Kowalski Family/Book 2
Carina Press/November 1, 2011
From Goodreads ~
One-night stand + two percent condom failure rate = happily ever after?
Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he’s more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn’t gone so badly...
Beth’s tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she’d see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can’t say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.
Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he’s not the player she thinks he is. But she’s not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it’s going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child...
After reading and loving the first book in the Kowalski series I was dying to read Kevin's story. This time around most of the action takes place in and around Kevin's sports bar. The Kowalski clan is present but not as intense as in the first book. Instead, a secondary "second chance" romance runs throughout the story, adding a contrast to Kevin and Beth's romance.
Beth is an only child of parents who suffered a number of miscarriages. This lead them to be what Beth calls "hovering and coddling" when she was a child. Beth feels that her relationship with her parents was claustrophobic and lead to her nomadic lifestyle. I had a hard time getting Beth and her motivation for her transit lifestyle. She's twenty-six and I guess my perception is that by twenty-six there should be more stability in your life than getting low paying jobs and moving around the country every few months. I get the need to be independent but not the unwillingness to having any ties to anyone. Her relationship with Kevin also took some hard hits because of her overwhelming need to not be dependent on anyone. He wants to help her and make things better for her and their unborn child and she fights him every step of the way. She thinks he's trying to control her when he's really trying to be responsible. Be thankful he didn't tell you to take a hike, some guys would.
Kevin Kowalski comes from a large, boisterous, loving family. A former cop, his career and marriage went up in flames and left Kevin heading home to New Hampshire and buying a sports bar. It's been a couple years, his business is doing well, he has his family and good friends around him but something is missing in his life. Kevin is another Kowalski man that's so easy to like. He's funny and charming when he wants to be. He's responsible and caring. But he's also been burned and I found myself in his corner cheering for him and not so happy with Beth when she would do something that hurt him. I definitely had some issues with how she treated him. I liked how genuine Kevin's reaction to Beth's pregnancy was. He's a man I expect to do the right thing whether it be financial or emotional support. Do Kevin and his family come on a bit strong? Sometimes, but their hearts are in the right place and eventually Beth realizes this.
Beth and Kevin get along well from the start of their relationship. There is physical attraction but they also talk before jumping in the sack. Then when Beth shows up pregnant after her disappearing act, there is of course tension due to the circumstances but there's still that attraction so at least they have something to work with. Add in that Kevin is hard to resist and Beth's got an uphill battle to keep things strictly as friends. I loved how Kevin courted Beth. How he was there when she needed him but would back off when she got bitchy. Even his family got into it, giving Beth a look at what it would be like to be part of the big, loving Kowalski family. In the end Beth and Kevin were exactly what the other needed.
Undeniably Yours is a sweet romance with tender moments, laughter and love. Even with my sometimes annoyance with Beth, I still enjoyed the romance and seeing characters from the previous book. Shannon Stacey writes well developed characters with real problems and real flaws. I found her writing to flow well which made it easy to get caught up in the story. Undeniably Yours could be read as a stand alone but I would recommend starting from book one to get the full Kowalski effect. :)
Yours to Keep