Title: All He Ever Desired
Author: Shannon Stacey
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: November 12, 2012
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?
I have loved all of Shannon’s Kowalski books. In Ryan and Lauren’s story you get the same smooth, easy writing that Shannon delivers along with a great story that always has meddling family and friends. There are few contemporary romance writers out there where I can read book after book of theirs and not feel I am reading the same story with different characters. One of the great things about Shannon’s books is that you don’t get the clichéd scenes. You never know quite what her characters are going to do or react to a certain situation. I laughed at many parts of the story and even had to read some of them out loud to my husband. I also had a heavy heart at some parts of the story. Thank goodness for happy endings!
In this story I thought it was great how Lauren would just ask Ryan a question about why he did or did not do something she was worrying about. Sure, they both were insecure about what the other one thought at times, but they had an attraction to one another and acted on it. This second chance story was a little trickier since Lauren’s ex husband (Dean) is a former best friend of Ryan’s. Dean finally learns why Ryan skipped town several years back and didn’t give him a reason. Not sure he likes the reason, though. Since Lauren and Dean have a son, Nick, it made things a little more difficult. That family dynamic made the story very real, as many people deal with situations like this all the time. Lauren and Ryan are very compatible but their relationship wasn’t easy by any means. Ryan did a wonderful job with Nick, even when he walked in on Lauren and Ryan one morning. I think the intimate scenes between Lauren and Ryan were fun and fit the story and the couple perfectly.
Josh was great fun, a typical little brother and I look forward to his story. I love Rose, of course. She has such a good way of interfering but not. She loves the Kowalski boys as if they were her own and only wants to see them happy (well, she wants grandchildren too). She might need to push them a little but hey, that is what mother figures are all about, right? Mitch and Paige’s wedding brought out the cousins, Aunt Mary and Uncle Leo from all Shannon’s other books which was fun to read about. There are several stories that I hope will play out in future books or novellas, including Liz, Rose and Hailey’s. Hailey has been such an awesome friend to Lauren and Paige. I found All He Ever Desired to be one of my favorite Kowalski stories. It had so much going on in it and I had a tough time putting it down. If you love contemporary romance with a big, loving family and great friends, then give this one a try!
Reviewed by: Amy R.