Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey

Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey
Kowalski Family #3
Contemporary Romance

June 6, 2011
E-book, 448 kb
Carina Press
Favorite quote: "He could do this. He’d survived boot camp. He’d survived combat and the harsh weather of Afghanistan. He could survive broccoli. Probably."
                                                                                                                                          A good contemporary romance is often hard to come by. Much of the time, authors miss the mark on presenting a realistic story that still has all the flare that romance readers expect. Too many times I have read a contemporary romance novel that had me rolling my eyes because key events in the book were just way too over the top to actually be believable. Although the plot of Yours to Keep is high up on the farfetched scale, I believed every word of it. Shannon's Stacey's characters are so down to earth and the romance in the book is so heartfelt, I constantly had a grin on my face. 
                                                                                                                                          Emma Shaw is a landscaper, living in her grandparents old farm house in New Hampshire. Although Emma's grandmother recently moved to Florida, she worries about Emma being all alone so far away.  In order to reassure her grandmother that she is just fine by herself, Emma tells her Gram that she is dating a man named Sean Kowalski, who she randomly chooses after hearing about him from her friend Lisa. Since Sean was serving in Afghanistan at the time, she didn't think her little white lie would have serious consequences. However, the lie quickly snowballs and Emma tells her grandmother that she and Sean are engaged. Now that her grandma is coming for a month long visit and Sean is back home, she has no choice but to fess up to her Gram or ask a man she barley knows to be her fake fiancĂ©.
                                                                                                                                              Back home from his tour in Afghanistan, Sean is unsure what he wants to do with his life now that he doesn't have to report to Uncle Sam. Instead of working in the family run Inn, Sean asks his cousin Kevin if he can live in the empty apartment above Jasper's Bar & Grille until he gets himself established. Shortly after he moves in, however, there is a knock on the door. On the other side is Emma, who Sean is instantly attracted to although he thinks she is "batshit crazy". While Sean turns Emma's offer down, he realizes he has nothing better to do for the next month and agrees to play along. However, both Sean and Emma soon figure out that keeping their feelings for each other in check is a lot harder than they first thought.
                                                                                                                                               Yours to Keep was a really cute and sweet read. Reading this book was like cozying up on on the couch and sipping a hot chocolate with extra marshmallows. It just gives you those warm fuzzy feelings. All the characters in the book are likable and easy to relate to. Emma has a lot of qualities I admire in a heroine. She is characterized as being a hardworking woman who isn't afraid to get a little dirt on her nose. While Emma is deceiving her grandmother, she is doing it for the right reasons, only wanting her Gram to enjoy her new life in Florida. And like the other Kowalski men, Sean is just delicious. He was fun, sweat, and a little stubborn at times. When Sean pulls out the post-it notes and starts leaving little messages for Emma, I melted every time. The chemistry between Emma and Sean is also quite yummy. In Yours to Keep, Stacey actually includes a few more love scenes between the main characters then she does in the other Kowalski books. Lucky us!
                                                                                                                                              However, I wish Sean's time in the army would have been elaborated on a little more. All we know is that he was in Afghanistan for an extended period of time and that's pretty much it. I'm not looking for gruesome war stories, but a little bit more background on that part of Sean's life would have been nice. Also, there definitely should have been an epilogue to this book. The ending just felt so rushed that I would have appreciated a look at their life after their world-wind romance. Mostly, I just didn't want this story to end! Hopefully, we will get to see more of Emma and Sean in future Kowalski books.
                                                                                                                                            So if you are a fan of contemporary romance (and even if you are not), I definitely recommend Yours to Keep. Although this book can be read as a stand alone, make sure not to miss the rest of the Kowalski Family series! 

Other opinions:

Other books in the series:
Exclusively Yours
Undeniably Yours


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