Read Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey Online

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Sean Kowalski no sooner leaves the Army than he’s recruited by Emma Shaw to be her fake fiancé. Emma needs to produce a husband-to-be for her grandmother’s upcoming visit, and, though Sean doesn’t like the deception, he could use the landscaping job Emma’s offering while he decides what to do with his civilian life. And, despite his attraction to Emma, there’s no chance heSean Kowalski no sooner leaves the Army than he’s recruited by Emma Shaw to be her fake fiancé. Emma needs to produce a husband-to-be for her grandmother’s upcoming visit, and, though Sean doesn’t like the deception, he could use the landscaping job Emma’s offering while he decides what to do with his civilian life. And, despite his attraction to Emma, there’s no chance he’ll fall for a woman with deep roots in a town he’s not planning to call home.Emma’s not interested in a real relationship either; not with a man whose idea of home is wherever he drops his duffel bag. No matter how amazing his “pretend” kisses are…...

Title : Yours to Keep
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 11374437
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 331 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Yours to Keep Reviews

  • UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
    2019-06-10 20:49

    “I have the magic penis, so I get the keys, remember?”Yours to Keep is the third book in the Kowalski Family series and my first taste of Shannon Stacey’s writing. It turned out to be one of the sweetest, most amusing contemporary romances I’ve read in a long time, and I’m definitely going to be picking up the first two books in this series. And in case you're wondering, reading this one out of order didn't diminish the story at all. Although I think it would be a fairly common theme, I don’t recall having ever read a book with the “pretend fiancé” storyline. I was expecting this to be a light, no-strings-attached-on-my-part read and was pleasantly surprised to find it more than that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely an easy, feel good story, and to my surprise I found myself totally invested in Emma and Sean, as well as Emma's Grandma Cat and Cat's long time friend, Russell Walker, who also had a budding romance. The secondary cast of characters played by friends and members of the family on both Sean’s and Emma’s side helped fill out the story and gave it such a feeling of unbreakable, loving ties that I was reminded of Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series, one which I absolutely adore! I really enjoyed the scenes in which Sean and Emma justified the arrangement, then fought against the feelings that were clearly developing for both of them. Those moments were both hilarious and heartbreaking as neither one of them could seem to let go of their stubbornness. And the sticky note messages they left for one another because neither could seem to voice what they were thinking were sweet, heartwarming and sometimes downright funny!I want to go on and on about the story, but I know I'd end up giving away too much, so I'll just close with some of my favorite quotes:“Oh yes, Sean Kowalski. Your amazing kisses have made all rational thought fly out of my besotted brain. If only you could fill me with your magic penis, I know we’ll fall madly in love and live happily ever after.”The truck jerked and she glanced over to find him glaring at her. “Don’t ever say that again.”“What? The madly in love or the happily ever after?”“My penis isn’t magic.” His tone was grumpy, but then he smiled at the windshield. “It does tricks, though.”“The only trick your penis needs to know for the next three and a half weeks is down boy.”“You look me in the eye, young man, and don’t you dare lie to me. Do you love Emma?”“Yes,” he said through gritted teeth.She released his face and he rubbed his jaw. “Well, that’s a start. And I’m going to guess you didn’t tell her that before you packed your stuff and moved out.”“I don’t know what I’m doing. Other than not getting any sympathy.”“If you’re looking for sympathy—”“I know. It’s between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.” So they’d all heard. Many times. “The brownies are good, though.”He tilted his head up to look at her. “This whole month was crazy, with all the pretending, but somewhere along the way it stopped being a lie.”“Did you go getting ideas about me, Sean Kowalski?”“I did, and it was one hell of an idea, too. I love you, Emma. I think, deep down, that’s what I wanted to write on that blank sticky note I left on the mirror, but I wasn’t ready yet. I’m ready now. I love you and I want you to marry me. For real.”Honestly, if you’re looking for a fun, romantic, sexy, heartwarming story, give Yours to Keep a try. You won’t be disappointed! This ARC ebook was provided free of charge by netgalley.com in behalf of Carina Press. This had no influence on my rating or my review.

  • Jae
    2019-06-24 01:47

    For the love of all that is batsh*t crazy (borrowing Sean's phrase), I cannot stress enough of the awesomeness of this book. Love it, like it, adore it and L O V V I T!!!! (have I stressed it enough yet?)Sean and Emma are adorable people, even though their sense of humor were a bit twisted sometimes. Then again, their twistedness was the key element that made the whole story so much fun. The sticky notes that Sean liked to leave for Emma were extra cute, loved those.I had a very good time reading this. So I thank Shannon Stacey for pulling this off and letting us mortals in on the madness that is the Kowalskis. I hope her next book will be about Mitch, the first brother. His five minutes appearance just left me panting and lusting after him. Wooooooot! Another yummy Kowalski man to look forward to.

