Being a widow has defined Lucy Lang's life for the last five years since the night her husband fell asleep while driving and crashed into a tree. But when her younger sister has a baby, Lucy realizes that she still young and that she wants babies of her own, so Lucy decides that it's time to get back to dating and finding herself a new husband.
And the first step toward finding a new husband is breaking things off with her shag-buddy, Ethan Mirabelli, who's her best friend and brother-in-law. Once that's taken care of Lucy starts her search for her a new husband, she has a few requirements - like high good father potential, and no risk taking behavior - and she doesn't really want to fall in love again, since it seems like the women of her family are doomed to be widowed young and Lucy doesn't want to face heartbreak again.
Okay, I've read several of Ms Higgins - even one that included a woman falling for her brother in law (Fools Rush In) - so I had reasonable hope that she could make it work, but The Next Best Thing just doesn't. Lucy has such an idealized version of her husband Jimmy in her head that really clouds everything, even the way she sees Ethan, both Ethan and Lucy get treated like second-rate offspring by their respective parents.
There is also Parker, Lucy's best friend and the mother of Ethan's son, who constantly encourages Lucy to give Ethan a chance. I'm sorry, but people aren't that civil. And I couldn't find any of the things I usually love about Ms Higgins books, like the friends and families of the protagonists, they just weren't there for me this time.