All He Ever Desired by Shannon Stacey Release Date: November 12, 2012 Publisher: Carina Press Contemporary Romance M/F Book #5 in the Kowalski Family series Number of Pages: 336 Kindle Edition Source: Borrowed from MCL Rating: NC-17 Read 1/13/16 to 1/13/17
I must be loving this series since the last two books I read about the Kowalskis were finished the same day I started them. I’m sure it helps that it’s winter and cold, but still.
I wasn’t thrilled with Ryan in the last book, All He Ever Needed. He came across as a bit of a prick. Even at that time I knew it was because he wanted to stay as far away from Lauren as possible. I just didn’t know why yet. Even knowing the whole story now, I’m still not happy with the way he acted in book 4. If you felt the same way, rest assured he is very lovable in this story.
Throughout the book, I couldn’t decide if I was supposed to hate Dean (Lauren’s ex-husband) or feel indifferent about him. Every time I would learn something else about him, I disliked him more and more. Yet Lauren, who I really like a lot, seems to think he’s not so bad. Is it the “he’s the father of my child” thing so she feels she has to like him to a certain extent? I’m not sure. Although Dean is not in any way a main character, he has some important roles to play and it was confusing to me that his personality never quite got nailed down.
Lauren is a great mom and I like that she will do what’s right for her son Nick even if it’s not something she is going to enjoy. There’s a part toward the beginning of the book that Nick asks her to watch a movie with him. She has a million things to do and doesn’t even want to watch the movie but knows it’s his way of reaching out to her so of course she makes the popcorn. That’s her, through and through. Not that she lets Nick walk all over her…not at all. But she knows when to push and when to back down.
The fact that Ryan is so aware of how things will affect Nick, as well as the relationship between Nick and Lauren, without being overt about it really won him points with me. He doesn’t coddle the teen but isn’t a jerk about things either. He doesn’t only care about Nick because of Lauren, he has feelings for the boy as well. He wants what’s best for Nick as well as what’s best for his relationship with Lauren.
When a few things come to a head, it was great for Lauren’s friends to have her back while hinting that they didn’t necessarily agree with her. It was sweet and funny and how girlfriends should be with each other.
As well as getting the Ryan/Lauren/Nick story, we get more set up for something going on with Rosie. Something a bit worrisome actually. And we finally meet the Kowalski sister, Liz. I’m super curious to see the direction her story will go (assuming she comes back to town) since I did not agree with Drew’s ex-wife about their situation and would love to see more of him in the future.