Title: All He Ever Desired
Series: Kowalski Family, Book 5
Author: Shannon Stacey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: review copy from publisher via NetGalley
Published: November 12, 2012 by Carina Press
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?
Why I Read this Book: I’m hooked on the series. I will read every single book in the Kowalski Family series.
What I Liked: I like a little cat and mouse in my romance. I like the dance between a hero and heroine where the attraction and chemistry is obviously there but there’s some hesitation from one party (or both). I love watching it play out; the tension, the banter, the sexual innuendos – all of it.
I thought I was going to be annoyed by Lauren’s teenaged son, Nick, but he wasn’t that bad. And he’s presence wasn’t just merely a plot device. He fit right in with the rest of the characters and held his place just fine.
I am really happy with the way things turned out for Lauren and Ryan, though I was a little miffed at Ryan for talking to Lauren’s ex-husband before speaking with her. But I can overlook that. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that it made sense where Lauren and Ryan end up. And it worked out for all parties involved.
What I Didn’t Like: I would have liked to have gotten a more inside look at Lauren and her ex-husband’s relationship when they first got together. I wanted to know how Ryan was so in love with his best friend’s girl but we didn’t get to see any of that. All the reader knows is that Ryan had once asked Lauren to leave her husband and take her son and be with Ryan. It lacked substance and kept me wondering.
Uh oh, what’s going on with Rose? I have a bad feeling….
One thing I didn’t get is why Lauren kept her married name all this time when it’s been 8 years since her divorce. The cause for the divorce was bad enough, why would you want to keep the bastard’s name?
“Plan A is a race to your bed, stripping on the way, and the first one there naked gets to be the choreographer.”
Overall Impression: I can always count on Shannon Stacey for a good romantic comedy. Her stories provide great laughs, a great love, and a great time. Her books make for a fun, light reading experience that I can’t get enough of.