Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/09/12/review-all-he-ever-needed-by-shannon-stacey/
I adore Shannon Stacey and the Kowalski boys. When I first found Stacey and this series, I was immediately hooked. I feel in love with her writing and the series, and find myself constantly waiting for the next book to release. When I saw Mitch’s story come through my email for review, I jumped on it and started reading immediately.
Mitch is always on the go, but when his brother breaks a leg and needs help at the family lodge he returns home on a semi-permanent basis. While Mitch expected everyone in town to start gossiping about him, the last thing he expects is to fall for the one woman who seems to be able to resist all his charms. But Mitch isn’t known for having feelings, instead he is the easy-going “fun” guy who is known for showing the ladies a good time.
Paige is looking to settle down and stay in town for life, so when Mitch’s reputation precedes him, she does her best to steer clear. Despite the attraction, she doesn’t want to do with any fallout from a relationship Mitch, and despite his advances, does a pretty good job of keeping them as friends. But Mitch is persistent, and Paige isn’t completely immune. When their affair heats up to epic proportions, will they be able to sustain the romance. Or will Mitch desire to leave, and Paige’s desire to stay keep them apart?
There were so many things I enjoyed about this book, namely the fact that poor Mitch was so misunderstood by his hometown. All he wanted was the chance to come home and be the successful businessman he had made of himself, and instead he had to deal with lies and rumors and innuendo. While I’m sure he didn’t do much to discourage that image in his younger years, it was obvious that it had come back to bite him in the ass, and he was paying for it. Reading about his struggles with dealing with the past and discomfort with being at home was refreshing. I love when the hero has to struggle with decisions he’s made in his past, and poor Mitch had lots to struggle with.
I also really enjoyed Paige, I felt for her and her desire to stay in one place. It was obvious that although she had some strong attraction to Mitch, she wasn’t willing to give up her goals of staying and belonging in town for a night of passion. Especially when everyone could give her, in detail, what that passion would entail. I felt bad for her having to constantly muddle through the BS and drama that Mitch carried with him, especially once she was committed to being with him.
The romance between these two was great. So much of the book was spent with the two of them dancing around each other, feeling each other out as friends before jumping into anything physical or serious. I especially loved that Mitch was the one who was constantly seeking out Paige, despite his assurances to himself and everyone else that their relationship wasn’t serious. I have such a soft spot for heroes who have to chase after their leading lady, and Mitch had to chase. While the end of the book almost had me in tears, I could see what Stacey ended it the way she had to. And despite my growing desire to throttle Mitch, I was so happy with how it was all resolved.
I’m anxious for the next set of Kowalski brothers to get their books, especially since we got to meet and spend so much time with them. I love the sense of family that is so strong in this series. I adore the comradery between brothers and the relationship they have with their housekeeper and surrogate mother. I can’t wait for Stacey to explore that more and paint an even more vivid picture of their everyday lives at the lodge.
All in all I was so pleased with the next installment of the Kowalski series. Stacey continues to deliver strong heroes, incredible heroines, and a romance that is fun and engaging and sexy and a wonderful reading experience. Mitch and Paige were an excellent couple to kick off the next trilogy, and I am anxiously waiting for the next book in the series.
I give All He Ever Needed an A-