Review: All He Ever Desired by Shannon Stacey (Kowalski Family #5)
November 12 2012
Received from NetGalley
Yummy Man – Ryan Kowalski
Kick Ass Chick – Lauren Carpenter
From Goodreads –
A second shot at first love
After college, Ryan Kowalski decided to leave Whitford, Maine, rather than watch Lauren Carpenter marry another man. Now his siblings need his help to refurbish the family-owned Northern Star Lodge and he’s forced to face the past sooner rather than later when he collars a vandal—and learns the boy is Lauren’s son…
The last person Lauren needs back in her life is Ryan Kowalski. With a bitter ex-husband and a moody teenage son, she has enough man trouble already. But her son needs to learn a few lessons about right and wrong, even if Lauren has to escort him to Ryan’s door every day to work off his crime.
With all this close contact, Ryan and Lauren can’t deny the chemistry between them is as powerful as ever. But can a few searing kisses erase their past and pave the way for a second chance at true love?
All He Ever Desired is the fifth book in Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski Family series. This has become a contemporary romance series that I really look forward to. I love this family and their friends. I love how they are written. They are nice people and loving hearts. They are not without their faults and that makes them real and relatable. The dialogue is fun too. All He Ever Desired continued with all my favorite elements from this series and was overall a very nice read.
Ryan doesn’t live in the small town where he grew up but he is finding himself there more and more. He is a builder and his family’s lodge needs repairs…desperately. He’s lending a hand. In the last book we were introduced to him as he came to visit/help out on weekends. This time around he is sticking around for a whole month because that is what is needed to get the lodge looking at least half decent in time for his brother’s wedding. But Ryan’s home is where his house and his business are, and even though he eventually falls in love, Whitford, Maine is not his home.
I had a lot of respect for Ryan while reading this book. He’s trying his best and it shows. Ryan was in love with Lauren for ages before she ended up with his best friend. Soon after, she got pregnant and married said best friend. But Ryan never felt like Lauren was being treated the way she should be so he proposed something to her…that she said no to. He meant well so who can be angry with him. Was it a bit of a stupid move? Oh absolutely! But his heart was in the right place. And even though he has since married and divorced, his feelings for Lauren have never completely gone away. I love how he is when he sees her around town for the first few times since coming back. It’s so cute.
Lauren never forgot Ryan either but never felt the same way about him as he felt about her way back when. She has a 16 year old son and an ex I wanted to smack. She has a life in Whitford so the last thing she needs is to be finding herself falling for someone who doesn’t. I liked Lauren. She is doing what she needs to do to get by and to give her son Nick a good life. And boy did I feel for her when Nick messed up. I wanted to shake that boy myself. She is a good match for Ryan and I can see how she will fit well in the family.
Back to Nick for a moment. I really liked how Shannon wrote him. Teenagers are hard to write. Sometimes they are too fluffy and sometimes they are too mopey. And sometimes they just p*ss you off. Nick was great. He was you usual teenage boy, feeling a little lost in his life and trying to figure things out without the over-drama. He made me smile (after the feeling of wanting to shake him passed) and he made me really want what’s best for him. And when he opens up to people and finally talks to his dad (that’s all I’m going to say about that), I was so gosh darned proud of him!
Rosie is the woman who pretty much raised this branch of the Kowalski kids since their parents passed. She is a borderline busy-body but she is so endearing you forgive her for it. How much she loves those kids is so sweet to read and I am very curious to see if she too will have a relationship bloom in the next book.
Speaking of next book, it’s due out January 13th 2013 and it’s going to be Josh and Katie’s book. I can’t wait for this one (as I mentioned in my review All He Ever Wanted). Katie is Rosie’s daughter and has been into Josh forever. But he sees her as a little sister. Everyone knows these two are meant to be and I can’t wait to see how Shannon writes the scene when Josh realized it too. It’s going to be awesome.
All in all, All He Ever Desired was a cute read. I liked the couple and found they went really well together. We also got to see the characters from the first three Kowalski books because they were all invited to the wedding at the lodge so it was nice to catch up with them a little bit. You don’t need to read these books in order but you do get a better sense of the family and its dynamic if you do. If you are a fan of contemporary romance books, give this series a try. It’s well worth it.
Giggle worthy quote
“’Where’s Paige? Is she with Lauren?’ As shitty as he felt about the whole mess, he really hoped she’s reached out to her friends. He didn’t like to imagine her hurting and upset, alone in the house.
‘No. Lauren thought Paige might try to defend you because she’s your sister-in-law and she was in the mood for somebody one hundred percent in her corner. Hailey’s been with her since last night. Didn’t even open the library today, which is going over as well as you can imagine.’
‘So she and Hailey are sitting around talking about what an asshole I am.’
Josh snorted. ‘And that’s what we were doing, too. See how much you guys have in common?’”