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All I Ever Wanted (Hqn) by Kristan Higgins
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All I Ever Wanted (Hqn) (2010)

by Kristan Higgins

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This is one of those authors I've had sitting on my "to be read" pile for years, but never got around to picking up. Higgins writes contemporary romances that verge close to being chick-lit.

It's always a bad idea to date your boss. No one knows this better than Callie Grey who has just been blind-sided by Mark, her boss and ex-lover, announcing his engagement. Callie has been in love with Mark for years and has always held onto the hope that he would eventually feel the same way. Having that dream crushed in the middle of a work day and on her 30th birthday, followed by the announcement that the fiancée is coming to work for the company is all Callie can take. Fleeing the building with the excuse of needing to renew her driver's license, she proceeds to have a very public meltdown in the middle of the DMV. In the coming weeks after her meltdown, things have not gotten better for Callie. The fiancée has made it her personal goal to torture Callie at work. Ian, the new veterinarian, might think Callie's stalking him. And all the dates she's gone on in an effort to get over Mark have been disastrous.

This was a fun contemporary romance. Callie was a little annoying though. She seemed too perfect to be believable. Who goes out of their way to offer homemade scones to their ex-boyfriend's new love bunny? Callie was just too sweet and without any real character flaws for me to really find the character engaging. After awhile, it just got old seeing her able to make everyone into her new BFF. Also, because of how sweet her character was it made some of the fights she had with Ian, the hero, seem little forced.

Ian was what really made this book enjoyable. There's nothing better than a quiet and shy hero. What's not to love about a guy who's so shy he hides in his office from a group of little girls? I also loved how the relationship between him and his ex-wife was portrayed. It wasn't full of animosity and the ex-wife wasn't shown as a raging bitch. It was a nice change of pace to see a hero be on relatively good terms with his ex.

Higgins also does a pretty great job of writing pets into the book. The two dogs involved in the plot felt just as much like side characters as Mark and the fiancée did. The only problem is that now I want a huskie like Callie's.

I would recommend this to fans of Julie James and Jennifer Cruise. ( )
  Book_Minx | Jan 24, 2015 |
Towards the end, I cried like a baby. ( )
  LaCello | Sep 21, 2013 |
All I ever wanted by Kristan Higgins
Callie works in VT at the local ad agency. She's got a crush on
the boss but he's brought in a new female and he gives her an engagement
ring. She moves on and tries to catch the new vet which they have many
hours spent together as they get to know one another.
She helps out her grandfather who only has one leg. He's falling in love with
his true love. He also makes different styles of kayaks and is an expert
at that trade.
Love the VT dialect-wicked, brings a smile to my face.
Now the boss is leaning towards getting rid of the new woman as
Callie has told him her feelings about her. He's grown up all his life
with Callie as his best friend.
Who will she end up with now? ( )
  jbarr5 | Jul 25, 2013 |
All I Ever Wanted is Kristan Higgins' sixth book, and it does not disappoint! Few authors can make me laugh, cringe, giggle--and yes, this time I even cried--like she does. Her characters always seem so very real, and yet, they're all so very different. Callie (short for Calliope--this book has quite a few fun names for the bibliophile, including Bronte and Hester) might at first seem like the typical middle child of a divorced family--she's always eager to please, to make people happy, to make people like her--but at the same time she has wonderful (or not so wonderful, depending on the company and the situtation she finds herself in) quirks that make her a completely unique person. At the beginning of the story, Callie has just turned thirty. She is working very successfully at a job she loves, and has been secretly--well, okay, perhaps it's actually the worst kept secret in the office--in love with her boss since he gave her her first kiss in a closet at a party when she was fourteen. They even shared five (magical! Callie is sure they were magical, blissful, treasured moments, all!) weeks of coupledom until he broke it off, claiming the timing was wrong. Now, on her thirtieth birthday, Mark tells her he's seeing someone else. And it's serious. And she'll be starting at their office in a few days. Understandably upset, Callie decides to seek refuge at the DMV, where she spends her lunch hour waiting in line to get her picture taken. There, she horrifies the man behind her in line with what he calls her "emotional diarrhea"--though he does end up offering her his handkerchief. Which he thoughtfully insists she keeps. And the rest...well, after three hundred more pages, plenty of laughs, tears, drama, and several months...is contemporary romance history. Loved it! ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 20, 2013 |
I had a hard time cracking the spine on "All I Ever Wanted", I was just not in the mood for an "unrequited love, doesn't realize what she has" plot line. With that resistance in mind, I thought I'd at least read the first chapter before bed last night, just to get it started. Massive mistake. At 2 am, a mere 4 hours from the time I would have to drag myself out of bed for work, I finished the last page and wanted more.

Callie Grey was a stellar heroine, capable and charming and a joy to read along with. Her flaws were both believable and minor, and her interactions with Ian McFarland were funny and awkward and tender all at once. I loved the believable evolution of their affection, amidst a number of background plot lines, some more memorable than others.

While “All I Ever Wanted” did have a familiar contemporary romance plot line, I thought it was a well done rendition of this enjoyable genre.
( )
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
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As the man I loved approached my office, the image of a deer being hit by a truck came to mind.
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For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. When Mark suddenly announces his engagement, Callie decides to stir up a relationship with the town's most eligible, yet not so warm and fuzzy, veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark's attention.… (more)

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