In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
Release Date: 30th September 2014
Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancé’s wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there’s really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won’t get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero.
But when the wedding festivities take an unexpectedly passionate turn, Em figures it was just one crazy night. Jack is too gorgeous, too popular, to ever end up with her. So why is she the one he can talk to about his deep, dark feelings? If Em is going to get her dream man, she’ll have to start by believing in him…
When Manningsport police officer, Emmaline Neal, receives an invitation to her ex fiancée’s wedding she knows she needs a plan. And fast. She can either turn up unwashed and dishevelled, making him feel guilty for ditching her for health freak Naomi Norman all of those years ago, or she can turn up in a cracking outfit with a handsome man on her arm. No contest, right? The only problem is the handsome man part as Emmaline is one hundred percent single and the only man in her life is her German Sheppard puppy, Sarge.
After much debating with her book group, The Bitter and Betrayed, Emmaline’s friends suggest that she goes to her ex, Kevin’s, wedding with the drop-dead-gorgeous Jack Holland. Both he and Emmaline play hockey together and although they don’t really know each other, Jack is single, extremely nice and is also considered something of a hero in Manningsport after rescuing a group of teenagers in a car accident.
With some helpful interfering from one or two of Jack’s sisters, a plan is put in place and Jack is willing to go along to the wedding as Emmaline’s boyfriend (although she claims there’s no need for that, she just needs some moral support, not a fake boyfriend…)
However, stress gets the better of Emmaline when she comes face to face with her first love, Kevin and the awful Naomi, and she suddenly upgrades Jack’s status…to her own fiancée. Emmaline’s parents are also attending the wedding and despite thinking she’s gay, they can’t help but wonder why they’ve been kept in the dark about their daughter’s engagement…
During the weekend of the wedding one thing leads to another as Emmaline finds herself battling demons from her past and trying to prove herself not only to Kevin and Naomi, but to her own parents too as things go from bad to worse. However Jack turns out to be something of a knight in shining armour, happily posing as Emmaline’s partner and rescuing her from one or two rather sticky situations.
Horror of all horrors, Emmaline even finds herself a teeny bit attracted to Jack. But it’s not like anything could happen though. Jack is way out of her league and every female in Manningsport is in love with him. Plus as the wedding weekend progresses it soon becomes clear that Jack has one or two problems of his own, and he’s not as pleased with being labelled a hero as you might expect…
This is the first book I have read by Kristan Higgins and I can say with complete certainty that it won’t be the last because I loved every little thing about In Your Dreams.
Firstly and probably the thing I loved most about In Your Dreams was Jack Holland. Goodness Gracious. This man is perfect. Where has he been hiding all my life? He’s kind, caring, vulnerable, funny, sweet, plus pretty darn sexy too. I am still sat here struggling to believe that his first wife, Hadley, cheated on him. Crazy.
Then there’s Emmaline, who I also loved. She’s not your typical chick-lit heroine; she’s a kick-ass police officer who is certainly not looking for love. She’s independent, funny, sporty, and loves Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Also perfect.
In fact all of the characters in In Your Dreams were brilliant. The Holland family were great, especially Jack’s sisters (or ‘The Coven’ as he calls them…) Kevin and Naomi are absolutely crackers and you’ll be seething with outrage at Jack’s ex, Hadley’s, behaviour. They all make for such a compelling group of characters who you’ll genuinely love reading about.
The other fantastic thing about this story is the whole feel of it. In Your Dreams will grab you and wrap you up in such a lovely, warm, comforting way, just like your favourite faithful cable knit jumper. I want to live in Manningsport, I want to visit O’Rourke’s, I want to eat Ben and Jerry’s with Emmaline, I want to meet the Holland’s, I want to fuss the adorable Sarge and I want to see the gorgeous Jack Holland in the flesh.
Kristan Higgins has created a truly magical place with Manningsport and a truly brilliant novel with In Your Dreams. It’s a refreshing take on a romance, mainly because the two lead characters are not looking for a relationship, but they do form an adorable friendship first. They’ve both got ‘issues’ and at times it seems as though they’re never going to face up to things and overcome the hurdles that are thrown their way (such as Hadley…grrr)
Although In Your Dreams is actually Book Five in the Blue Heron series, it can be read as a standalone without you constantly trying to play catch up with who’s who and what’s going on. It’s a brilliant novel in itself but after enjoying this novel as much as I did I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about reading the rest in Kristan’s Blue Heron Series (more Jack Holland…that can only be a good thing!)
There is not a single negative thing to say about In Your Dreams, it’s got romance, drama, family, a cute puppy, and two gorgeous lead characters who you will fall in love with inside and out.
I don’t know about you but I’m now off for a Kristan Higgins binge over on Amazon… *click click*
I’d like to say a big, big, BIG thank you to Katie from Little Bird Publicity for inviting me to read and review In Your Dreams. ♥
Kristan divides her time between home in Connecticut and summers on Cape Cod. She is the mother of two lovely kids, the wife of a brave firefighter, and a devoted Ben & Jerry’s fan. Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous naps…so much more satisfying than folding laundry. She holds a BA in English, which enables her to identify dangling participles and quote many great novels.