June 8, 2010

When Keri Daniels’ editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.

Joe’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he’s intrigued to hear Keri’s back in town—and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he’ll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.

He proposes an outrageous plan—for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she’s worked too hard to walk away from her career.

But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe’s sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn’t ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.

Big city girl Keri Daniels is a reporter for a glossy entertainment magazine and has been forced into getting an interview with her high-school sweetheart now turned famous and reclusive author. It’s either that or she loses her job as her pit-bull boss has put it. With her job on the line, she heads to her hometown in New England to see if Joe will still give her the time of day after she left him to chase a career under the bright lights of big city Los Angeles. Joe is going out of town on the annual camping vacation with his family and presents her with a challenge: He wants her to come with them and for every day she sticks it out with them, she gets a question asked and answered.

EXCLUSIVELY YOURS was funny, touching, endearing, sweet, hot and high on family dynamics. I think this book was contemporary romance at its best. The characters had a highly realistic feel to them and were easy to relate to. They weren’t picture-perfect but flawed and yet very likeable despite those flaws. They aren’t afraid to admit mistakes and own up to them and their own behavior. The Kowalskis are a day-to-day family with day-to-day issues. A family that laughs, fights, talks, bonds, has fun and goes through rough patches together. They were all amazing characters and I loved them all, from Leo to Bobby and from Mary to Steph.

I loved the clean, crisp writing style. I laughed out loud on numerous occasions. The brotherly humor between the Kowalski men and the way the characters were able to make fun of themselves, the children, especially Bobby with his camera, I gobbled it all up and loved it. The humor is what totally reeled me in with this book. I read it in almost one sitting because I just couldn’t stop reading. Books like these make me want to abandon other subgenres in romance and stick exclusively to contemporary romance.

Despite the flaws, issues and problems within the Kowalski family EXCLUSIVELY YOURS is a feel-good romance if I ever read one. When I finished it, I was hoping Shannon Stacey would treat us to more of this family and this kind of books and luckily for me, she’s confirmed that book 2 is scheduled to release this fall and will be Kevin Kowalski’s story. This made my day because I loved Kevin in this book and can’t wait to read his story in UNDENIABLY YOURS. In the meantime I have Shannon’s other books to read because I could smack myself for not reading her work sooner, it’s damn good writing! I am going on a Shannon Stacey complete backlist reading binge and she’s shot straight to my auto-buy list.

People who know me know that the thought of camping makes me break out in hives. I’ve gone out camping twice in my life and both times were disastrous. The fact that with EXCLUSIVELY YOURS Shannon Stacey made it sound fun and even have me thinking of giving it another try maybe, says enough about how much I liked this book and her writing powers of persuasion. I am so very glad I requested to review this book for my Carina Press Week because if this is a taste of what Carina Press has to offer I am going to be a very happy reader!

EXCLUSIVELY YOURS is one of the best contemporary romances I’ve ever read. It’s the epitome of a character-driven story that’s bound to nestle in your heart and head and remain there for a long time. Though not high on the kind of emotional intensity that blows you away, it definitely tugs on the heartstrings with a cast of endearing every-day characters, their problems and the way they try to work through them. With EXCLUSIVELY YOURS Shannon Stacey has earned the first perfect 10 of 2010 for an eBook release on my blog.

Keri to Terry: “People sometimes hurt the ones they love trying to protect themselves from being hurt. Love means second chances sometimes.”

10 out of 10


As announced last week my Carina Week will not be without a fabulous giveaway, courtesy of Carina Press! Up for grabs here on the blog is one coupon code worth $ 15 to spend at Carina Press, buying the books you'd like to try out. Believe me, if what I've read is an indication, there is something for everybody and the books I've read were gems in their genres, each and every one of them. Okay, now to the important part. How can you win this coupon code? That's easy.

  • Just leave a (meaningful) comment on the posts during my Carina Week.
  • Each comment will give you an entry.
  • There will be 6 Carina Week blog-posts so that gives you a maximum of 6 entries if you comment on every post. Mind you, you don't have to comment on every post, it just gives you more chances if you do.
  • Make sure you leave your email address with your comment (or email it to me, through the contact link in the left sidebar if you don't want to publicly leave your email address) because it's needed to be able to claim the code.
  • On Saturday June 12th I'll tally up the entries and pick a winner via random.org

I also announced last week that there would be 2 coupon codes of $ 15 each so you might wonder, what of the other code. That one will be the prize in a Twitter-giveaway so if you want another chance at it...keep an eye on my Twitter-account this week and get tweeting because each tweet including the hashtag #CarinaWeek will be entered for the Twitter-giveaway.

