that reputation, she managed to stay detached and aloof from most, especially Connor. He knew she didn't care for him much, and their paths rarely crossed in high school, but when they did he was always struck by her beauty. Several years later, when Jess was a waitress and had to attend a seminar in the city, she ran into Connor. He was immediately attracted to her, and she was much nicer to him than she ever had been growing up. It all looked so promising. But an unpardonable slip of the tongue on Connor's part after just one night together led to an immediate fracture of the too new relationship. And the next time they got back together was almost two years later…
The fifth novel in the Blue Heron series, ANYTHING FOR YOU is just fabulous. Kristan Higgins is really a one-of-a-kind author. She always manages to write great stories with fabulous characters which she develops in large part with witty dialogue and charming scenes. And I am always pleased because they are the very definition of “feel good” romances. You know the happy ending is approaching and there are some touching, tear provoking moments, but with secondary characters that are just as entertaining as the hero and heroine, and the humor (sometimes of the laugh out loud variety) her stories are always great reads. That said, ANYTHING FOR YOU is not quite as happy-go-lucky as most of her earlier books, and I think I've read them all. There is more depth to this story—Jessica and Connor both come from very dysfunctional families—and there are scenes involving Jessica in particular, which are very poignant and heartfelt. The issues are serious—alcoholism, fetal alcohol syndrome, abuse and much more. And the infusion of some serious topics allow the characters to become real people. I appreciate the time and effort Ms. Higgins took in this story to fully develop Connor and Jess—it makes the story so much more satisfying to the reader. And since we all had already met Connor and Jess before in some of the earlier books, I thought that this was a particularly fine way to end their story.
So kudos once again to Kristan Higgins for an outstanding read. I highly recommend it to any reader who needs a good story to delve into, and I am awarding it a Perfect 10. But hang on to it; you are going to want to read it again and again!