Thursday, January 17, 2013

All He Ever Desired (Kowalski Family #5) by Shannon Stacey

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?

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

As much as it pains me to say it I think it's safe to say I've fallen out of love with the Kowalski family, or rather with Stacey's writing. A damn hard thing to swallow after being so smitten with the first three books in the series. They were that perfect mix of delicious romance, heat, real emotion turmoil and, what I think made them so fantastic, laugh-so-hard-you-cry humor. Unfortunately, as with the previous release, hardly any of that was seen in All He Ever Desired.

One of the problems, I think, was that the book suffered from too much "real life" monotony without even a hint of humor to make it fun, fresh and not so...boring. Though things do pick up the last half of the book (except in the humor department) for a good portion of the story I found myself tapping my fingers on my thigh and wishing I could read faster so I could just finish the book already and move on. And that's not something that happens to me often especially with a book that doesn't even break 200 pages.

As for the romance while it did take a while for me to see that spark between Ryan and Lauren their relationship was more real and believable than the previous book and I could really buy into these two in the end. The sex was much steamier and more abundant and I could see the two together as a couple. See them falling in love and being happy together.

As a drama? All He Ever Desired would probably work. There's family clashes, relationship bumps, illnesses, etc that will sort of pull you in. But as a light contemporary romance that lifts your spirits, which is how the series felt in the beginning, it falls utterly short and left so much to be desired. In the end I think it's time I called it quits with this series. I'll always treasure those first three books but the magics just not in them for me anymore.

*A copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion

Have you ever fallen out of love with a series/author?
Have you read this series? Are they still working for you?


  1. Oh the "too much real life monotony" is a killer for me. I enjoy relating to down to earth characters but I get enough RL monotony every day so when I read a book I'm hoping to escape it.

    I loved the first Kowalski book but I haven't kept up with the series. Something else is always calling my name. Maybe it's time for her to start something fresh?

    1. Exactly. I read to escape and need something not so every day life to keep me interested. I think it probably is time for something new for her. At least that's how it felt to me. I think there's one more book coming out (or that just came out) in the series then I'm hoping she'll try something different.

  2. I have read one of those books, and really enjoyed it. Very sad that she can't hold that fun vibe in the series. Too much real life sounds like womens fiction, which I dislike.

    1. Hmmm I don't think I've really read women's fiction but if that's what this sounds like then definitely not for me. I was pretty sad about the shift in the series. It really doesn't feel like the same author at all. But man those first 3 were good! LOL

      I'll probably give her another try one day if she decides to do another series. Just to see what happens. Never know :)

  3. I have this series on my Nook. I'm looking forward to eventually getting around to reading it.

    1. Hope you enjoy em Yvonne! I absolutely devoured the first 3. She put me through the ringer with them. Crying from laughing so hard then she'd get me on the other end with how touching some of the scenes were. Whew. Yeah I loved em. I wasn't a huge fan of the last 2 obviously but I know quite a few people who loved them too :)

      Happy reading!


I always enjoy hearing what YOU think so come on and leave a comment. Everyone's welcome :) And feel free to leave comments on old posts. I'll check in on you there too :)

Bloggers don't forget to leave your links!

The Herd Archives