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Exclusively Yours: Book One of The Kowalskis [Kindle Edition]

Shannon Stacey
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (441 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When Keri Daniels' boss finds out she has previous intimate encounters with 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. He proposes an outrageous plan for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping trip, Keri can ask one question.

The chemistry between Joe and Keri is as strong as ever, but Joe's sister is out to avenge his broken heart. 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?


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. The Stacey family spends many weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. However, she prefers writing to laundry and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up. Visit her at www.ShannonStacey.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"You got busy in the backseat of a '78 Ford Granada with Joseph Kowalski—only the most reclusive best-selling author since J. D. Salinger—and you don't think to tell me about it?"

Keri Daniels sucked the last dregs of her too-fruity smoothie through her straw and shrugged at her boss. "Would you want anybody to know?"

"That I had sex with Joseph Kowalski?"

"No, that you had sex in the backseat of a '78 Granada." Keri had no idea how Tina Deschanel had gotten the dirt on her high school indiscretions, but she knew she was in trouble.

An exceptionally well-paid reporter for a glossy weekly entertainment magazine did not withhold carnal knowledge of a celebrity on the editor in chief's most-wanted list. And having kept that juicy little detail to herself wouldn't get Keri any closer to parking her butt in an editorial chair.

Tina slipped a photograph from her purse and slid it across the table. Keri didn't look down. She was mentally compiling a short list of the people who knew she'd fogged up the windows of one of the ugliest cars in the history of fossil fuels. Her friends.

The cop who'd knocked on the fogged-up window with a flashlight at a really inopportune moment. Her parents, since the cop was in a bad mood that night. The approximately six hundred kids attending her high school that year and anybody they'd told. Maybe short list wasn't the right term.

"That was like two decades ago," Keri pointed out, because her boss clearly expected her to say something. "Not exactly a current event. And you ambushed me with this shopping spree."

Actually, their table in the outdoor cafe was surrounded by enough bags to stagger a pack mule on steroids, but now Keri knew she'd merely been offered the retail therapy before the bad news. It shouldn't have surprised her. Tina Deschanel was a shark, and any friendly gesture should have been seen as a prelude to getting bitten in the ass.

"Ambushed?" Tina repeated, loudly enough to distract a pair of Hollywood starlets engaging in some serious public displays of affection in a blatant attempt to attract the cheap tabloid paparazzi. A rabid horde that might include Keri in the near future if she didn't handle this correctly.

"How do you think I felt?" Tina went on. "I reached out to a woman who mentioned on her blog she'd gone to high school with Joseph Kowalski. once there was money on the table, I made her cough up some evidence, and she sent me a few photos. She was even kind enough to caption them for me."

Keri recognized a cue when it was shoved down her throat. With one perfectly manicured nail she hooked the eight-by-ten blowup and pulled it closer.

A girl smiled at her from the photo. She wore a pink fuzzy sweater, faded second-skin jeans and pink high heels. Raccoon eyeliner made her dark brown eyes darker, frosty pink coated her lips and her hair was as big as Wisconsin.

Keri smiled back at her, remembering those curling iron and aerosol days. If the EPA had shut down their cheerleading squad back then, global warming might have been a total nonissue today.

Then she looked at the boy. He was leaning against the hideous brown car, his arms wrapped around young Keri's waist. Joe's blue eyes were as dark as the school sweatshirt he wore, and his grin managed to be both innocent and naughty at the same time. And those damn dimples—she'd been a sucker for them. His honey-brown hair was hidden by a Red Sox cap, but she didn't need to see it to remember how the strands felt sliding through her fingers.

She never failed to be amazed by how much she still missed him sometimes.

But who had they been smiling at? For the life of her, Keri couldn't remember who was standing behind the camera. She tore her gaze away from the happy couple and read the caption typed across the bottom.

Joe Kowalski and his girlfriend, Keri Daniels, a few hours before a cop busted them making out on a back road and called their parents. Rumor had it when Joe dropped her off, Mr. Daniels chased him all the way home with a golf club.

Keri snorted. "Dad only chased him to the end of the block. Even a '78 Granada could outrun a middle-age fat guy with a five iron."

"I fail to see the humor in this."

"You didn't see my old man chasing taillights down the middle of the street in his bathrobe. It wasn't very funny at the time, though."

"Focus, Keri," Tina snapped. "Do you or do you not walk by the bulletin board in the bull pen every day?"

"I do."

"And have you not seen the sheet marked Spotlight Magazine's Most Wanted every day?"

"I have."

"And did you happen to notice Joseph Kowal-ski has been number three for several years?" Keri nodded, and Tina leaned across the table. "You are going to get me an exclusive feature interview with the man."

"Or…?"

Tina sat back and folded her arms across her chest. "Don't take it to that point, Keri. Look, the man's eleventh bestseller is going to be the summer blockbuster film of the decade. More A-listers lined up to read for that movie than line up on the red carpet for the Oscars. And he's a total mystery man."

