By Shannon Stacey
Reviewed from: an eARC from NetGalley—Thank you Carina Press!
Overall Rating: 4 stars
Josh Kowalski is tired of holding down the fort—better known as the Northern Star Lodge—while his siblings are off living their dreams. Now that his oldest brother has returned to Whitford, Maine for good, Josh is free to chase some dreams of his own.
As the daughter of the lodge's longtime housekeeper, Katie Davis grew up alongside the Kowalski kids. Though she's always been "one of the guys", her feelings for Josh are anything but sisterly. And after a hot late-night encounter in the kitchen, it's clear Josh finally sees her as the woman she is.
Katie's been waiting years for Josh to notice her, but now that he has, she's afraid it's too late. Giving her heart to a man who can't wait to leave town is one sure way to have it broken. But Josh keeps coming up with excuses not to leave—could it be that everything he's ever wanted is closer than he could have imagined?
We first get to meet Josh in Mitch Kowlaski’s story, All He Ever Needed (book four in the series). It is in this book that we first learn of how unhappy Josh is being stuck at Northern Star Lodge. Josh has a case of wunderlust—and he has never been able to fulfill it. His siblings left him at home to care for the family home/lodge without even really asking if he wanted to be left there. When he is finally given the opportunity to leave and do what he wants, Josh will discover that sometimes having the choice to leave is more than he realized.
Katie has been in love with Josh for as long as she can remember. Growing up side by side, it is difficult for her to let Josh know that she has romantic feelings for him—that she wants to be more than just best buds. When her long desired wish comes true, will she be able to be able to hold onto or will she need to let him go?
I have really enjoyed catching up on the Kowlaski series. I have read them all fairly close together which has been fun for me. I have enjoyed them all equally but something pulled at me while reading Josh and Katie’s story. Perhaps it has been at times I have been stuck in a place that I want to get out of as much as Josh wanted to get away from Northern Star Lodge. What I love about Ms. Stacey’s writing is that the characters are very real and believable. I feel that if I wanted to, I could take a road trip to Maine and run into these characters should I stumble into the right small town. I look forward to continuing on with the series and seeing what happens with the rest of the family and friends.