I originally reviewed Shannon Stacey’s Yours to Keep for Library Journal. Although an edited version of the review appeared in LJ’s Xpress Reviews, I also wanted to include my original review here, since it prompted me to read the first two books in Shannon Stacey’s series, and I’m grateful that it did.
Sean Kowalski served in the Army for 12 years. His current plans include moving into the apartment over his cousin’s bar and getting carpentry jobs while he figures out his future. Emma Shaw plans to build up her landscaping business and buy the big house she grew up in from her grandmother. But to make her plan work, Emma has to convince her grandmother that she’s happy and isn’t living alone, so Emma has been pretending that she has a fiancé who has moved in with her. Since Sean’s cousin Lisa is a good friend of hers, Emma pretends Sean is her fiancé. Emma’s plan works just fine until Sean comes home from the Army, and her grandmother decides to come up from Florida for a month long visit.
Sean thinks Emma is crazy, but also hot. And since he doesn’t have anything better to do, he agrees to move in and be her fake fiancé for a month. But Emma’s grandmother knows they’re faking from the first second, but hopes it might become real if she plays along. Sean and Emma start out by pretending to be a couple, and end up by deceiving themselves that they’re not.
Verdict Third in the Kowalski Family series (Exclusively Yours, Undeniably Yours) this story starts with one of the ultimate “meet cute” scenarios. The hero is already the fiancé, he’s just uninformed! The characters are appealing, including all of the members of Sean’s extended family, who can’t resist teasing him about the situation he’s gotten himself into. There’s also a secondary storyline, that includes Emma’s grandmother doing a “walk of shame” and Sean and Emma’s reactions to it that is priceless. This is a fun, sexy story for an afternoon’s reading pleasure.