Book Reviews

[review] Exclusively Yours – Shannon Stacey

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”?

Discovery: I really liked the second book in the Kowalski series (my review can be found here) and Joe and Keri were absolutely adorable in their few scenes. I’m glad I managed to find a copy of this book at my library.

+     Realistic storylines. This is one of the few contemporary romance novels I’ve read that nailed modern-day relationship and career issues. Joe and Keri’s post-college break-up is understandable, as are the situations they find themselves in a few years later. Keri is a focused career woman, but ball-buster she is not, which is a refreshing and welcomed change. Joe’s family aren’t picture-perfect people and I loved that this novel didn’t only tell me about Joe and Keri but about the people that helped them to become who they are now. I also appreciate the care Shannon Stacey took in bringing the two of them together–it wasn’t too rushed or too slow.

+     Supporting characters. I mentioned that the novel didn’t just focus on Joe and Keri and I think that’s one of its biggest strengths. The Kowalskis are a boisterous and loving family, which make them a delight to read about. I’m glad that Shannon Stacey didn’t underestimate her readers–each of the Kowalski siblings have believable flaws and problems that they all have to work through. None of these problems are solved in one fell swoop either. Did I mention how much fun it was to read about them? I started giggling more than once reading this book and it was great.

+     Writerly things. I have a soft spot for books with characters who are writers, and I’m so happy that this book did not disappoint. Both Joe and Keri seem involved and passionate when it comes to their craft. I’m especially enamoured with Keri’s career choices and the fact that she knows what she can and cannot let herself do.

–     Terry Kowalski-Porter. I understand that she had issues of her own, but she was often the biggest damper on the fun I had reading this book. Those issues are resolved by the time the next book comes around, but judging this on its own, the scenes with Terry were the most difficult to get through. After 20-something years, she still hasn’t gotten over Keri “abandoning” her for other friends? It’s hard to believe.

Recommendations: This was a really fun, enjoyable romp of a book and most readers will have a great time watching Keri and Joe fall in love.

Rating: Very Good.

Go check out Shannon Stacey’s site and follow her on Twitter @shannonstacey.

Next review: Cryer’s Cross, Lisa McMann

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