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All He Ever Desired (Kowalski Family #5)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,774 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
A second shot at first love

After college, Ryan Kowalski decided to leave Whitford, Maine, rather than watch Lauren Carpenter marry another man. Now his siblings need his help to refurbish the family-owned Northern Star Lodge and he’s forced to face the past sooner rather than later when he collars a vandal—and learns the boy is Lauren’s son…

The last person Lauren needs bac
ebook, 336 pages
Published November 19th 2012 by Carina Press
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Easy by Tammara WebberAbout That Night by Julie JamesOn Dublin Street by Samantha YoungSlammed by Colleen HooverBared to You by Sylvia Day
2012 Contemporary Romance Novels
112th out of 231 books — 1,097 voters
Playing for Keeps by R.L. MathewsonPerfection by R.L. MathewsonThe Look of Love by Bella AndreYours to Keep by Shannon StaceyMaid for Love by Marie Force
Best Romance Series following families
202nd out of 567 books — 223 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

All He Ever Desired is the fifth book in the Kowalski Family series and another enjoyable story. I can tell you, without hesitation, that Shannon Stacey is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors, and this series is must read for me. The stories are sweet, passionate, humorous, and often focus on valuable lessons, reminding us of what is most important in life; Love, family and integrity.
A second shot at first love…

After college, Ryan Kowalski decided to leave Whitford, Maine, rather th
Jan 21, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Robyn Carr and Jill Shalvis
Rules for Contemporary Romance

1. The hero should be 6' plus, have a six pack, a full head of hair, be well endowed, be the best lover the heroine has ever had (regardless of how many previous lovers she has had) and be independently wealthy.

2. The heroine should be a girl next door, have curves, struggle with money and possibly have a son from a previous marriage to a loser. It is OK for the heroine to be a virgin so long as she has a very good reason, such as looking after her sick mother or
4.5 stars

A great contemporary romance!

Lauren Carpentner is satisfied with her life. She's free of her husband (not that he was all bad, bu the constant cheating wasn't nice), she has her loyal friends, her son (although he does let his hormones rule him a bit too much)... True, there's no man around, but who actually needs them? Right?

And then Ryan Kowalski walk back to town. Ryan, well he is a successful business owner who really doesn't want to come back to Whitford. You see, he has an unfort
Nov 16, 2012 Jess rated it really liked it
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads
Blog rating: B+

As she sat down, Lauren tried to shake off the nerves that being so close to him [Ryan] seemed to have set to quivering, only to find herself pinned by Paige’s all-too-observant stare. She should have made the time to pack a lunch this morning.


“They have that effect on women.”



Ryan owns a successful building company out of state, but has returned home for a short time to help rebuild his family’s lodge. Wh

All He Ever Desired is the fifth installment in Shannon Stacey's adult contemporary romance series titled Kowalski Family. Ms. Stacey is such a fun romance author and I'm having a great time following this series. This particular installment presents some complexity within the main characters' relationship. Ryan and Lauren have some history together and when they parted ways in their younger years they did so a bit awkwardly. Now, years later, their paths have crossed once again and as the book
Kindle Gal
Review posted on Kindles & Wine

YES!!!! This is the book I’ve been waiting for Shannon Stacey to write.

All He Ever Desired is Book 5 in Stacey’s series about the Kowalski family. Truth be told, I’ve been rating the books in this series pretty tough. Don’t get me wrong, I think Shannon Stacey is a fantastic writer; I love her voice and sense of humor, and this big family she’s created is just so awesome and one you can’t help but adore. But there was always something I took issue with in the e
Brianna (The Book Vixen)
Dec 27, 2015 Brianna (The Book Vixen) rated it really liked it
Why I Read this Book: I’m hooked on the series. I will read every single book in the Kowalski Family series.

What I Liked: I like a little cat and mouse in my romance. I like the dance between a hero and heroine where the attraction and chemistry is obviously there but there’s some hesitation from one party (or both). I love watching it play out; the tension, the banter, the sexual innuendos – all of it.

I thought I was going to be annoyed by Lauren’s teenaged son, Nick, but he wasn’t that bad. An
Melinda Dozier
Nov 03, 2012 Melinda Dozier rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-copies
The Kowalskis are at it again. Shannon Stacey's Kowalski men are some of my favorite Alpha men. Ryan Kowalski is no disappointment. He is honrable, honest, kind, hard-working and a driven man who has always loved Lauren Carpenter.

As teenagers, Ryan asked Laurent to leave her husband, move with him and he'd raise Nick as his own son. But, Lauren was too young to make that decision. Ryan left town without turning back and made a multimillion dollar life for himself. Now back in town to help his fa
Oct 22, 2014 Cathy rated it liked it
This was good and on its way to a 4-star rating, but then the end happened and nope.

I feel like I should've liked this series more than I actually did. With the exception of Mitch and Paige's book, there was nothing that really grabbed me or featured any of the things I look for in a contemporary romance book. I liked all of the other books fine, I just didn't love them. A combination of the writing not totally working for me and all the instant-proposals, I would guess.