  • Melissa (Ever So Mela)
    2019-06-08 04:00

    DNF 24%I don't know...I use to have a really high tolerance for books but lately that threshold is nonexistent. It's like I don't even hesitate to DNF when they fail to captivate me. Shit! I really hate squandering money and that's all DNFs feel like: A huge waste of money.When this wasn't boring the living hell out of me, it was irritating the living fuck out of me. Look, I know fake relationships tropes are bound to be a a little OTT but this? It just screams ridiculous and even though ridiculous does work for me at times, this one miserably and unequivocally failed at it.➨Emma, Ms. Independent. She lives by herself, has her own business but utterly fails to act like a grown ass adult when it comes to her grandmother. The reason for the trope felt lacking and flat.So this "grown ass woman" just walks up to a total stranger(Yes, he's still a stinkin stranger. The fact that he's your best friend's husband's cousin does not constitute him someone you know! You have never met the guy, you idiot!) and just says "Hi, I'm Emma and you would by my fiance. It's a pleasure to meet you." Dude...Then there are her freaking stalker tendencies. Like, seriously, why is it when guys stalk we go bananas but when girls pull the creeper status we act like all in fine and dandy. She wants pictures of them together. Fine. What does she do? Well, she phototshops herself into them, duh.The problem is, why is the heck are they all around the house if her grandmother hasn't visited in years?! Why the hell aren't you running Sean?➨Then we have Sean aka caveman extraordinaire.When he isn't being described as the perfect ken doll, he's being a blatant sexist ass. Dude doesn't plan on marrying a woman if she can't cook,Cause obviously that is all we're good for, duh. I mean, how can you call yourself a woman if you can't do something as basic as cook some fucking food for your man?!The gender roles were driving me up the fecking walls. Emma can't drive because she drives like a girl. I mean, what the hell then constitutes driving like a man?? She can't own a landscaping business because that's not a woman's job and obviously she can't live be herself because woman are fucking useless and need a man around the house to keep shit together. ➨Then we have Cat, aka Grams, and her CIA I-can-spot-a-liar-from-a-five-mile-radius abracadabra shit. Seriously, she spots hand tightening, eye twitches, flustered laughs and smells anxiousness and figures out it's all a lie. What are you, a dog? Smelling fear and shit. I just...No. ➨ And then we have the non-stop sexual references. Do us all a favor people and take a damn cold shower! It was a constant tingling of sexual organs. ➨And finally...well, and finally I just quit.

  • Jess
    2019-06-28 02:49

    Full review posted at: Happily Ever After - Reads“Are you Sean Kowalski?” “Yup.” “I’m Emma Shaw…your fake fiancée.” “Say what?”And with that, our hero and heroine meet. Such a sweet beginning that set the tone for the whole story. Fun, sweet and simply enjoyable.Emma, in an attempt to convince her Grandmother, that she’s really ok living by herself, taking care of the home she grew up in and running her own business, tells a little white lie about having a fiancé in her life in the hopes that her Gram, Cat, won’t worry so much about her, will let Emma buy the family home and continue to enjoy her life down in Florida. Gram’s coming for a visit to meet this special guy and Emma needs to convince her fiancé to move in, after she introduces herself to him.Sean, back home and planning on moving into the apartment above his cousin Kevin’s bar, is just getting settled in when Emma comes knocking on his door. She tries to sound sane by explaining how she knew of him through her friend and his cousin-in-law Lisa, but he pretty much leaves their first meeting thinking her crazy and closes the door in her face.Sean eventually comes around, needing something to do, he goes to work for Emma and her landscaping business, and decides to be her fiancé, just for a month. They lay down the ground rules, including sleeping arrangements and he moves on in.To say things start out bumpy is an understatement. They’re supposed to be a couple who has lived together for a year and Cat can tell right away that something just isn’t right. They keep up with the story though and it’s not easy. There are Kowalski’s that need to be bribed, a Kowalski betting pool and a few Kowalski family BBQ’s to get through. The whole family knows the truth and trying to keep track of who knows what and why and when and where is pretty hilarious, especially when the act starts taking a slow turn toward reality. The banter between Sean and Emma is so fun to read. From the awkward first days of living together to watching them slowing start to feel things neither one is ready to accept (because it’s just fake remember) their scenes were always fun and I caught myself laughing out loud many times:“Oh yes, Sean Kowalski. Your amazing kisses have made all rational thought fly out of my besotted brain. If only you could fill me with your magic penis, I know we’ll fall madly in love and live happily ever after.” The truck jerked and she glanced over to find him glaring at her. “Don’t ever say that again.” “What? The madly in love or the happily ever after?” “My penis isn’t magic.” His tone was grumpy, but then he smiled at the windshield. “It does tricks, though.” The book hit the right pace between Sean and Emma while still managing to have a really nice story for Cat as well as many appearances from the whole Kowalski family. While Sean talks to all of his siblings during the book, we meet one of Sean’s brothers on page and oh yes, there are more single Kowalski’s we MUST get stories for! And as a small side note, I was already prepared to fall hard for Sean, I mean he’s a Kowalski after all, but when he started leaving post-it notes for Emma, that sealed the deal (post-it whore ---> me). From his first post-it to his last, I couldn’t wait to see what little note he left for Emma next.Sean and Emma were an easy couple to cheer for, even as they were causing themselves angst when neither one would admit that their little white lie turned into far deeper emotions then either one expected. Watching the relationship go from that painfully awkward first meeting to the end was such a joy. Yours To Keep is a great addition to the Kowalski Family series and I can’t wait for the next one.4 1/2 stars to this fantastic read.

  • Jaci Burton
    2019-06-13 02:03

    This book was wonderful. Fully rounded characters and a fun, emotional story. Sean and Emma are together for all the wrong reasons, and you want them to stay together for all the right reasons. I was invested in this book from the very beginning. I highly recommend Yours To Keep. This is what romance is supposed to be about.

