Senin, 31 Oktober 2011

LOVE this series!

All Ever Dreamed Kowalskis ebook

All Ever Dreamed Kowalskis ebook

Just to clarify, I am new to the Stacey party, but I have jumped on the bandwagon with both feet in the last few weeks. And was I ever rewarded for my decision with All He Ever Dreamed.I had wondered how she was going to resolve Josh's deep seeded desire for escape from Whitford. Judging from the rest of the Kowalski books, I was pretty sure there would be no magic wand waving to make everything work out, and thankfully, I was right.

It's hard to present a character who is conflicted, and perhaps has a bit of a martyr syndrome happening, and make that character sympathetic, let alone likeable. Shannon Stacey manages to make Josh not only likable, but understandable and human, flaws and all. As with all of the Kowalski books, Ms. Stacey brings a level of honesty that is rare in Romancelandia. The books flow with little snippets showcased within the larger framework of the story, and it works so well. She doesn't detail every little thing, but sets up events that occur "behind closed doors". Not just sexy stuff, but everyday things, and it works. So. Well.

What worked for me - Everything. Josh is great, a guy who has been set up to take on the family business against his will while his siblings go off and live their lives. He is frustrated, a little resentful, torn between all that he has ever known and what he imagines is waiting for him out in the great, big world. As his siblings start to take his wish to leave it all behind seriously, a complication by way of his best friend, Katie, pops up to really shake up Josh's priorities. The struggle he goes through trying to do the right thing for everybody but himself, the crushing sense of responsibility he feels rang oh, so true. Even though I knew what he would do, my heart broke just a little for Josh, for Katie, for Rosie...yet it needed to happen.

Katie - Oh, how I loved Katie. She has been in love with Josh forever, but he didn't know. In Josh's mind, she was a friend. Until Rosie manipulates the situation a little, a late night visit to the kitchen results in Katie in skimpy clothes that leave no doubt in Josh's mind that she is a female, and the game is afoot. I love how Katie accepted Josh yet stood up for herself, not wanting to be his "dirty little secret". She didn't make demands, she didn't try to guilt Josh into a decision he would come to regret. Katie knew Josh better than he knew himself, and gave him what he needed to make him happy. Strong, strong heroine. And funny!

Hailey - Okay, now we have a pretty good idea who will be Hailey's leading man, and I cannot wait for that! Hailey is hilarious, and such a good friend. She deserves an HEA.

Rosie - Gotta love Rosie. Katie definitely got her stoicism from her mama.

Various Kowalski sibling moments - Josh got advice and/or apologies from all of the siblings. I have to say, Sean's level of honesty brought tears to my eyes even while I felt a little angry at him on Josh's behalf. Mitch was his normal funny yet stalwart self. I want to know why Liz doesn't think she can come home. Ryan was surprisingly observant.

What didn't work for me - Nothing.

Ms. Stacey hits it out of the park with All He Ever Dreamed. So emotional, the perfect push/pull of angst and humor. I just loved this book.

Bottom Line - Buy it. Cherish it. Time well spent.

Get your All Ever Dreamed Kowalskis ebook Now!

10 komentar:

  1. My Review:

    I've been dying for Josh's story ever since we met him in book #6. Wow, it did not disappoint. Out of the five Kowalski kids, Josh has been the one who never got to chase his dreams. The family owned a snowmobiling lodge and when his father died, it automatically fell to Josh to take it over. At that point in time, there were no other choices. But that was the problem, Josh was never given the choice. His life has always been the lodge, nothing but the lodge and that's left him feeling that there may have been something else out there that he's missed out on. He hates and resents the fact that he's never had any other options.

    As a reader, you can't help but feel for this guy. He loves his family, but he doesn't love his job any longer. It's gotten to the point where he actually really resents it, but he's trapped. There aren't any other options. The family knows he's at the end of his rope and they are working other options. A couple of different ones fall into their laps and then suddenly, Josh doesn't know what to do. He knows that he's always dreamed of leaving the lodge and pursuing something else, but that also means leaving Katie.

    Josh and Katie grew up as best friends. She's always been in love with him, but he's never seen her as anything more than one of the guys....until the day when his eyes are suddenly opened. I adored this aspect of the story. Josh is so clueless...and so male....you just can't help but love him for his idiocy. To make it worse, his brothers are more than willing to point it out to him on a regular basis. As a reader, I felt sorry for him, but the whole time I was giggling too. Seriously, these scenes are some of the funniest in the book. Shannon Stacey knows how to write contemporary humor and she does it best between the brothers. Between them and just all of Josh's internal dialogue...seriously, so freaking funny! That was the first half of the book.

    Then the second half was the heartbreak for Josh and Katie. FINALLY, they find their way to each other, but FINALLY Josh has the opportunity to also pursue his dream. The two things don't work together. He can either have Katie or his dream because she's not leaving this little town, her business, or her mother. Seriously, it broke my heart and literally brought me to tears a couple of times.

