Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey
I didn’t know how I was going to feel switching to a new branch of the Kowalski family, but hey, the current one is all out of eligible bachelors. Leo Kowalski, the family patriarch, had a brother. So we now have a family of four bachelors and a single female Kowalski to work with.
Sean Kowalski is home from the army and just starting to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life. His family owns a resort in Maine, but Sean doesn’t want to be sucked into the family business. Mary Kowalski, the Kowalski matriarch, became an adopted mom to this other branch of the family when their mother died leaving five young kids alone with only their father. So when Sean needs to figure out where to go, he moves into the apartment above his cousin Kevin’s bar. But on moving in day, he is surprised by a visitor claiming to be his fake fiancée.
Emma Shaw is in desperate need for a fiancée, but not just any man. Emma has heard about Sean from her best friend Lisa Kowalski. So when her grandmother talks about moving back so Emma won’t be alone, suddenly Emma is engaged to Sean without his knowledge. Now grandma, Cat, is coming home to visit for a month and Emma has to put up or shut up on the fiancée and lose hope in buying the home she grew up in from her grandmother.
As the two try to pull the wool over Cat’s eyes, they gag is really on them. Sleeping 10 feet from each other each night makes for fuel to the passion fires. Emma owns her own landscaping business, but hopes to one day be more of a designer than the worker. But she isn’t shy about working, nor roping Sean into helping her. When she gets stressed out she cleans…with a tooth brush. But what sticks out between the two of them is that they don’t really know each other after only 3 days.
Emma can’t cook, so the first night of Cat’s stay she makes this brocoli chicken casserole dish, where Sean tries valiantly to eat it even though he detests brocoli. The evening starts a heart warming process of him leaving sticky notes on the bathroom mirror for her. The two fight a lot, but also appreciate their differences. When Sean has to pull in his Aunt Mary and the other Kowalski’s into the ploy, the fun really gets started. We see Joe, Kevin and Mike again as they do everything you would expect a brother to do to you. And we even get to see them go four wheeling.
Cat knows right away something is up. There is too much tension to be picked up on. There is a hilarious scene when Cat confronts Mary on what she knows about this “relationship.” Cat also has her own side romance brewing that is so sweet. The economy is hitting the local hardware store, so he is closing it up and retiring, but it is a question of if they are both too old to start over again.
As the month goes along, Sean and Emma slowly fall in love, but agree when Cat leaves the deal is over. As the day approaches, they both have doubts of what is going on and if they can really let each other go. There are some pretty good love scenes that makes me wish there were more Kowalski men in the world for all those women looking for the right man! Oh and let’s not forget the “magic penis”!
“You’re thinking about my magic penis again, aren’t you?”
A theme through the three books is the value of family in your life. The Kowalski’s are blessed with a family that while they pull pranks, all stand by you when the chips are down. I highly recommend this series for the humor, family, sexy love scenes, and real people in a real world. Making the best out of life and love. A true gem of a series I don’t ever want to end.