Mar 27, 2014

Posted by in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Taken With You by Shannon Stacey (Kowalski Family #8)

Taken with You4 star

Contemporary Romance
March 25 2014
Mass Market Paperback
336 pages
Carina Press
Received from publisher via NetGalley

Yummy Man – Matt Barnett
Kick Ass Chick – Haily Genest

From Goodreads –
Hailey Genest has seen most of her friends marry and have babies, and she’s happy for them, but it was a lot easier before she hit forty. She’s spent her entire life in Whitford, Maine, and if she hasn’t found her Prince Charming by now, she has to accept she’s probably not going to. When a new friend suggests they go on an adventure and embrace being single, Hailey agrees.

Surviving in the woods is game warden Matt Barnett’s idea of a relaxing vacation. But when he meets two women in need of help, he leads them back to safety – a task that proves more fun than expected, thanks to a certain hot blonde. He can’t resist pushing her buttons, even though she’s made it clear that the rugged, outdoorsy type just isn’t for her.

Hailey is glad to see the back of her tempting-tour-guide-slash-pain-in-the-ass. When he shows up in her life again, she’s determined to avoid him, no matter how good he looks in his uniform. But that’s easier said than done in Whitford, especially when he’s renting the house right next door…


Taken With You is the eighth book in Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski Family series.  This time around we follow along as a close friend of the family meets her ‘meant to be’.  All of the Kowalski clan have had their HEA and now Shannon is writing about their friends and folks who like in their town.  I like that idea.  We have met many of these people throughout the series so it’s nice to see them also get their own HEA.  Taken With You is Hailey’s story, the town librarian.  She’s forty years old and has yet to meet mister right.  She doesn’t even believe Matt is mister right until there is no denying it anymore and it’s that twist made for an entertaining and cute read.

Hailey is not shy about letting people know that she is tired of looking for the perfect man for her.  She is also a little envious of her friends who have all found theirs.  She is not cranky about it or anything; she only wishes she were in the same boat as them.  Hailey and Matt’s ‘meet-cute’ is very funny.  Matt loves the outdoors, a good trait for a Game Warden, and is at the tail end of a two week outdoor vacation, in all his smelly unshaven splendor, when he comes across Hailey and Tori lost in the woods.  Hailey thinks he’s gross…but is still intrigued by him.  Matt thinks she’s frustrating…but is still intrigued by him.

They have some pretty intense chemistry.  I absolutely loved Hailey and Matt’s scenes together.  Great dialogue and rapport.  In fact, the scenes where the two of them were alone and just hanging out were my favorite in this book.  And the romance progresses rather slowly but it works.  I actually found the romance in this book to be one of the best written of the series.

Matt was yummy.  I liked his sense of humor and how he was with Hailey from the beginning.  The fact that he loves the outdoors and Hailey does not at all added an interesting spin on things.  The only time I was disappointed in Matt was when he let something an ex-girlfriend did to him affect his time with Hailey.  That is not a plot point I like to read because it often because it can be more frustrating than anything. At least it didn’t last long.

Back to Hailey for a quick second.  I really liked her.  She has a slight klutzy streak that makes her completely endearing.  I loved how she was open and willing to try some of Matt’s favorite activities even though they were way out of her comfort zone.  She not once whined.  I also think is wonderful how much she loves the library and the town makes her really special.  I think you will all really like her.

Overall, this book was a very enjoyable read.  Fans of the series will be very pleased with this latest installment.  I am really looking forward to the next book, Falling For Max.  Max is somewhat of a mystery and Tori is a spitfire.  Together, they should be awesome.  That next book is hitting shelves July 29th 2014.

As for Taken with You, fans of contemporary romance books should definitely check it out.  You don’t necessarily have to read this series is order but it’s not a bad idea to pick them all up.  These books are sweet and cute and they  always leave me with a smile on my face.  After you read them, you will be smiling too.

4 stars

Books in the Kowalski Family series –
Exclusively Yours
Undeniably Yours
Yours to Keep
All He Ever Needed
All He Ever Desired
All He Ever Dreamed
Love a Little Sideways
Taken With You
Falling For Max (July 2014)



  1. I really enjoy this series. I’ve listened to them all on audio and read one of them because the narrator was different. I think I’m going to grab this on ebook to save an audio credit. I can’t wait to read about Hailey’s HEA.

  2. Great review Julie, thank you! Adding this one to my wishlist. I do wonder why I have read only one book so far, and I did really like it a lot.

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