Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Showcase-Review Anything for You by Kristan Higgins Blog Tour-Little Bird Publicity

Welcome to my stop on The Kristan Higgins Anything for You blog tour. Anything for you is the finale in her Blue Heron series and she's taking it out with a "BANG"! In September I had the immense pleasure of not only meeting Kristan in person but having dinner with her. So yes one of my bucket list musts have been checked off!
Enjoy my showcase and review then run don't walk to the nearest retailer for a copy of your own!





















ISBN-13: 9780373789085
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: 12/29/2015
Length: 416pp
Buy It: B&N/Amazon/Kobo/IndieBound/Audible



Overview

Before you get down on bended knee…
…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married.
When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her.
But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks…

Read en Excerpt:

"Get up, doofus."
Though the words were said with a smile, they definitely weren't what Connor O'Rourke was hoping to hear. He was, after all, on a bent knee, holding up a diamond ring.
"I just asked you to marry me, Jess," he said.
"And it was adorable." She ruffled his hair. That didn't bode well, either. "The answer is no, obviously. What were you thinking? And boy, I'm starving. Did you call for pizza yet?"
Okay. Granted, Jessica Dunn was…different. They'd been dating for the past eight months—or ten years, depending on how you counted it—and getting her to this moment had taken as much strategizing as, oh, D-Day. Still, he hadn't quite anticipated this.
He tried again. "Jessica. Make me the happiest man on earth and say you'll be my wife."
"I heard you the first time, big guy. And I did wonder about all these candles. Nice touch, if a little on the fire-hazard side of things."
"And your answer is?"
"You already know my answer, and you knew it long before you asked anything. Now come on, Connor. Upsy-daisy."
He didn't move. Jess sighed and folded her arms across her chest, giving him a patient look, eyebrow slightly raised.
Her phone buzzed, and she pulled it out of her pocket, because she always checked her phone, no matter what they were doing. "Iron Man is killing all the bad guys in the cave," she said, deadpan.
This was normal—her brother dictating text updates on whatever movie he and Gerard, his occasional babysitter, were watching. It could be funny. At the moment, not so much.
"Can we be serious here?" he asked.
"I'm really hungry, Con."
"If I feed you, will you say yes?"
"No. So up you go. Let's have a nice night, okay? Weren't we gonna watch Game of Thrones?"
Hail Mary, full of grace, she was really turning him down.
He didn't get up. With the hand that was not holding the little black velvet box, he rubbed his hand across his jaw. He'd shaved for this and everything. The diamond winked in the candlelight, taunting him.
"Look, Jess," he said. "I'm tired of feeling like you pay me by the hour. I'm tired of you breaking up with me. Why don't we get married and stay together for the rest of our lives?"
"You ever hear that expression, if it ain't broke, don't fix it?"
"Do you see me here on one knee with an expensive ring in my hand?"
"Yes. You're hard to miss. And it's very pretty. But I get the feeling you think you should love me for the simple reason that we've been sleeping together on and off for so many years—"
"No, it's genuine love."
"And secondly, you know how things are. I can't marry you. I have Davey."
"Well, I have Colleen, and she's a lot more trouble than your brother."
"Funny." Jessica's three feet away face was erasing any emotion. It was a face he'd seen all too often in the past two decades, as if she was saying, very politely,keep three feet away from me or you'll lose an arm.
His knee was getting sore. "I know how things are with your brother, Jess. I don't think you're supposed to martyr yourself because of it."
"Don't go there. I love my brother. He comes first."
"So you basically have a life sentence."
"Yes," she said, as if she was explaining it to a two-year-old. "Davey's life. My life. They're inseparable. You think I should put him in a kennel for you?"
"Did I say the word kennel? No, I didn't. But I think you could tell him you're getting married and he can come live with us." Or in the group home in Bryer, which seemed like a very nice place. Yes, Connor had checked it out.
Her phone buzzed again. Again, she checked it. "Iron Man can fly."
"Jessica. I'm asking you to marry me." His jaw was getting tight.
"I know. And really, thank you. It's very sweet. Are we going to eat?"
"So you're not saying yes, is that it?"
"Yes. I'm not saying yes." She pushed a strand of silky blond hair behind her ear.
Jaw at one hundred percent lockdown. "Then it's a no."
"Sadly, yes, it's a no. Which I'm sure doesn't come as a huge surprise to you."
She was really turning him down.
Somehow, he'd seen this all going a bit differently.
Connor stood up, his knee creaking a little. Closed the little black velvet box and set it carefully on the table. He'd gone into Manhattan to buy that ring—a simple and flawless emerald-cut diamond that suited her, because she was simply, flawlessly beautiful, too. Not a drop of makeup on, her long blond hair in a ponytail, wearing jeans and a faded T-shirt that said Hugo's on it, she was still the most gorgeous woman he'd ever seen.
"Shall I call for pizza?" she asked.
He sat down across from her. In the fridge were two lobsters, scallops, potatoes au gratin, artichoke and aru-gula salad, a bottle of Dom Perignon and pots de crème au chocolat, since his plan was to slide the ring on her finger, make love to her and then cook her the best meal of her life.
