Review – Love a Little Sideways by Shannon Stacey

Love a Little SidewaysPublisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: 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.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I am a big fan of the Kowalski series, and I was so anxious to see what Stacey had in store for Liz and Drew.

Liz and Drew have known each other all their lives, so when Liz moves home to Whitford a few months after her one night tryst with Drew, things become awkward – to say the least. Drew and Liz are both worried about telling her older brother, Mitch, and the building sexual chemistry is making it harder than ever to stay away from each other. But the annual Kowalski camping trip might be more than Liz and Drew can handle, especially as they are thrown together again and again.

I love brother’s best friend stories. I don’t know if it’s the dynamic between the hero and his best friend, and the brother’s inevitable reaction to his best friend and sister’s relationship. I also love the dynamic between the hero and heroine, and the changing of their relationship from friend to lover, especially as they navigate their friend/brother’s feelings as well. I think it’s such a great dynamic in relationships and has become one of my all time favorite tropes.

I adored Liz, especially as we got to see her come out of her shell a bit. She was always so closed off and defensive around her family, so getting to see her blossom was wonderful to read. I love that Liz is so simplistic in her needs. She enjoys working as a waitress, she enjoys hey blow-up furniture, and she doesn’t need anything fancy or flashy to make her happy. She genuinely loves all the little things, and although she was constantly confused about what she really wanted to do with her life, I loved the fact that she didn’t allow that confusion to ruin the rest of her life.

Poor Drew was seriously hurt after his wife lied to him for so many years and divorced him. I could absolutely see why he wanted to settle down and get to the family making portion of his life, since that was what he had been building up to for years. However, it felt like Drew let that define him. He was the police chief, Mitch’s best friend, but the felt like he constantly thought of himself as “the guy who needs to start his family.” He was devoted to Liz, and absolutely tried to give her space in making a decision about their relationship. But it was never far from Drew’s mind (or mouth) that he was ready to be the family guy.

I thought Stacey did an amazing job with the sexual chemistry with these two. It was plain as day that both Liz and Drew were still attracted to each other, even after the few months apart. I loved how much they both wanted to pursue something, but were also scared of Mitch’s reaction. I have to say though, the way Mitch found out was kinda hilarious and horrible all at the same time. Poor Drew had to practically streak through the campsite to outrun Mitch’s punches. LOL

Although we’ve run out of Kowalski characters to marry off, I’m excited to see that this series is going to continue. I think Stacey does an incredible job with secondary characters throughout the story, and I’ve come to love each and every person who makes a repeat appearance. I’m anxious to read more about Hailey, especially since it seems as if she’s given up on love.

All in all I thought this was a great book to add to the Kowalski series. I love the trope, and thought the interactions between Drew, Liz, and Mitch were wonderful. The romance was both sweet and super sexy, and I loved getting to see Liz really come into her own during this book. I’m anxious to see more from the town of Whitford!
I give Love a Little Sideways a B

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