Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey

Synopsis:

Josh Kowalski is tired of holding down the fort—better known as the Northern Star Lodge—while his siblings are off living their dreams. Now that his oldest brother has returned to Whitford, Maine for good, Josh is free to chase some dreams of his own.

As the daughter of the lodge's longtime housekeeper, Katie Davis grew up alongside the Kowalski kids. Though she's always been "one of the guys", her feelings for Josh are anything but sisterly. And after a hot late-night encounter in the kitchen, it's clear Josh finally sees her as the woman she is.

Katie's been waiting years for Josh to notice her, but now that he has, she's afraid it's too late. Giving her heart to a man who can't wait to leave town is one sure way to have it broken. But Josh keeps coming up with excuses not to leave—could it be that everything he's ever wanted is closer than he could have imagined?



One of my favorite scenes from All He Ever Needed (Book #4 in the Kowalski Series) occurs when Josh finally gets it off his chest that he’s tired of running the Northern Star Lodge. I really felt for what he was going through, and I eagerly awaited the book that would give him his happily-ever-after. All He Ever Dreamed did not disappoint. The path Josh takes to his happy ending was just terrific.

Josh’s brothers do much to help alleviate some of the pressure on him to run the lodge, but Josh still has that feeling that he has somehow missed out on something in life. Its a case of the grass is always greener, and he struggles with wanting to see life beyond Whitford.

Katie Davis is struggling a little bit too. She’s been in love with Josh for years, and to Josh, she’s a best friend. He doesn’t see her in the romantic way. At least not until Rose gets involved. She attempts to open Josh and Katie’s eyes to the realities that are right in front of them.

What I love about this series is that Shannon Stacey really knows how to take what I would call an everyday real life situation, and she makes it interesting and fun. All of the books in the series are that way, but this book in particular rang so true for me. Josh struggles with wanting his freedom over the family obligation that he thinks has been thrust upon him. It’s a wonderful moment when he realizes that he truly loves the Northern Star Lodge.

There are some very touching scenes between the Kowalski siblings in this installment too. They all come to Josh’s aid, enabling him to discover what he wants out of life. I also loved that it wasn’t solved with an easy-out where Josh just falls into Katie’s arms, although my heart broke for her in spots. It’s tough knowing that the right decision is the one that is going to really hurt. This series has just the right amount of emotional upheaval, followed up with a lovely happily ever after.

All He Ever Dreamed is a wonderful friends to lovers story. I might even have to say that Josh is my favorite Kowalski, or maybe Kevin, or Mitch..*sigh*

If you are looking for something fun with a dash of conflict and a happy ending --read this series. You won’t be sorry.

4 Flames

Thanks to Harlequin and NetGallery for the eArc in exchange for an honest review. 



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