Joint Review – Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey

Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Releases Today!
How we got this book: NetGalley

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…
*Blurb from Goodreads*

Has: I really enjoy Shannon Stacey’s books, and although her last Kowalski story wasn’t my favourite, it was worth reading because this family is so warm and engaging. It really feels like a comfort read.
However I do have to say, Yours to Keep is the best book of the series yet. In fact I think its actually her best book to date. I LOVED IT. And it was wonderful to read after a difficult week I had.

MinnChica: I agree. Stacey has quickly become one of my favorite go-to authors when I’m looking for a quick romance with lots of laughs, great characters, and amazing family dynamics. I absolutely LOVE the Kowalski books, and I agree that Yours to Keep is so far my favorite!

Has: From the start of the opening scenes with Sean discovering he was the imaginary fiance of Emma, so she can help calm her grandmother’s worries, they were funny and engaging.
And I am not really keen on this trope but the way it was written was full of wit and humour, and it really shone.

MinnChica: Yes, I adored Sean from the moment he stepped onto the page. He was such a fun character, and although he initially thought Emma was a little crazy, he still respected what she was doing to ease her grandmother’s worries. I started the story thinking he was a total stand up guy, and by about the 2nd chapter I was completely in love!

Has: And he wasn’t without his faults too and the same with Emma. And I think that helped to really flesh out their characters and make them believable. I think this is what makes this series/book stand out.

MinnChica: For me the biggest thing that makes this series stick out is the extended family and how important of a role they play in one another’s lives. I love how close Sean is to his Kowalski cousins and aunt/uncle. I love how strong of a role the family plays in the series. The entire Kowalski clan is such a driving force in the series, and I LOVE it!

Has: Oh definitely and their chemistry is tangible and real. The best scenes in the book was when they were all gathered together.  But the real highlight was how Sean and Emma engaged with each other. Their witty exchanges such as planning out their ruse and sharing their personal information about each other was fun and sparkling.

“You actually come with an owner’s manual?”
“You could call it that. And if you could write something for me to look over, that would be great.”
He shrugged and flipped and through a few more pages of the journal. “I’m a guy. I like guy stuff. Steak. Football. Beer. Women.”
“One woman, singular. At least for the next month, then you can go back to your wild pluralizing ways.”

I loved this scene, and I knew I was onto a winner with this book from here on out.

MinnChica: Very true. That scene totally had me melting! I personally love stories where the hero and heroine are somewhat forced together like this. For me to watch their relationship unfold from this total sham to friendship to caring about one another to falling in love… it just melts my heart when done right. And Stacey did it right!!

One of my favorite scenes was during the Newlywed Game. I loved that we got to see Joe and Keri along with Kevin and Beth answer some fun questions. I laughed hysterically at the way Emma and Sean handled not knowing anything about each other, and how they used humor to get through it, especially since NONE of their answers were correct. It was so great!

Has: OMG I nearly cracked a rib in that scene – it was so funny. And I definitely agree with you about the forced getting together aspect. This  was a romance that had the tension from being forced together that was so much more tense and sexy. I really felt along with their snarky conversation, and with that forced tension, it really made the romance come alive. One of my other favourite scenes which reflected this was their real first kiss — the practiced previous ones didn’t count! But hoo boy! I could feel the tension sizzling then and there.

MinnChica: It really did! I kept snickering to myself every time Emma’s grandmother and Sean aunt got together to plot their romance. It just added more to the story for me. I love when family members scheme together to try and push a couple towards love.

Has: Oh I loved it when they turned the tables on them! It was pretty funny they were trying to con them into believing their lie but they were being conned by Emma’s  grandmother and Sean’s aunt, and in some ways conning themselves about the fact they were falling in love with each other.

MinnChica: Yes, it was all very muddled and confusing and fun playing to who knows what, who is lying to who game. I especially loved the introduction to Sean’s family in Maine, and can’t wait to get their stories as well! His brother was so funny! (According to Stacey’s website; Mitch, Ryan and Josh will all be getting their stories in late 2012!!)

Has: Yours to Keep was a wonderful, sexy and witty installment in this series. I really felt that this was a truly a magical book, and if you ever need a real pick me up or a fun read – I highly highly recommend it.

Even the secondary romance with her grandmother was heartwarming and cute, and it was one of those books that gives you that  giddy feeling and a goofy grin. But I have to say the ending with the sticky notes made me melt and that is rare for me to feel like that. Yours to Keep is a real keeper and I am sure it will be treasured by others too.

I give Yours to Keep an A

MinnChica: All in all I absolutely LOVED this book. The characters were fun and engaging and real. The humor was abundant and snarky. But the romance… The romance was on in full force and had me wishing for a Sean of my own.

I give Yours to Keep an A as well


Don’t forget to head over and check out our interview with Shannon and enter for a chance to win a $25 gift card to an ebookstore of your choice!

2 thoughts on “Joint Review – Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey”

  1. We loved this book! I wasn’t as keen on the last one, due to the heroine. But this was funny, and filled with great characters and fantastic dialogue. Its def a firm fave of mine !

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