Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Kowalski Family #5
Publication Date: 12th November 2012
Book Source: Carina Press & NetGalley
Synopsis: A second shot at first love
After college, Ryan Kowalski decided to leave Whitford, Maine, rather than watch Lauren Carpenter marry another man. Now his siblings need his help to refurbish the family-owned Northern Star Lodge and he's forced to face the past sooner rather than later when he collars a vandal—and learns the boy is Lauren's son…
The last person Lauren needs back in her life is Ryan Kowalski. With a bitter ex-husband and a moody teenage son, she has enough man trouble already. But her son needs to learn a few lessons about right and wrong, even if Lauren has to escort him to Ryan's door every day to work off his crime.
With all this close contact, Ryan and Lauren can't deny the chemistry between them is as powerful as ever. But can a few searing kisses erase their past and pave the way for a second chance at true love?
Firstly, I must point out that Shannon Stacey is one of my all-time favourite contemporary romance authors and I adore her Kowalski series. Shannon’s stories are sweet, sexy, emotional and just plain hilarious. I can still recall reading my first ever Kowalski book and doing that ridiculous laughing/snorting and my husband glaring at me like I was a lunatic ... I mean who could possibly laugh so hard reading a book!!
I am also a huge fan of reading a series, particularly when I love an author’s works so much. I hate getting to the end of a book and feeling like I want to know about where the characters go from the end of the story. A highlight for me is re-visiting Kowalski family members and getting a glimpse of what they are up to now.
All He Ever Desired is Ryan’s story. In a nut shell Ryan Kowalski left his hometown shortly after finishing college and has pretty much stayed away. In the time he has been away he has been married and divorced and has built up a very successful construction company. He returns home to aid his brothers with renovations to the family’s home and inn, Northern Star Lodge.
Lauren was married to Ryan’s best friend Dean and has a teenage son Nick. Fifteen years ago Ryan asked Lauren to leave town and her husband to be with him. She rejected his offer. I will point out that Ryan and Lauren didn’t have an affair, Ryan’s offer was made as he knew that Lauren was unhappy in her marriage and he had always had strong feelings for Lauren. Lauren and Dean eventually divorce and they share custody of Nick. Dean has remarried and has young children with his new wife.
Lauren’s son Nick is having a few issues and is caught vandalizing the lodge. Agreement is made that he will work at the lodge until he has worked off the cost of the repairs for the damage he caused, thus throwing Ryan and Lauren together.
There were a couple of minor things in this story that disappointed me but it was really about personal preferences as a reader. I won’t go into details as I don’t want to give away spoilers and besides they're relatively minor things.
I think the Kowalskis can be summed up with this quote from All He Ever Desired
Lauren pressed a hand to her stomach, cursing the butterflies. “I think I’ll have decaf.”
“They have that effect on women.”
I hate to say it but I have to admit that this isn’t my favourite in the Kowalski series, but All He Ever Desired is still a really enjoyable read and I highly recommend you read Shannon’s Kowalksi series.
I wait with baited breath for Josh’s story but am desperate to find out what’s happening with Liz after her closed door encounter with another hottie. Book 6 All He Ever Dreamed is due for digital release in January 2013.
Check out Shannon Stacey's website to find out more about this author and her work
Review by Karen Barr