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Thursday, April 25, 2013

All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey

Josh Kowalski is finally breaking free of the family lodge. His siblings all found a  way to get away and start lives of their owns, but as the baby of the family he was the last one there, and never got his chance. Now he’s 30 years old and has never lived anywhere else or done anything else. After an honest discussion with his family last summer, he finally came clean about how much he wanted a chance at getting free, and the lodge is prepared for such an event.  Katie has been his best friend forever. As the daughter of the housekeeper, and de-facto mother to the Kowalskis, Katie has always been there, and always been in love with Josh. Everyone knows it. Everyone knows they are destined to be together as well, except Josh.  As Josh’s big break approaches will be realize his true feelings or will he leave Katie behind with the inn?

Friends to lovers, top of my list, right?  After reading Ryan and Lauren’s story (All He Ever Desired), I was pretty ambivalent about picking up another Shannon Stacey. I mean, it was good, but not terrific, and perhaps a bit predictable. But I’m a sucker for a book in a series (see also: Nora Roberts, Susan Mallery, Jill Shalvis) so when I saw it was available for request at NetGalley I asked for it. I read it pretty quickly, despite the craziness of my life. It was exactly what you’d expect it to be from the description and there were absolutely no surprises. The writing is not knock your socks off great, and the plot isn’t anything you couldn’t think up on your own. Josh and Katie aren’t surprising in any way, and honestly, the moment they “cross the line” is pretty sloppily done (and since this is my favorite bit of a friends to lovers story, it was disappointing to me.)  I’d love to have seen more of Josh’s thought process as he realized he was in love with her, but except for him suddenly noticing she was hot, there wasn’t much of that. The author tells us several times that he can’t talk about his feelings, that Josh just doesn’t DO that, but it almost seemed an excuse for him not to have any introspection. For Katie, she just loved him, period.  The more I write about this book the worse it sounds!  It wasn’t bad, honest, it just wasn’t really GOOD either, if you know what I mean?

At this point I wouldn’t recommend the series to anyone else, but I will likely request the next one if I see it come up on NetGalley. I find that I am fairly curious about the sister’s story.

All He Ever Dreamed will be published on April 30, 2013.
Review copy courtesy of NetGalley.

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