    This book had all the highs and the lows that make it just a fantastic read. The characters are amazing and Shannon Stacey remains high in the running for best contemporary romance author. I just love her books and am so happy that this one lived up to my expectations. Now I just have to decide whether to give it an A or an A+. I cried, a couple of times, and I think that just pushed it over to the A+side of things.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

    BalasHapus
  2. Carlos Robertson16 November 2011 06.32

    Just to clarify, I am new to the Stacey party, but I have jumped on the bandwagon with both feet in the last few weeks. And was I ever rewarded for my decision with All He Ever Dreamed.I had wondered how she was going to resolve Josh's deep seeded desire for escape from Whitford. Judging from the rest of the Kowalski books, I was pretty sure there would be no magic wand waving to make everything work out, and thankfully, I was right.

    It's hard to present a character who is conflicted, and perhaps has a bit of a martyr syndrome happening, and make that character sympathetic, let alone likeable. Shannon Stacey manages to make Josh not only likable, but understandable and human, flaws and all. As with all of the Kowalski books, Ms. Stacey brings a level of honesty that is rare in Romancelandia. The books flow with little snippets showcased within the larger framework of the story, and it works so well. She doesn't detail every little thing, but sets up events that occur "behind closed doors". Not just sexy stuff, but everyday things, and it works. So. Well.

    What worked for me - Everything. Josh is great, a guy who has been set up to take on the family business against his will while his siblings go off and live their lives. He is frustrated, a little resentful, torn between all that he has ever known and what he imagines is waiting for him out in the great, big world. As his siblings start to take his wish to leave it all behind seriously, a complication by way of his best friend, Katie, pops up to really shake up Josh's priorities. The struggle he goes through trying to do the right thing for everybody but himself, the crushing sense of responsibility he feels rang oh, so true. Even though I knew what he would do, my heart broke just a little for Josh, for Katie, for Rosie...yet it needed to happen.

    Katie - Oh, how I loved Katie. She has been in love with Josh forever, but he didn't know. In Josh's mind, she was a friend. Until Rosie manipulates the situation a little, a late night visit to the kitchen results in Katie in skimpy clothes that leave no doubt in Josh's mind that she is a female, and the game is afoot. I love how Katie accepted Josh yet stood up for herself, not wanting to be his "dirty little secret". She didn't make demands, she didn't try to guilt Josh into a decision he would come to regret. Katie knew Josh better than he knew himself, and gave him what he needed to make him happy. Strong, strong heroine. And funny!

    Hailey - Okay, now we have a pretty good idea who will be Hailey's leading man, and I cannot wait for that! Hailey is hilarious, and such a good friend. She deserves an HEA.

    Rosie - Gotta love Rosie. Katie definitely got her stoicism from her mama.

    Various Kowalski sibling moments - Josh got advice and/or apologies from all of the siblings. I have to say, Sean's level of honesty brought tears to my eyes even while I felt a little angry at him on Josh's behalf. Mitch was his normal funny yet stalwart self. I want to know why Liz doesn't think she can come home. Ryan was surprisingly observant.

    What didn't work for me - Nothing.

    Ms. Stacey hits it out of the park with All He Ever Dreamed. So emotional, the perfect push/pull of angst and humor. I just loved this book.

    Bottom Line - Buy it. Cherish it. Time well spent.

    BalasHapus
  3. 4.5 Stars

    I have been waiting for Josh and Katie's book, and Shannon Stacey does not disappoint.

    Josh was left "holding the bag" when it came to the family owned Northern Star Lodge when his dad died. His older brothers and sister had all moved away and found the lives they wanted to live and that left Josh running the family lodge. I have felt for Josh from the beginning. He knew he could not leave the lodge like his brothers and sister did, but he sucks it up and carries on until he can no longer hold it in. All Josh ever wanted was a choice.

    Katie Davis grew up with the Kowalski kids. Her mother Rose was the house keeper of the Northern Star and helped raise the Kowalski kids. Katie has been in love with Josh for as long as she can remember. Only problem is, she is Josh's best friend and he sees her as one of the guys. I absolutely love Katie. She has been a favorite of mine since her first appearance. I love the scene when Josh finally sees Katie as a women. Katie is funny and loyal, and really understands Josh like no one else. Their story from best friends to lovers is so emotional and just one of the best written friends to lovers stories.

    This was another great read by Shannon Stacey about getting what you wished for, and realizing what you wanted all along was right in front of you the whole time. I laughed and I cried, and as always with the Kowalski books I was left wanting more. I hope Ms. Stacey continues with these great characters. I hope we will get Liz Kowalski's story soon. And, I am really crossing my fingers that we get Haley's story.

    If you have not read Shannon Stacey, you must. You will not be sorry.

    Happy Reading!!

    4.5 Stars

    Review copy provided for an honest review.

