By Shannon Stacey
Reviewed from: a copy from my library
Overall Rating: 4 stars
When Keri Daniels' editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.
Joe's never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he's intrigued to hear Keri's back in town--and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he'll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.
He proposes an outrageous plan--for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she's worked too hard to walk away from her career.
But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe's sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn't ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.
First and foremost, I need to say this is why I love book blogs as much as I do—I picked up this title one day from my library because I read such great things about Ms. Stacey’s writing and her Kowalskis series. I am so glad I did. :-)
Keri is a hard working professional working her way up in her chosen field of journalism. Who would have thought that the assignment that would make or break her career is to get an exclusive with her ex-boyfriend from high school—a renowned author now?
Back to her hometown Keri goes to face the man that she left to go to California. However, Joe is not exactly welcoming to Keri. He finally meets her for dinner and then delivers the news—for every day Keri survives camping with him and his family, he will answer exactly one question. She agrees, reluctantly, to Joe’s terms because she needs this interview. What ensues is at often times a comical camping trip full of AVs, smores, swimming pools and family galore with relationship woes sprinkled into the mix as well (not just Keri and Joe’s either).
I really liked this book for several reasons. First up are the characters—Keri and Joe along with the rest of his family. I was uncertain about Keri at first but then, I quickly learned that she would be a great friend to have in real life. She is driven, sweet and is not afraid to speak her opinion. She admits to her faults and will forgive others. Joe is a great leading man—a bit of a mystery to those who do not know him but once you do, he is a great family man. Keri leaving him put him a deep black hole but he pulled himself out with the support of his family. He is fiercely protective of what he considers his. The secondary cast of characters is an interesting mix of ages and personalities. I am intrigued to see how they grow in the next books of this series.
Using the campground as the primary setting was a fun change of pace from the usual settings I read. I enjoyed the dynamics it played into the story such as the first campfire of the trip. It was hilarious to read and picture as my family is fond of camping and I could easily see it happening.
I am always on the lookout for new-to-me contemporary fiction authors. Ms. Stacey writes entertaining contemporary romances that I am sure I will continue on with the rest of Kowalskis series.