April 27, 2011

One-night stand + two percent condom failure rate = happily ever after?

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…

Author: Shannon Stacey
Series: Kowalski Family, book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Year of release: 2010, November 1
Format: eBook
Source: Requested from the publisher via NetGalley

First line:
Every time the New England Patriots chalked one up in the win column, Kevin Kowalski got laid.

Memorable Scenes:
- The lipstick-kissed napkin notes to Kevin > hilarious
- Bobby 'talking' to his future cousin > funny
- Christmas gift exchange between Kevin and Beth > teary-eyed
- Hospital scene > so emotional I was sobbing, yet funny too so I was laughing through my tears

Kevin Kowalski is a sports bar owner and a genuinely good guy. He’s smart, sweet, funny and so endearing he made my heart hurt, in a very good way.

Beth Hansen was a bit of a more complicated character than Kevin was. She might be a hard sell for some readers, especially those hard on heroines but I loved Beth. Like a wandering nomad she goes from town to town, working, staying for a few months and then moving on again. She’s independent, self-sufficient, pragmatic, stubborn, proud and smart. Her parents are sweet but overprotective and smothering and IMO a big reason for her wandering nature.

Complementing the great main couple there was a collection of secondary characters that made a lasting impression on me. Of course some of them I already knew and loved from EXCLUSIVELY YOURS, such as Kevin’s (extended) family but there were a few new ones too. Two that stuck with me most were Paulie and Sam and that’s because they formed the secondary romance couple.

Paulie Reed is Kevin’s best friend and works at the sports bar as assistant manager and waitress. Her POV was surprising at first but I knew it served some purpose and soon I discovered there was a secondary romance in the making. Samuel Thomas 'Sam' Logan IV’s history with Paulie is that she left him at the altar 5 years earlier as she pulled a runaway bride act. I really loved this secondary romance storyline, it was just as funny and romantic as the main romance but never took away the attention.

UNDENIABLY YOURS is another winner for Shannon Stacey! I fell for the Kowalskis in EXCLUSIVELY YOURS and have come to deeply love them in UNDENIABLY YOURS. It's no secret I'm a fan of contemporary romance and I appreciate great family dynamics and kids in my romance novels and with this book Shannon Stacey gave me exactly what I wanted and needed.

When I started reading UDENIABLY YOURS I knew it was going to be good because I loved the first book and this one was going to take me back to that rambunctious and fun Kowalski family and I was not disappointed! Shannon Stacey has a way of writing contemporary romance with characters that just wiggle and shove their way into your heart, whether you want it or not. They have you laughing, crying and cursing at them. They are not picture-perfect and they have flaws and issues but they are so endearing and genuinely trying to get things right, you just have to love them.

Though the impact of UNDENIABLY YOURS wasn't as mind-blowing as the first book I loved this sequel to EXCLUSIVELY YOURS. Kevin was a great hero and the humor, though tidbit more subtle, I crave was definitely shining through Shannon Stacey’s clean, crisp writing that I love so much.

The punch of UNDENIABLY YOURS is definitely in the last part. Shannon Stacey saved the best for last with a last chapter and epilogue that made me cry at Kevin's sweetness and Beth's stubbornness, by the time I came to the end of the pre-epilogue chapter I was bawling. Yet at the same time she made me smile through the tears with the humor mixed into it all.

I don’t think I have adequate words to describe how much I love these Kowalski books by Shannon Stacey. All I can say is: if you love contemporary romance, what the heck are you waiting for? Go buy and read these books!

Favorite Quotes:
Muscles rippled under his T-shirt and, when he stretched for a stack of folded towels, a gap opened between its hem and the waistband of his low-slung jeans. The tantalizing glimpse of abs made her mouth go dry, which was okay because she’d forgotten what she was going to say, anyway.

Or it would be easy work if her body wasn’t tuned in like a quivering antenna to the vibe Kevin was broadcasting.

“Are you going to get all prickly on me if I try to kiss you?”
She tilted her head back so she could see his face. “I guess that depends on how well you kiss.”

We. Part of her was relieved to have a partner in panic and uncertainty, but we was also a level of togetherness she hadn’t expected to share with anybody for a while, especially with a guy whose Rolodex was filled out in Do-Me Fuchsia lipstick.

“If my mother finds out you’re spending Thanksgiving alone, she’ll whack me upside the head so hard with that wooden spoon of hers, when I wake up my clothes will be out of style.

“You know what would cheer you up?”
Licking frosting off his stomach before having hot and sweaty and sticky sex?
“Ice cream,” he said.
“Strawberry?” Not nearly as good, but better for her in the long run.
His grin was on the wrong side of naughty. “Not chocolate?”

Sam & Paulie
“Go out with me. Nobody knows who we are here. I’m just a businessman from Boston and you’re the saucy serving wench who struck my fancy.”
The surprised laughter bubbled up before she could stop it. “Serving wench? Buddy, if I strike you, it ain’t gonna be in your fancy.”


Leontine said...

"One-night stand + two percent condom failure rate = happily ever after?"


"Every time the New England Patriots chalked one up in the win column, Kevin Kowalski got laid."


your great review = me taking action of plugging in my iPad and transferring EXCLUSIVELY YOURS on to it. I have to get to know this family ;) It will be a good change from my m/m binges :)

Aurian said...

Nice review Pearl, you really make me want to read this one, even if it is not my most favourite storyline.

Minx said...

The opening tag line of the book blurb made me laugh! What a great line, I have never read any books by this author but your review makes me think I should. Thanks!

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2011 Reading Challenge

Pearl has read 10 books toward her goal of 50 books.

On My TBR Shelf

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  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
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