Shannon Stacey is one of my favorite Contemporary Romance authors, and that love is all due to the Kowalski family. Her blend of hilariously male heroes and charming heroines makes for great stories, and I’m happy to see the family back.
Mitch Kowalski is a demolition expert that spends his life traveling. It’s a great lifestyle for someone like Mitch who doesn’t want to settle down in one place. But now he’s back home to help his injured brother. He isn’t happy about that because the town doesn’t let him forget about all his indiscretions, and being a ladies’ man, there are a lot of indiscretions to remember.
Paige Sullivan grew up without roots and finally managed to settle and make a home in Whitford. Her car broke down two years ago and she ended up buying the local restaurant. When she meets Mitch, everyone warns her about his reputation. Mitch himself tells her that he is just temporarily in town and not steady boyfriend material. They try to resist the undeniable chemistry between them, but when the attraction becomes unbearable, they decide to have a fling. I’m sure you can guess the rest. What makes this book good are the characters, there’s a formula and it’s predictable, but Mitch and Paige make it unique.
I’m weary of small town series that extend beyond three books. It’s difficult to maintain the chemistry, the characters start blending in together and the plots become increasingly more unbelievable. Yet, Shannon Stacey does something interesting, because the focus is on the main characters and their romance. The small town aspect is nothing but a setting. There are some cute minor characters, but they don’t make the story ridiculous or distract us from the leading couple.
This was a different type of opposites attract story. Mitch didn’t want a steady home or roots, and Paige just wanted a place to belong. It’s an interesting contrast that makes for a strong conflict. This book is all about two people falling in love and figuring out how to make it work. That’s it. The story is light, we know there’s going to be a happy ending and all we have to do is sit and enjoy. All He Ever Needed is light and uncomplicated.
My only complaints are that it gets a bit slow in the middle, and the “let’s have a fling even though I know I will fall for you and suffer” is not my favorite trope. Here is handled well because Paige never blames Mitch for her heartbreak, but I’m tired of it.
If you are a fan of Contemporary Romance, I say go ahead and read it. I’m sure you will love it. It stands alone perfectly well, there’s some sequel bait with the brothers, but it feels organic to the plot, they have a good excuse to be there and we don’t even know for sure who their love interests will be.
Review by Brie
Born to Roam
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 running the family lodge, he’s intrigued by the new girl in town and her insistence that she doesn’t need a man—for anything. If there’s one thing Mitch can’t resist, it’s a challenge, especially a beautiful one.
Looking for Home
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.Mitch won’t stay put for a woman, and Paige won’t chase after a man—they’re the perfect match for a no-strings fling. Until they realize the amazing sex has become anything but casual…
Carina Press. September 10, 2012.