Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he's more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn't gone so badly...
Beth's tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she'd see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can't say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.
Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he's not the player she thinks he is. But she's not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it's going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child.
Beth is a nomad. She moves to a city or town that she feels comfortable in, gets a job, finds an apartment and stays for a while. When relationships start to get too stifling she then moves on. After meeting and having sex with Kevin and yes, getting pregnant, she finds she can’t move any longer. She’s pretty much bound to one place and it’s not something she’s used to, or that she likes. You see Beth was the only child of a couple who had multiple miscarriages. Because of that she felt that her parents were too overwhelming and they liked to hover and that’s what caused her to move so much. She wanted freedom and being pregnant and in one place is putting a huge damper on her independence plans. Now she’s pregnant and attached to a man with a huge family that frankly, overwhelms her, and she’s doesn’t quite know how to handle it.
For Kevin’s part he is pretty much overjoyed with the pregnancy. He didn’t plan on a baby but he likes the idea and he’s doing his best to be the best father-to-be that he can. He liked Beth from the first moment he saw her at his sports bar and the more he gets to know her the more he likes her. But Beth has put her foot down. She states that they will only be friends because she doesn’t want a bad breakup to ruin the relationship between the baby’s parents. She puts Kevin off time and time again stating that there will be nothing between them but friendship…but she really wants more from Kevin – she just can’t admit it to herself.
This is really a book about a woman’s fear. Fear is the driving factor behind almost all of Beth’s concerns. She’s afraid of things going wrong with Kevin and is therefore adamant that they have no further relationship. In fact any time that Kevin tried to push the bond between them further she would just tell him that he only wanted it because of the baby. She didn’t want to be with him and then have him eventually find out that he only cared for her because she had his child. I can understand this to a point but I have to say that it got old hearing it over and over. I felt so badly for Kevin as you could tell that he was truly trying to be exactly what Beth needed but he had feelings too and she kind of walked all over them.
Kevin was the best. I just loved him. He was one of those guys that everyone loved. He had a great personality, a sense of humor…I just loved him. Did I already say that? lol He actually reminded me of an older version of John Cusack in The Sure Thing when he was talking about naming the fake baby that Daphne Zuniga was carrying, “Nick’s your buddy. Nick’s the kind of guy you can trust, the kind of guy you can drink a beer with, the kind of guy who doesn’t mind if you puke in his car.” Just a fun guy. And very devoted to sports as he was a rabid (and I don’t use that term lightly) Red Sox fan. In fact when Beth and Kevin were talking about names for the baby (which made me think of the above Cusack quote) he made me laugh hard,
“How about Carl Yastrzemski?”
“Carl Yastrzemski Kowalski? What the hell kind of name is that?”
“I can’t believe I even let you in my bar.” How did he end up with a woman who knew absolutely nothing about sports? “Yaz was only the greatest left fielder ever. A Red Sox icon.”
“I’m not naming my child after a sports person. No Tom Brady Kowalski. No Derek Jeter or whatever Kowalski.”
“Jesus, Beth.” He almost ran off the road. “Jeter’s a freakin’ Yankee. I wouldn’t even name an ugly, three-legged, one-eyed, rabid and mangy dog I hated Jeter, never mind my own son. Whatever you do, don’t ever talk sports with anybody at Jasper’s.
We also got to see the entire Kowalski family again – that great big lovable family that we met in book 1, Exclusively Yours. They were just as wonderful this time around and though they overwhelmed Beth at times they really did it out of love and caring.
Though I had some issues with Beth I really ended up liking the book. I picked it up and didn’t put it down again until I was done. This is the second book I’ve read by Shannon Stacey and I really like the way she writes. I will definitely be reading more from her in the future.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Undeniably Yours releases from Carina Press on Nov. 1
I received this book from the publisher for review.