When Keri Daniels’ editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive best-selling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.
Joe’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he’s intrigued to hear Keri’s back in town—and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he’ll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.
He proposes an outrageous plan—for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she’s worked too hard to walk away from her career.
But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe’s sister is out to avenge his broken heart, and Keri hasn’t ridden an ATV since she was 10. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family, and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.
©2010 Shannon Stacey (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Stacey’s writing is sharp and sexy and this second-chance story is perfectly hilarious... I enjoyed this book so much - if it were printed on paper I’d hit people with it until they read it." (Sarah Wendell, Salon.com)
I love books! Audiobooks take stories to the next level. I'm obsessed with Audible and will try to rate all of my books. Happy Listening! ;)
This is book 1 of the Kowalski Family series. Keri and Joe are high school sweethearts. Then Keri goes away for college and to find professional success as a writer for a magazine. Joe ends up being a very successful horror novel writter. Fast forward 20 years and Keri's boss finds out she has history with Joe and forces her to interview him or lose her job.
I liked many things about this book. Keri was a realistic heroine. She had her flaws, her attitude and a good sense of humor. Joe, was a real man and I loved his determination to get a second chance at love with Keri. The story was interesting, the passion hot and the situations that happened were very relatable. I really liked the POV that the author uses for this book. She lets you know what both Joe and Keri are thinking and feeling. Best of all, the next two books are even better that this one. This is a sweet, funny and sexy contemporary romance and I loved it.
Narration: Lauren Fortgang does a very good job! Every character had a distinct voice and she definitely added life and emotions to the story. Will look for more books narrated by Ms. Fortgang.
This was not only a good story but was just flat-out fun to listen to. Very pleasantly surprised! I look forward to more from this author.
Narration could have been better.
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
This first in the series focuses on Joe, the rich writer son who supports the entire Kowleski family with his over the top successful horror writing career. In comes Karrie, his high school heart throb after being gone for 18 or 20 years -- depending upon the chapter (Stacey is not the best with facts).
Joe blackmails her into coming to a family outing for tow weeks and the novel is off to the races. There are two subplots in the novel, not done well in my opinion. Also, the book moves too slow and is very predictable. As far as the romance goes, it is pretty much PG-13. There are a few places where there are turns of phrase or flashes of exceptional narrative. It is unfortunate that they are far and few between.
Based up on this novel, I would probably pass on the series. It isn't strong enough for a multi-book series foundation.
I love it when the narrator makes a good story great and that is just what happened here. I think Lauren Fortrang is my new favorite narrator (beating out a 2 year record of Lynn Redgrave who I still think is amazing. I listen to audio books while I work and pull out my ereader to read a different book on breaks and lunches but I was enjoying this book so much I actually sat and listened to it during my breaks instead of reading. And when I got home I went and purchased 5 more books with the same narrator because she is just awesome! I also purchased the sequel to this book and I am enjoying it just as much (same narrator too). I think Shannon Stacey and Lauren Fortrang are an amazing power duo!
in theory I like the series. I like the writing. I find the characters in this particular story a little whiny, however, it is worth listening to this story in order to follow the whole series..
I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)
This was a very good story. I liked the characters and the story was fun and interesting. It's the first story I've read by this author and based on this I'm sure I'll try more of her work in the future.
Keri is a writer for a magazine in LA. She's worked hard to get all the way to an editorial position when her upcoming promotion to that position is put on hold by her boss because her past relationship with Joe (who's now a famous writer) in high school had come to light. Her boos is pissed she kept it a secret and threatens her job unless she goes and gets an interview from him. Keri's not happy about this. She loved Joe but left to build her career and a life she could be proud of and now this one thing stands in her way. She doesn't want to bother Joe (or have to deal with him again after the heartache of their split up) but goes because she feels she has little choice.
Joe is a writer but he likes his privacy. He can't understand why fans are so hot to know all sorts of stuff about him and just wants to write his book and answer fan mail and not bother with interviews and the media. He loves his family and spends a lot of time with them. He's getting supplies for a 2 week family getaway when he hears that Keri is back in town looking for him. He ends up proposing a deal where she comes on the family outing with him and she'll get answers to interview questions. He also feels the old attraction to her still as strong as ever and wants to explore possibilities...
When Joe proposes that Keri comes along on their outing, he isn't very clear on what she's getting in to. She certainly isn't ready for a 2 week trip to the wilderness (well a campsite with no cell reception) with Joe's whole family (including a niece and 4 nephews). Things are rather bumpy starting out. Joe's family knows he was heartbroken when they split up before and have varied reactions to Keri being on the trip, the worst of these is Joe's twin Terrie (who also used to be Keri's friend) who goes out of her way to make things difficult on Keri for a while. Joe and Keri have difficulties themselves as Joe tries to get close to Keri again and she tries (rather unsuccessfully) to stay professional. It's hard though because the longer she's there, the more Keri realizes just how much she missed Joe and wondered if she'd made the wrong decision all those years ago. Although she's confused, she still makes it very clear to Joe that she's only in town for the interview and is going back to her career after the 2 weeks are done.
There are a lot of emotions in the story, not only between Keri and Joe but also in two other couples in the family having their own issues and trying to work through them. This is counteracted by fun/humorous times dealing with the family interactions and family outings (with Keri thrown in to the mix of course). As time progresses, Joe and Keri end up in a fling which Keri is sure will end (even though she's not sure if that's the right move any more) and Joe doesn't want to end, hoping it'll turn in to more. In the end, although they want to be together, they can't agree on things and Keri goes back to her job. Unfortunately, her boss isn't pleased with the lack of drama/scandal in the interview she wrote and Keri has some very hard decisions to make. Luckily for us, Keri's a good person and makes the decisions that lead us to a very nice HEA for Keri and Joe.
I really liked this story. It has a very good mix of the emotions and fun as the story progresses which makes it a good, engaging read. I enjoyed the story and the characters in it (even the secondary characters) and will probably read the next book in the series. I'd recommend this book. Thumbs up. :D
I enjoyed this book more than i thought I would. The story of two old lovers coming back together is always sweet, but combine that with being forced out in the wilderness (camping) with a ruckus family and you have a hoot of a story and a sweet loving reunion
I would have to say no. This was a fun and light listen, but not my favorite in the Kowalski series.
I would compare this to a Harlequin romance novel. A little farfetched, a little contrived but everything works out in the end with a happy little bow tied on it.
I enjoyed her narration, she is not the best that I have heard, but not nearly the worst either!
No extreme reactions. It was a nice little story that kept me entertained in traffic!
I read this book a couple of years ago and liked it.
It was my first Stacey experience and I went on to read most of her backlist.
The narration is good, even though having the author say a voice is "booming" and the narrator is doing that voice as a stereotypical thready, whiney elderly gentleman was a bit irritating. Actually, even if the voice was dead on, it would have been irritating.
This is a multi-character book with many a conflict between the various couples in it.
But the secondary and tertiary stories were just as well drawn as the main story.
All in all, a lovely little book. I thoroughly enjoyed listening on a rainy Saturday while cleaning house.
The narration for the most part was good. Again, with so many characters active and talking, it is hard for any voice artist to make them distinguishable. I appreciated that she didn't make the kids all sound whiney or bratty and the women weren't either "good girl" or "trashy girl" or "whining brat." Each of the women were voiced maturely with no intonation that jerked me out of the story.
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