Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Love or Career? Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey

It's the fourth day of Christmas and I have enjoyed this week between Christmas and the New Year's celebrations.  It always has seemed just a little more relaxed with the two major holidays like bookends enclosing this eight day period.  It has also meant a good bit more time to do some reading and reviewing and I have been spending time catching up on both. Here's a review of a book I read about a year ago and thought it was wonderful.  Now it has been released as a published book rather than just an ebook, and hopefully more readers will discover the beginning of this delicious family series.

When Keri Daniels' editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.

Joe's never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he's intrigued to hear Keri's back in town--and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he'll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.  He proposes an outrageous plan--for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she's worked too hard to walk away from her career.
But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe's sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn't ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.
The choices women face in today's world are significantly more complicated than in former days.  Even as I was finishing high school and college, women were beginning to make a stand for better opportunities outside the home, better educational opportunities, and better pay for their contributions to business and commerce.  But that increased level of personal and professional opportunity has come at a price.   Choices between having a full and fulfilling personal relationship and following a demanding career path has been a rather significant struggle for many women.  In this story the author never backs away from investigating Keri's dilemma--one that has been present in her life and emotions from those days when high school came to an end and with it her relationship with Joe.  She walked away and didn't return until now when her publication is insisting on an exclusive interview with a man who is now well known and whose privacy will only succumb to someone Joe knows--someone who shares a past with him.
This novel is the beginning of a series that highlights several members of the Kowalski family.  Joe and Keri have moved on -- or have they?  Their past may very well be poised to make an appearance in their present, something Keri isn't terribly anxious to have happen, largely because there is still that old struggle over a woman's independence and the right to follow a career dream.  This novel is fun to read, and the introduction to the Kowalski family is done beautifully.  The characters are very well crafted so that readers really know the various family members.  The interaction within the family circle is delightful, even some of the snafu over kids, the upsets the teens experience, and some of the issues that become important for Joe and Keri.  
This is a book worth reading and if it is already in your library as an ebook, it's worth re-reading!  I know I have gone and re-visited the entire series and found each to be just as delightful and satisfying a read as it was the first time around.  This is one book all real and genuine romance fans need to have in their possession.  I encourage you to make it one of your literary friends.  I give it a 4.75 out of 5 rating.
This novel has been re-released by Harlequin in December, 2011.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Love, love, love this series. Such a great family and Stacey makes it so realistic and homey.