  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    2019-06-23 22:08

    - Because Emma isn't annoying, never bitches about other women, happens to lead a balanced life without a man to open her doors (I know, crazy right?) and because she says that : "Oh, yes, Sean Kowalski. Your amazing kisses have made all rational thought fly out of my besotted brain. If only you could fill me with your magic penis, I know we'd fall madly in love and live happily ever after."- Because Sean could be a delicious cookie, according to the Make me swoon receipt - To be consumed liberally☑ Grumpy and strong-minded, a bit smart-ass - but sweet anyway - 100 g☑ Make-me-laugh-out-loud sex comments - a few teaspoons☑ Complete inability to understand women - But willing to try. Good boy. - 35 g☑ Of course the fact he's hot as hell has to be taken into account. Duh. - Because the characters have an invasive *but hilarious* family, who appears to be a crucial pillar for the plot. Yes to real people! - Because the characters can't help but put themselves in laughable situations, brilliantly related by Shannon Stacey who has that awesome ability to insert funny comments in her sentences." (...) and after taking a deep breath - which didn't help because oxygen didn't cure insanity - he rang the doorbell."- Because sticky notes. I'm a sucker for sticky notes. Watch out, Kowalskis, I'll see you again! __________________________________Wow. That was such a journey to find a romance novel whose cover doesn't scare the hell out of me. Because - stop the body-oil guys. There are women out there who don't find it sexy. Seriously.

  • Julie James
    2019-06-23 00:41

    I found myself sneaking away whenever I could to read this book, I enjoyed it that much. Great, fun contemporary with dialogue that had me smiling all along the way.

  • Penny Watson
    2019-06-14 02:52

    4.5 stars, rounded upAbsolutely adorable! Super cute romance, it made me laugh out loud.Shannon Stacey's writing voice is very New Hampshire-ish...no-nonsense, straight-forward storytelling, but with lots of sweet moments.And I loved that the granny got a sweet romance, too. Swoony!Grade: A- (I wanted an extra chapter at the end!)

  • Lisa Kay
    2019-06-04 01:46

    ATV-ing in New Hampshire★★★★☆ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I haven’t heard Lauren Fortgang narrate before, but I quite like her. She has a raspy voice that lends well to the masculine voices, yet she still does a very nice job on the female ones, especially the not so dim-witted grandmother, Cat. She’s certainly a reader I’d pick up again, as I liked her tone, pitch and intensity.There is nothing of monumental complexity in this little love story. It probably won’t cause an epiphany, or change your Romance reading genre to strictly Contemporary. However, it is sweet, fun, and has another of those H.O.T. Kowalski men in it – Sean Kowalski this time, in the third installment of Kowalski Family series, by Shannon Stacey.Sean has just left the Army after a tour in Afghanistan. He no sooner arrives at the apartment he bums off his cousin, Kevin, than a sexy brunette – independent, Emma Shaw – shows up on his doorstep asking if he wouldn’t mind posing as his fake fiancée for a month.I love this family, set in a small town in beautiful New Hampshire, and enjoy their banter.Out So Far on AudioNot Yet Out on Audio

  • ♡Karlyn P♡
    2019-06-27 20:50

    Awesome! It was melt-the-heart kind of good. Sean and Emma made a great couple. The romance felt believable, the heat was just right (steamy!), and the laughs were frequent. A great feel-good romance.

  • Karla
    2019-06-16 03:45

    4 1/2 stars. I loved mixing it up again with the Kowalski's. Just a fun story, with a cute plot, a crazy, sweet h, Emma, and hot Kowalski, Sean. Some terrific dialogue, laugh out loud moments, and very sensual. My favorite part of the book was the inclusion of the Kowalski's from the previous books. The family element just brought so much to the story. My only complaint...I think it needed an epilogue. Especially since we have to wait until September 2012 for Mitch's book...and then we actually get 3 in a row, Ryan and Josh's too. Sweet!

  • Chan
    2019-06-11 00:03

    Much better than book 2. Thank Goodness. Although this one was better, I don’t think this series is for me. I’ve tried 3 books – Book 1 – decentBook 2 – uh uhBook 3 – goodBut I’m still not really invested. I do like the Kowalski’s and find them a fun loving family. However, this series is missing something that I need. What that is? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the style of writing. Or the way the plot unfolds. I dunno. But I think I’ll be saying goodbye to the Kowalski’s.

  • Angela James
    2019-06-20 03:01

    I'll refrain from rating this, since I edited it :P You can extrapolate what I think of it (it's awesome and the best Shannon Stacey book yet).

