*I received a free copy of All I Want from Berkley via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Pilot-for-hire Zoe Stone is happy to call Sunshine, Idaho, her home base. But her quiet life is thrown for a loop when her brother’s friend Parker comes to stay with her for a week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent is a handsome flirt with a gift for getting under her skin. And the situation only escalates when Parker hires her to fly him around the area while he collects evidence on a suspected smuggler.
Now she has to live and work with the guy. But when they’re in the air, she sees another side of him. He’s driven, focused, and sharp. And while he enjoys giving commentary on her blind dates, she quickly realizes with a shock that it’s Parker who gets her engines going…
All I Want is a tense and beautiful contemporary romance with realistic and complex characters, including Parker’s younger sister who had Down’s syndrome.
My All I Want review:
Between the characters I fell in love with, the solid story, the slight sense of danger at times and the beautiful romance, All I Want ended up being the perfect romance! Shalvis definitely knows exactly how to hit my heart just right, where I can feel both the love and the sorrow right along with the characters. Zoe and Parker were both extremely stubborn, but even they couldn’t deny the strong chemistry between them from the moment they met. On top of that, I really enjoyed all the characteristics of both! Zoe was a pilot, and a strong, confident woman. Except when it comes to love, then, she is out of her depth immediately, due mostly to the fact that she grew up taking care of her younger siblings, while her diplomat parents were traveling the world, and never told their children that they loved them. Parker’s job was investigating poachers and making sure they are caught and put away so they can’t hurt any more animals in the wild. And he lived and breathed for his job – traveling to faraway places and sometimes being undercover, a relationship was the last thing on his mind.
Both the main characters and the side characters in All I Want were amazing, some of the side-characters have been main characters in prior Animal Magnetism books, others were new, but they were all well done. I loved that Shalvis included Parker’s much younger sister, Amory, who has Downs syndrome. While Amory wasn’t the main focus of the story, the way Parker helped her to be as independent as possible, while also taking into account her limitations as well as his parents wishes was so good. And it proves that it’s totally possible to include diverse characters in a book without having the main topic of the story be the diversity.
The main storyline in All I Want was that of Parker coming to Sunshine to find a criminal who had killed one of his fellow agents, one who was on the most wanted lists, but had managed – barely – to escape prison for a long time. However, Parker was not there on the job as he had been put on forced leave, and Carver was completely off limits to him. Parker couldn’t help himself, though, and first Zoe was the pilot who flew him over a place in the woods where Carver was supposedly in hiding. This complex mystery sometimes took the backseat to the romance, which worked really well for me. Because the chemistry between Zoe and Parker was combustible! Their light teasing and heavy kissing made my toes curl in pleasure, and I loved how they were doing their best not to fall in love, because soon, their lives would go in different directions once more.
Written in third person, pas tense, mostly from Zoe’s point of view, but also showing insight into Parker’s thoughts, All I Want also included Shalvis’ smart dialogues and many laugh-out-loud moments.
Some of my favorite All I Want quotes:
Zoe Stone had tried on everything in her closet and not only did her room now look like an explosion in a mattress factory, not one single item of clothing had worked for her.
She snorted and then turned away, clearly over him. He told himself that worked for him. Completely. Socializing wasn’t high on his list of priorities. Hadn’t been for three weeks now. Getting hit by a truck full of big-game poachers making their getaway had put a real kink in his life plan. But since it had nearly put a kind in his life period, he wasn’t complaining. Much.
And still, every other second or so she felt her face heat up as she remembered walking – no, racing – into her bathroom, interrupting Parkers shower. Which meant she had a semipermanent blush on her face.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: