Falling For Max by Shannon Stacey Release Date: January 1, 2014 Publisher: Carina Press Contemporary Romance M/F Book #9 in the Kowalski Family series Number of Pages: 299 Kindle Edition Source: Borrowed from MCL Rating: NC-17 Read 2/17/17 to 2/18/17
Wow! Just incredible. This book was so full of wam-fuzzies and gut punches I felt emotionally drained at the end…in a good way. I adore Max! I knew, from previous books, that I liked the guy. But getting to read his story cemented my love for him. Part of it is the fact that he’s a mixture of my own boys. (My oldest ate cold toaster waffles for years as a child because the directions said “set toaster to lowest setting” so he wouldn’t deviate from that. Talk about literal!) There was just an overwhelming kindness to him, too. Actually, Tori is also exceedingly kind.
In the last book I felt the absence of the Kowalski clan. Although they were sprinkled throughout the book there was something missing. I don’t know if they are around more in this one (I don’t really think they are) or if it’s the nature of the scenes they are in, but I didn’t mind that neither of the leads were part of the family.
Tori’s parents are really something else. Although her interactions with them are somewhat limited, it is enough to realize why she’s so scared of commitment. Every time I would start to think she was being irrational or silly, she would explain her feelings and I’d start sympathizing with her instead of being annoyed by her. It broke my heart that her parents used her and seemed to think it was okay since she wasn’t a child. It’s a wonder she was still such an upbeat person on other levels of her life.
Seeing Max become more involved with the community made me happy. But more than anything I loved how he was with Tori. How natural and relaxed they both were with each other. The progression of their relationship took such a natural arc that, even though their first intimate encounter was steamy, they melded together seamlessly and without drama. Of course, some drama came afterward. Yet even that was handled so perfectly to their personalities.
There’s a new book in this series coming out at the end of the month and I can’t wait to get my hands on it as soon as possible!