Monday, May 20, 2013

Review- Unexpected by Faith Sullivan

Goodreads Summary:

September 11, 2001.

A day that forever changes the destiny of college overachiever, Michelle Rhodes.

Shattered, confused and alone, no one understands the trauma consuming her until she meets Connor Donnelly.

A native New Yorker, he believes he can aid in getting her life back on track. But what if he's even more broken inside?

Offering her a chance at a fresh start, Connor convinces Michelle to move in with him. Hiring her to waitress at his bar, their mutual attraction only complicates matters.

As more details surrounding Connor's past emerge, Michelle uncovers the full magnitude of the loss he's trying to hide. Refusing to let her feelings for him hinder his recovery, she makes a decision that winds up hurting them both.

By sacrificing her heart, Michelle thinks she is helping Connor come to terms with his grief. Little does she know, Connor is gambling everything for the sake of having a future with her.

What happens is truly unexpected.


I was looking forward to reading Unexpected, especially after seeing some great posts about it on author Faith Sullivan's blog, Faith Sullivan Writes. Faith is really one of the kindest authors I know and I was delighted when she generously sent me a copy of the book. 
I must, however, admit that I was apprehensive about starting Unexpected. I wanted to read it as any normal New Adult Contemporary Romance, and not as a book written by my author friend and reading buddy because that leads to biases and favouritism which can come close to dishonesty. It turns out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. 
On it's own, 
Unexpected was an absolutely lovely story about healing wounds, slowly finding the path that leads to happiness and peace and unexpectedly finding love on the way. 
Michelle Rhodes moves to New York from an almost non existent small American town to study at NYU. When the 9/11 attacks happen right under her nose, she bravely gives in to her fear and flees back to her home. That's where she meets Connor Donnelly, a New Yorker, who persuades her to go back to New York because he believes that facing her fear is the only way she can overcome it. He offers her a job and room at his bar and eventually, the two establish a splendid relationship. But obviously, like in any relationship, there are downs, hardships and twists and turns that come in the way. 
Michelle was a great girl. Her vulnerability was actually very brave because it is tough to admit your own fears and face them. There were times when I didn't like what she did, especially her plan to leave without a sound.  When seen from her point of view, what she did was much needed, but I just don't like silent escapes and so I couldn't digest it. 
Connor, aside from appearing to be cocky and cocksure, was hot and a complete darling on the inside. His past was terribly emotional and I admired how, with persuaded help from others, he tried to fill the potholes in his life. He was arrogant and selfish, but that's what made him, him, and in the end, he fought his battle and accepted that what he wants isn't what others want. Connor was swoon-worthy with his hard attitude and soft nature
Both Michelle and Connor had their own flaws, but then again, no one is perfect and being perfect is close to being boring. I loved how Connor set out to heal Michelle with help from her family and he ended up being the one who needed healing and Micelle healed him, with help from his friends and family. Although it was difficult for me to catch up with the slowly yet suddenly growing fondness and romance between them, I found myself smiling at the banter between the two and the sparks between them were hard to miss. Both of them were genuinely nice people who just wanted to help all those who they could help, particularly those who horribly suffered the aftermaths of 9/11.   
It was nice to see how author Faith Sullivan, in a very clear and systematic way, put down the tremendous impact 9/11 had on the people, along with a subtle and sweet love story, keeping the emotions and feelings right in place. The author's writing is very clean and fresh. Michelle's voice was broad and pellucid. 
Overall, Unexpected was a lovely read that combined two of the most significant aspects of life together- hard hitting reality and love. It was an emotional read that I devoured and very much liked reading from the starting until the very end. 



  1. This book is new to me- thanks for placing it on my radar! The NA contemps i've been reading as of late were all less than stellar, but this sounds really interesting.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

    1. This is quite interesting and I hope you get to read and devour Unexpected sometime soon, Ellie! :)

  2. Thanks Sarika! *HUGS*

    1. You're most welcome, Faith! *hugs back* ♥

  3. I can already feel how emotional this book will turn out to be and not to mention a little heartbreaking, seeing that Michelle fears going to NY again. Oh, I bet it's a beautiful read Sarika! I'll definitely add it to my tbr. Wonderful review :)

    1. You put it right, Aman. Unexpected is emotional and heartbreaking and beautiful and I'm sure you'll like this book, so I hope you can read it sometime. Thank you! :)

  4. I've not seen this one before but your review is amazing and makes it sound amazing. So, thanks for sticking it on my radar!

    1. Unexpected really is an amazing read, Ali. I hope you get to read it! Thank you! :)

  5. Aww, so nice to hear that you enjoyed this one in its own right, despite the fact that you are friends with the author! That's very encouraging. I haven't really gotten into the New Adult genre yet, but if I did, I think I might check out this one, based off of your great review. I do quite like the premise and the emotional intensity you mention.

    1. Oh, New Adult books are really great, Aylee and I hope you can give them a try sometime. Unexpected was very emotional and and I'm glad you understand how difficult this was to write because I am friends with the author. Thank you! :)

  6. This sounds like an amazing read. 9/11 of course is a very emotional topic to write about, and I can't wait to find out how Faith Sullivan weaves it into her story. Moreover, I've come to realize a while back that more and more NA books are rather formulaic in nature, and I just love how this sounds completely different.

    Great review! :)

    Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

    1. Faith has wonderfully combined a sweet romance and an emotional story-line. I hope you get to read Unexpected sometime, Lyra! :) Thank you!

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