He did not want pizza.
He did not want a rejection.
His pulse was throbbing in his temples, a warning sign that he was mad. Brain-Vein, his irritating twin called it. He took a slow breath, looked around the room, trying not to lose his temper. The dining room…maybe that had been a mistake. It wasn't exactly warm and romantic. No pictures on the walls. His whole house looked like a furniture showroom, now that he thought about it.
Certainly, there were no pictures of him and Jessica. He leaned back in his chair and folded his arms across his chest. "How do you see us going forward, Jess?"
She was as cool and still as a stone in Keuka Lake. "What do you mean?"
"You and me, our future, our relationship, not that you can really call sneaking around at the age of thirty-two a relationship."
"I see us doing this. Getting together when we can. Enjoying each other's company." She wasn't the type to be goaded into an argument, that was for sure. Pity. A little yelling and some Olympic make-up sex would be more Connor's style. And that ring on her finger.
He made sure his voice was calm. Jess didn't do anger. "Do you ever think about us living together or marrying or having kids?"
"No. This works for me." She twisted the silver ring she wore on her thumb and gave him a pleasant smile.
"It doesn't work for me. Not anymore, Jess."
A person would need a magnifying glass to see any reaction from Jessica Dunn, but Connor was something of a student of her face. Right now her lips were pressed together the tiniest bit, indicating a disturbance in the Force.
"Well, thanks for letting me know," she said smoothly. "I'm sorry to hear that. You said you understood how things were and how they had to be. Nothing in my life has changed, so I'm not sure why you thought things would be different now."
"Davey can adjust."
"No, he can't, Connor. He has an IQ of fifty-two. And he hates you, or have you forgotten that? He can't even see you in the grocery store without having a meltdown. You remember the head-banging when he saw you with our dog?" Yes, Connor remembered. It had been one of the scariest moments of his life, as a matter of fact. "I don't have room for marriage and kids," Jess continued. "My brother is my responsibility in more ways than you could ever know. I'm surprised you brought marriage up at all. We've had this conversation a million times."
"Actually, we've never had this conversation."
Her cheeks were getting pink. Finally, something more than calm, cool and collected.
Good. It didn't seem fair that he was the only one feeling something here.
"Well, I thought you knew," she said. "I've always been very clear."
Blood thrummed through his temples, too hard, too fast. Another slow breath. "You're using your brother as an excuse. He'll adjust. He's held you hostage for years now."
"Do not go there, Connor."
"What I mean is—"
"What you mean is, put him in a home."
She was really digging in now. "No, I don't," he said. "I bought this house with you in mind. There's an apartment upstairs, in case you forgot. It's for him. I love your brother."
"No, you don't. You've never even had a conversation with him, and he certainly doesn't love you. And let's not rewrite history. You decided to buy a two-family house without even talking to me."
Fair point. But it had seemed like a perfect solution; him and Jess downstairs, Davey upstairs. Instead, his sister had moved in after Jess turned him down.
Jessica sighed, some of the steel leaving her posture. "Connor, look. I think it's sweet that you made this gesture. Maybe it's because your sister's pregnant and you're feeling sentimental, but this just can't work. And I also think you're saying it because you're sure I won't say yes, and you're right. I won't."
"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want you to say yes, Jessica."
Her phone buzzed again. She looked at the hateful device. "Great. Davey clogged the toilet, and Gerard can't get the valve to shut off. The last time the bathroom flooded, and I had to pay to replace the whole floor."
"Jess, I want you to marry me."
"I have to go. I'll see you Thursday, okay? This was a nice thought, Connor. I appreciate it. I really do." She stood up, kissed him on the head like he was a dog—which he basically was, just some half-brain Labrador retriever you could ignore until you were lonely, and it was always happy to see you and would cheerfully forget the fact that you'd locked it in the cellar for a year or so. She grabbed her denim jacket from the hook by the door.
"Jessica." He didn't look at her, just stared at the candles flickering on the table. "This will be the last time you break up with me."
Well, shit. He hadn't really planned on saying that, but now that the words were out, they sprang up between the two of them like an iron door.
She froze for a second. "What do you mean?"
His head was killing him, every heartbeat stabbing behind his eyes. "I'm talking about all the times you've broken up with me, all the times you said life was too complicated, and you couldn't make any changes. I want a wife and kids and to be able to kiss you in public. If you leave now, make sure you mean it."
"Are you breaking up with me?" She actually sounded indignant.
"I'm proposing!''
"Well, I have no idea why!" she snapped back. "You know this is the best I can do."
"Okay, then." His jaw clamped shut. Her mouth opened a little. "Really."
"Yep."
"Fine," she said. "Do what you want."
"Thanks. I will."
"Good."
"Fine."
She gave him a long look. "Have a nice night, Connor."
And with that, she left, and he picked up the stupid little black velvet box and threw it across the room.


