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Review: WHAT IT TAKES by Shannon Stacey

I always love camping with the Kowalski family and in What It Takes by Shannon Stacey, it was great fun to see it from an outsider’s view. Laney is the newest heroine of the series, recently hired by the Northern Star Lodge to help out around the new campground and assist Rosie in taking care of the lodge. She is also fresh off a divorce and trying to find herself this summer. Ben, the local paramedic and best friends to Sean Kowalski (Yours To Keep) ends up spending a lot of time around the campground and lodge this summer.

While the romance between Laney and Ben was not my favorite of the series, it’s was still an entertaining read and fantastic by contemporary romance standards. This romance starts out slowly and while the book moves along at a great pace, I was frustrated with Laney putting the breaks on the relationship so much. I adored Ben and how he handled it though. He is so easy going and every woman’s dream really. Stacey does a nice job writing an original romance in the midst of the annual Kowalski family camping trip. While Ben and Laney could have easily been overshadowed by the Kowalski reunion, that didn’t happen.

In this story, we are also treated to a side story between Sean and Emma and their current challenge in their marriage. It’s amazing how a simple worry can cause such an emotional pull. Stacey does a fantastic job bringing all the Kowalskis back together and giving the reader to catch up with them all a little. Complete with lots of doom, post it notes, and dirty scrabble! It was so much fun!

What It Takes is a great story to extend the Kowalski family stories for all those that love them. If you are new to the series, this is a fun one that will have you falling in love with the family and will make you want to go back to the very beginning of the series. It’s is a story filled with everything we love in a contemporary romance – love, family, friends, kids, sexy scenes, camping, and ATVs. Pick up your copy now, but be warned, once you start, it will be hard to put it down until the every end.

Title: What It Takes (Kowalski, #10)

Author: Shannon Stacey

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: ARC received via NetGalley

 

 

Review: FALLING FOR MAX by Shannon Stacey

I love it when I haven’t read an author in awhile and then pick up one of their books in a series and am instantly reminded it has been too long. I started reading Falling For Max by Shannon Stacey and felt like I was coming home. When I scrolled through my Kindle app and found Falling For Max, I knew it was time to get back to the fun and romance that comes with one of Stacey’s books. This story features the mystery man of Whitford – Max and Tori, a relatively new resident to the community but still just as settled in as if she has lived there forever. Their romance is so different than the others in the series and I liked it. A lot.

Max has often been referred to growing up as an odd duck. He has his quirks about him, and has a secrecy that to his life that causes the town to wonder what he does for a living in his basement. Serial killer and porn star top the list of guesses. Max is like all of us though. We all have our own quirks and secrets and at the end of the day we all want to be loved. We also want to share our love with our best friend who makes us laugh. Max meets Tori. She sees Max’s first attempt at asking out a woman fail and decides she will befriend him and help him get a date. She is sincere from the beginning and truly makes his greatness shine. She doesn’t diminish the quirks, but helps him navigate the social awkwardness he feels. I love her for this. It is such a great story to read.

What makes Falling For Max so good to me is we get to watch a true friendship build from start to end. That friendship turns into something more but it’s not like the friends to lovers stories you read where people have been friends prior to the beginning of the story. Stacey does a marvelous job of playing each scene out just right and building the romance between Max and Tori. She took two people who seemed to be looking for two completely different things grow a friendship into love and respect. It felt so real that it could have been prefaced with “based on a true story.”

A bonus to any series is the presence of past heroes and heroines. Falling For Max has plenty of these for us to read about. This is another reason that that this book feels like coming home! Falling For Max is a wonderfully written story with an engaging romance, lovable characters, and a realness that inspired me as a reader. Please give it a read!

Title: Falling For Max

Author: Shannon Stacey

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: Purchased from Amazon

Review: HOLIDAY WITH A TWIST by Shannon Stacey

Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey is the perfect holiday romance. Stacey is an auto-read for me based on previous books because I know her writing will be fantastic, her characters will be lovable and there will be some sexy times for the couple too.

31201039In Holiday with a Twist, Croy and Leigh find themselves reuniting once again. Friends growing up, but spending the last several years in different states, they have made peace with one another after a bad situation over a mutual friend. Leigh is back home for the holidays and unexpected to both of them; Leigh and Croy explore these foreign feelings for each other.

Stacey writes smart characters with tough choices and real conflict. Novellas can be hit or miss with me due to the length of the story but Stacey always seems to make it work. Leigh and Croy date over a three week period and in that time frame we get to be a part of their budding romance, conflict over what to do when that time is up and spend some intimate time with them. It’s a perfect blend of watching Leigh figure out what to do with her life after some big changes and the romance aspect between her and Croy.

Stacey knows how to write fabulous holiday novellas and Holiday with a Twist is another one to add to her list. If you are looking for a sexy holiday romance to distract you from the hustle and bustle of the season, give Holiday with a Twist a try!

Reviewed by Amy

(Amy purchased a copy of this book from Amazon.)

Review: NO PLACE TO HIDE by Shannon Stacey

I freaking loved No Place To Hide by Shannon Stacey. I first knew of Stacey for her contemporary romance, and was ecstatic when I learned she had a romantic suspense series (my favorite genre). I just love the adrenaline rush that comes with the action scenes. Not only does Stacey write engaging characters, hot romance and exciting stories, she also includes a nice balance of heart racing scenes to keep you on the edge and flipping pages.

noplacetohideNo Place To Hide is the fourth book in The Devlin Group series and features Jack and Isabelle from No Surrender. Jack’s team members went through quite a bit to rescue Isabelle in the last book. While you don’t have to read No Surrender to enjoy No Place to Hide, it does give you a bit more emotion and understanding regarding some of the hesitation for certain members to get involved again where Isabelle is concerned. There is a contract out on Isabelle’s life and she calls Jack for help. it is pretty intense from the beginning and doesn’t really let up until the end.

I really enjoy how Stacey was able to write whole book about people being on the run form a hitman, spending most of their time hiding out in hotels and it not get boring or redundant. The characters drove the story even though there was serious danger and life or death action scenes. The relationship between Jack and Isabelle and even Devil Group member, Ty West was entertaining to watch the entire time. Something I love about a series is reading about past characters so it was fun when the other members of the group were involved, especially Gallagher, Jack’s boss. Let’s just say they don’t always see eye to eye. Oh, and the cover of the book? Totally Jack with two guns.

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Review: TAKEN WITH YOU by Shannon Stacey

Dreamy sigh. That was my reaction after I finished reading Taken With You by Shannon Stacey. Taken With You is a page-turner full of romance, humor, a little sass, passion and a swoon-worthy happy ever after. Even though I am on book 8 of the Kowalski Series and they are set in the same town, I don’t feel as though I am reading the same story with different characters, as some series can end up.

In Taken With You, Matt moves to Whitford, Maine as the new game warden. He first meets Hailey, the town librarian when she and her friend Tori get lost in the woods. From the beginning there was no way Matt and Hailey were meant for each other. Hailey’s idea of Mr. Right is a suit-wearing, museum-going, wine-drinking, 8:00 -5:00 type ofguy. Matt’s idea of the perfect woman is a girl who isn’t afraid of dirt and sweat, likes to fish and hike and doesn’t mind that he gets called at all hours of the day. So, from the beginning you can see these two are headed in different directions. How can they possibly work?

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