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Falling for Max (Kowalskis) Mass Market Paperback – 29 Jul 2014
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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 off-roading with her friends and family. You can contact Shannon through her website, www.shannonstacey.com, as well as sign up for her newsletter.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Max Crawford is the talk of the town: Whitford, Maine's own mystery man. Murmurs circulate about what he does for a living. It's pretty funny how there's this idle conjecture that he's perhaps a serial killer. How else to account for the cryptic doings in his basement that requires its own security system? Is that where he buries his murdered corpses? For sure there's something just a bit off about Max. He keeps to himself, although, okay, give him cred for opening up lately, what with his crib having become the most popular gathering place for the town's most avid sports fans (his having this gargantuan television plays a part).
Max has it all worked out. He is freakin' organized. He's got a plan and a timeline and a check-off list on life. For the month of October, what's next on that list is to get a wife. Except he's not exactly a social butterfly. He's awkward around people. And then there's Tori Burns.
Tori works in digital design and is a book cover designer and a part-time waitress at the Trailside diner. But maybe the best way to describe her is that she's a free spirit. Tori doesn't intend to be tied down. This is perfect. On a whim, Max hires her to be his dating coach. You know what happens.
The two lead characters are so much fun to read about, and I enjoyed the interplay between them. They're very cute together. Tori is bubbly and an extrovert but has deep-seated issues with committment. It's Max who surprised me with how likable he is, how funny he is. Max is a very literal person, and he knows this about himself. He's witty enough to turn that trait to his advantage, seeing as he doesn't shy from poking fun at himself. Love his sense of humor. He delivers a line that had me laughing so loud:
- Tori: "So, what do you do for a living?"
- Max: "I don't kill people in my basement."
Anyway, for admirers of the Kowalski clan, there are enough Kowalski sightings peppered in throughout the book, but they clearly only play supporting parts. Mostly, it's about Tori's doing her darndest to make Max dateable material and how that predictably leads to something else. Great read.
The Kowalski Family series:
- Book 1: Exclusively Yours (The Kowalskis) (Joe's story)
- Book 2: Undeniably Yours (Kowalskis) by Stacey, Shannon [24 January 2012] (Kevin's story)
- Book 3: Yours to Keep (The Kowalskis) (Sean's story)
- Book 4: All He Ever Needed (The Kowalskis) (Mitch's story)
- Book 5: All He Ever Desired (The Kowalskis) (Ryan's story)
- Book 6: All He Ever Dreamed (The Kowalskis) (Josh's story)
- Book 6.5: Alone with You: Book 6.5 of The Kowalskis (Darcy Vaughan/Jake Holland, Kindle novella)
- Book 7: Love a Little Sideways (The Kowalskis) (Liz Kowalski's story)
- Book 8: Taken with You (The Kowalskis) (Hailey Genest's story)
- Book 9: Falling for Max (Tori Burns/Max Crawford)
I was so glad Shannon decided to focus on the town man of mystery. I've been wondering what he was up to in that basement of his for a while now. The gossip around town was just so funny. The different theories those people came up with made me laugh so hard, but then again, I think it might have been more funny to me because I grew up in a small town and know how those kind of people think. lol!
Max and Tori couldn't have been more opposite if they tried, but somehow it worked. Both of them were suffering from different emotional things that happened in the past. But Shannon Stacey found a way to throw them together just as "Friends" first which was totally brilliant, IMO. I could actually feel the undeniable chemistry between these two right from the beginning, but it was fun to watch how the author spun this into a more intimate relationship. It was a long time coming, but it was worth every single minute.
I would not only recommend this book, but all the others in this series, too!
Hence the friends to lovers situation. This was a nice slow burn. I loved the slow progression in their relationship. It didn't start typically, and that was a nice change. They developed a sweet friendship, causing them both to face the relationship expectations they'd held dear. They had to reconcile personal assumptions, past hurts, and negative family influences. Tori's struggle in particular was difficult at times to read simply because everyone could see how blind she was being except her. I felt it drag out a little longer than necessary, but she had to see it for herself before she could truly move on, so it still fit the storyline.
I loved the camaraderie between Max and Tori and their sweet romance. They were a really great couple, and I enjoyed their story. Max is a great guy. I only wish there was a bit more to the ending. Not necessarily an epilogue (although I do love them), but simply more to the last chapter.
Max was utterly charming and wonderful Tori made me nuts. She was self aware but couldn't see through the fog of her reaction to her parent's divorce. I find her arrogant about Max as well.
I get that adults are deeply impact when their parents divorce. However, Tori is so brittle and doesn't try to be vulnerable and work through these feelings. I wanted to pick up Max and run away and give him to a better heroine.
I was disappointed in what should have been a fun book with the conflict coming from two very different personalities coming together ending up in a lot of needless drama and emotionial withdrawal. The closing drama sealed the deal in a not good for me read.