My Review
Kristan Higgins is a master of the complicated relationship and none is more complicated than her cockeyed optimist, never give up hero and frustrating even though her wariness is understandable heroine, in this ill-fated second/third/fourth/fifth chance at romance. Her past/present timeline and fabulous tongue in cheek pun filled narrative are the perfect way to bring this Cinderella-esque tale to readers. Her co-stars from the sweet Davey the pups and the character catch-ups from her past Blue Heron tales add humor, humility and reality. The way she describes cooking, a mix of magic and science (food porn) and her genuine handling of Davey’s disabilities and the consequences that caused them was awesome and humbling.

When Connor O’Rourke was twelve he fell in love with Jessica Dunn. Now theirs wasn't an easy love and they had much going against them but Connor had faith that one day they’d overcome all. When that day finally came (in Conner’s mind at least) Conner popped the question. And she turned him down flat!
There were only a few good things in Jessica Dunn’s much less than perfect life, her brother Davey, her job at Blue Heron Winery and Connor O’Rourke. Even though hers and Conner’s on again- off again relationship was complicated, when they were “on” she always made it clear that Davey came first and that her and Conner’s relationship had to be kept under wraps because she was afraid Davey’s fragile mental condition just couldn’t handle Conner being a permanent fixture in their lives. And just when she thought all was well he had to go and ruin it by proposing.

