Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who’s struggling with a sudden loss of her own.
Kate’s always been the poised, self-assured sister, but becoming a newlywed—and a widow—in the space of four months overwhelms her. Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.
Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that’s always separated them, Ainsley’s and Kate’s heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.
So, so good!
I was slightly worried, for about a milisecond, that Kristan Higgins was going to use my widow plot point pet peeve, but I should have known better. This is Kristan Higgins. It’s her second widow story (sorry, Leo, I’m not counting you here since we didn’t hear your story from your POV) and yep, she knows her stuff and how to do widows right.
So, so good. Wait, did I say that already? 😉
Like her previous book (), On Second Thought is the story of two sisters, and the audiobook version once again uses two different narrators to tell their story–I love this trend! (Though when listening in the car, Kate’s parts had to be turned way, way up. With headphones, however, everything was fine at the same volume. Weird.) Mini Moe #2 and I started listening to this one in the car, driving to and from our family vacation, and had so much fun while not listening speculating about what was coming for the characters. I totally called both the HEAs for Kate and Ainsley–go, me!–but couldn’t have even began to guess how much awesomeness (a impossible yet probable mixture of crises, awkwardness, embarrassment, sadness, and joy) Ms. Higgins was going to bring to the two of them while on their journey.
So. Much. Awesomeness.
We’re back in Cambry-on-Hudson again, and it was nice to see glimpses of Jenny and Leo from time to time here. There was a mention of Rachel, but we don’t actually get to see her. You definitely don’t need to have read If You Only Knew to enjoy On Second Thought, though if you have, you’ll especially appreciate seeing Leo at Kate’s grief group. (And yeah, you’ll probably want to find out the rest of his story as well; consider yourself warned!)
As always, relationships are the focus here, and nobody does them like Kristan Higgins–those of family and friends as well as romantic ones. Kate and Ainsley’s relationship is even more of a focus of the book than their romances, actually. Don’t worry, though–the romances are plenty swoony too. And that epilogue? OMG, I was all but sobbing as I read. So, so good.
Write faster, Kristan! I need more of your books, pronto 😉
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A