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Exclusively Yours (2010)

Exclusively Yours (2010)

Book Info

3.29 of 5 Votes: 5
Your rating
142689001X (ISBN13: 9781426890017)
Carina Press

About book Exclusively Yours (2010)

Oh my god. This book is like cuddling up to a litter of kittens while having a bundle of puppies on my lap, while fluffy little bunnies runs circles around me. There is so much cute and warm fuzzies I feel like I am going to die. I read a few more of this series and the hero is always a hot sweet heart and its the heroine that is reluctant and needs to be wooed. I am going to keep coming back to this as a balm to my heart whenever I finish reading about jerk heroes. Absolutely adorable! One star, only because you can’t give a minus five star rating.I nearly gave my husband a heart attack when I finished reading this book. It was late in the evening when I got to the end and I was so disgusted with the story and its ending that I threw the book aiming for the bin in our room but missed. I rarely throw books in disgust, but this one just really pissed me off.Never read anything before by the author, but that doesn’t matter because I usually buy the book for the plot, so when I read the usual blurb at the back cover, I thought I’d like this book. Love stories about old lovers reuniting always appealed to me. I was also quite intrigued to find out what Keri did to Joe that broke his heart terribly.I was expecting something major, ie she cheated on him, her disapproving snobbish parents made her break up with him, some deep dark secret from her past surfaced so she had to break it off -- you know, something dramatic. But no... Instead, there’s the heroine at age 17 or 18, deciding after her high school graduation that she didn’t want to be referred to only as the “valedictorian’s girlfriend”. No, she wants her own career, not be defined by the guy she was dating (or being married to) and seek a life outside their small town. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why this book implied that these aspirations were such a bad thing!For a while, I thought I was reading a book set in some Third World country where women are only seen as incubators to produce children, or a romance set in Regency England or other historical setting where women were expected to marry, because there weren’t much choices for them. But no, this is a contemporary romance novel set in the United States of America! You would think a hero born and raised in the USA, home to inspiring real women in politics, sports, sciences and the arts, not to mention Disney cartoon heroines like Belle, Jasmine, Merida all wanting life beyond their “provincial town” or lives beyond their suffocating station, could be more accommodating about having a girlfriend having aspirations/ambitions of her own. No sireee... How dare she left him, driving him to alcoholism! But hey, she at least inspires him to write horror stories with heroines (based on her) whom he gleefully (sadistically?) send towards gruesome predicaments! (What a wonderful psychotic Neanderthal romance hero!) Ok, I get it, perhaps Keri could have done the breaking up better or maybe she could have had a heart to heart talk with Joe so he wouldn’t have felt like he was given an unexpected strong punch. However, do you think she would have had the chance to say anything to him and that he would listen? For all the flashbacks the author provided about this couple, the reader is only exposed to their horny feelings and escapades, or for that matter, the hero wishing that he had impregnated her during one moment of unprotected sex. For two people with aspirations of wanting to be writers in their teen years, you are never really given an insight into other aspects of their relationship. Unfortunately, fast forward 20 years later and it’s still pretty much the same. For most of the book, apart from being subjected to painful scenes in the camp grounds, there were no moments of deeper conversation between these two. You would think that given they are both writers they could have been capable to have meaningful conversations, but nope. Even Keri’s questions seemed so juvenile for a 20-year journalist veteran and the supposed novelist talked and thought like someone who never left his teen years.Also, you would think that given what had happened in the past, Joe would try to get to know better the girl who left him and “broke his heart”, try to understand better her aspirations, her own writing and get a better insight on why she left. But no, he couldn’t seem to get past all the physical aspects of their past relationship, sexual innuendos or her physical attributes. Neither could he shake this almost obsessive desire to live physically close to his family. There he was, a successful author, with no job-related reasons to stay in his hometown as his status gives him the flexibility to work anywhere, neither does he have any real serious obligatory family-related