  • Juliana Philippa
    2019-06-09 21:44

    A light and fun novella-ish romance that provides some great laughs (3.5 stars)This was a very light and cute romance. I had never read anything by Shannon Stacey before, but reading Yours to Keep made me want to check out her backlist and the other books in the Kowalski Family series. The thing I loved best was the humor; some parts had me laughing out loud and there was one particular scene (Newlywed game anyone?) that made me have to put the book down and focus on remembering to breathe. Always great when a book does that :-).Yours to Keep what I would term "novella-ish," because while not as short as most novellas, at 201 pages it is definitely shorter than most romances and one feels that in the relationship development. Regardless, Stacey did a great job of making the romance believable in such a little number of pages.Both Emma and Sean are likable characters, though I do feel that we're given more insight and make more of a connection with Sean than we do with Emma. Compared to him, she seemed a little flatter and not as well-rounded or three-dimensional. I liked Sean's forthright personality, but loved how whenever he would stumble because he all of a sudden worried that Emma might get attached or misinterpret something, she would call him on it and make fun of him. Throughout the book, he's a sweetheart and that final scene - ::grin::. Kind of thought that was coming, but was still super, super cute.The "pretend relationship" ploy can go either way for me, depending on how the author has the characters deal with it and how it impacts the development rate of their relationship. While there is instant attraction, they don't act on it for awhile and it is instead just the normal initial reaction one has towards a good-looking person. I greatly appreciated that Stacey did that, because I cannot stand the instant lust scenarios and rarely enjoy romances that have them. That being said, the tension build-up between the two of them was well-done and I did think there was some nice sizzling chemistry.One of the greatest things about the book was the secondary characters. They provide a large number of laughs and the back and forth between everyone is fun to read. I loved Emma's grandmother, who gets her own nice little romance. Because she's so great though, the whole reason that Emma has to invent the fiance ends up seeming very contrived and her nagging and worrying seems somewhat out of character.I had originally given it 4 stars and then read another CR right after it that made me knock this one down to 3.5. I think it's hard for it to compare to most other romances due to it's (lack of) length - by definition, it makes it so that there is less space for you to get to know the hero and heroine, for them to get to know one another, and for their relationship to believably develop. That being said, for what it was I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend Yours to Keep when you're in need of a light, fun, and sweet romance.{ Kowalski Family }Book 1 - Exclusively Yours (Joe and Keri)Book 2 - Undeniably Yours (Kevin and Beth)Book 3 - Yours To Keep (Sean and Emma)This review is of an advance reading copy provided by Carina Press through NetGalley.

  • Elle
    2019-06-27 20:47

    Woooo! Me and this book had a fabulous time together. This is the first Shannon Stacey that I've finished and I absolutely loved the premise and how the plot progressed. I didn't find that the family aspect in this book was too overbearing or gag worthy, which is a nice change from a lot of other books.Sure the premise is a bit ridiculous, but it's great that the plot plays out in a way that really highlights how ridiculous of a predicament the characters are in.I Love Love Loved this fun, quick, relatively clean read. The pacing of the story was great and the subplot was written in a way that was just right!I'm thinking that fans of Shannon Stacey are going to love this instalment of the series.

  • MBR
    2019-06-09 23:50

    Yours to Keep is the 3rd book in the Kowalski Family series by the very talented Shannon Stacey. Though this is my very first book by Ms. Stacey, I had no trouble identifying with the fact that she can deliver a fantastic romance, and this one definitely makes it into the list of my favorite reads for 2011. This book is going to follow the I-Review format which I introduced earlier and would follow a question and answer format which will hopefully do justice to the wonderful romance this delivered - in spades.Question 1: What made you pick up Yours to Keep?I have always heard good things about Shannon Stacey though I have never had the opportunity to try out her work prior to this. You can always blame it on the hundreds of new books that find their way into my TBR pile (sneaky things these books). And this time when I found Yours to Keep up for grabs on Netgalley I didn't hesitate to procure a copy and here I am grinning from ear to ear and nearly purring in complete satisfaction at the end. And of course, fellow blogger Pearl's fantastic 5-star rating of the book helped things along as well.Question 2: Tell us a little bit about the hero Sean Kowalski.Sean Michael Kowalski finally returns home for good after having served the army for the past 12 years. With blue eyes and a smile that can do serious damage to a woman's insides, the one thing that Sean wants is to have the freedom for the first time in his life to do whatever he wants before even contemplating about settling down.Question 3: Now tell us a little bit about the heroine Emma Shaw.The owner of Landscaping by Emma, Emma Shaw is an only child who was brought up her grandmother Catherine Shaw after the death of her parents at the age of 4. Emma has her roots tied down in New Hampshire, owns a business doing something that she loves and her only discontentment arises from the fact that her grandmother who finally managed to move to Florida still keeps on worrying about Emma. Whilst Emma doesn't see the harm in conjuring up an imaginary live in boyfriend to keep her grandmother placated, what she doesn't realize is the fact that it is indeed a tangled web one weaves when they intend to deceive.Question 4: How does Sean and Emma meet for the first time?Sean and Emma's first meeting is a memorable one in the story. Sean has just arrived at his cousin Kevin's place where he would be crashing for the duration of his stay when Emma turns up on his doorstep claiming that she is his fiancée and tries enlisting his help in playing make-believe engaged couple with her for the duration of her grandmother's upcoming visit. Though Sean thinks Emma to be tall, hot and batshit crazy in that very order, that doesn't stop him wanting to say yes to Emma's offer or prevent his body from hungering for hers in the worst way possible.Question 5: What was it that drew you into the story with Yours to Keep?Even though I have never sampled Shannon Stacey's work prior to this, I totally fell for her style of writing which drew me in right from the very beginning. I loved the concept of the story which was one of the reasons that had me saying Yes to Yours to Keep in the first place and it is the way that Ms. Stacey pulls the right emotions from the reader at every turn that had me reading this in one sitting, something that rarely happens these days.Question 6: What was it that you liked about Yours to Keep?I am someone who ALWAYS loves a good contemporary romance. Throw in a hotter than sin ex-military hero whose vocabulary at the moment does not have any room for the word permanence in it, and a heroine who is his match in every way possible; call me fickle but I love the way two people who aren't looking for love find it in the last place they are looking for.I loved a lot of things about this delectable contemporary starting from Sean who is definitely hot enough to melt any woman to a puddle of goo in mere seconds. His whole character starting from his sinfully good looks to the way he tries so hard to keep his desire in check where Emma is concerned made him a hero I enjoyed in every way possible.And then there is Emma, who has her heart set in the right place but doesn't know what hits her when her "fake" fiancée turns out to be the real thing. Emma is loyal and intense to Sean's laid-back attitude and the way that she is unafraid to grab whatever it is that is simmering between her and Sean made me root for her even more!I loved all the side characters, some of whose stories of happily ever afters have already been told, lending Yours to Keep that extra edge which was why in the end it ended up in my list of favorite reads for 2011.The sexual tension between Emma and Sean was sizzling hot at all times, the combustive culmination of their surrender that much more sweeter because of the fact. And I absolutely fell in love with Sean the moment he started leaving little bits of notes for Emma all around the house and the final scenes in the story just made me want to bawl my eyes out - with happy tears.Question 7: What if anything would you want to change in Yours to Keep?For me, Yours to Keep is just damn perfect as it is!Question 8: Who would you recommend Yours to Keep to?Fans of the Kowalski series should definitely read this one. Its a keeper!And for fans of Shannon Stacey who haven't yet delved into the Kowalski world, you definitely ought to, even if it is with this one. Yes, it is that good!And for fans of contemporary romances, this one should definitely end up on your pile of books that MUST be read!Question 9: Any memorable scenes/quotes from Yours to Keep that you would like to share?I loved the notes that Sean kept leaving for Emma to find. One of my favorites comes from the list he gives her during the final moments in the story:You don't take any crap from me.You make me laugh.Missionary is my favorite position now because I can see your face. Rating=5/5 Original review posted atMBR's Realm of Romance

