Review: Too Good To Be True by Kristan Higgins

When Grace Emerson's ex-fiancé starts dating her younger sister, extreme measures are called for. To keep everyone from obsessing about her love life, Grace announces that she's seeing someone. Someone wonderful. Someone handsome. Someone completely made up. Who is this Mr. Right? Someone…exactly unlike her renegade neighbor Callahan O'Shea. Well, someone with his looks, maybe. His hot body. His knife-sharp sense of humor. His smarts and big heart.

Whoa. No. Callahan O'Shea is not her perfect man! Not with his unsavory past. So why does Mr. Wrong feel so…right?

Grace Emerson is really not over her ex-fiance and the fact that she has to endure her cousin’s 3rd wedding is really grating on her nerves – especially since said ex is here with her sister, Natalie…whom he’s dating. Can it get more complicated? Not only is she there by herself and having to endure her relatives “kind” utterances, which is enough to make her rather be anywhere but there, but Natalie is now saying that she’s going to break it off with Grace’s ex so as to not hurt her sister any longer. What’s a girl to do? Well, make up a boyfriend, of course! He’s kind, he’s charming and of course she’s so over her ex so no need to worry. I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same thing in Grace’s place.

Then there’s the new neighbor, Callahan O’Shea, who is hot, hot, hot but they don’t meet under the best of circumstances to say the least.
Besides their horrid first meet and greet Grace finds out that Callahan has just gotten out of prison – definitely not someone she should be attracted to – but she kinda is. Yet she’s fighting it because, you know, he’s a criminal and they just can’t be trusted.

Can I just say I really, really, really liked this book?
Yeah? Ok, I will...I really, really, really liked this book. This was one of those impulse buys that had such a huge payoff for me. I picked up my ereader and I did not want to put it down until I was done. I don’t even think I ate dinner that night. The kids were gone, the hubby was off with friends and I stayed up ‘til the wee hours of the morning finishing the book and smiling to myself while I read. (and then read it again the next day)

I really liked Grace and her crazy, crazy family – even with the issues they had. The glimpses into her classroom (she’s a teacher) were fun. I liked her gay best friend Julian, who was also looking for love, and their relationship. And I really liked Callahan tremendously...he was an honest and pretty darned up front guy. But what I enjoyed the most from this book was the relationship between Callahan and Grace. It was just refreshing in its simplicity – yet it really wasn’t simple at all – if that makes any kind of sense. They were just so great together and I could really see this relationship happening. I suspend belief on a regular basis when I read – even with contemporaries - but with this one I didn’t need to and I loved that.

The sense of humor in this book is great as well – dry in some parts but just great. For example:

Grace had been looking for a date for her cousins wedding with no luck. Her friend Kiki is questioning her the day of the wedding

…”So, Grace, did you find a date?”

I grimaced. “No. I didn’t. It won’t be pretty.”

“Oh, shit,” she said. “I’m so sorry.”

“Well, it’s not the end of the world,” I murmured bravely.

“You sure about that?” Like me, Kiki was single. And no one knew better than a single woman in her thirties that hell is going to a wedding stag. In a few hours, my cousin Kitty, who once cut my bangs down to the roots when I was sleeping over at her house, was getting married. For the third time. In a Princess Diana–style dress.

(more conversation ensues)

…“So you’re going stag,” she said in the same tone as a doctor might use when saying, I’m sorry, it’s terminal.

“Well, I did try, Kiki,” I reminded her. “Johnny who delivers my pizza is dating Garlic-and-Anchovies, if you can believe it. Brandon at the nursing home said he’d hang himself before being a wedding date. And I just found out that the cute guy at the pharmacy is only seventeen years old, and though he said he’d be happy to go, Betty the pharmacist is his mom and mentioned something about the Mann Act and predators, so I’ll be going to the CVS in Farmington from now on.”