reasons to stay, ie his parents are of good health, he doesn’t have his own kids with an ex, and yet, he can’t make himself move to LA to be with the woman whom he considers to be the ONE?! (The last character I’ve ever seen with such an unnatural attachment to her family and their house was Pat of Silverbush from LM Montgomery’s (ie writer of Anne of Green Gables) novel. But that female character lived in the late 1890s to 1900s in a small remote idyllic country town in Canada and the book was written in the early 1900s!)The supposed HEA wasn’t really a happy/satisfying for me. [Sorry for the spoilers but I have to include them to present my honest review.] The heroine lost her job because she couldn’t betray the hero’s trust, gave up her career and went back to her hometown to be with the hero. She was promised editing work, not to mention freelance job from the hero’s company (who happens to also employ his sister as his PA, his brother as his accountant... guess there is a reason why he doesn’t want to leave his family since they do a lot for him). Overall, she became what she wanted to avoid in the first place – an appendage to her high school sweetheart. The annoying thing was that it wasn’t really necessary for Keri to give it all up as the hero finally came to his senses and was willing to move to LA with her. But nope, the author decided it should be her who has to give up EVERYTHING, not Joe who only had to move away from his family (but still be able to visit them regularly as he is well-to-do-enough to afford airfares or access to phones, email or Skype).Some may argue that Keri’s career wasn’t going anywhere anyway. I don’t know. I am kind of suspicious as to why given all that time, she didn’t bother looking for a position elsewhere or even tried to become a freelancer. Even if she wanted to be an entertainment writer, not all of them are the type who writes for cheap gossip tabloid publications like the publication she worked for. Some go for more “respectable” magazines (eg Vanity Fair) which more or less end up like PR vehicles for stars and other “VIPs”. I also question why she only wanted to be an entertainment journalist, when she could be still be a journalist writing stories or profiles of different persons of interest, not just people in the entertainment industry.I suppose this is what really annoyed me most about this book. I can’t help but feel a negative vibe in this book projected against women who want a career, a sense of individuality and/ or explore life outside their comfort zone. I can’t help but wonder if the author deliberately chose a “not-so-respectable” career for Keri to ensure readers would dislike her even more for following the path she had taken. (Given all the negative reaction of reviewers I've read here for Keri, I’d say the author has been very successful indeed!)I mean think about it. What if Keri became a respectable investigative journalist exposing social and political issues, a human rights lawyer, a novelist in her own right or even a doctor working for Doctors without Borders? I wonder how readers would have reacted then and I greatly wonder how much they'll still think of how "wonderful" the hero is. Instead the author chose a profession for the heroine that would seem to guarantee readers would dislike her for what she's done, even though regardless of what profession she chose, she had every right to choose and follow through. It is not only the career the author chose for the heroine, but also the way the author contrasted Keri’s life with the Kowalski wives. Even if she had thrown in some of the domestic problems these wives were facing, at the end of the day, she made everything alright for them, while Keri was left being the lone spinster still fired from her job despite all the effort she placed into it for the past 20 years. While there were other options for her to rebuild her career after being fired, the author decided to give her an HEA that involved her going back to where she started from and marrying her ex-flame who hasn’t shown any real signs that he respects and acknowledges her individuality and own aspirations.Other stuff I hated about this book: (1) not much of a big fan of camping, particularly one which seems to involve destroying more the landscape and frightening wilderness creatures with ATVs; (2) characters like Theresa, the hero’s twin sister who acts more like a sour puss brat rather than an adult.Definitely would not recommend this book to anyone and after my experience with this book, I’m not sure I would like to read another book by this author again.

Do You like book Exclusively Yours (2010)?

Love stories of the Kowalski siblings. Funny hijinks in the crazy family, specially the kids

This didn't happen to me 20 years after high school! Good story with a good ending.

I LOVED LOVED this book! It kept me turning the pages from start to finish.

**3 1/2 stars**

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