Title: All He Ever Dreamed
Author: Shannon Stacey
Series: Kowalski Family, book 6
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Review copy from publisher
“Josh Kowalski is tired of holding down the fort—better known as the Northern Star Lodge—while his siblings are off living their dreams. Now that his oldest brother has returned to Whitford, Maine for good, Josh is free to chase some dreams of his own.
As the daughter of the lodge's longtime housekeeper, Katie Davis grew up alongside the Kowalski kids. Though she's always been "one of the guys", her feelings for Josh are anything but sisterly. And after a hot late-night encounter in the kitchen, it's clear Josh finally sees her as the woman she is.
Katie's been waiting years for Josh to notice her, but now that he has, she's afraid it's too late. Giving her heart to a man who can't wait to leave town is one sure way to have it broken. But Josh keeps coming up with excuses not to leave—could it be that everything he's ever wanted is closer than he could have imagined?”
All He Ever Dreamed is the sixth book in the Kowalski Family series by Shannon Stacey.
Before All He Ever Dreamed I had only read first two books in this series; despite noticing there was a backstory regarding some of the characters I can say All He Ever Dreamed can be easily read as a stand-alone.
Since the death of his father Josh Kowalski has been stuck managing the family business. Years have passed and Josh is tired of his life, the last thing he wants is continuing managing the Northern Star Lodge. All his siblings went away and live their lives while he was left behind with all the responsibility. After being honest for the first time to his brothers and sister about his feelings towards the lodge and his dissatisfying life, Josh is just waiting for an opportunity to leave the lodge and the town behind.
Katie Davis has been Josh best friend since she can remember, she has also being in love with him for much of her life, but sadly Josh only sees her as his buddy. All this changes suddenly one night when Josh realizes Katie is not only his friend but also a very beautiful woman. Katie takes advantage of these new awaken feelings in Josh and despite knowing that Josh’s ultimate plan is to leave the lodge and the town behind they start a relationship.
Things are going well between them but the ghost of Josh’s leaving is always on the horizon, until one day when the opportunity arises. Now Josh will need to decide if his dream is out of town or if it has been by his side all his life.
I have mixed feelings about All He Ever Dreamed. There were things I like and some others not so much.
I liked Josh siblings and the interest they show in helping Josh in this book; but still I couldn’t believe that they all had been so selfish and no one of them ever thought about asking Josh if managing the Lodge was what he wanted to do, or if he wanted to go to college or do something else with his life like they all have done. It was easy to see they felt guilty and they should because what they did it was not fair with Josh.
I liked Josh and understood his desire to do something else, what I didn’t understand was that if he wanted to leave town so much and do something else with his life why he didn’t have a plan. What he said he wanted to do was something he could have easily done if he only would have taken couple of weeks of vacation a year. His lack of planning in his life made him feel immature for his age.
Another thing I didn’t quite believe is that he never saw Katie as a woman and only as a “buddy”, he never noticed she had a nice body or that she was beautiful. He’s a man and he could be the best friend/buddy or anything, guys always notice those things.
I felt bad for Katie; I can’t imagine being in love with somebody very close to you and that person being oblivious to your feelings for so many years. I also felt that she settle for anything with him. For example, on the beginning of their relationship she didn’t know what kind of relationship they were having, she was ok with only being friends with benefits just to be with him. Also at the end, after what happened between them (I’m trying not too give spoilers away), when Josh’s professes his love for her she was to quick to accept, if I would have been her I would have liked to have more guarantees to make sure that I was what he really wanted and not the best option because he couldn’t find anything better.
Talking about their relationship there was something lacking here. I believe they were friends and had a good friendship, but when their relationship changed I didn’t feel the romance. It was very physical but I didn’t feel a real romantic connection between them.
Notwithstanding the little problems I had with the story and the characters All He Ever Dreamed was a well-written, fun and sweet read. All He Ever Dreamed is perfect for those days when you want something light and easy to read or if you like small town romance stories.
My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
Yours to Keep
All He Ever Needed
All He Ever Desired
All He Ever Dreamed
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