  • Maggie
    2019-06-26 01:55

    Love means never having to say you're sorry.SNORE.Love means a magic penis, a pink shirt, and Post-its!And yes, it is as awesome as it sounds. Like, to the point that Shannon Stacey has (temporarily) ruined other fictional men for me. Trust me, after you read this, Exclusively Yours, and Undeniably Yours, you'll have Kowalskis on the brain too. Yours to Keep is the 3rd book in the series, and the first one I read. (Thanks, Sarah!) It centers on Sean Kowalski and Emma Shaw. Sean has just left the Army after 12 years and is keen to explore his new civilian life. His plans take an unexpected turn when Emma, his cousin's wife's best friend -- and a woman he's never met, shows up at his temporary apartment asking him to be his fake fiancé for the sake of her grandma. You already know where this is going, right? What pleasantly surprised me was how FUN it was getting there. And how HOT.Sean is tall, dark (blond), and handsome. Not only is he well-mannered, but he also reads!He's Alexander Skarsgard post-Generation Kill. Emma is no shrinking violet either. She, according to Sean's first impression, is "tall, hot, and batshit crazy." She's a landscape artist who owns her own business.Both Sean and Emma are probably in their early 30s, but what one of the many things I love about this book is that age isn't a point of emphasis. It's a breath of fresh freakin' air to read about a single woman who isn't bemoaning her biological clock or her eggs. I personally believe that the word "ovaries" should be banished from all non-medical text. Say "Fallopian" to me:What was I talking about before I started mentally slapping people? Oh right, Sean and Emma. I read this with a stupid grin on my face. I loved their chemistry and their cuteness. I loved watching them go from faking a real relationship to hiding a real relationship masquerading as a fake one. I went over my Notes & Marks on my Kindle and I had 35 highlights, each one making me smile when I read over it again. This is the strongest of the 3 Kowalski books (even though I'm partial to Kevin Kowalski in Undeniably Yours), and a fun read even if you're not a romance genre diehard.Do I need to show you Sean again?

  • Keertana
    2019-06-11 04:04

    Rating: 3.5 Stars Well, here's the thing: I don't really like romance novels. I was in the mood for something truly light, though, and my foray into Stacey's work has been just as rewarding as I hoped. YOURS TO KEEP has remarkable dialogue and a slow-burn romance that is easy to get behind. It takes a pleasant flip on this classic plot line by introducing a female character who runs her own business and knows her place in the world, opposed to her romantic counter-part who has recently returned from Afghanistan and doesn't know where his life will now take him. And I really, really loved Sean and Emma. The entire Kowalski family is charming, but this couple was just too adorable. If you're looking for a solid romance, I can't recommend this enough. I'd have liked more substance, but Stacey is an author I'll be looking out for for sure. :)

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-06-14 00:41

    3 ½ stars. I enjoyed it. I had no problems.Emma asked Sean to be her fake fiancé to make her grandmother happy. The logic and rational worked for me. The couple ends up hot for each other and that worked for me. The formulaic separation was reasonable.KOWALSKI FAMILY SERIES:This is book 3.DATA:Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 323 pages. Swearing language: strong with religious swear words but rarely used. Sexual language: moderate to strong. Number of sex scenes: 4. Setting: current day New Hampshire. Copyright: 2011. Genre: contemporary romance.

  • namericanwordcat
    2019-06-04 01:43

    A really lovely contemporary romance with a fun pretend relationship theme. Very good character driven love story without the angst. I like that the hero is finding himself.I laughed out loud several times! A great way to spend the day!

  • Story_girl
    2019-06-12 20:42

    The first half is boring. The second half does pick up a bit. Maybe a good choice for those who especially enjoy the fake fiancé romance trope. As for me... I enjoy it if such a story is well done and entertaining. But this one just felt a bit...bland.

