I’ll freely admit that I’m not a huge fan of contemp romances. I have a few select authors who I’ll read…and Shannon’s Stacey’s Kowalski series falls into this category. I fell head over heels with this family in book 1, Exclusively Yours, and book 3, Yours to Keep (heh, yeah I read out of order…whoops!) so when Undeniably Yours was available on Netgalley, I knew I had to have it.
Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he’s more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn’t gone so badly…
Beth’s tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she’d see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can’t say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.
Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he’s not the player she thinks he is. But she’s not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it’s going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child…
And now for a pretty big warning/disclaimer. Due to some issues in my RL, I was probably more connected emotionally with the hero, Kevin, and how he was feeling throughout this book (the whole dad-to-be thing aside) that it was really hard for me to read Undeniably Yours and finish it at this point in time. Now, that said, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not mistake the fact that I had a hard time reading it (I would stop and fight tears every so often) with me not liking Undeniably Yours. That is so not the case. I loved it…and I really enjoy Ms. Stacey’s writing and the whole Kowalski family and am eagerly awaiting the next book (please let there be another book) in the series!
As I mentioned, I really related to Kevin and how he was feeling about being constantly being pushed away by Beth. I liked Beth well enough, but at some point I wanted to strangle her, and I get the feeling at least one of the secondary characters, Paulie (who gets her own HEA in Undeniably Yours in a subplot geared around her and her ex-fiance), did, too. I get that Beth’s pregnancy was not planned and happened by accident after a one night stand with Kevin. I can also understand wanting to take the time to get to know him and not want to rush into some relationship, let alone a marriage, just because she got pregnant. But, at some point…long before she did, she should have given her and Kevin a chance. (Hey, this is a romance, so hopefully you know Undeniably Yours does give Beth and Kevin their HEA). Her constantly keeping him at bay and refusal to really let him in and especially when it was about things regarding the baby, ended up grating on my nerves. As an independent woman, it’s totally understandable to me that Beth would want to try and do as much as she could on her own…and work up until delivery. However, not recognizing that Kevin was stepping up to the plate, being there for her and the baby…um, hello?! Even Beth would recognize, then go on to ignore, just how lucky she seemed to be with the fact Kevin took it all in stride and was even happy (as was his whole family) about the pregnancy. Maybe I would’ve seen this all a bit differently if I were in a different place in my own life. Heck, what woman wouldn’t want a man like Kevin? He’s hot, sweet, caring and devoted. His family is awesome…albeit a bit loud (fans of Lauren Dane’s Chase Brothers series seriously need to check out the Kowalski series…the families are similar in the support and love and togetherness…it’s what endeared me to this series). A girl really could not ask for more in a man.
It really broke my heart when Kevin basically had to give Beth the ultimatum…either she really give them a chance or he had to walk away. I really felt for him. He had a crappy first marriage and is such a great guy. He didn’t balk when Beth told him she was pregnant (yes, they took precautions, but it isn’t like they’re failsafe…). In fact, he was happy. He had a minor freak out (hey, I found that normal, as I think any person…man or woman…is entitled to a bit of a WHHAA?? moment when you weren’t planning on such a life changing event occurring.) but he stepped up. He had no qualms about making sure Beth and their child didn’t want for anything, despite Beth’s efforts to push him away time and time again. I know it seems I’m harping on Beth and that I don’t like her, but that really isn’t it. I admire her for being so independent and I can respect her desire to stay that way and the need to be self-sufficient. She really is a good person, even if a bit aloof to how she and Kevin really feel. And hey, I kinda envy her too…after all she does get a fantastic man in the end ;).
All in all, I’m really glad I stuck with and trudged through Undeniably Yours, despite my own personal issues that cropped up while reading. It’s a fantastic book and as I said, I really want another one in this series. It’s one of the few contemporary series I like and whole-heartedly recommend.