Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: Yours to Keep

Title: Yours to Keep
Genre: Contemporary
Author: Shannon Stacey
Pub: June 6, 2011 by Carina Press

Sean Kowalski no sooner leaves the army than he’s recruited by Emma Shaw to be her fake fiancé. Emma needs to produce a husband-to-be for her grandmother’s upcoming visit, and, though Sean doesn’t like the deception, he could use the landscaping job Emma’s offering while he decides what to do with his civilian life. And, despite his attraction to Emma, there’s no chance he’ll fall for a woman with deep roots in a town he’s not planning to call home.

Emma’s not interested in a real relationship either; not with a man whose idea of home is wherever he drops his duffel bag. No matter how amazing his “pretend” kisses are…

Making the Grade: A

For My Thoughts

I marked this one as one of my favorites for the year before I was even half-way finished.

Let me get this out of the way first - I loved this book so much that I started writing my review on sticky notes. Naaa I’m just kidding, but the sticky notes played such a cute, make me smile part in Yours to Keep, I had to mention them right off the top.

The pretend, fake fiancé storyline is certainly not a new concept and in Yours to Keep it could have been cheesy and cliché but Shannon Stacey tells a fun, sexy, heartfelt story with real and likeable characters in Sean and Emma and let's us revisit with all the old Kowalski favorites.

Emma is strong, independent and she’s not afraid of hard work or getting her hands a little dirty...which is a good thing since she owns her own landscaping business. She loves her grandmother to bits and wants her to be happy in her retirement to Florida but Grandma Cat worries about Emma managing her business and living in the big family home with all the responsibility all alone. So who’s gonna be hurt by a little white lie of a fiancé if it helps Grandma sleep easier at night and not worry about Emma? It was a good plan...until Grandma Cat decided she was coming home for a month to visit and meet “the man” her grandbaby was going to marry. Oooops!

Sean Kowalski’s at loose ends for the next month after just serving in the Army for the past 12 years. He’s gonna rest, relax and chill, maybe pound a few nails and eats lots of Aunt Mary’s lasagna. Ahhhh the best laid plans...until...who’s that knocking at his door? That’s exactly what Sean’s asking himself when he discovers it’s his fake fiancée come a-calling to break the news of their engagement. She’s hot, tall and just a little batshit crazy. 2 outta 3 ain’t bad - right? Emma seemed perfectly sane, were his Kowalski cousins setting him up? Where were the hidden cameras?

I believed the set-up. I believed in Emma’s motivation for engaging in such an elaborate scam to convince her Grandma she was engaged and why Sean finally agreed to play his part. Now to convince the rest of the Kowalski’s to play along because family loyalty will only get you so far.

The Kowalski siblings, their respective wives and children were up to their old tricks again...making bets, holding their tournaments of Doom and razzing the crap out of their cousin Sean. They are one of the most enjoyable families to read about. Shannon Stacey brings them to life on the page and makes them seem like one big happy family anyone would be lucky to be a part of. I wouldn’t mind a piece of Aunt Mary’s lasagna, but keep the wooden spoon outta her reach!

*posts pink sticky note* I heart Kowalski’s.

Sean was a real trooper. Funny, charming, loyal and sexy. Emma and Sean had supposedly been living together for a year when in fact they barely knew each other which only added to the drama and laughs as they tried to pull the wool over Grandma Cat’s eyes. Sean choking down the broccoli during dinner when he detested the green vegetable was LOL funny and showed just how far he was prepared to go to play his part.

And now for the sticky notes. I loved how Sean used them to communicate his likes and dislikes on the bathroom mirror. And the final pink sticky note - broke my heart, got that lump in the back of my throat growing and made my eyes well up.

Yours to Keep…it’s wicked good!


Julie said...

THE STICKY NOTES!!! Love them so so much. I still *swoon* just thinking about them. Great review Judi!

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