Exclusively Yours
Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Exclusively Yours” is the kind of contemporary romance that I usually love to tears. It’s humorous, comes across as family centric (meaning it revolves around characters within a family and their camaraderie), features a rekindling of romance, and has quite a few steamy scenes to match. But I felt there were things about the primary couple (Keri and Joe) that were missing that didn’t quite pull me in as much as I would’ve liked to see in their relationship. There are several side stories to be had in this first installation of the Kowalski Family series, but I felt some of those stories could’ve been put to the sidelines in order to better develop the primary couple (though the secondary stories were intriguing in themselves).

Keri Daniels is a journalist who was once in a relationship with famous reclusive writer Joe Kowalski, but she broke his heart when she left to pursue her career. Now she’s faced with getting an exclusive interview to dig up dirt on the author, or face losing her job. This was an interesting setup and I liked how Joe’s intrigued when he finds out that she’s back in the picture and wants an interview with him. But he’s not handing over any answers, or his heart, easily. I understood how deeply in love he was with Keri still, but I couldn’t for the life of me feel like I knew how she managed to fall for him again, and felt the tension could’ve been played up between them a little more considering their time apart. It’s definitely a cute story and their intimate scenes are nice, but I found myself more invested – to an extent – by the family story and the surrounding characters in the Kowalski family. I figure some of this set up for future installations of the series, but I would’ve liked it a little more of the time could’ve been spent on tying some loose threads, including Keri’s relationship with Terri – whom Keri had a falling out with and contentious relationship ever since, and playing up the backstories of Joe and Keri just to understand them a little more – especially Keri. I think the latter part of the story was a little rushed, but I appreciated the recon that Keri and Joe had. I would love to revisit the Kowalski family again in future books. It’s a book I would recommend for those who like chick-lit romances with humor and a familial focus.

Overall score: 3/5

Note: I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Harlequin.

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