Hotness Level- Blaze
Series- Kowalski Family #5
Reviewed by Kate and Anne
note: there are some mild spoilers in this review
A second shot at first love
After college, Ryan Kowalski decided to leave Whitford, Maine, rather than watch Lauren Carpenter marry another man. Now his siblings need his help to refurbish the family-owned Northern Star Lodge and he’s forced to face the past sooner rather than later when he collars a vandal—and learns the boy is Lauren’s son…
The last person Lauren needs back in her life is Ryan Kowalski. With a bitter ex-husband and a moody teenage son, she has enough man trouble already. But her son needs to learn a few lessons about right and wrong, even if Lauren has to escort him to Ryan’s door every day to work off his crime.
With all this close contact, Ryan and Lauren can’t deny the chemistry between them is as powerful as ever. But can a few searing kisses erase their past and pave the way for a second chance at true love?
Things I liked about this book: 1. This is not an easy romance. The hang ups that Ryan and Lauren have are genuine. And not one sided (it’s not a case of one of them coming to terms with something while the other has no issues).
2. The resolution is realistic and satisfying.
3. The original Kowalski clan makes an appearance for Mitch and Paige’s wedding, but it fits in the story instead of seeming forced.
Things I did not like about this book: 1. I worry that the author is going to make Rosie sick with more than a flu/cold.
2. The author has made me care for too many secondary characters…Hailey, Rosie, and Andy. As well as making me curious about new character Tori. Well they get their HEAs, or will we be left guessing?
My favorite parts of the book: 1. The scene when Nick walks in on Ryan and Lauren in bed.
2. When Dozer is trying to ask Ryan if he slept with Lauren but can’t find the right words, so Josh helps out.
I totally agree with you (with one exception mentioned below)! Here’s what I’d add
Things I liked about this book:
1. There is some pretty hilarious dialouge in this book. Here’s just one example
His brother was quiet long enough that Ryan guessed he probably wouldn’t like whatever came out of his mouth next. “I thought you guys were just fooling around. I didn’t realize it was that serious.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
“No.” Again with the hesitation. “Just a lot of hurdles, that’s all.”
“I got a ribbon in track and field. I can handle it.”
Mitch laughed. “Dumbass, that was a participation ribbon. You sucked at track and field.”
2. Kate said this, but it bears repeating. It just felt so real. There were things about it that weren’t easy, but at the same time it felt worth it.
3. I liked all the secondary characters and the building and background info for the rest of the series.
Things I did not like about this book:
1. I thought the resolution between Ryan and Lauren came a bit too easy. No one said something really stupid, which surprised me. And Ryan’s self realization surprised me, too. It’s a romance, so it didn’t surprise me that he had that moment where he realized he was being a jerk. It did surprise me that he realized it himself and no one else had to tell him. All in all, this was a minor thing for me.
My favorite parts of the book:
1. The continued references to Ryan being Lauren’s “you know, whatever.”
2. The glimpses of Mitch and Paige at their wedding and mentions of the huge shower in their new house.
So, that’s a hearty recommend from both Anne and Kate. Enjoy!