Book Review

Book Review : Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey.

Sean Kowalski no sooner leaves the army than he’s recruited by Emma Shaw to be her fake fiancé. Emma needs to produce a husband-to-be for her grandmother’s upcoming visit, and, though Sean doesn’t like the deception, he could use the landscaping job Emma’s offering while he decides what to do with his civilian life. And, despite his attraction to Emma, there’s no chance he’ll fall for a woman with deep roots in a town he’s not planning to call home.

Emma’s not interested in a real relationship either; not with a man whose idea of home is wherever he drops his duffel bag. No matter how amazing his “pretend” kisses are…

When I started reading this book, my initial thoughts were that the plot was absolutely ridiculous. After Emma’s grandmother moved to Florida, Emma made up a relationship to stop her worrying about her being on her own. The man in question was Sean, the soldier cousin-in-law of her friend Lisa. When her grandmother announces she’s coming to visit Emma knows that her deceit will quickly be found out, unless she can persuade Sean who has only just left the army to play along. It didn’t matter though that the plot was a little far fetched, it was also sweet and funny and has some real moments of sizzle.

I think the real strength of Yours to Keep is in the characters. Sean is part of the Kowalski family, this is the third book that Shannon Stacey has written about them. The relationships between the family members are all wonderfully written and the love that they all have for each other just jumps off the page, I found myself wishing that my extended family was more like the Kowalskis.

Emma is a great character, she’s determined and capable, and hugely likeable. Whilst some of her decisions are a little questionable, like the whole fake fiancé thing, they’re always made for the best of reasons. I fell completely in love with Sean, he’s a wonderfully caring and strong character. Then came the revelation that he carries post it notes and a sharpie everywhere and uses them to leave little notes – who could fail to fall in love with a man like that?

The book’s a quick read, it’s quite short at 201 pages long. Whilst it seemed fairly obvious where the plot was going to go I found that I was still really invested in it, and willing it to play out the way I thought it would.

I enjoyed reading this so much, I’m definitely going to be reading the previous two books about the Kowalski family and any subsequent ones that are written.

Yours To Keep is published in eBook by Carina Press in the UK priced £2.77. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book via NetGalley.com all of the opinions expressed are my own.

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