Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: Yours to Keep

Yours to Keep
Shannon Stacey
Contemporary Romance
Kowalski Family/Book 3
Carina Press/June 3, 2011

From the author's website ~

Sean Kowalski no sooner leaves the army than he’s recruited by Emma Shaw to be her fake fiancĂ©. Emma needs to produce a husband-to-be for her grandmother’s upcoming visit, and, though Sean doesn’t like the deception, he could use the landscaping job Emma’s offering while he decides what to do with his civilian life. And, despite his attraction to Emma, there’s no chance he’ll fall for a woman with deep roots in a town he’s not planning to call home.

Emma’s not interested in a real relationship either; not with a man whose idea of home is wherever he drops his duffel bag. No matter how amazing his “pretend” kisses are…

The Kowalskis are back! This time around it's another branch of the family that's in the spotlight. It turns out there is a Maine branch of the Kowalski family and they have some potential leading characters in their family tree. But first up is Sean. He heads to his cousin's place in New Hampshire to crash for a while and decide what to do with his life after the army. Instead of something long term, he decides to help out a stranger, a very sexy, with a little crazy thrown in, stranger.

Emma Shaw sure knows how to dig a hole. She own her own landscape company but the hole she dug is based on lies. It started with a boyfriend then progressed to a fiance'. Now Emma's grandma is coming for a visit and Emma has to produce this man that's she madly in love with. Enter Sean Kowalski. Why Sean? Well, it turns out Emma is friends with Lisa who is the wife of Sean's cousin Mike and that's how she heard about Sean. She needed a name and it was Sean's that popped into her head. Then Emma has the guts to go to Sean, explain the situation and ask for his help. LOL Loved it! He thinks she's "batshit crazy" and she knows it but I couldn't stop myself from cheering her on. What does she have to lose, right? Yes, she should have just come clean with her grandma but then, she wouldn't have met the sexy Sean Kowalski.

Of course after thinking it over, and thinking about how attractive he finds Emma, Sean agrees to be the pretend fiancé and work for Emma. This puts them together nearly 24/7 since he'll also be living in her house. And with Emma's grandmother Cat visiting, Emma and Sean find their pretending sliding into reality. I loved how they got to know each other, sometimes in an almost reluctant way with both thinking that it's only temporary until Cat goes back to Florida. In the beginning, Emma gives Sean a file about her likes, dislikes etc. Sean doesn't have a file but ends up using post-its in what turns out to be very romantic, not that it started out that way. They are this really cute couple that you want to see together because you just know they're meant to be.

There's a sweet secondary romance between Cat and her gentleman friend. I'm so glad Stacey included this romance. It showed how Cat had her own life to lead and didn't want to intrude in Emma's life but only wanted her granddaughter to be happy.

The Kowalskis are Sean's family and they are not at all shy about letting him know what they think of his current situation. I love this family! They are a humorous, boisterous, close family that have more than enough love to go around. While they are close with Sean, they didn't overtake the romance but they might have helped speed it along. Which was good since both Emma and Sean could be quite stubborn.

If you're looking for a contemporary series with sensational romances, laugh out loud humor and characters you come to love then this is the one to read. The whole series is a wonderful addition to the contemporary romance genre. I do hope we see more of Sean's siblings in future books. There is something about those Kowalskis that you can't help loving.

Rating: A

Books in this series ~

Exclusively Yours
Undeniably Yours
Yours to Keep


  1. I love this series so much! Glad to read you're a fan too :)

  2. I just love Stacy's books. Her characters are so likable and she just writes fun, interesting and wonderful romances. Glad you liked it!

  3. Great review, Leslie :)

    I don't know, I just don't connect with the characters or perhaps it's the writing. I mean, the book is excellent that's for sure, but emotion-wise? Sigh. I'm glad you're enjoying it though.

    Did you know the books are going to be released in print via Harlequin? :) I think that's great news for the author as well.

  4. Danielle ~ Yes! Can't get enough of Stacey's writing.

    Tracy ~ I need to check out her backlist while I wait for more Kowalskis. :)

    Nath ~ I think one of the reasons I connect so well with this series is that the family reminds me a lot of my own with the joking and teasing.

    I didn't know it was going to print. Very good news for author and readers!

  5. I have this one......somewhere in my laptop. It didn't download where I thought it would and now I have to figure out how to retrieve it and move it to my Kobo.
    I really enjoyed the first one and I'm looking forward to this one. We heard at the Carina Press spotlight that they are going be bringing this series out in print with the HQN line. So if I don't manage to find it by the time it comes out in print, I can buy another copy - heh, heh, heh.

  6. I just read this whole trilogy about a week ago and absolutely loved it! I was pleased to see that the books are going into print early next year and that there are going to be 3 more books in this series later next year.

  7. Marg ~ great news that there are 3 more to look forward to. :)

  8. Kristie ~ I'm not familiar with the Kobo but I'm guessing you would side load it from either your pc/iPad to the Kobo.

    I hope you find it before next year. LOL

  9. Leslie, read this book this month, out of sequence. I really enjoyed it too! Now I have to go back and read the others. :) The Kowalski family is just great. :)

  10. Hils ~ they are a fun group! So glad you're enjoying it.