Thursday, 2 June 2016

If Only You Knew by Kristan Higgins (Contemporary fiction, Romance, 10/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

 May 31st 2016 (this edition), Harlequin Books, 448 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Content: some adult situations, laughter, tissues needed

Summary from Harlequin
Letting go of her ex-husband is harder than wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate expected…especially since his new wife wants to be Jenny's new best friend. Sensing this isn't exactly helping her achieve closure, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she'll start her own business and bask in her sister Rachel's picture-perfect family life…and maybe even find a little romance of her own with Leo, her downstairs neighbor, a guy who's utterly irresistible and annoyingly distant at the same time. 

Rachel's idyllic marriage, however, is imploding after she discovers her husband sexting with a colleague. She always thought she'd walk away in this situation, but her triplet daughters have her reconsidering her stance on adultery, much to Jenny's surprise. Rachel points to their parents' perfect marriage as a shining example of patience and forgiveness; but to protect her sister, Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship— and reveal a family secret she's been keeping since childhood. 

Both Rachel and Jenny will have to come to terms with the past and the present and find a way to get what they want most of all.

Nayu's thoughts 
I felt really sorry for Jenny, as the last thing anyone needs is a deep connection with their ex, which thanks to an unplanned event Jenny has to endure with gritted teeth. It was funny how her female nemesis's friends hated her guts, but she was the only one who knew what to do in that situation. I got a smidge annoyed with Jenny because she wouldn't make a clean break with her ex for most of the book, but life has a way of showing her how good life can get. 

I loved the bond and friendship between the sisters, which naturally included jealousy and rivalry, which soon disappeared when Jenny found out about Rachel's husband's affair. I am deeply against infidelity, there's no excuse for it and if anyone did it to me then they would walk the plan. However, I could see why Rachel was reluctant to cut all ties with him. She did a lot of the looking after of her daughters, and financially she could do with some help. It was interesting seeing how Jenny wrestled with not telling Rachel about their parents secret, which was an eye-opener, and what Rachel's reaction to it was. 

This is definitely a sister themed read, with a focus on the families of all those who Jenny comes into contact with. There are different levels of parental and sibling love and Jenny experiences them all. There are plenty of moments to laugh, and equally moments to cry, including when Jenny has misunderstandings with Leo's job, of which there are a lot. Everyone has secrets which end up not being as horrendous as they'd thought once they divulged them. I'm looking forward to enjoying this as a reread with the blessing of hindsight! 

Find out more on Kristan's website.

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