Jan 24, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey (Kowalskis #2)

Contemporary Romance
January 24 2012
Mass Market Paperback
384 pages
Harlequin
Received from NetGalley

Yummy Man – Kevin Kowalski
Kick Ass Chick – Beth Hansen

From Goodreads –
Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he’s more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn’t gone so badly…

Beth’s tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she’d see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can’t say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.

Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he’s not the player she thinks he is. But she’s not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it’s going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child…

———-

*Dreamy sigh* While reading Exclusively Yours, I was inexplicably drawn to Kevin.  He’s the younger brother who was hurt by his cheating no-good wife.  He was mellow and laid back and quick-witted and smart yet you could always feel that underlying sadness in him.  The one that made you want to sneak into his tent and share some ice cream with him.  The good kind because he’s worth it.

In Undeniably Yours, the second book in Shannon Stacey’s Kowalskis series, I loved Kevin’s character even more.  He’s just a nice guy you want to see succeed.  One evening, he’s drawn to a woman in the bar he owns and, after a few encounters, he gets by her barriers and she agrees to spend the night with him.  They use protection and everything but still, she ends up pregnant.  I was so impressed with how Kevin handled that whole situation.  I was so impressed with how Kevin handled all situations.  I was even impressed when he snapped and told his baby-mama off!  I was actually sitting along the wall of the room with my pom-poms during that scene.  (You just don’t know I’m there because Shannon decided not to write that part in. Really.)  This book would have got a five star rating from me if it were all about Kevin.  You know, Kevin strutting around his bar, Kevin interacting with his family (which I love to see), Kevin taking a shower…  But unfortunately, Beth (the baby-mama) was a tiny bit much for me before she got pregnant…and after.

Don’t get me wrong, I did like Beth.  In fact, I liked her a lot more than I liked Terry, Joe’s sister in book one, but I just didn’t get her reluctance with…well everything.    Beth is used to doing things her way.  She hates being tied down and usually only stays in one place for a short amount of time before getting restless.  She was close to leaving when she found out she was pregnant.  Because she is a free spirit, she had a bit of trouble dealing with things.  And understandably so.  I loved how she interacted with Kevin’s family and even her family.  Some really cute and fun moments came out of those scenes.  What really confused me was why she was so afraid of being suffocated and tied down?  It didn’t seem like her parents were overbearing at all.  In fact, they were sweet.  And she wasn’t in a crazy ‘slave-like’ relationship in the past.  In fact, due to her nature, she wasn’t ever really in a solid relationship.  So I didn’t get it.  At all.  I know some people just have that need to be a free bird in them, but it took Beth at least 90% of the book before she realized that there are others who love her and who want to help her…without her being indebted to them.  Her nature never bothered me to the point where I was completely upset, I would just have liked her to give in a little earlier, or explained herself a little better.  Then she could have enjoyed her situation and her new life sooner.  It all just made me feel a little sad for her.

There is a little side story about Paulie (Kevin’s bar manager and best friend) and Sam.  Paulie I liked.  Quite a bit.  I didn’t get Sam and I didn’t really feel Sam and Paulie’s chemistry.  But it was still a nice little break from the main story, even though I didn’t feel as connected to that couple as I did Beth and Kevin.

There is always a little cutesy something in these books.  This time around it was bar napkins.  Women are constantly giving Kevin bar napkins with their phone numbers.  Kevin claims he only wants Beth’s to which she says “no way”.  You have to read how that little part of the story turns out because really, it’s adorable.

The lovable Kowalski family were all present in this installment and I was glad they were.  Even Terry.  They have such a great dynamic and it translates very well to the page.  And now that I ‘know’ them all, I am leaning towards re-reading the third book in the series.  I read it a while back but had yet to read the first books.  Even so, I enjoyed meeting the family but I think I would enjoy it even more now that I am familiar with all the members of this loyal and loud crowd.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  I wanted to shake Beth once in a while but I never wanted to smack her.  Always a good sign.  The story could have been quite predictable but Stacey wrote it in a way where she often kept us guessing.  Did you know that they would end up together?  Of course.  This is a romance book after all.  But the slight twists and turns along the way kept things fresh.    Books four, five and six in the Kowalskis series are due out later this year and I will definitely be picking them up.  In fact, they are already written in my planner.

Undeniably Yours is a wonderful addition to this series.  It’s a sweet book with a yummy hero. Yeah…you gotta read it just for Kevin.  Mmm…Kevin…

4 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“Kevin set a frosty mug in front of his brother, almost dumping it in Mike’s lap when Beth waddled by.

Countless women had walked through his bar.  Walked.  Sashayed.  Danced.  Staggered.  He’d even had a few try to climb up onto the bar and strip.  Who knew he’d be turned on by the one who waddled?”

—–

“’So Beth and I have some news.’

‘Who’s Beth?’ Keri asked.

‘The bartender at your wedding.’

‘Oh, that’s right.  How could I forget when my husband almost got thrown out of our own reception for trying to hire her like some hooker or something.’

‘What’s a hooker?’ Bobby asked.

Keri’s island tan flushed her pink.  ‘Oops.’

‘You put it on the end of a fishing pole, dummy.’ Brian explained.

Bobby frowned.  ‘Uncle Joe tried to hire a worm?’

‘No,’ Danny told his younger brothers.  ‘Not that kind of hooker.’

‘Enough’, Lisa yelled at her kids.  ‘You’ll understand when you’re older.’

‘I’m going to be a genius when I get older,’ Brian mumbled at his plate.

Books in the Kowalskis series –
Exclusively Yours
Undeniably Yours
Your to Keep

  1. I do want to try a book by her but I am just so unsure about this one. It is the premise, I just do not like the premise of it all

  2. This is a series I’m getting very excited about! The more reviews I read the more I just want to call in sick to work, run to Hastings, buy the books, and go home to just read! However, I can’t do that…but I’m glad that you’re really enjoying the series and I can wait to see what you think of books 4, 5, and 6 later this year! 😀

  3. Yay….great review!

  4. I liked this one too, but probably not enough to re-read it as with the other two in this series. Beth’s reluctance irked me because I couldn’t see the justification in it. However, the writing in this series is so good and sweet and funny that I think it’s worth the read anyways.

  5. I hated Beth, so much I would have preferred if they would have not ended up together. She was an annoying %&(%

  6. This is such a fun series – I had never read Ms. Stacey before but I am now a fan 😉 Can’t wait to see what you think of the next one!!

  7. Sounds nice, but I think I can relate with Beth more, if you have never dreamed of getting “married with children”, why should you give it up without a fight when you accidentally get pregnant? There are always other options, and if you are not in love, why settle for the father of the child?
    I know America’s highest ideal for women is marriage, and children, but well, that is not for every one.

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