On Second Thought

By Kristan Higgins

“The dynamic didn’t change when we became adults. Kate lived in Brooklyn. She was cool, and I was not. She was thin and elegant, and I was round and cute. She was a successful photographer (and a great one, really, her pictures were stunning); I was excellent at unjamming the printer. “

On Second Thought has all of the Kristan Higgins hallmarks I have come to expect and love: Situational humor, witty dialogue, poignant moments, lovable heroines, intriguing heroes, well-rounded secondary characters to love and hate, and a dog. I also am a fan of her late divergence into more chick-lit and away from traditional romance for romance’s sake. However, here are some reasons I didn’t love it as much as some of her previous novels: **spoilers**

1) Although Kate did realize that Nathan really did love her, (after all, if he only married her to have the children his ex-wife denied him, why did he pick someone who was 39 years old?), I wish this had been signed sealed and delivered in Nathan’s own words (a lost email found, for example). Maybe a friend he confided in could have come to light. It was very disappointing that he wasn’t the totally devoted husband Kate thought he was. That he really was too good to be true. I wish he had been a little redeemed at the end. But I guess the way Kristan left it, was more true to life.
2) I wish the hysteric ex-wife had gotten her comeuppance and been rejected by the family.
3) I was sad that she was never fully reconciled to the family after they found out she was pregnant by another man. That they never knew the truth about where Kate was coming from.
4) I didn’t like the way she was so sexually attracted to Daniel even when she was in full mourning and shock from Nathan’s death. Also not a fan of the male love interest being younger than the woman. Sorry, that’s just me.
5) Daniel was a great guy, but I just didn’t buy the relationship. It was not very interesting. He was too good to be true. (like Nathan!) **end spoilers**

I see all of my quibbles are with Kate’s story. I did love Ainsley’s romance. Very reminiscent of one of my favorites: Callie and Ian from All I Ever Wanted. Ainsley is a typical Kristan heroine: overly people-pleasing as compensation for something. But with Ainsley, the basis for her overly nice and generous nature has a firm basis in her childhood. One of the best aspects of Kristan’s books is the full development of most, if not all of her secondary characters. In this one, my favorite is her mother-in-law. We think she is one kind of person, but she is so much deeper than we see at first.
I really loved this book. It’s just not a 5-star for me. Any other author, it would have been a 5-star book. I just hold Kristan Higgins to a higher standard. It is amazing the freshness that she can bring with the same basic elements that she includes in almost all of her novels.**4 stars out of 5**

February 26, 2017

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