28 Oct '12
A Nix Contemporary Review – All He Ever Desired by Shannon Stacey (5 Stars)
Ryan Kowalski had to come home to help his family with the restoration of the family business. He had avoided the place for a long time due after he had tried to convince his best-friends wife to run off with him and she had said no. Now time he has moved on he feels he can face Lauren again, that is until he sees her again and realises that his attraction has grown stronger.
Lauren chose Dean over Ryan many moons ago and, although she doesn’t regret her decision, there has always been a part of her that wondered “what if”. Now her marriage is long over and, as a single mother to a16 year old boy, the last thing she needs is the man himself back in her life. He seems to be more attractive and more attentive; is there any way she can resist him this time round?
But a lot of water has passed under the bridge and both of them are in different places. He live miles away and has a thriving business, she has a son and shares custody with a man who has no plans to move area. Even if they do start something up, is there any hope it can be anything other than just a fling?
I love this series; it makes me so happy! This is the book of Ryan Kowalski, the serious constructor introduced to us in Mitch’s book. In that book, he was so serious and work driven that I wondered how this book. We had been tantalised with the rumour that “something” had happened between him and the mysterious Lauren that had kept him away from home. In this book, we find out that he had thought himself madly in love with her and asked her, and her baby, to move away with him… and she.said.no. That’d be enough to keep any man away as dented pride is something that is difficult to heal. I knew he wanted to stay away from her, I understood the decision, but knew it was inevitable that it wouldn’t happen. When he catches Lauren’s son vandalising his property, they had to come into contact with each other again and I loved the way he came up with a punishment that both suited his needs and Lauren’s. He was such a damn nice guy that there was no way that I could dislike him,
Ryan as a character was fantastic. He was charming, considerate and sexy as hell. The only thing that I could see was his flaw was his work ethic; he saw as work as the conduit to him having a happy life so he let it consume his life. He was always working and that was the ultimate barrier to their relationship; he had no intention of giving up his business or relocating to be with her….in effect he chose the business over her as he couldn’t see how she would be happy without all the things his money provided. He knew that he wanted her, was completely unafraid at breaking down all her barriers (the scenes with him trying to build a relationship with her son are amazing…swoon worthy!) but was completely unable to look at his own. Typical man!
Lauren was a hard-working single mom, struggling to survive financially and juggle her own needs with that of her family. I wanted her to get together with Ryan just so she could start seeing herself as something other than a mom. She was a woman who I could get onboard with; she was strong enough to fight for what she wanted but had enough self preservation to step back when she was fighting a losing battle. Her reactions to Ryan were all fantastic to read about and completely believable.
The scenes with the two of them were full of a sweet heat that was both satisfying and entertaining to read. I loved every single scene between them and couldn’t think of an outcome to this book where they weren’t together. There is a reason I read romance and this book is one of them; I read this book with a smile on my face for over 75% of it and wouldn’t have liked an ending other than the one I got. The only thing that I couldn’t see was HOW the resolution was going to come about, what kind of relationship they would have and if I would be happy with it. I was and that’s all you’re going to get out of me.
Overall, this is a great addition to a fantastic series. If you want a sweet, satisfying read that you can get lost in, anyone of the books in this series are perfect. With a strong Hero who is great with kids, drives a motorcycle and really is quite dreamy, this is a book that I would recommend to anyone 🙂