In any case, I am VERY in
Tina "coffee and books"
Hotness Rating 3 out of 5

I love Shannon Stacey. It's been far too long since I've read her and the Kowalski Family series. When I opened All He Ever Desired (book #5 of the Kowalski Family) it was like coming home. With that being said, as much as I liked the first 4 books of the series it's nothing compared to how much I liked this book.

Ryan Kowalski took a leap of faith as a young man and asked the pregnant wife of his best friend to run away with him. He cared for her, but more importantly
Mandi Schreiner
Nov 21, 2012 Mandi Schreiner rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Favorite Quote: “Coffee?”

Lauren pressed a hand to her stomach, cursing the butterflies. “I think I’ll have decaf.”

“They have that effect on women.”



Why does Shannon Stacey write such adorable books? Her Kowalski series has quickly gone to one of my most anticipated series. In this book we get a hero who was so desperately in love with the heroine when they were younger that he asked her to leave her husband to be with him. Although Laura married young and had to care for her
Nov 28, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
I love Shannon Stacey's writing and the Kowalskis in particular. Stacey has become an auto-buy for me -- when I purchase one of her books, I know that I'm going to get sharp, witty dialogue, a well-written romance, and characters I'd want to spend time with in real life. All He Ever Desired has that in spades. It focuses on Ryan Kowalski, who was first seen in his brother Mitch's story (book one in this branch of the series), All He Ever Needed. Ryan is a successful builder who lives in Brooklin ...more
A Tasty Read Book Reviews
Oct 31, 2012 A Tasty Read Book Reviews rated it really liked it
Ryan Kowalski is back in town, and trying his best to stop running into the one woman that he always wanted and never had, Lauren Carpenter. Lauren can't forget that "what-if" moment in her life with Ryan years ago, but now she may have a second chance with him and she plans to take full advantage. But for two people who's lives are so far apart, can a romance work between them, or will they just crash and burn?

The fifth book in the Kowalski Series was so much fun! Not only did we have a steamy,
Lisa Kay
I probably shouldn't give this so many stars, but it has been so long since I visited with the Kowalskis, and I was just in the mood for some of their family fun.

The funniest part? When everyone was telling Ryan their secrets. LOL! I would have liked to read more of that.

Plus, I gobbled it down in one day.

This author made something work that I didn't think would, and for all the right reasons, too.
Mar 25, 2013 ShoSho rated it really liked it
woooohoooo I love Netgalley :D I've already bought the next in the series , hoping I'd get approved by Netgalley for this one and I just got approved !

It wasn't what I expected it to be not better or worse just different.The blurb is all wrong for it!
I really liked this one , I've read the whole series in order so far and this one was one of the good ones.
I have already started on the next one.

Apr 22, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love second chance stories and this one was fantastic. Ryan is back in Whitford to help his family repair the family lodge. He's left his successful construction business back in Massachusetts for the month he figures it's going to take. On his brief visits before he's managed to avoid Lauren, remembering the way she shot him down when he asked her to leave with him. When he catches Lauren's sixteen year old son vandalizing the lodge he offers to let the boy work off the damages, which also gi ...more
Dee Sauter
Feb 05, 2014 Dee Sauter rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
Ryan Kowalski has come back to his hometown in Whitford, Maine to help his family refurbish the Northern Star Lodge that has been in his family for generations. At this point in the trilogy, they are not sure if they are getting ready to sell it or hire someone to run it so the youngest Kowalski can go off and do who knows what. There are 6 children in the family and each, except for Joshua has moved out of state.
While Ryan is there he reconnects with a girl that he carried a torch for 14 yea
Nov 02, 2012 Judy rated it it was amazing
All He Ever Desired by Shannon Stacey
The Kowalski Series Book 5
Ryan Kowalski has come back to Northern Star Lodge in Whitford, Maine to help his brothers get it fixed up to sell. He’s been home over the past few years and each time he tries to ignore the beautiful Lauren. This time is different. Not only does he run into her in town, he catches her son vandalizing their property and makes Nick work it off. Leaving Lauren to come by the lodge to pick her son up and maybe giving Ryan a second chan
Dec 08, 2012 Jonetta rated it really liked it
Ryan Kowalski (36) has never forgotten Lauren Carpenter (34) after almost 14 years and the passion of his past has certainly tempered. She's only improved over time and he has a whole new set of feelings to contend with. Lauren has played the "what if" game with herself since her divorce eight years ago, imagining what her life might have been like if she'd taken Ryan up on his offer to run away with him. She's got a chance to play things out in the present but wonders if he still has any feelin ...more
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)

Posted on Under the Covers

Lauren Carpenter once had a beautiful family. Now she and her husband are divorced and their son is an emotional teenager. Keeping her head up is a hard task when all she wants to do is simply catch a break. But when Ryan Kowalski returns to Whitford to help his family restore the Northern Star Lodge, Lauren finds that her heart has never really let Ryan go.

