Review copy provided by publisher/netgalley
Carina Press, January 2013
Synopsis- Josh Kowalski is tired of holding down the fort—better known as the Northern Star Lodge—while his siblings are off living their dreams. Now that his oldest brother has returned to Whitford, Maine for good, Josh is free to chase some dreams of his own.
As the daughter of the lodge’s longtime housekeeper, Katie Davis grew up alongside the Kowalski kids. Though she’s always been “one of the guys”, her feelings for Josh are anything but sisterly. And after a hot late-night encounter in the kitchen, it’s clear Josh finally sees her as the woman she is.
Katie’s been waiting years for Josh to notice her, but now that he has, she’s afraid it’s too late. Giving her heart to a man who can’t wait to leave town is one sure way to have it broken. But Josh keeps coming up with excuses not to leave—could it be that everything he’s ever wanted is closer than he could have imagined?
Review- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the Kowalski series. Stacey consistently delivers and it’s guaranteed when you pick up one of these books you’re going to get a smart independent heroine, a loveably flawed hero and chemistry that crackles on every page- even if the hero is a little oblivious to it! In All He Ever Dreamed, Katie Davis and best friend Josh Kowalski share the romance limelight.
Josh Kowalski is the brother that was left behind, while all his siblings moved away from the Northern Star Lodge- their family home and business- it was just assumed that Josh was content to take over. A couple of Kowalski books back, Josh hit rock bottom and made it clear that he wanted out of the responsibilities of running the lodge and wanted to leave Whitford. So his siblings band together and are happy to support Josh in improving the business and preparing it for sale. Josh feels trapped and is desperate to escape, all he dreams of is leaving Whitford.
All Katie Davis wants is Josh Kowalski. She’s always been overlooked as a love interest by her best friend because she’s always been classed as one of the boys. She’s happy to hang out watching sports and she’s always been there for Josh as a good friend. But Katie really values their friendship and has never told Josh how she feels and, because he has never hinted he feels the same way Katie has accepted that they can’t be together.
But when Katie’s mum, Rosie who raised the Kowalski boys and lives at the lodge becomes ill with pneumonia Katie decides to temporarily move in with Josh to aid her mother’s recovery while Josh runs the business. A midnight snack and midnight encounter involving tiny p.j shorts and a see-through white singlet is like a slap in the face to Josh who has never noticed that Katie, his lifelong best mate is actually a woman! And once he notices there’s no going back.
Josh’s sexual attraction soon becomes clear to Katie who recognises it for what it is, just physical attraction. After a family Christmas Eve gathering involving a (forced) kiss under the mistletoe and Katie’s grand entrance in a LBD Josh can no longer deny that he wants her. Josh and Katie end up having a best friends-with-benefits kind of thing and I enjoyed how their easygoing, light-hearted friendship was deepened with the physical intimacy. Though Josh was a little slow to catch on that it was far more than just a sexual relationship, I did like how he evolved throughout the story- not only his feelings about their relationship but how his priorities in life altered. I think how his internal/ external conflicts were resolved was quite realistic and believable.
All He Ever Dreamed is a great Kowalski addition about best friends turned lovers with a much anticipated happily ever after.
“I loved this book!”
All He Ever Dreamed can be pre-orded in print from Fishpond and other leading book retailers