Jan 22, 2013

Posted by in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey (Kowalski Family #6)

allheeverdreamed5 star

Contemporary Romance
January 21 2013
384 pages
Carina Press
Received from NetGalley

Yummy Man – Josh Kowalski
Kick Ass Chick – Katie Davis

From Goodreads –
Josh Kowalski is tired of holding down the fort—better known as the Northern Star Lodge—while his siblings are off living their dreams. Now that his oldest brother has returned to Whitford, Maine for good, Josh is free to chase some dreams of his own.

As the daughter of the lodge’s longtime housekeeper, Katie Davis grew up alongside the Kowalski kids. Though she’s always been “one of the guys”, her feelings for Josh are anything but sisterly. And after a hot late-night encounter in the kitchen, it’s clear Josh finally sees her as the woman she is.

Katie’s been waiting years for Josh to notice her, but now that he has, she’s afraid it’s too late. Giving her heart to a man who can’t wait to leave town is one sure way to have it broken. But Josh keeps coming up with excuses not to leave—could it be that everything he’s ever wanted is closer than he could have imagined?


All He Ever Dreamed in the sixth book in Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski Family series.  It was just as fun as and cute as I thought it would be.  But what I didn’t expect was that it would make me as teary eyed as it did.

Josh is the baby brother in the Kowalski family.  His parents owned a snowmobile lodge and the siblings grew up there.   Josh’s parents passed away and the older siblings all left the nest to pursue their own lives leaving Josh with the responsibility of running the lodge.  That is a responsibility that he never really wanted, but no one asked him, so stuck with it he is.  I totally feel for this guy.  He is only 30 and has yet to really spread his wings and see exactly what is out there for him.  He’s been living his parents’ dreams and he feels it’s time he finds his own life.  But to do that, the siblings have to either sell the lodge or find someone who can manage it.  No one wants to sell the lodge but him, yet everyone understand why it’s something they should do.  But just because they understand it don’t mean they have to like it.  And that leaves Josh, still feeling like poop because he feels guilty that his happiness seems to have to come at everyone else’s happiness’ expense.

What to do?  What to do?

Josh is awesome.  I have really enjoyed reading him over the past few books.  I think he’s my favorite brother.  Well, I also really like Sean.  And Mitch.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I like them all.  I even like Liz (who is apparently going to get her own book eventually.  Youpie!)  But there is something about Josh and how he is trying so hard to make everyone happy that is so gosh darn loveable.  On top of that, he is such a guy!  rHe loves his sports and trash talking to the TV while watching a football game, he loves making stupid bets with his best friend and he chops wood when he’s feeling a little…stressed.  All traits that make me like him all the more.  Plus he’s also pretty clueless.  Especially when it comes to his best friend Katie.

Katie has been in love with Josh pretty much forever.  She grew up with the siblings because her mother works and lives at the lodge.  But he only sees her as one of the guys.  She willing to take him however he’ll have her so if being his best friend is the best way to go, she’ll do it.  These two are so amazing together.  Their banter is awesome.  I loved each and every scene where they were on the page together.  Shannon does such a good job with these two!  And I knew the scene where Josh finally saw Katie as a chick and not just a buddy would be funny and boy was it ever!  I laughed so hard I had to read it twice.

Most of the book made me giggle, but there were a few scenes that brought tears to my eyes.  Not because someone died or anything that dire.  It’s just that Shannon did such a good job writing the emotional parts of these scenes, of showing us exactly how the characters felt during those moments, I couldn’t not cry.

But that ending…misty eyes for a completely different reason.  Such a sweet and perfect ending.

Rosie (Katie’s mom) has quite a role in this book.  Her with Andy and her with the boys and her with Katie…there is so much of her!  Thank goodness for it too because I think she’s awesome.  She is your typical mom who wants what’s best for her children, biological or not.  It’s amazing how much she cares for the Kowalski kids even though they are not truly her own.  And I love Andy’s role in this book too.

All in all, this book was wonderful.  In fact, as soon as I heard that this would be Josh and Katie’s book, I knew I would love it.  And I did.  I absolutely loved it.  This is a charming contemporary romance series and fans of the genre should absolutely check it out.

5 stars

Giggle worthy quote

“’You’re going to need to take those jeans off before you climb over here.’ Josh said the second the groomer had come to a complete stop.

‘Jeez, doesn’t a woman get a little foreplay?’

‘Thinking about it all night doesn’t count?’  He snorted.  ‘You are such a girl.  I’ll kiss you first.  How’s that?’

‘You are such a guy.’”

Books in the Kowalski Family series –
Exclusively Yours
Undeniably Yours
Your to Keep
All He Ever Needed
All He Ever Desired
All He Ever Dreamed


  1. You nailed this review. Just reading the part about Josh living his parents dream made me a little teary. GREAT review, Julie! YOu know, I loved this one too! smiles…

  2. I do adore sweet 🙂

  3. I’ve read a couple reviews but managed to avoid the spoilers that didn’t like the book a whole lot, but having finished it and still in the after glow I can say I loved it.

    I’ve yet to find a Kowalski I didn’t love!

  4. Great review Julie, I want to catch up on those Kowalski’s!

  5. Do you think Drew and Liz will get a book? They have to, right? Right?! Great review!

  6. Christi – Yay! We both loved the same book! 😉

    blodeuedd – 🙂

    Julie – Same here. There are some aspects here and there that may bug me a tiny bit but never enough to damper my afterglow, as you so perfectly put it. 🙂

    aurian – You should. 🙂

    Brie – Liz is getting her book (I asked Shannon) but no word on when yet. Youpie! I want her and Drew to have a HEA. Especially after everything he went through with his wife.

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