20 Jan '13

A Nix ARC Contemporary Review – All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey (5 Stars)

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Josh Kowalski is tired of holding down the fort—better known as the Northern Star Lodge—while his siblings are off living their dreams. Now that his oldest brother has returned to Whitford, Maine for good, Josh is free to chase some dreams of his own.

 

As the daughter of the lodge’s longtime housekeeper, Katie Davis grew up alongside the Kowalski kids. Though she’s always been “one of the guys”, her feelings for Josh are anything but sisterly. And after a hot late-night encounter in the kitchen, it’s clear Josh finally sees her as the woman she is.

 

Katie’s been waiting years for Josh to notice her, but now that he has, she’s afraid it’s too late. Giving her heart to a man who can’t wait to leave town is one sure way to have it broken. But Josh keeps coming up with excuses not to leave—could it be that everything he’s ever wanted is closer than he could have imagined?

Ahhhhhhhhhh, it’s a Kowalski book!! If you like sweet romances with a side order of hot sex then this is a series that you may need to start. This series is based around the members of the Kowalski family and their stories as they fall head over heels in love. This one features Josh, the youngest of five (I think) and his friends to lover’s romance. It made me laugh, hug my kindle and mentally beat them both over the head. I want the next one immediately!
Josh caught my attention in Mitch’s book. Left by his elder siblings to run the family business (because they didn’t want to!), he was left feeling angry and trapped by their choices to leave and his sense of responsibility that kept him where he didn’t want to be. I understood his feelings, and it did affect my opinions of his brothers in their books, but in this one they are trying to rectify their mistakes. They have made the decision to sell the business and let Josh run free for a bit. Perfect timing for his story right? J
Katie has been Josh’s best friend forever and loved him for just as long but he doesn’t see her that way (well, he doesn’t consciously anyway). I love friends to lover’s books and this storyline made me squeal! How does she finally get him to notice her? He sees her in PJ’s sans bra. Yes, that’s right ladies; the girls did it for her….stupid, horny man syndrome strikes again. Because of the way he started to notice her, it made me question the credibility of any relationship they might have. Luckily, Josh decided to make me like him again by having the same reservations and realising that he may screw up his friendship by giving into the demands of little Josh. Good man.
Unfortunately, Katie realised that he had noticed her boobs at the same time he did and decided now was the time to strike. This is where I started to question her sanity. It is one thing loving a man from afar and knowing that you can never have him but then to try to entice him into bed when you know he is going to up and leave? That’s Masochism. Try as I might though, I couldn’t hate them together even when I thought they were making some very bad choices. The chemistry was awesome and all the sneaking around they were doing to find the privacy to have sex made it all the yummier. The barn, the shower, the snow mobile, the kitchen, the office….I wondered when the hell they were going to find a bed!

“Gee Josh. Sex in a barn. Cookies in a closet. You sure know how to show a girl a good time.”
“I’m a hell of a catch, huh? Wait ’til I show you what I can do in the basement”

Even though I questioned their decisions, I know that people do stupid things for love (we all have…don’t deny it!).  In all honesty, I liked both of the characters individually but I adored them together. Josh was a stubborn character that needed to be left to make his own decisions and this did give some moments where I mentally beat him repeatedly with my kindle. Katie was a fantastic character whose only flaw was her unwavering devotion to Josh. There were points when I questioned why she hadn’t moved on, why she had kept herself in such an impossible situation, but it was all worth it in the end. Together, they were fricking amazing. They were fun, sexy and in complete synch. Of course, the whole question hanging over their relationship is whether or not it will be enough to keep Josh’s itchy feet still. Well, I’m not telling….read it yourself J

This was a fantastic edition to a series that is a must read one for me.  A friends to lovers book which was believable as well as sexy, it hit everything on my check list. I read it tucked up on a cold snowy day and I never stopped reading or smiling.  Shannon Stacey, you are now one of the authors I will automatically turn to when I need a read that makes me feel good J






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