This whole exchange had me laughing outright. Many, many more great moments occur in this book but it’s not all light. The parts where Grace had to deal with her ex and her sister together made my heart twinge in sadness for Grace every time and there were a few other periods of conflict that got me as well. But overall it was pretty fun.

I could go on and on but I have to stop sometime, right? I recommend this book (and I’m not even a fan of 1st person pov!) to anyone who enjoys a great contemporary. If you enjoyed reading Just the Sexiest Man Alive I think you will very much enjoy Too Good To Be True.

Rating 4.25 out of 5


nath said...

Hi Tracy!

I really enjoyed Too Good To Be True as well, although I prefer Fools Rush In and Just one of the Guys :) Did you read those?

I liked Grace characters and the interactions with the family, I thought that was the best... Also, when Grace and Cal started dating, swoon! Soo cute! What I didn't like is how Grace didn't want to be attracted to Cal in the beginning. I'm not sure if it was her prejudices because Cal just came off of prison or if she believed he just wasn't the right guy?

Tracy said...

This was my first book by Higgins but it certainly won't be my last. I've heard good things about Just One of the Guys so I think that will be my next read by her.

I think that Grace's hesitancy toward Cal was definitely due to his prison record. It was a definite prejudice toward criminals in general IMO but I thought that she got over it well. Getting to know him slowly (and oh so sweetly) was a plus in my book.

Renee said...

After reading Just One of the Guys, I ran out and got her other 2 books. They are all so much fun, and at parts, laugh out loud funny (I actually woke my husband up one night while reading JOotG.)

I'm so glad you enjoyed Too Good to be True, Tracy! I've been waiting for the library to get my request in, and can't wait to start it!

Anna said...

Hi Tracy,

I gave you an award over at my blog.

:) Anna

Kris said...

This looks like such a fun read, Tracy. I don't read a lot of contemporary (did I spell that right??)het romance but it sounds like the humour is right up my alley. I will have to try her out. Thanks for the great review.

Rosie said...

This was one of those reviews that had me feeling like I was missing out. Damn FOMO any way! So, it's on my tbb now.

Considering everyone commenting is talking about getting her backl ist too I don't know whether I should be thanking you or not! :P

nath said...

I really liked Cal in this book :) and how they met LOL :) and the epilogue where they are choosing a name :P

Rosie - At least, she has a short backlist, so you're lucky! Plus, they're all Mira/HQN books, so they are cheap :P

Christine said...

Thanks for the review, Tracy! I read Catch of the Day last summer and really enjoyed Higgins' story telling voice. I think you captured the essence of the success of her books with this:

It was just refreshing in its simplicity – yet it really wasn’t simple at all – if that makes any kind of sense. They were just so great together and I could really see this relationship happening. I suspend belief on a regular basis when I read – even with contemporaries - but with this one I didn’t need to and I loved that. ~Tracy

I think that's right on the money for Higgins' style.

Can't wait to read this one! :)

Tracy said...

Renee - I'm looking forward to her other books since I liked this one so well.

Anna - Thank you!

Kris - Oh the pressure! lol If you don't like it don't blame me! :) It is fun yet kind of dry and I really appreciate that type of humor.

Rosie - My job here is done. :)

Nath - Cal was great I really liked him a lot. And yes the epilogue was pretty funny.

Christine - I'm looking forward to reading Catch of the Day. I like Higgins' voice as well and don't think I'll be disappointed in her other books.

Carolyn Jean said...

Wow, this sounds tailor made for ME! I'm putting it on my list...OOOh, what fun to have fun books to read like this. Thanks for the great review.

Kristie (J) said...

Count me as another one who really enjoyed this book. I've become a bonafide fan of hers. I was hooked with Just One of the Guys and reeled in with this one.

Tracy said...

CJ - knowing how much you liked Just the Sexiest Man Alive I think you'll really like this one.

Kristie - Yeah, I really need to read her other books. Maybe I could stop working and just read all the time! lol