So there you have it...2 chances to win an opportunity to get your mitts on some Carina Press gems!

Have fun! And hope to see a lot of you this week!


Leontine said...

Yesterday ROOB got an e-mail from Emma Cunningham announcing the launch of Carina Press and it also continaed a link to where I could buy books. Well, good book-addict that I am I had to go and lurk around and for sure I bought this novel. My very first CP buy :) Of course I already heard you a bit on twitter about this book but wow, your review really makes me happy I chose this book as my next contemp.romance challenge novel!!

And as for camping, we did it 2-3 summers for 2 weeks and each time it rained like it only can do in the Netherlands. Which means 24/7. My parents went stirr-fry crazy with 5 kids in such a small space...

Mandi said...

Well if a story wants to make a girl go camping, I'm all in!! ;)

Nice review...So much fun to have all these new books to choose from!

Anonymous said...

I actually just read this last night! Loved it too!!! Please don't include me in the contest ;-)


Shannon Stacey said...

Thank you so, so much! I'm so glad you liked it!

As to camping, my family does it more or less every other weekend from April to November, but we don't rough it. Our camper's a lot older and a little shabbier than the Kowalski's campers, but it's got two bedrooms, a flat-screen TV and a microwave.

We spent two nights tent camping about ten years ago and that was more than enough for me. :)

Sophia (FV) said...

Wow, best contemp you've read? Sounds awesome Pearl!!!

Natascha said...

I sooooo want to read this one! Don't we all have the hots for a highschool sweetheart at one point? I know I had, well maybe not a highschool sweetheart, I was a bit late with everything, so my highschool sweetheart has transferred to a workplace in my early twenties, but stupid me had this rule never to go out with a co-worker *sigh*

It would be great to read a story that actually holds the 'what if we got a second chance'! I'm so in need to live vicariously through a feel-good romance! This book by Shannon Stacy seems to be able to do just that for me! Going to get my hands on this one for sure!

I SO love that quote.

elaing8 said...

I don't know if this is something I would normally read but your review has convinced me I should give it a try.Great review.

Armenia said...

I was on the fence on this book, but I am seeing everywhere on blogosphere with great reviews. After reading your post I am convinced its a story I am sure to love. It so reminds me of SEP's character driven stories and I love them and take them to heart. Please enter me. Thanks for the great giveaway.

armiefox at yahoo dot com

Lori said...

I loved this one, too. Shan has a great voice for contemps. Read her Devlin Group books, too. One-liners buried in RS.

JessieR said...

Woule love to read this book! It sounds just like something I would enjoy especially the laughing out loud part.

Christine said...

This book seems to be getting really good press lately, and I'm pretty excited at what Carina Press has to offer. It's a big step, not just for romance fiction, but for ebook readers everywhere!

Anyway, I'd love for a chance to win the giveaway! riot42 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Don't enter me, I just wanted to say that I bought this (one of my very first eBook purchases!!) because of your review and mainly because of your Carina Week - I had never heard of this publisher until your event. So, thanks! I'm really looking forward to reading it :)

Unknown said...

Wow, I already lovbed the premise but then I read your review and I WANT THIS!! This sounds like a perfect read: I love it when there is a history between the H/H and the idea of the family camp trip is amazing! I love reading about good family dynamics and sibling relationship, and it sounds promising that Exclusively Yours is not only a sweet, feel good romance but also a funny one! Can't resist those! :-D

Nicole said...

Camping makes me want to break out in hives as well, but I'm not opposed to reading about it!! :D

throuthehaze said...

Normally this isn't the kind of book I read but this one sounds really good :)

Scorpio M. said...

This is the one e-book I'm most anxious to read because I *lurve* second-chance romances. And when you and in city-girl-meets-country hijinks, I'm game!

jenma76 at hotmail dot com

JenM said...

This is one of the books that has gone on my wishlist and I've seen several good reviews so I'm excited to get it. I love to camp so the storyline sounds great.

jen at delux dot com

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

On My TBR Shelf

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  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
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  • Dark Taste of Rapture - Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

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  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
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  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
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  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
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