Title: In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
Blue Heron Series Book Four
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Everyone loves Jack Holland, but Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancé is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can’t go to the wedding alone. In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won’t get the wrong idea.
What Jack needs is an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he’s been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy, especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back, angling for a reunion. He’s always liked Emmaline. She needs a weekend date? No problem.
So when they wind up in bed together, Em chalks it up to red wine and chocolate cake, just one impulsive night not to be repeated. But Jack’s pushing for more, and if she lets down her guard, either she’ll get her heart crushed again, or discover that Jack’s worth more than just dreaming about.
In Your Dreams is the long awaited and highly anticipated fourth installment in the hilarious and poignant Blue Heron series. Tantalizing glimpses of Jack Holland in the previous novels piqued my curiosity about the enigmatic but lovable Holland brother and I have been very impatient for his story. Kristan Higgins’ unexpected pairing of him with local deputy Emmaline “Em” Neal is sheer brilliance and their ensuing romance is funny, sexy and oh so sweet.
Em is a no-nonsense woman who tells it like it is. She is smart, funny and loyal, but the end of her engagement shattered her self-esteem. It has taken her a long time to get over her ex’s betrayal and she is stunned when she receives an invitation to his wedding. Unfortunately, complicated family ties between the two families make it impossible for her bow out gracefully and she reluctantly accepts Jack’s offer to attend with the wedding with her. Em’s return to the West Coast brings her face to face with all of her unresolved issues with her caring, but misguided and clueless parents, childhood bullies, her ex and his cringe-inducing bride-to-be.
Jack is an all around nice guy who is charming, upbeat and friendly. He is devoted to his family and good-naturedly accepts his sisters’ teasing. Jack is everyone’s go to guy when a woman needs a date but he has not had a serious relationship since his divorce a few years earlier. Up until recently, he has led a pretty charmed life but his dramatic rescue of four teens has left him with lingering issues that he has been trying to deal with on his own. Adding to his problems is the unwelcome return of his ex-wife Hadley who is suddenly interested in a reconciliation. Needing a break from the pressures of his life, Jack quickly agrees to accompany Em to her ex-fiancé’s out of state wedding, but both are surprised when their faux relationship becomes real.
Back home, Em and Jack’s relationship hits a few bumps in the road when real life begins to intrude on the happy couple. Jack refuses to get help for his ongoing issues stemming from his heroic rescue and it is also frustrating that he continues to let Hadley manipulate him. The blow to Em’s self-confidence leaves her questioning what she has to offer Jack and she is also feeling threatened by Hadley’s continued presence in Jack’s life. With both of them under pressure, a family crisis leads to a misunderstanding that might end their budding romance.
In Your Dreams is written from both Em and Jack’s perspectives and flashbacks fill in the blanks about their respective pasts. The incidents from Em’s childhood and the events leading up to her ill-fated engagement are heartbreaking but she is surprisingly well-adjusted. Jack has always come across as a little too perfect, but the aftereffects of his rescue efforts provide him with some much needed depth.
In Your Dreams is another heartfelt and engaging addition to the delightful Blue Heron series. Once again, Kristan Higgins deftly blends her trademark wit with a serious and realistic storyline and the resulting story is insightful and moving. A compelling plot, strong family ties and a believable relationship make In Your Dreams a must read for anyone who enjoys contemporary romances.