Editorial Reviews for Anything for You
Library Journal
★ 12/01/2015Connor O'Rourke has loved Jessica Dunn since he was 12, but their relationship over the years has been rocky at best. Now, together once more, Connor wants to settle down, but convincing independent Jess to marry him is not going to be easy. She is happy with their current "friends with benefits" relationship, and with a developmentally disabled brother to care for, Jess has no plans to marry. But Connor is determined to change her mind. VERDICT A heroine who believes she can only count on herself, a persistent, protective hero who won't give up, and a wonderful cavalcade of Blue Heron folk lead to an irresistible, often touching story that is tender, sexy, and hilarious as only Higgins can write it. A story to savor. Higgins (If You Only Knew) lives in Connecticut.

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2015-09-23
When Connor O'Rourke decides he wants to marry longtime on-again, off-again secret girlfriend Jessica Dunn and she turns him down flat, he tells her it's over—but no one else will do, despite his sister's attempts at matchmaking and his wish to get over her once and for all. Connor fell in love with Jessica when he was 12 years old, and despite being one of the few boys she never slept with in high school, his feelings for her have never changed. Now, 20 years later, and after 10 years of sneaking around Manningsport in a relationship that grows hot and cold—depending on Jessica's moods and what's going on in her life—Connor is convinced they're ready to take the next step and proposes. Jessica wants none of it. Her mentally challenged brother hates Connor after a childhood trauma, and she knows he'll never accept Connor as her husband. Plus, her father, who abandoned them years ago, is back, claiming to be sober and wanting to try again. Just when Jessica thinks her life is going well—landing her dream job at Blue Heron Winery, saving enough money for a home of her own, Davey settled into some level of independence—the messy emotions of her past are rising up, complicating things. When Connor tries to convince Jessica that some obstacles might not be impossible, she lashes out, until more emotionally intense events reset their mercurial cycle. Finally Connor draws a line, and Jessica must decide if she'll reach for a future with the man she loves, despite her fear and insecurities. Blue Heron fans will not be disappointed in this emotional novel that spans Connor and Jessica's 20-year love story and offers peeks into their volatile relationship that make the final chapter of their romance and the series even more poignant and gratifying. Higgins' masterful storytelling and penetrating study of human nature combined with a dollop of humor make for breathtaking, heart-wrenching, compelling romance.
Praise for Kristan Higgins:
Romance superstar Kristan Higgins makes a brilliant crossover into women's fiction. The kind of book I enjoy the most-sparkling characters, fast-moving plot and laugh-out-loud dialogue. A winner! -Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author
"This emotional journey of two sisters is filled with drama, laughter and tears and squeezes the heart. It should be on every bedside table in the country!" -Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Romance star Higgins shifts smoothly and poignantly into women's fiction with this emotionally compelling story...With a secondary cast of characters who buoy an already perceptive study of love, marriage, sisterhood, and loyalty, Higgins delivers. A powerful, emotionally textured winner.? –Kirkus Reviews
Oh, what a satisfying and delicious read! I admired the writing, the wit, the keen eye at work here. Thank you, Kristan Higgins, for making our heroine a smart, wry, sisterly designer of wedding dresses. Is that not heaven on the page? -Elinor Lipman, bestselling author of The View From Penthouse B
Both gut-wrenchingly emotional and hysterically funny at the same time...Kristan Higgins writes the books you don't want to end.-#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr
Kristan Higgins is a rising superstar, thanks to whippet-fast, funny dialogue and sweet plots with a deliciously tart edge. -USA TODAY
Strong storytelling and a refreshing, sarcastic edge... Thoroughly entertaining. -People
Fans should take care not to read [Waiting on You] in church or anywhere else a gut-busting laugh would be inappropriate. -New York Times
Higgins exhibits her storytelling artistry with another stunning romance that includes her trademark touches of laugh-out-loud humor and tear-jerking pathos. -Kirkus starred review on In Your Dreams
Romance fans and lovers of women's fiction will devour this witty and tender novel. Highly recommended. -Library Journal starred review on Somebody to Love


Connect with Kristan - Website - Facebook - Twitter

MEET KRISTAN:
Kristan Higgins is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. Her books have been honored with dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, the New York Journal of Books and Romantic Times.