  • Mandi Schreiner
    2019-06-02 21:03

    Favorite Quote: She snorted and looked out her window. “Oh yes, Sean Kowalski. Your amazing kisses have made all rational thought fly out of my besotted brain. If only you could fill me with your magic penis, I know we’ll fall madly in love and live happily ever after.”Emma lives in her grandmother’s old farm house in New Hampshire. She doesn’t have a lot of family around and now that her grandmother has retired to Florida, she worries about Emma living all by herself so far away. Emma wants her grandmother to be happy, and enjoy retired life and to stop worrying so much. She also really wants to eventually own this old farm house, and she knows that won’t happen with her grandmother constantly on edge. So she makes a small white lie about dating, telling her grandmother she was dating and now engaged to Sean Kowlaski. She picked Sean to be her fake fiancé because he was serving in the military over in Afghanistan and he is a good friend of one of her friends.But now grandma is coming up for a month long visit. And it just so happens Sean is back home, out of the military. Emma, desperate not to stress her grandmother out, makes a bold move – she knocks on Sean’s door (they’ve never met before) and announces that he is her fake fiancé. Sean calls her “bat-shit crazy” but he can’t get out of his head the look on her face, and since he has nothing better to do for the next month, he agrees. They have three days to get to know each other well enough to convince Emma’s grandmother they’ve been dating for two years and happily in love. There is also the little dilemma of keeping the sham going with Sean’s extended family.Yours to Keep is so darn adorable! It’s the first I have read in Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski series, but it reads fine as a stand alone. Everyone in this book is so likable, but no one is too perfect. Although Emma is deceiving her grandmother by pretending to be engaged, she is really doing it for the right reasons. And Sean really doesn’t have a clue what he is going to do with his life now that he is out of the military and he realizes the unselfish thing Emma is doing by trying to comfort her grandmother. What unfolds are two strangers, thrust into the same house, heck the same bedroom (although Emma starts by sleeping on the couch next to the bed) and they become friends. Their sporadic touches, or glances, even conversations are awkward and stilted at first. Emma is a total ball of nerves that they are not going to be able to pull this off. Sean is a little more low key, and well – horny. So eventually, both of them bring their tense emotions together, and a very hot romance develops.There is a great mixture of sweet and funny moments in this book as well. They really know nothing about the other, so when Emma makes dinner the first night grandma is in town, and there is broccoli in the dish, Sean’s most hated vegetable – something she would know if they were actually engaged for real, he has to get it down somehow.He could do this. He’d survived boot camp. He’d survived combat and the harsh weather of Afghanistan. He could survive broccoli. Probably.Later that night, Sean put a sticky note on the bathroom mirror that said, I hate broccoli and peas. This becomes a habit, little post it notes on the mirror. Sometimes they are more likes and dislikes, other times he leaves an encouraging note if Emma is having doubts about the charade. But Sean also has a gruff, rougher side to him. He doesn’t always let Emma down easy, and gives her a hard time.Emma’s grandmother and Sean’s aunt add much to this story, as does the entire Kowalski clan. (which makes me want to go back and read the first two books.) The end is just made of sweetness.For a cute, very enjoyable story, pick this one up!Rating: B+

  • Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)
    2019-06-10 00:45

    Sean Kowalski is finally home from a 12-year stint in the Army, most currently serving overseas in Afghanistan. Not ready to go to the family lodge in Maine, Sean makes a stop over in New Hampshire to visit his aunt, uncle, and cousins. To his surprise, he finds out that Emma Shaw considers Sean her "fake" finance, telling Grandma Shaw in Florida that Sean is living with her and helping take care of her large New England home. Emma and best friend Lisa Kowalski made up her fake relationship to pacify Grandma Shaw's concerns over leaving Emma alone when she moved to Florida. Now Grandma is coming to visit for a month and Emma wants Sean to move in with her and pretend to be the fiance Grandma believes he is. I cannot express how much I absolutely adored Yours to Keep and continue to enjoy the Kowalski family. I was a bit concerned that moving away from the original family after only two books would be too soon, but Ms. Stacey intergrates new-comer Sean perfectly into the Kowalski fold. Emma and Sean's story is utterly adorible and simply lovely. While the fake-fiance trope could have been silly, instead, the story was full of humor and heart. At times I was laughing uncontrollably at the antics of trying to keep the various secrets straight and in place. The light-hearted humor and Kolwaski antics make this wonderful romance a perfect story.After getting over the initial shock of suddenly being with one another under false pretenses, Emma and Sean realize that they cannot hold back their mutual attraction. Of course, spending so much time together, coupled with indulging in some extracurricular benefits, the pair begin to fall in love, all the while ignoring and denying the obvious signs they are happy being a couple. The pace of their romance and the overall story is perfect, keeping my earbuds firmly planted in my ears. I fell in love with the couple as they fell in love with one another.The side plot involving Emma's grandma, Kat, finding potential romance with old friend Russell is sweet and adds dimension to the overall story. The best side plot, however, is Aunt Mary and Kat coming together with their own, well-intentioned scheming. At more than one time I was laughing so hard, and it reminded me of my favorite Friends episode when Phoebe and Rachel figured out Monica and Chandler were secretly dating.While Yours to Keep is near perfect because of the building romance and side antics of the characters, what makes it one of my favorite books is that it also packs a powerful emotional punch. As time grows short for Emma and Sean's faux engagement, my heart was on edge waiting for each to admit there was more between them than "pretend." At one point, tears flowed freely and my heart breaking, making their eventual HEA so much better.Once again Lauren Fortgang narrates a wonderful cast of characters, giving each his or her own voice. She hits all the right notes and I seriously can't imagine anyone else behind their rolls.When I started the book, I thought Yours to Keep might have been cliche, but I should have known better with Shannon Stacey penning the tale. I absolutely loved every part of this book and will definitely read/listen to it again. Yours to Keep is sublime mix of sweet love, genuine humor, family antics, and most of all a beautiful romance. If you haven't checked out the Kowalski Family yet, I strongly recommend this delightful contemporary romance series. Simply amazing.My Rating: A+Narration A+ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS

