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Guest reviewer for Paranormalhaven.com. Goofy and gregarious, although mostly sensible. Love to chat about books! :)

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All He Ever Dreamed

All He Ever Dreamed - Shannon Stacey ****Review also posted over at ParanormalHaven.com****3.5 Stars If you’re fond of fun, contemporary Romance, then Shannon Stacey’s books just might be for you. All He Ever Dreamed centers around Josh Kowalski and Katie Davis, daughter of the Kowalski’s Lodge’s longtime housekeeper. Josh, the youngest of the Kowalski’s, was left to run the Lodge after his siblings left to pursue their careers without giving much thought to their youngest brother. When one of the Kowalski siblings moves back to Whitford, Maine to settle in with his family, Josh is chomping at the bit to leave the Northern Star Lodge and pursue dreams of his own. Katie Davis, his best pal of many years, has pined over Josh for years but Josh never acknowledges her as a woman until a late night run in at the Northern Star Lodge. If you’re going to read a series involving siblings, you really can’t go wrong with Shannon Stacey. She creates funny, engaging, and flawed characters that make you wish that you knew the Kowalski’s. I love the small details in the book, like being able to identify the people in the town by the car they drive, or characters referencing their lack of choices when it comes to places to eat. Plus, the dialogue between the brothers had me snort laughing or smiling throughout the whole book. This is a book where I had a lot more love for the heroine than I did the hero. I loved Katie. She is unpretentious, loyal, smart, and unselfish. She decides to move into the Northern Star Lodge after her mother contracts pneumonia so she can care for her mom and help out around the Lodge to ease the burden on Josh. By contrast, Josh comes across as less impressive. His feelings and desires are focused on leaving the Northern Star Lodge and that’s pretty much it. And I never fully bought into the fact that he never acknowledges Katie as a woman. Not picking up on her feelings, I could buy, especially as Katie does take care to hide them from Josh. But only noticing how attractive she is after seeing her in a tank top and shorts late at night? Yeah, I don’t think so. Don’t be misled by the description of the book either. There is no “hot late night encounter in the kitchen”. (Unless you count him noticing she’s not wearing a bra underneath that tank top of hers) The way the last 10-15% of the book pans out is pretty predictable. From how the book was set up, I realized what was going to happen later pretty early on. I wish the resolution had been set up in a different way, though, given the book’s premise, I did understand the direction of the story even as I didn’t particularly care for it. If you haven’t read any of the author’s previous Kowalski books, you’d still be able to understand what was going on and the character’s motivations, and the book does make for an enjoyable read.