“How did we segue from my crisis to you worrying about whether you’ll get any action later?”
“Dirty face. Dirty thoughts. I’m a guy—it all ties together pretty naturally for me.”
** At the time of this post, this is free on Kindle at Amazon.
Shannon Stacey is now on my auto-buy list! Why I waited so long I don’t know. Faced with a few road trips lately, I decided to grab up some audio books to help me pass the time. The first road trip, I pulled up Exclusively Yours for the two hour trip. I was hooked! When we got to our location, I broke out my Kindle and continued to read and then for the trip back, I went back to the audio book only to finish the book that night in bed because I couldn’t put it down!
Keri Daniels and Joe Kowalski were a young couple that had it all. The future was bright for them and they had their love. When Keri Daniels decided she wanted more, it broke Joe’s heart and left for California. Now, almost 20 years later, a lot has changed. Keri is almost to the point of reaching her career goals when her boss finds out she dated the famous author, Joe Kowalski. Keri is given the ultimatum, get the exclusive interview or don’t bother coming back.
Joe really took Keri leaving him when they were young hard. He took up drinking and writing and when his books hit it big, he kept drinking and writing. He only stopped drinking when he realized that he disliked himself more than his family did. During the twenty years he did try to move on, but he never really stopped loving Keri. Now a big time author with his books being made into movies, he doesn’t give interviews and is very close to his family.
When Keri and Joe meet, the sparks do fly again. Joe proposes that if Keri wants an exclusive interview, she has to go on the his family’s annual camping trip. There are a few funny rules to the questions and trip. Basically, she gets one question a day and he gets to ask her one in return. He seriously didn’t think she would go for the deal, but secretly his heart is invested in getting her back even if his mind hasn’t come to terms with it yet.
The chemistry between these two left me hanging on to every word. They skirt around each other, but constantly are pulled back to what drew them together 20 years ago. Each character is extremely complex and what we think is on the surface is really deeper, cutting into their souls. In the beginning we think Keri just leaves, but there is a catalyst to it that still hangs with her today.
The one liners in this book had me keeping my sense of humor throughout the book. Like with Joe and his two brothers joke around.
“You just like it out there because the mosquito bites make your dick look bigger.”
Joe and Keri didn’t have the corner on this book. You get to see Joe’s twin sister Terry and the marriage problems she is having since her husband, Evan, left her. Evan isn’t as horrible as she makes him out to be and we get to see how a marriage grows stale over time and the drastic measures Evan deploys to get Terry to see that.
Terry leaned back against the bench and folded her arms over her chest. “If you’re looking for sympathy, it’s between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.”
Mike, Joe’s younger brother, and his wife Lisa are also having issues. They have four sons ranging from 6-12. The youngest is about to head off to first grade and Lisa is afraid she will lose Mike. So she wants another baby and passes it off as wanting to see if they can have a girl. Mike on the other hand is ready for his youngest to go off to school and for them to be a couple again. In reality, Lisa and Mike had to get married when she got pregnant. Lisa can’t handle the thought of Mike leaving her and thinks having another baby will tie him to her.
Kevin, the youngest brother, is newly divorced and loving the life of being a bachelor. There is a story behind his divorce, but it isn’t a huge part of the story. He provides a lot of comic relief to the story.
Kevin laughed at him. “Cock blocked by Ma’s television. Sweet.”
Oh and not to be forgotten…Terry and Keri were best friends once upon a time. But somewhere along the way they have a falling out. On top of that, Keri dumping Joe just make Terry dislike Keri even more. Keri often takes the high road but Terry loves wallowing in that low road and does some really mean spirited things to Keri.
Throw in four boys, an almost teenage girl, Mary and Leo (parents/grandparents), s’mores, pool time, four-wheeling, and pizza, you have a wild riding book that makes this family your own.
In the end, everyone has issues and it is how you handle and talk out those issues that will win you love. Hard questions are asked in the interview from both sides. Even questions that weren’t part of the interview. Joe and Keri have hard decisions to make and even harder coming to the realization that they never fell out of love.
AWESOME STORY! I loved the entire family being on this trip. To me, family means everything and this was a true testament to how close this family is. They support each other and sometimes provide the hard truths none of them want to face. I recommend this series to anyone who loves reading hot, sexy heros and heroines who aren’t always perfect and have flaws. But also I recommend this to anyone who loves a series based on family.
“Ha! It may have been a long time, but I’ve heard that before. Fairy tales start with once upon a time and Kowalski tales start with okay, it’s like this.”
Reviewed by Shari