October 23, 2012

Book Review: All He Ever Needed by Shannon Stacey

At First Sight: Paige Sullivan grew up moving all over the place, following her mother who kept chasing after men she claimed where The One. So, as an adult - and having gone down that same rabbit hole as her mother a few times - all Paige wants is to throw some roots and prove to herself that "Men are a Luxury, Not a Necessity." And she has been doing a good job of it for the last two years, settling down in Whitford, Maine, owning the Trailside Diner and filling her life with wonderful friends.

Mitch Kowalski - one of the infamous Kowalski Kids from the Northern Star Lodge - is back in town for six weeks, just to help his younger brother Josh - the one who got stuck holding the home front while the other siblings did their own thing - while he recuperates from a broken leg. 

But things quickly start going off track as soon as Mitch blows into town and meets Paige. They are both attracted to each other from the start, but Paige has a strict No-Men rule and Mitch doesn't do long-term relationships. But Mitch is interested, and not ready to take no for an answer. 

Second Glance: All He Ever Needed is the 4th Book in the Kowalski series and the second book to focus on this side of the family, and I must say that while I enjoyed the first two books - which focus on these guy's cousins - I like this second batch of books a lot more. 

Mitch is a charming devil who has gotten rather settled in his own ways when it comes to women and relationships, and he's convinced he's not a 'forever' kind of guy. But he's not bad, he's a decent man and he loves his job and he tries really hard to lay it all out before starting a relationship (that he's not sticking around and that once he's gone he's not looking back) as to avoid hurting anyone. 

He loves his town and the family's Lodge, but he also has a very real and understandable annoyance with Small Town Life. He doesn't like that everyone knows his business and that they keep talking about his youthful sexual exploits and misdeeds, yet refuse to see he is a grown man and has moved on with his life. 

Paige had a very messed up upbringing, and she has worked very hard to make a life for herself that's everything her life with her mother wasn't, she doesn't want to repeat past mistakes and that sometimes blinds her to some of the more... fun aspects of life, but she's content with her life and is happy in general which was good. She had feelings but she wasn't a mopper 

There are some other sub-plots to the story, like about Mitch's best friend Drew and his wife, and the future of the lodge, some teasing about the main couples of the upcoming books and other things that bound the story together. 

Bottom LineAll He Ever Needed was such a fun, contemporary read. There aren't huge plot twists or big explosions, it's just a story about two regular people falling in love in a small town. Sweet and cute. The ending was a little rushed but I'm fairly certain I'll see Paige and Mitch in the upcoming books so I'm willing to overlook that. And Shannon Stacy is quickly becoming one of my go-to contemporary authors. 
PS - the Kindle edition is already out (that's the one I linked to) with the  paperback is coming out in  December 18th.

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