Title: Exclusively Yours
Author: Shannon Stacey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: 6/07/2010
List Price: $5.99
Blurb: Under threat of losing her job if she doesn’t get the exclusive, tabloid reporter Keri Daniels must return home and face her high school love Joe Kowalski who is the J.D. Salinger of the horror genre. Joe has never quite gotten over Keri, so he makes her work for the interview, by coming along on the annual Kowalski family camping and ATV riding vacation. Getting back to their roots may also mean getting back to the love they once shared.
Why I chose this title: I read an interview on the Carina Press blog with the author and I was intrigued by the story’s premise.
Review: First, I really liked both Keri and Joe. They acted like the adults they are. Especially as they’re both almost 40. For some reason, I thought they were going to be in their early 30’s, but I like that they’re older. They’re both a bit set in their ways, which adds some tension, but they also both are comfortable with what they expect out of life. They’re willing to do what they need to do to ensure their happiness. They’ve reached a maturity point where, if they lie to themselves, they don’t do it for long. This isn’t to say the road to their HEA is so smooth there’s no conflict, but the conflict is kept fairly low-key. The stories of Joe’s siblings and their marriage woes heighten the conflict by showcasing the work involved in making a marriage succeed, and what happens when there’s a breakdown. I really enjoyed this story, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good contemporary romance and/or one with older protagonists.
Final thought: A smart story of rediscovering what it means to love someone.