"I don't get why you're so dedicated to chasing him down. He's just an author."

"Joseph Kowalski isn't just an author. He played the media like a fiddle and became a celebrity. The splashy NY parties with that gorgeous redhead— Lauren Huckins, that was it—on his arm. Then Lauren slaps him with a multimillion dollar emotional distress suit, he pays her off with a sealed agreement and then he disappears from the map? There's a story there, and I want it. Our readers will eat him up, and Spotlight is going to serve him to them because you have access to him nobody else does."

"Had. I had access to him." Keri sighed and flipped the photo back across the table, even though she would rather have kept it to moon over later. "Eighteen years ago."

"You were his high school sweetheart. Nostalgia, darling! And rumor has it he's still single."

Keri knew he was still single because the Danielses and Kowalskis still lived in the same small New Hampshire town, though Mr. and Mrs. Kowalski lived in a much nicer house now. Very much nicer, according to Keri's mother.

"You've risen fast in this field," Tina continued, "because you have sharp instincts and a way with people, to say nothing of the fact I trusted you. But this."

The words trailed away, but Keri heard her boss loud and clear. She was going to get this exclusive or her career with Spotlight was over and she could start fresh at the bottom of another magazine's totem pole. And since her career was pretty much the sum total of her life, it wasn't exactly a threat without teeth.

But seeing Joe again? The idea both intrigued her and scared the crap out of her at the same time. "He's not going to open up his insanely private life to the magazine because he and I wore out a set of shocks in high school, Tina. It was fun, but it wasn't that good."

Now she was flat-out lying. Joe Kowalski had set the gold standard in Keri's sex life. An ugly car, a Whitesnake tape, cheap wine and Joe still topped her personal Ten Ways to a Better Orgasm list.

Tina ran her tongue over her front teeth, and Keri had known her long enough to know her boss was about to deliver the kill shot.

"I've already reassigned your other stories," she said. It was an act of interference entirely inappropriate for Tina to do to someone of Keri's status at the magazine.

"That's unacceptable, Tina. You're overstepping your—"

"I can't overstep boundaries I don't have, Daniels. It's my magazine and your promotion to editorial depends on your getting an interview with Kowalski, plain and simple." Then she reached into her purse and passed another sheet to her. "Here's your flight information."

The reclusive, mega-bestselling author in question was trying to decide between regular beef jerky or teriyaki flavored when he heard Keri Daniels was back in town.

Joe Kowalski nodded at the cashier, who'd actually left a customer half-rung up in an attempt to be the first to deliver the news. It wasn't the first time Keri had been back. If she'd gone eighteen years without a visit home to her parents, Janie Daniels would have flown out to L.A. and dragged her daughter home by an earlobe.

It was, however, the first time Keri had come looking for him that he knew of.

"She's been asking around for your phone number," the cashier added, watching him like a half-starved piranha. "Of course nobody will give it to her, because we know how you feel about your privacy."

And because nobody had his number, but he didn't feel a need to point that out. He was surprised it had taken Keri as long as this to get around to looking him up, especially considering just how many years Tina Deschanel had been stalking his agent.

"Maybe she's on the class reunion committee," Joe told the cashier, and her face fell. Committees didn't make for hot gossip.

Members of the media had been hounding his agent for years, but only Tina Deschanel, who took tenacious to a whole new level, was Keri Daniels's boss. Joe had been watching Keri's career from the beginning, waiting for her to sell him out, but she never had. until now, maybe.

While he wasn't a recluse of Salingeresque stature, Joe liked his privacy. The New England dislike of outsiders butting into their lives, c...

Product Details

  • File Size: 679 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press; Reissue edition (January 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006IIWY0M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,123 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Auto-Buy Book! July 20, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
originally posted at:[...]

I can't remember the last time a book make me smile as much as this one did. Shannon Stacey has one of the best author voices I've read in ages. "Exclusively Yours" is a light, fun, character driven, thoroughly enjoyable and sexy story.

Truthfully, though the plot was really great (and quite complex, actually) it almost didn't matter to me because the characters were so much fun. I swear, I would have read a book about them hanging wallpaper because, with THIS family it would be utterly amusing and readable.

When Keri Daniels is told to get an interview with reclusive bestselling author, Joe Kowalski (because her piranha of an editor found out they'd done the deed in high school) or lose her job, Keri goes back to New Hampshire to do just that. The problem is, the moment she sees him again, she knows that spark that nearly consumed her so many years ago is still there between them. But, she's determined to keep it all business.

Until Joe challenges her. Spend two weeks camping with him and his family, and she gets her interview.

Doesn't sound like that big of deal until you figure in the decades old animosity between Joe's twin sister and Keri, marital problems between two other Kowalski couples, four rambunctious young boys, a sullen teenager, a mother who can make anyone do anything with the threat of a wooden spoon, dirty word scrabble, going mudding on ATVs, a shared cabin, bug spray and tick checks ... I could go on, and on, and on...

