The thing that I love about this series is the huge family and how they are all involved in each others lives in a very loving way. They have their family problems but in the end, they love each other. So along with the awesome romances we get a good sense of familial love and togetherness. I always end up with a very warm feeling when reading this series and I feel like I just can’t get enough of the Kowalski family. But strangely this time I wanted to nudge them all aside and get to the romance.
Ryan and Lauren are the hero and heroine, but we spend a great deal of time with the family as Mitch and Paige get married and all the Kowalskis converge for the ceremony. I found myself a little disappointed for the first 40% of the book because Ryan and Lauren spend very little time together. They already have a history together and this is a second chance romance, but I began to wonder if they were ever going to actually spend some time together. They spent a lot of time with other people—thinking of each other.
Ryan is in town to help with the restoration of the family lodge and Lauren is a divorced, single mom. Ryan was in love with Lauren years ago. He has since moved on and so has she but the attraction has never died and they are both available now. When they finally do share a dance at the wedding, it’s not long before they are in bed and a romance begins. Although we get to know all about their history and what has led them up to where they are today, I would have really liked a little more “get re-acquainted” time.
Lauren is divorced from Ryan’s former best friend which makes things a little awkward and interesting. There are several things I liked about the way Lauren’s situation is portrayed. I thought the challenges of dating and single parenthood were presented well and realistically and I liked that Lauren allows herself to have a romantic relationship without excessive guilt. I also liked that even though there was tension between Lauren, Ryan and her ex-husband, she wasn’t a martyr the ex-husband wasn’t totally villainized. They behaved like adults, and got emotional at times, but they dealt with their changing relationships without things getting ugly.
I also liked that Ryan doesn’t try to step in and “save” Lauren and her son. They didn’t need saving. And, as Ryan begins to get to know Lauren’s son, he genuinely likes him, but he is not overly interested or false, and the relationship felt right for everyone.
I love Rosie. She was sort of a foster mother to the Kowalski kids and is loved by all of them. She is so loving and such an important part of what holds this family together. We’ve gotten to know a little about her past I’m really holding out hope we’ll see a romantic HEA for her at some point. Yes, I know not everyone wants or needs one, but I think it would be awesome to see her fall in love.
Looking ahead for the Kowalskis I’m really excited about Josh and the girl he doesn’t know he’s in love with. This really makes me laugh and I’m looking forward to his big AH-HA moment when love whacks him over the head.
The Kowalski family is such a great family to read about and I look forward to every new release in this series. This is one of the best contemporary romance series I read and I don’t know what I’ll do if we ever run out of unattached Kowalskis. Ryan and Lauren’s romance was especially interesting to me because Lauren is a single mom and I loved the way that was handled. For me it was very realistic and it made the HEA even better.