Ryan and Lauren have an interesting past. All is revealed as you read the book, but I have to say that Shannon Sta
Nov 14, 2012 Mikaela rated it liked it
After reading All he ever needed, which was a disappointment to me, I hestitated before I requested this one on Netgalley. Since it was an Arc, I figured all I would lose if I didn't like it was time. I am happy to say that I did like it.

Just like all the Kowalski novels, this book was a small town romance with down to earth characters. I loved how both the good sides and bad sides of living in a small town were included in the novel.

If this novel had a theme, it was second chances. Lauren and R
Christi Snow
Nov 11, 2012 Christi Snow rated it really liked it
My Review:
The one thing I can say about absolutely every book of Shannon's from this series is that I am constantly laughing. I love the Kowalski family and the camaraderie that Shannon has created among them. This is a family that loves each other dearly and show it by giving each other a hard time and snarky comments. I love that!

This book follows Ryan. We met him in the last book and knew that there was something up with his history with Lauren, but WHOA...I had no idea. They do have some his
Full review at http://scorchingbookreviews.blogspot....

I love this series; it makes me so happy! This is the book of Ryan Kowalski, the serious constructor introduced to us in Mitch’s book. In that book, he was so serious and work driven that I wondered how this book. We had been tantalised with the rumour that “something” had happened between him and the mysterious Lauren that had kept him away from home. In this book, we find out that he had thought himself madly in love with her and asked her
Amanda Ryan
Nov 12, 2012 Amanda Ryan rated it liked it
Ah, The Kowalski's. All He Ever Desired brings us Ryan Kowalski's story. Ryan owns and operates a successful construction company, and he returns to his roots in Maine in order to put his skills to use in restoring the family's lodge. He's hesitant to come back, mostly because he still has a knee-jerk reaction to seeing the woman he once loved, Lauren. Lauren is divorced and has an angsty teenage son, and she's having her own unwelcome reactions to Ryan's return. After her son is caught vandaliz ...more
Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookviews
Another great romance!

This and other reviews can also be found on my blog (un)Conventional Bookviews.

All He Ever Desired is about a second chance in love. Is it even possible? Ryan Kowalski sure doesn’t think so, and when he comes back to Withford after a long absence, he does the best he can to avoid Lauren, the woman he has loved since high-school. They meet on his first day back, however, as their paths cross in his soon-to-be sister-in-law’s diner. Ryan has no idea what to say to her, and en
Jenn Scranton
Dec 11, 2013 Jenn Scranton rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
"I like being your 'you know, whatever'..."

You know, this book was recommended to me forever and a half ago and I didn't think I would like it... But it was great!

Sweet and comical!

Mature love that grew with time, but at the same time had all of the intensity that you want! It was great! I devoured it!

**ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Kellie G.
Feb 06, 2013 Kellie G. rated it really liked it
Adorable! Love this series.
Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)
Just after college, Ryan Kowalski took a risk and asked his best friend’s wife and young child to run away with him, but Lauren Carpenter loved her husband and said no. And when her bad marriage ended in divorce, Lauren always wondered what if… Now that Ryan is back home for a while to help refurbish the family’s Northern Star Lodge, he can no longer avoid Lauren, especially since her son, Nick, is working for Ryan to pay off a debt. Spending more time together leaves the pair considering why th ...more
Nov 03, 2012 Angela rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Angela by: netgalley
I love the Kowalski series. The first three were about the New Hampshire branch and the last two have been about their cousins in Maine. The Maine branch are a little less boisterous, but are just as family oriented, enough so you wish you were part of the clan. This book was about Ryan and Lauren, two people that really need to be together considering the second chance they're getting. When I first met Ryan in Mitch's book I thought he seemed kinda like a jerk, but after getting to know him it ...more
Shirley Frances
A great story about second chances at love.

Ryan is a successful builder who returns home to help restore the family's inn. He is reluctant to return because he doesn't want to run into Lauren, the woman he opened his heart to and refused him. But of course, fate has other plans for him when he runs into her and then catches her son vandalizing the family's property.

I liked Ryan from the start. He was a tortured soul who once laid his heart on the table only to have it be broken by Lauren. He liv
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her favorite activities are writing romance and really random tweets when she’s not riding her ATV. She loves mud, books, football & watching way too much TV.
More about Shannon Stacey...

Other Books in the Series

Kowalski Family (9 books)
  • Exclusively Yours (Kowalski Family, #1)
  • Undeniably Yours (Kowalski Family, #2)
  • Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family, #3)
  • All He Ever Needed (Kowalski Family, #4)
  • All He Ever Dreamed (Kowalski Family, #6)
  • Love a Little Sideways (Kowalski Family, #7)
  • Taken with You (Kowalski Family, #8)
  • Falling for Max (Kowalski Family, #9)

Share This Book

“Ryan: Lady, I ain’t a boomerang. You throw me away again, I’m not coming back.
Lauren:You call me lady in that tone again, it’s your balls that won’t be coming back.”
“If somebody wants you to pin a label on my place in your life, just tell them I'm yours. It's that simple.” 6 likes
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