For What It's Worth

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey

Yours To Keep  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 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… (Contemporary Romance)

100% predictable.

100% zany premise.


100% fun!

If I hadn't heard so many people talking this book up on Twitter I would have never read it based on the summary.

Yours to Keep has such a wacky premise. Emma's grandmother has moved to FL to retire. Emma loves her Gram and wants her to be happy and stay in FL enjoying her retirement, not running back home to take care of Emma whom she seems to think can't handle the big family homestead all alone.

Grams is coming for a month long visit and Emma has told a little white lie to get grandma to see that she's happy and well taken care of. She says she has been dating Army veteran Sean Kowalski for over a year and is happily engaged. She even has the photo shopped pictures of her and Sean on the fridge to prove it. 

One teensy-weensy problem. Sean doesn't really know who she is. He's been serving in Afghanistan. He has only just now left the service. They do have mutual acquaintances. Sean's cousin is married to Emma's best friend Lori and Emma knows the Kowalski family. It's crunch time and Emma decides to spill the beans and ask Sean if he'll play along when he comes home for a visit after his discharge from the Army. 

If he agrees to live in the same house with Emma and Cat and play the part of doting fiance, he gets a roof over his head for the month and a paycheck working for Emma's landscaping company.

After initially declaring Emma "tall, hot and batshit crazy" he sees that Emma really is in a bind. Her best friend Lori vouches for Emma and Sean thinks he might be able to pull it off so he agrees to the plan.

It gets really crazy. There are bets if Sean & Emma can go the month without having sex, there are deceptions within deceptions - things that would typically have me throwing a book against a wall. But here's the thing - I loved it. 

All the characters are so nice and really have the best of intentions. There are very strong family bonds between Emma & Gram and within the Kowaski family. Yes, they all think the plan is insane but they all have very normal reactions to it, then move on with humor and support (and a little good natured ribbing). Emma and Sean are adorable. First trying not to give into temptation, then becoming a real couple without even realizing it. Sean's helpful post-it notes are hysterical. "I don't like broccoli….or peas"

Another great aspect of this book was the relationship between Gram (Cat) and Sean's aunt Mary. It's nice to see older characters that aren't thrown to the side or used as a wacky plot device. Cat also gets a little romancing of her own. Beautifully done. 

I genuinely liked everyone in this book. Yours to Keep is the third book from the Kowalski Family series, which I didn't realize until I downloaded this book. I haven't read the previous two (Exclusively Yours, Undeniably Yours) and although other family members from the previous books are featured I never felt like I had missed anything. 

If you're looking for a quick, fun, sexy read - give Yours to Keep a try.

Rating 3.5 out of 4 Perfect summer beach read!

Find Shannon Stacey online:

Buy the book! Yours To Keep
Publisher: Carina Press June 6,2011
Source: Netgalley


  1. I picked this up recently and have been looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the great review.

  2. I have heard good things about this series

  3. This sounds adorable!! But crap, carina press only does ebooks.

  4. I saw this on netgalley and thought it sounded a little bit cheesey but also like a great summer read! I'm glad to see that you liked it so much, it sounds really fun.

  5. @Bonnie - Despite the wacky premise, it's a really cute book. I think the characters are all so likable that you don't care that they're acting crazy lol

  6. @Carrie - I didn't realize they only do e-books :-(

  7. It is a cute story. And sometime predictable is a good thing. Thanks for the review.

  8. I was just told to read it too :) I really should :D