Review: All He Ever Needed by Shannon Stacey

Format read: eARC from NetGalley
Formats available: ebook, Mass Market Paperback
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Kowalski Family #4
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Purchasing Info:Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Born to Roam

Mitch Kowalski lives out of a suitcase—and he likes it that way. Traveling for work has the added bonus of scaring off women who would otherwise try to tie him down. But when he’s called home to help with running the family lodge, he’s intrigued by the new girl in town and her insistence that she doesn’t need a man—for anything. If there’s one thing Mitch can’t resist, it’s a challenge, especially a beautiful one.

Looking for Home

After a nomadic childhood, Paige Sullivan is finally putting down roots. Determined to stand on her own two feet, she lives by the motto men are a luxury, not a necessity. But when Mr. Tall, Dark and Hot pulls up a stool in her diner and offers her six weeks of naughty fun with a built-in expiration date, she’s tempted to indulge.

Mitch won’t stay put for a woman, and Paige won’t chase after a man—they’re the perfect match for a no-strings fling. Until they realize the amazing sex has become anything but casual…

If you like contemporary romance and you haven’t met Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski Family series, what are you waiting for? The Kowalski family are just plain fun. You’ll either want to be adopted by them, or marry one of them, after reading Exclusively Yours, the first book in the series.  (I wasn’t all that fond of book number two, Undeniably Yours, but I loved Yours to Keep, book three)

Ms. Stacey really needs to do a family tree of the Kowalskis, just so we can keep everyone straight. Sean, the hero of Yours to Keep, is the brother of Mitch, the “He” in the title of All He Ever Needed. Joe and Kevin, the heroes of the first two books, are their cousins. It’s all one big mostly happy family.

In All He Ever Needed, Ms. Stacey tells the kind of story she does best, a contemporary romance about two adults who have loved and lost and need to find their way through a little bit of pain to a place where they can find their happily ever after in a small town that’s willing to become their home.

In this case, it’s Mitch Kowalski, home to take care of his brother Josh and help fix up the family B&B in Whitford, Maine. A town where everyone remembers every girl Mitch ever kissed (or more) and every prank he ever pulled. Mitch owns his own company now but no one in Whitford ever seems to remember that. He’s back until they get the family’s Northern Star Lodge and Josh back on their respective feet.

Paige Sullivan owns the Trailside Diner. Her car broke down in Whitford, and she just stayed. She’s finally found a place where she belongs, just for herself. Owning the diner has made her put down roots, and she believes it’s kept her from becoming the kind of woman her mother is, chasing one man after another, suppressing her own personality to fit whoever she thinks she loves.

Mitch figures that while he’s in town he’ll have a fling with someone, on his usual terms, no strings, no ties, no tears when he leaves.

Paige doesn’t date. Not anyone. Not in the entire two years she’s been in Whitford.

Mitch tempts her off the wagon. After all, they both know the rules. Until they both break them.

Escape Rating A:  If you love small-town romances, or even think you might, get Shannon Stacey. If you liked any of the first series, you’ll love this one. Whitford is a terrific place, and she’s started a whole bunch of interesting stories that I can’t wait to find out how they resolve. But this one, this one was just so good. Paige has made a good life for herself, and you can see how she wants to make it work. Mitch has been running so fast, he doesn’t know what he really wants. Their chemistry absolutely sizzles and steams, but they take it slow, and for good reasons. Everyone knows the name of every girl Mitch ever slept with in town, and they’re all still smiling. Readers will be smiling at the end of the book, too.

I want to find out how the other stories in town turn out. All He Ever Desired and All He Ever Dreamed are coming out in October and November so I thankfully won’t have long to wait.

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