Somebody to love, isn’t that what we all want? It’s such a universal wish that it’s been a song title, over and over, from Queen to Jefferson Airplane to (gulp) Justin Bieber. At least Glee went with the classics, and covered Queen’s awesome version, pretty well, at that.
Somebody to Love is also the title of Kristan Higgins’ latest contemporary romance. And it fits even better than the songs. Because every single character, from Parker Welles, the poor little rich girl heroine, to James Cahill, the lawyer with a whole lot of baggage, to Parker’s daddy Harry Welles, even right down to the dog Parker adopts, Beauty, every single one of them is searching for somebody to love. And somebody to love them back.
That tale of searching, and finding, and the other things they lose and find along the way, makes for one fantastic story.
Parker Welles starts out as the quintessentially poor little rich girl. She lives in a mansion, Grayhurst, that belongs to Daddy Dearest, her father Harry. She even refers to him that way. Harry owns Grayhurst, but only visits when he wants to impress some clients, because Harry is a real wheeler-dealer. Harry never comes just to visit his daughter, he only shows up with his entourage, his interchangeable flunkies in their conservative suits.
Parker even tries to forget they have names. She refers to them as “Thing One and Thing Two”.
But they aren’t interchangeable. “Thing Two” might be just a yes-man, but “Thing One” is Harry’s lawyer. His very young and attractive lawyer. Something it turns out that Parker has very good reason to know.
There are two things that keep Parker Welles from being a classic poor little rich girl. Thing One is that she is a best-selling children’s author. Unfortunately for her, she gave all the money from her books to charity, because she didn’t need it. Or so she thought.
Thing Two is that Parker has a five-year old son, Nicky. Who she unashamedly had out-of-wedlock and cheerfully shares in joint-custody with his father. Who just married her best friend.
And Parker is going to need her friends. Because Daddy Dearest is going to jail for insider trading. He lost the house. All the houses. And everything in them. And Parker’s trust fund. And Nicky’s trust fund.
Parker has just one thing left. A house her great aunt left for her in Gideon’s Cove, Maine. Parker thinks she can flip the house and have a nest egg to start over. It turns out that the house isn’t quite in shape for that. But, Parker finds something better in that small town on the remote coast of Maine.
She finds her strength. She finds family she never expected to find. She finds friendship. She rescues a terrific dog.
And in the most unlikely person, and at what seems like the lowest point in her life, Parker Welles finds Somebody to Love.
Escape Rating A: Heart-warming is such an over-used word, but it definitely applies to Somebody to Love. This contemporary romance definitely is heart-warming. The slowly simmering love story between Parker and James Cahill also warms up the temperature (and eventually Parker) quite nicely as well.
Both characters have a lot of emotional baggage they need to sort through. Not so much in the romance department, but in much earlier, and more fundamental relationships. They’re both afraid to love, and yet, they’ve found each other anyway. They want to trust, but they’re not sure they can, or if they should. And they both have good reasons for that wariness.
Beauty, the dog Parker adopts, has been beaten before too. Just the same, she learns to trust again. Metaphor, anyone?