Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two atypically affectionate children, a neurotic rescue mutt and an occasionally friendly cat. Read an Excerpt As the man I loved approached my office, the image of a deer being hit by a truck came to mind. I was the deer, metaphorically speaking, and Mark Rousseau was the pickup truck of doom. The deer always freezes, as we all know, hence the expression like a deer caught in the headlights. The deer and I Callie Grey, age thirty as of this very morning are well aware that the pickup truck is going to hit us.
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I was the deer, metaphorically speaking, and Mark Rousseau was the pickup truck of doom. The deer always freezes, as we all know, hence the expression like a deer caught in the headlights. The deer and I Callie Grey, age thirty as of this very morning are well aware that the pickup truck is going to hit us. I waited, doe-eyed. I was much more of an adorable, perky hedgehog or something.
We have impact. The sunlight streamed through the windows of the old brick office building in which Mark and I worked, illuminating him so that he looked like something painted by Michelangelo. A good son and a sex god. It was as if there were two Callies…the smarter, more sensible self I pictured her as Michelle Obama , and the dopey, in love part…Betty Boop.
Would that Michelle could give Betty Boop a brisk slap, followed by some vigorous shaking. Alas, Betty just sat there, enthralled, as the First Lady snorted in disgust. My chest prickled with longing and love, my throat turned Saharan, my feet and fingers tingled.
Though I was trying hard for Intelligent Coworker, my expression was probably somewhere around Pathetic Adoration. Not that I noticed, of course.
Face: nuclear. Heart: racing. Callie: half inch from orgasm. Low and soft and velvety…the same voice he used in the bedroom, as I well knew. Yes, Mark and I had been together. For five weeks. Five wonderful weeks. Almost five and a half, if you really analyzed it.
Which I had. From his back pocket, he withdrew a small, rectangular package. My heart flopped as my brain raced with contradictory thoughts. Betty squealed. That means something. So romantic! On the other hand, Michelle advised caution.
Calm down, Callie. Thank you! On the other side of the glass-bricked wall that separated our offices, Fleur Eames slammed a drawer. The wall only went up ten feet; the ceilings were twelve, perfect for eavesdropping, and I guessed she was trying to snap me out of my daze. Fleur, a copywriter here at the firm, knew about my crush.
Everyone did. He held onto it for a minute, grinning before he let go. It was wrapped in cheerful yellow paper. Yellow is my favorite color.
Did I tell him that once? Had he filed away that little fact the same way I filed away everything he ever told me?
I mean, really, it could hardly be coincidence, right? He smiled down at me, and my racing heart stuttered, stalled, then revved into overdrive. Oh, God. Could it be? Did he finally want to get back together?
We were the only advertising and public relations agency in northeastern Vermont. Our staff was small—just Mark and me; Fleur; the office manager, Karen; and the two pale computer geeks in the art department, Pete and Leila.
I loved my job. Excelled at my job, as proven by the large poster on my wall, which had very nearly won a Clio, the Oscar of advertising. Said Clio ceremony took place eleven months ago out in Santa Fe. And in that beautiful, romantic city, Mark and I had finally hooked up.
Honestly, has a woman ever said that? Not a lot of twenty-nine-year-old women truly have timing issues when it comes to being with the man they love. But now…now a gift. Could it finally be that the time was right? Maybe now, on the very day that my thirties began and I entered into that decade where a woman is more likely to be mauled by a grizzly bear than get married…maybe today really was the start of a new age.
Inside was a black velvet box. I bit my lip and glanced up at Mark, who shrugged and gave me that heart-stopping smile once more. Mark glanced at him briefly, then turned his eyes back to me. Irritation, maybe. Muriel was the daughter of our newest client, Charles deVeers, the owner and founder of Bags to Riches. The company made outdoorwear from a combination of plastic grocery bags and natural fiber. It was our biggest account yet, a huge deal for Green Mountain, most of whose clients were in New England.
As part of the package, Charles had asked Muriel to come to Vermont and work as the account exec, so he could have someone close to him keeping tabs on things. And, since Charles was paying us gobs of money, Mark had said yes. Remember her? Open the damn box, Callie. Cheeks burning, I opened the velvet box. It was a bracelet, delicate silver strands that twisted and turned like ivy.
I bit my lip, my eyes already misting with happy tears. You mean a lot to me. You know that, Callie. Hope, which had been lying in ashes for the past ten months, twitched hard. No use pretending: I was turning thirty; might as well get some presents. Mark straightened, then moved a pile of papers from the small couch in my office and sat down.
You met Muriel, right? She is. Once again, I was that stupid deer, watching mutely as the pickup truck hurtled down the road. My heart slammed to a halt. Michelle Obama stood by, shaking her head sadly, her fabulous arms crossed in regret.
I realized my mouth was open. Closed it. Mark looked at the floor. Given our past involvement. He was seeing someone? How could that be? If the timing was okay for Muriel…why not… Oh, crap. Sometimes those deer keep running. That was close! Um…I am okay, right? Actually, you know what? And then they wake up dead. Smiling and nodding. I was nodding. A couple of weeks, sure. I thought five was a record, quite honestly.
My throat tightened, my joints buzzed with the flight response to danger, and a sharp pain lanced through my chest. You know what? I have to get my license renewed!
All I Ever Wanted
Higgins: I was fairly lukewarm on your last release. I never warmed up to your heroine and I thought your hero was a bit of a milquetoast. Callie Grey has been working as an ad executive for a small marketing firm in northern Vermont. She is in love with her boss and believes, based on a short affair a eleven months ago, that he is about to propose marriage to her.
REVIEW: All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins
Start your review of All I Ever Wanted Write a review Shelves: hilarious , sweet , unputdownable , audible , I never would have guessed, one happy twist of fate, four short week ago, disguised as an Audible nudge, would have sparked a new obsession in medevouring everything and anything written by Kristan Higgins. There are very few times I can say Ive read the same authors books in succession. No way. Scratch that.
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I was the deer, metaphorically speaking, and Mark Rousseau was the pickup truck of doom. The deer always freezes, as we all know, hence the expression like a deer caught in the headlights. The deer and I Callie Grey, age thirty as of this very morning are well aware that the pickup truck is going to hit us. I waited, doe-eyed. I was much more of an adorable, perky hedgehog or something. We have impact. The sunlight streamed through the windows of the old brick office building in which Mark and I worked, illuminating him so that he looked like something painted by Michelangelo.
All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins