December 21, 2013

Book Review: LOVE A LITTLE SIDEWAYS by Shannon Stacey

Book Title: Love a little sideways
Author: Shannon Stacey
Publisher:  Carina Press
Category:  Contemporary Adult Romance

“I don’t want to come between you and Mitch.  You’ve been friends for as long as I can remember.”- Liz
“You know I want you.”- Drew
“You’re still young, Drew.  You’ll find the right woman.”- Liz
“It’s hard to find her when all I can think about is how much I want you.”- Drew

Description via NetGalley:

Liz Kowalski is heading home to Whitford, Maine—this time for good. Eager for her family, a fresh start and some fun, she doesn't count on being rescued by the chief of police her very first night back in town. Drew is everything she's not looking for…so why is she still so attracted to him?

After a brief, forbidden rendezvous at her brother's wedding, Drew Miller expects Liz to return to New Mexico and stay there. He's searching for someone to settle down with, not a casual fling with his best friend's sister. But when they're stuck together on the annual Kowalski camping trip, things start going a little sideways. Keeping their hands off each other proves just as impossible as keeping their secret from becoming public knowledge.

Amid family, mud and melted marshmallow, Liz and Drew try to fight what's growing between them. But a little time alone, a lot of chemistry and too many opinions might be just what it takes to bring together two people so determined not to fall in love.

My Summary:

Liz is home.  After many years away from her family to be with her lazy boyfriend, she finally came home.  Sure she would need to start all over in the very town she grew up in but hey, her brothers are there to back her up.  What she didn’t expect was for her past to bite her in the ass on her first night home.

Drew has never forgotten Liz.  She ceased being just his best friend’s little sister the night they got together at her brother’s wedding reception. But he knew nothing long term would come out of it.  He still needs to find THE ONE. The person who would give him what he has always dreamed of: Children, A complete family to love forever.

But from the moment he laid eyes on Liz again he knew they could never go back.  For the sake of his friendship with Mitch, Liz’s oldest brother, he would try to stay away from her.  But how could he when he can barely keep his hands, and thoughts, off her?  How would he when Liz herself can’t stay away from him?

Implosion is inevitable and that happens at the worst time with Mitch there to catch them in the act.   When everything settles, her family automatically assume an eventual marriage for the two.  But Liz isn’t ready.  She still needs to find herself.  And while doing so, she just might lose the only man who’s ready and willing to give her his forever

My Review:

Having been a Kowalski family fan, I expected a lot: that this would be funny, a fast read and a hot, enjoyable book...

In some ways it was...but it
fell short of my expectations compared to the previous Kowalski stories.  Granted all the Kowalski characters featured beforehand were all men, and this is the first and only woman, I should be more flexible in my judgment.  But then again, Drew, the main man here, is as good as a Kowalski since he grew up practically glued to one.

As main characters go, both Liz and Drew are solid.  They love their families and are loyal to a fault, but they also have insecurities and questions, particularly when it's about continuing a relationship with the other.

What I didn't like here was the wait.  It took more than half a book before all hell broke loose and they decide to go with what they feel.  Before that, it was all should I, should I nots.  After a few chapters of that I wanted to stop.  It was frustrating.  But then again the antics of the family, especially the kids with their Games of Doom, saved a bit of it for me.  As for the support characters, namely the Kowalski men Mitch, Ryan, Sean and the others, they are still the same hot and humorous men I met in their own stories. 

My favorite here is Mitch.  He is a great friend and an even greater brother, torn between being one, the other or both.  I liked when he threatened Drew, even though he loves him like a brother, should he break Liz's scarred heart.  It just shows how much thicker blood is than water.  As for Ryan, the only other person who knows about Drew and Liz's one nighter, he tries his hardest not to get involved but how can he not when his only sister's happiness is on the line?

The ending came too fast after the main conflict and it felt like the author tried to rush their happy ever after ...and this after a VERY slow build up too!  It's just too unbelievable, even for a romantic like me.
I’d never been disappointed by Shannon Stacey but this book certainly proves that there is always a first time for everything.  I don't know if there will be more Kowalski books in the future but I still look forward to reading them.  I will just consider this a dip in an otherwise straight, and exciting, line.

Check out the author’s website for a list of these books:

For my reviews on the Kowalski books, click:

All photos lifted from Publisher's site.