    BalasHapus
  4. Josefina Rogers30 Oktober 2012 12.32

    I agree with a 3-star review that this book lacked the undercurrent of sexual tension of, say, Joe Kowalski in Exclusively Yours. However, a lot can be explained by the fact that Josh was clueless for so long. In addition, the proofreading was sloppy. That explains the half star deduction. I loved this story nevertheless because it seemed so real. The humor which was lacking in Needed is back in full force and I particularly enjoyed learning more about how a snowmobile lodge operates since I had no frame of reference. I know these characters so well now that reading the book felt like the newsy letters from home my Mom used to write. Not wanting to spoil for others, I'll just say I loved the ending. It was perfect. I'm hoping to hear Liz finds happiness if there's another book in the series.

    This entire series is highly recommended.

    BalasHapus
  5. Great book, I have read all of her books about the Kwolaski family and can't wait for the next one

    BalasHapus
  6. I love reading about the Kowalski family. The stories are so real to life about different struggles the all have but in the end love wins out. It may take them a while to figure it out but they do.

    BalasHapus
  7. I have to say Shannon has done it again with ann installment that made me cry and cheer.

    Anyone who has read the series knows that Josh and Katie are meant to be together but Josh just hadn't realized his best buddy, one of the guys and all around most counted on person in his life was actually female. I mean he knows it is a basic gender sort of way but in the romantic or lust sort of way it just never has crossed his mind until the night he runs in to her in the lodge's kitchen wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts and a tank top with no bra. Well then the man finally sees the woman she is and can't get it out of his head. I loved watching him struggle with the realization and also the potential consequences if he were to make the move everyone else, including Katie, have been waiting on him to make for years. What follows is a bit of tension as neither wants to make a move nor do they really know for certain what the other is thinking but when the move is finally made all of us release a huge sigh of relief.

    Katie has always loved Josh. She understands him better than anyone but is also unwilling to make a move to endanger the incredible connection they share. She's torn once the wall has been dropped between being willing to just have what she can of him and not wanting to be the "dirty" little secret he hides. I loved how she was willing to let him figure things out so she didn't become the one who held him back but at the same time she wasn't willing to completely let him walk all over her when it came to being open and honest with his feelings for her in public. She's a smart woman who loved the man she knew he was enough to let him take the steps he needed to even though it killed her inside and I loved that of her.

    We also get some fun with the rest of the family and of course a real smile when Rose gets a surprise. I adore how Shannon Stacey gets us so invested in a set of characters that we truly cry as their hearts are broken and cheer when things go the way we want them to.

    As usual thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for being nice enough to let me read this in exchange for my honest review. Please note I also purchased a copy as well because I adore Shannon's writing.

    BalasHapus
  8. I have been really excited about Josh's story. I was giddy with enjoyment as I opened the first page. I was not disappointed. Josh, the youngest of the family, has been stuck running the family lodge and has always dreamed of leaving his hometown to explore the world and to find his dream. He never was really given the chance like his brothers and sisters in the past. Since he finally admitted his desires to get away to his brothers and sister, they started working to make it a reality for him. However, he didn't plan on his best friend Katie turning into more than just a friend.

    Katie has been Josh's best friend since they were little kids. With Katie's mom as the housekeeper for the family lodge and then more of a maternal influence after Josh's mom passed away, Katie and Josh were inseparable growing up and are still just as close as adults. Katie has also been in love with Josh for many years, but was too afraid to ruin their relationship to act on that love. Unlike everyone else in the town, Josh doesn't realize it or the fact that he and Katie are a perfect match.

    I really enjoyed watching Katie and Josh go from being best friends to being in love. It happened pretty easily when Josh saw Katie in a tank top and boxer shorts. While I thought there would be bigger fireworks between the two when they finally did try to make it work, I realized that wouldn't have fit Josh and Katie. They weren't dramatic people and they already had a history together. They were truly best friends and acted like it. Katie would forgive Josh for being a jerk sometimes and she understood his need to leave his hometown to find his dream, even if it would break her heart when he did leave. I thought it was great that even though people told Katie she should make herself more girly to get Josh's attention she stood her ground (except for Christmas Eve where she was supposed to dress up anyway, technically) and was authentic around Josh. She didn't play any games. She was just Katie.

    I really, really enjoyed the story with Rose and Andy. We don't always get to hear about new love between people older than 50 these days, so this was a treat. I have always loved Rose and her meddling ways, so it was great to see her invite Andy into her life. Of course I was excited to see Mitch, Sean, and Ryan make appearances. I hate leaving characters after reading their stories and like to see what they are up to!

    I will never get tired of reading books about the Kowalski's and their friends. Shannon Stacey has made her books auto-reads for me by entertaining me with each and every story she writes. If you are looking for a fun, witty, contemporary romance series about big families in small towns with a whole lot of love, I highly recommend the Kowalski books!

    BalasHapus
  9. I have loved the entire Kowalski series, this book was no different. A definite must read, for a cold Sunday afternoon!

    BalasHapus