If You Only Knew

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If You Only Knew

I have to say in all honesty that I’ve never met a Kristin Higgins novel I didn't like, and that's quite a feat. So, when I saw she had a new book coming out I quickly signed up to read and review it.

For those of you who have read novels by this author previously, it should be noted this book is just a little bit different from what you may have come to expect.

Jenny and Rachel are sisters who have had different experiences in the love and romance department. Jenny's marriage ended, her husband remarried and had a child, which is like pouring salt in the wound, for Jenny. Determined to take the high road Jenny remains friends with her ex, but if she ever hopes to find love, marriage, have children and happiness in her own life, she is going to have to move on. So, she moves closer to Rachel hoping to bask in the warmth of her sister's perfect marriage, and focus on her business as wedding dress designer.

However, Rachel's picture perfect marriage isn't so picture perfect after all, and of course since Rachel has triplets, she is reluctant to make a rash decision. She hangs on to the memory of her parent's marriage, believing it is proof there really is such thing as happy every after. But, Jenny knows something about her parent's marriage Rachel does not. Will she have to shatter her sister's memories in order to help her make the best choice about her marriage?

This book is not really a romance, more women's fiction, in my opinion, and I think if you know that going in, you will really appreciate this emotional story of two sisters with big problems in life, both trying to find that elusive happy ever after, but who have an unshakeable sisterly bond that will see them through life's challenges as they face adversities together.

Rachel and Jenny's sisterly love is at the core of the story, but it is also a reminder that we should never wish for another person's life to be our own, because we just might find it's not all it's cracked up to be. Jenny wished for what Rachel had, but soon discovered that Rachel's perfect marriage and family life was an illusion.

However, Jenny does meet someone who sparks a little hope in her heart, a guy named Leo. Leo is a talented professional musician, but has seemly given it all up... but why?

I have to stop here and address this relationship a little bit. I liked Leo, he was funny and charming, but I didn’t want him with Jenny. His life was stagnant and unproductive, he wallowed and marinade in his grief and guilt, and had no goals or ambitions. I wanted Jenny to have more than that, she deserved far better, in my opinion. Now to be fair, Leo's back story is tragic, far more tragic than any other character in the book and once I knew this about him, I did ease up on him a little. Still, I wanted to see him put some effort into actually living life and being a person Jenny could be proud of.

In the end, Rachel and Jenny will have come through this summer stronger and more defined as individuals. Rachel will pull off those rose colored glasses and stand up for herself, and will lead by example for her daughter’s sake. Jenny will finally have her chance at happy ever after and I believe if anyone can pull Leo up and give him something to work for, it’s Jenny.

Written in Higgin's trademark style, which weaves high octane emotions around real and believable characters, sprinkling in dry wit and humor with razor sharp dialogue, this book takes you on a journey quite unlike any we've been on with this author previously.

Although this one offers a rather unconventional romance and happy ever after, with even the sensuality toned down quite a bit, I did enjoy this book, just the same. I recommend this novel to those who enjoy women's fiction, and to the fans of this author, who hasn't let me down yet.

Book Blurb for If You Only Knew

Sisterhood in all its drama, hilarity and tears is at the heart of New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins's thoroughly captivating new novel, featuring the wit and romance that readers have come to expect from the much-loved creator of the Blue Heron series

Wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate understands the happily-ever-after business, yet somehow she's still involved in her ex-husband's life. In fact, Owen's new wife may—inexplicably—be Jenny's new best friend. Sensing this, well, relationship isn't helping her move on, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she'll be able to bask in her sister Rachel's picture-perfect family life…and hopefully make one of her own.

Her timing couldn't be more perfect, since Rachel will need her younger sister. Her idyllic marriage has just fallen to pieces in spectacular fashion after she discovers her husband sexting with one of his colleagues. Second chances aren't in Rachel's nature, but the desire for an intact family has her rethinking her stance on adultery, much to Jenny's surprise. Rachel points to their parents' "perfect" marriage as a shining example, but to protect her sister, Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a secret about their family she's been keeping since childhood.

During this summer of secrets and lies, temptation and revelation, Jenny and Rachel will rely on each other to find the humor in their personal catastrophes, the joy in their triumphs…and the strength to keep hanging on.

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2015 4.00