  • Judi
    2019-06-09 20:04

    I marked this one as one of my favorites for the year before I was even half-way finished. Let me get this out of the way first - I loved this book so much that I started writing my review on sticky notes. Naaa I’m just kidding, but the sticky notes played such a cute, make me smile part in Yours to Keep, I had to mention them right off the top. The pretend, fake fiancé storyline is certainly not a new concept and in Yours to Keep it could have been cheesy and cliché but Shannon Stacey tells a fun, sexy, heartfelt story with real and likeable characters in Sean and Emma and let's us revisit with all the old Kowalski favorites. Emma is strong, independent and she’s not afraid of hard work or getting her hands a little dirty...which is a good thing since she owns her own landscaping business. She loves her grandmother to bits and wants her to be happy in her retirement to Florida but Grandma Cat worries about Emma managing her business and living in the big family home with all the responsibility all alone. So who’s gonna be hurt by a little white lie of a fiancé if it helps Grandma sleep easier at night and not worry about Emma? It was a good plan...until Grandma Cat decided she was coming home for a month to visit and meet “the man” her grandbaby was going to marry. Oooops!Sean Kowalski’s at loose ends for the next month after just serving in the Army for the past 12 years. He’s gonna rest, relax and chill, maybe pound a few nails and eats lots of Aunt Mary’s lasagna. Ahhhh the best laid plans...until...who’s that knocking at his door? That’s exactly what Sean’s asking himself when he discovers it’s his fake fiancée come a-calling to break the news of their engagement. She’s hot, tall and just a little batshit crazy. 2 outta 3 ain’t bad - right? Emma seemed perfectly sane, were his Kowalski cousins setting him up? Where were the hidden cameras?I believed the set-up. I believed in Emma’s motivation for engaging in such an elaborate scam to convince her Grandma she was engaged and why Sean finally agreed to play his part. Now to convince the rest of the Kowalski’s to play along because family loyalty will only get you so far. The Kowalski siblings, their respective wives and children were up to their old tricks again...making bets, holding their tournaments of Doom and razzing the crap out of their cousin Sean. They are one of the most enjoyable families to read about. Shannon Stacey brings them to life on the page and makes them seem like one big happy family anyone would be lucky to be a part of. I wouldn’t mind a piece of Aunt Mary’s lasagna, but keep the wooden spoon outta her reach! *posts pink sticky note* I heart Kowalski’s.Sean was a real trooper. Funny, charming, loyal and sexy. Emma and Sean had supposedly been living together for a year when in fact they barely knew each other which only added to the drama and laughs as they tried to pull the wool over Grandma Cat’s eyes. Sean choking down the broccoli during dinner when he detested the green vegetable was LOL funny and showed just how far he was prepared to go to play his part. And now for the sticky notes. I loved how Sean used them to communicate his likes and dislikes on the bathroom mirror. And the final pink sticky note - broke my heart, got that lump in the back of my throat growing and made my eyes well up. Yours to Keep...it’s wicked good!

  • Julie
    2019-05-30 03:05

    Posted at http://yummymenandkickasschicks.com/?...When I first told my husband about what Yours to Keep was about, he looked at me with an “are you sh*tting me?” expression, shook his head and walked away. Mind you, that is often his reaction when I tell him about one of my books – that and walking away mumbling “Why did I not just stay in the basement?…” I must admit that I did feel a little like he did this time around. The idea that a woman would go up to a total stranger and ask him to be her fake fiancé and live with her for a month while her grandmother visited from Florida…a little farfetched for my liking. But the romance and the characters totally made it worth reading. It’s a really is a cute and sweet story.I first heard of Shannon Stacey when I read the Naughty & Nice anthology last year. Hers was by far my favorite story in that book. I loved her style and her writing voice. On top of that, her characters and story were adorable. I really wanted to read more by her but never got around to it…until now.Yours to Keep is the third book in Shannon’s Kowolski Family series and this book just made me smile all kinds of smiles. There were “Awww” smiles. There were “He is so dreamy” smiles. There were “oh for goodness’ sakes” smiles and there were “oh my goodness, who knew he had that in him?” smiles…and most of these smiles occurred while reading scenes that included Sean. Other than agreeing to a total stranger’s idea of being a fake fiancé for a while, I found Sean to react quite normally to the situations that were thrown at him. He has recently left the Army and really doesn’t know what he wants to do next. He knows he does not want to settle down so soon after finding his ‘freedom’ though. I found his struggle to figure out what to do was very well done.Emma was good. I didn’t not like her, I just found she was a little odd at first. Well, who wouldn’t think that after reading her grand scheme? Even Sean called her “batshit crazy”. But I soon warmed up to her and realized that she is simply a smart and capable woman who is only trying to do what is best for her grandmother. And she too handled what the Kowalski family threw at her very well.There were quite a few scenes in this book that had me laughing out loud (such as the Newlywed Game scene) and there were quite a few moments that had me grining with little hearts in my eyes (such as when Sean left sticky-notes on the bathroom mirror for Emma to find). And there was a whole sub-plot involving Emma’s grandmother that I was not expecting in a novella but that made my heart pitter-patter. It was a very sweet surprise.Even though I found the idea behind the story a little “uh-huh?..” I never once thought about not continuing the book. I actually quite enjoy story arcs that follow two people who are thrown into an awkward situation. It’s always fun to watch them handle that all while they fall in love. Those are some of my favorite romance plots. I will definitely be going back to read the first two books in this series and will be looking out for future releases. Yours to Keep is a quick read filled with adorable characters and a sweet love story. A wonderful weekend read.

