My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read Shannon Stacey’s “Exclusively Yours” quite some time ago, and it was my introduction to both Shannon Stacey’s quirky, romantic style as well as the overarching Kowalski family – as large and charming as ever. I had a few qualms with the multiple perspectives in that particular novel, but I think so much was improved in this novel, both in terms of the central character focus as well as the appeal. Loved the chemistry between the two leading characters as well as the overarching story. Had many moments where I had a huge grin on my face, particularly noting the interactions between the characters and the overarching family.
The story toggles, primarily, from the perspectives of Beth and Kevin. Beth and Kevin a have a brief romantic encounter and their chemistry is off the charts, but then in a moment of misunderstanding and another moment of clarity, Beth’s world is turned upside down. She, at first, thinks Kevin dismisses her as just another momentary fling, and the next she realizes that she’s having his baby. That certainly turns Kevin’s world upside down too, but not in a way that some would expect. He’s totally for having the baby and supporting Beth in any way he can. Beth is hesitant because not only is she more of an independent spirit (and I actually like that quality in her), but she’s not sure if she wants to jump into a relationship with Kevin and end up losing him. I think the qualms and ups and downs they go through are palpable and there are definitely many family moments that I found funny and sweet through the collective novel. The side characters are well defined in their interactions, and the side story interested me, but I don’t think it really struck me as much as the central story.
Kevin is a sweetheart, leaping headfirst into trying to care for Beth and do everything he can for her and his child – sometimes it comes across as overbearing and Beth calls him out on it, but even with his flaws, he’s still quite a gent. One can tell he genuinely cares for Beth and wants a deeper relationship with her. Beth’s qualms/fears are also palpable, because she doesn’t want to complicate their relationship further, and their relationship does take an appropriate time to develop and nuture – something I liked to see.
I really enjoyed “Undeniably Yours” and definitely can’t wait to read more of Shannon Stacey’s work, in this series and beyond it.
Overall score: 4/5
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Harlequin.