Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey is the first of a contemporary romance trilogy starring the Kowalski family. I somehow managed to read this and the third book – but not the second. Of the two I read, this one is definitely my favorite.
Keri Daniels works for a big time magazine, and her editor discovers that she was high school sweethearts with Joe Kowalski…a famous and reclusive author. The Joe Kowalski whose heart Keri might have broken after high school graduation when she left town to follow her dreams. Now her editor is demanding an interview, and her job is on the line. Awkward.
Well, the awkward is just beginning for Keri. Joe decides to make things as difficult as possible and tells Keri he’ll only grant her the interview if she comes along on his family’s yearly vacation. Enter Joe’s completely insane family – including his sister, Keri’s ex best friend – and you have got a wild ride in store for you! I call his family insane, but I actually loved them. The characterization is extremely well done…from the main characters on down the line.
This is very much a character-driven novel, and luckily both Keri and Joe have fantastic and complex personalities worthy of carrying the book. Both their interactions together and those with the rest of Joe’s family leave nothing to be desired. Keri’s initial fumbling and anxiety at being around the Kowalskis turns quickly into her fitting right back in with them like she never left. Now she has to try and decide if she made a mistake back when she was eighteen – should she have chosen her career over Joe?
If you’re a fan of contemporary romance, this is a book definitely worth reading! It has a slew of hilarious interactions, but mixed in are several very poignant moments exploring the different relationship problems some of the characters are facing. It has a little bit of everything, and I enjoyed reading all of it!