  • Joyzi
    2019-06-05 01:52

    Note: This book is given free courtesy of www.netgalley.com for book review purposes.It's been a while since I downloaded this galley and transfer it to my phone to be read, but unfortunately I didn't have enough time to really read it. Then, came the time that my mother got hospitalized and I'm taking care of her 24/7 that I finally have the time to read it in my phone during the hours that I do not actually do anything.At first the e-book started with a short summary intro of the book and I really thought at that time that it would suck because the synopsis sounded very generic. It's like a story about a pretend engagement and I know this is so not an original plot to begin with.However, the book was really funny and it was addicting. It's very rare that I read this kind of romantic comedy that I really like the humor and I can't help, but smile and hide my face in a pillow to laugh my heart out.The story kind of remind me of a mix between The Proposal and Friends with Benefits.The one part that I really laugh my ass off is the Newly Wed Game kind of game, but not really. There's this part that the couples are writing answers from a question and then after that they should have matched answers to win. And then the last question in the game was like "If you have a sex motto with each other what would it be?" and the lead girl's answer was like "Size doesn't really matter." But of course it's not that it was true, but it was a pretend engagement so at that time they don't really had sex yet.The ending was also sweet I really like what the guy did at the end of the novel. This is a very light, sweet, and funny novel. I read it in one sitting and it's very addicting and I think I should read the other books by Shannon Stacey.

  • Amanda
    2019-06-14 21:08

    I 100% loved this series and am hoping and praying that Stacey writes more - thankfully she introduced four more Kowalski's in this book that all happen to be single. Since I read all three books in just over 24 hours, I decided to just write a review on the last - especially since I can't pick a favorite. The books are all lighthearted yet emotional, which is a great combination. I've gotta admit that I definitely teared up at some point during each book. They also each have a secondary romance that you get just as invested with while at the same time they do not overpower the main romance. The dynamics in the family is hilarious and very realistic.About this book specifically - although the plot seems a little ridiculous, it actually makes sense and seems like it could maybe possibly happen (actually, this book makes me want to invent my own fake fiance in the hopes it would turn out the way the book does!). Watching them stress about keeping up the act and roping the whole Kowalski family (even the seven year old!) into the farce was hilarious - especially when the family purposely tortures them about it. And even though the humor is a large part of this book, you can also tell how perfect these two are for each other.I completely recommend these books to anyone who loves a good story and contemporary romance. Even if you aren't much of a contemporary reader, I would still recommend it anyway they are so good!

  • Kelly
    2019-06-16 01:57

    I like these Kowalskis. They're loud and boisterous and they back each other up when they need to. Sure, they're also known for teasing each other mercilessly, but that's what families do. I loved, loved, loved that the entire family pulled together to make Sean and Emma's fake engagement look real. GO, TEAM KOWALSKI! (The teasing was just a fun bonus. Because, HA, the betting pool was pretty brutal on poor Sean's willpower.)So. Sean and Emma. Considering they'd never met before Emma's outrageous proposal, things could have gone very differently. Also, the photoshopping thing? Kinda creepy, Emma. Good thing Sean was a good sport about it, because you were edging into creepy stalker territory with that. (Which is a funny thing to say, because Emma really did have the best intentions when she used Sean's name as her fake fiance. That's one little lie that quickly spiraled out of control, wasn't it?)Not going to lie, Sean's magical man parts gave me a guffaw every time they were mentioned. Magical man parts, FTW!Fun, sweet, and sexy (because I canNOT resist a couple who try valiantly to pretend steamy kisses don't actually mean anything), I'm chalking this book up as a win for the Kowalskis!-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal

  • Melissa
    2019-06-11 22:05

    I received this ARC via Netgalley.After getting out of the Army after 12 years, the last thing Sean Kowalski wants is to be tied down to anything. He plans to travel a lot and explore being back on USA soil. When Emma Shaw realizes her grandmother will not sell her the home she’s been living in and taking care of for the last few years due to her gram thinking the house is too big for her. Emma hatches a plan. Tell gram she’s got engaged.So when Gram decided to visit for a month, Emma shows up at Sean’s doorstep in need for a fake fiancée. I feel this author is getting better with every book, Yours to Keep is my favorite book in the Kowalski Family series. I really enjoyed Sean and Emma, I thought they had fantastic chemistry. I really liked the side story between Emma’s gram Cat and Russell.If you enjoy sweet, light hearted, humorous at times, small town contemporary romances I definitely recommend this for you. I read somewhere Ms. Stacey had not intended for this to be a series, I hope she knows the can of worms she just opened! I hope she will continue with Sean’s brothers and sister. 5 stars!

  • ⚜️Trea
    2019-05-29 22:45

    This book had a somewhat unique premise, but I found it to be bogged down by all the deception in the story. Granted, the main characters had a good reason for the deception, but then other characters got in on the act or had deceptions of their own and it just got to be too much deception for my tastes. I did chuckle a couple of times at the story, loved the sticky note plot device, and I enjoyed some of the family interactions, but on the whole the book just couldn't hold my interest. After a quick decline, I'm not willing to take another chance on this series by the author. I'm still debating whether or not I'll avoid the author as well.