Saturday, January 12, 2013

All He Ever Needed - Shannon Stacey (HQN - Dec 2012)

Series: Kowalskis (Book 4)

He won't stay put for a woman, and she won't chase after any man...

Mitch Kowalski lives out of a suitcase-and he likes it that way. Traveling for work has the added bonus of scaring off women who would otherwise try to tie him down. But when he's called home to help with the family lodge, he's intrigued by the new girl in town and her insistence that she doesn't need a man. If there's one thing Mitch can't resist, it's a challenge.

After a nomadic childhood, Paige Sullivan is finally putting down roots. Determined to stand on her own two feet, she lives by the motto "Men are a luxury, not a necessity." But when Mr. Tall, Dark and Hot pulls up a stool in her diner and offers her six weeks of naughty fun with a built-in expiration date, she's tempted to indulge.

They're the perfect match for a no-strings fling. Until they realize their sexy affair has become anything but casual...

Excellent book.  I loved the New Hampshire Kowalskis and the Maine Kowalskis look like they will be just as fun.  Mitch has returned to Whitford to help at the family lodge after being away for three years.  He hates coming back because the townspeople never forget that he and his brother were hell raisers when they were younger.  It doesn't matter that he owns one of the top demo companies in the country, he's still that Kowalski boy that has a way with girls.  He makes no apologies for his actions with women now.  He has no intention of settling down any time soon and makes sure that the women he hooks up with know it.  He is immediately attracted to Paige and challenged by the fact that she doesn't date and has no desire to get involved with a man.  Paige spent her childhood traveling with her mother who was always looking for a man to love and be loved by.  She has found a community she can love and where she can put down roots.  She has no interest in getting involved with a man who doesn't have any desire to stay in one place.  She does eventually decide to take Mitch up on his offer of no strings fun.  

I liked the way that the relationship developed.  Mitch started out resenting being there but looking at Paige as a fun distraction.  Pretty soon his playboy ways were being overshadowed by how good he was at his business, how much he cared about Josh and Rosie, and how good he was with Paige.  What he couldn't understand was why she seemed to different.  She was constantly in his thoughts, he couldn't wait to see her again and his subconscious kept putting thoughts of forever in his head.  Every time that happens he pulls away some, but can't stay away.  He was pretty clueless in the relationship department and was stunned when Paige walked away first.  Paige really enjoyed being with Mitch including the times out of bed.  When she realized she had fallen for him and started thinking about following him when he left, it scared her that she might be thinking about giving up her independence and dreams for a man.  So she made the decision to walk away even though it hurt.  I loved Mitch's grovelling at the end.

I also loved the secondary characters that were part of the story.  I loved the housekeeper Rosie and how she treats the Kowalski guys.  The townspeople are wonderful at looking out for each other, but I also love their part in Paige and Mitch's story - especially the stories they tell on Mitch.  There's a secondary story with Drew and Mallory that I hope has a happy ending.  Of course I'm really looking forward to Ryan and Josh's stories, as I expect them to have their problems too.

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