The thing is, the book has it all. A great plot? Check. Amazing, three-dimensional characters who are as real as your own friends and family and who have the ability to worm their way into your heart and mind? Check. Sexual tension, sparks, heat, steam and ...
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A first time Shannon Stacey reader................and......I'm impressed! This was a shorter than normal read(although hard to tell by looking through the bags and red rings under my eyes from a kindle all nighter!)
I hate the cliche, but I WAS hooked from Page 1!

Keri's editor, Tina(Bitch Blackmailer that she is) produces High School photos of Keri with a now highly successful and sought after bestselling author and wonder's why Keri never played the "old boyfriend I had sex with in the back of his 1978 Granada" card with him(Joe) to get the total dirt for "Spotlight Magazine" -IN fact, she makes a point to tell Keri to get dirt on Joe's secret, secret payoff of a woman he was romantically linked to a few years ago-OR kiss her Job Goodbye!

Joe has an idea about what Keri is doing back in the old Neighborhood and calls his publisher to invite her out to a dinner. The sexual tension between the two is spot on and the silly dance of two adults that clearly are so not over their relationship of 18 years ago reads like cross between Nicholas Spark's romantic sizzle and G.A. Aikens' rapid-fire-sultry wit that has it's totally laugh-out-loud moments-----so , it, begins...............
He invites her to go with his entire family (God, what a bunch)camping for 2 weeks, sans electronic devices for her only! Ha ha He has also included a set of rules-questions allowed and what is not allowed. Not only that, but he will get to ask a question of her for each of her questions to him...............hmmmmmmmmmmm ....good strategy for the writer who's heart she totally crushed when she left for L.A...It drove him to the bottle and to write a sick and twisted horror story with the (heroine? or victim?
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll Take A Cup'pa Joe! August 28, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
Kari Daniels to her high school boyfriend and then love of her life Joe Kowalski shortly after graduation: "Good-bye Joe. Me gotta go. Mee-oh-my-oh! See ya later cuz I'm California bound!" ( I took some poetic license with the wording).

Almost 20 years later and celebrity magazine writer Keri Daniels needs to get the biggest scoop of her life after her shark-eating boss Tina finds out she once locked lips with the now famous, but reclusive best-selling author Joe Kowalski. Threatened with losing a job she loves and a career she's worked hard for if she doesn't get the goods and deliver a juicy tell-all article - a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...go camping for 2 weeks on a Kowalski family vacation?

Me thinks someone's got some serious groveling to do.

I have 3 fabulous words to describe Exclusively Yours: funny, flirty and family! In case you're still in doubt about my feelings - I loved it. It's a sexy, fun character driven story. No murder, mystery or mayhem (unless you count a bunch of rambunctious boys) in sight and yet it truly kept me entertained and engrossed in not only the outcome of the H/h but the entire Kowalski family and they are quite a crew.

The characters in Exclusive Yours are what definitely sold me. Normally for me, I like my secondary characters in small doses, basically page filler, so when you find a book that you actually care about the supporting cast, well it's definitely an added bonus.

Stacey writes the Kowalski family including the `Rents, Joe's twin sister Terry, sister Lisa and brother Mike and their assorted spouses and a gaggle of kids so unbelievably fun and so real.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars New Author for Me
I haven't read Shannon Stacey before, but I will be reading her again. I liked this book very much ... Read more
Published 1 month ago by E Halliday
5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction between the kids
Even though I thought the book a wee bit long, I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction between the kids, adults, etc. on the camping trip. Read more
Published 2 months ago by B. L.
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved this introduction to the Kowalski's
This was the first Shannon Stacey book I read and I have been playing catch up ever since, to read every book she has written. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Erinne_JC
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and entertaining
This book passed a couple of evenings very well. A quick and easy read, I'll check out the rest of this series.
Published 2 months ago by Tori White
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good
Published 3 months ago by joanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 3 months ago by Jane A Bryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Loved this book!!! Reading the third one now.
Published 3 months ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this book
Published 3 months ago by Sandra Marquis
4.0 out of 5 stars Very honest relationship portrayal, love and family
This one was on my Kindle for over a year, I think, before digging into it. Turns out it was a great book, and I can't figure out why it took me so long! Read more
Published 3 months ago by WeeBeaks
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book to begin the bundle of books
A great book to begin the bundle of books. No point buying them one at a time. Buying the bundle assures me that I get to read them in order.
Published 4 months ago by surprise
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More About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she's not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.

You can contact Shannon through her website, http://shannonstacey.com, where she has maintains an almost daily blog, or visit her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/shannonstacey, her Facebook page, http://facebook.com/shannonstacey.authorpage, or email her at shannon@shannonstacey.com.

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