12 September 2013

Unexpected by Faith Sullivan

Unexpected by Faith Sullivan.
Audience/Genre: New Adult, Romance.
Publication: April 2nd 2013
Source: I had won it but I purchased a copy (see the statement below)
One day 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.

In honor of the 12th anniversary of September 11, Faith Sullivan will be donating 50% of the proceeds from UNEXPECTED during the month of September 2013 to the 9/11 memorial fund .

Faith hopes to reach $100 in order to sponsor a cobblestone dedicated to the readers and bloggers who have supported my book.

Reviewed by Kelly.

This book was hard for me to rate. It is a lot about grieving and overcoming the events of 9/11. I definitely handle stress and grief and loss differently than the 2 main characters, and many more who will read this book will deal with it in their own way. And yes, I remember exactly where I was when it happened and I watched it all from the comfort of my own home. So I tread carefully here.

I had to trudge through the beginning as it started off a little slow but the pace picked up and I started to really enjoy it.

Michelle goes to NYU. She has a plan for her life. She is away from home and has barely met people and has no one’s phone number yet when the events of 9/11 unfold and she witnesses it. She stayed in her apartment for a few days with no one to talk to. She tried to make it but she couldn’t and went home.

At home and on New Year’s Eve there was a party that she was talked into going to. She was at the door ready to turn around when she heard “Having Second Thoughts?” from a guy on the porch. He called her by name and she didn’t know who he was. Well as it turns out he has come to take her back to NY to deal with her grief. She would live above a bar and would have room and board and work in the bar below with the man who has come to take her there, Connor.

Connor is a few years older than her. He has taken over the family pub since his father had a heart attack. Connor has some secrets of his own. He seems very protective of Michelle. He runs hot and cold when it comes to her. He makes it clear though, that the two of them will never be a couple.

There is chemistry between the two. But when a kiss happens, he pushes her away and shuts her out even harder.

Come to find out, Connor is grieving too. His best friend, Danny was a firefighter who died in the World Trade Center (can’t remember if they shared which tower). But that’s not his only secret. I am not telling the rest though.

Michelle finally learns how to waitress with some mishaps. If she gets into trouble, Connor is there to protect her.

Michelle tries to go to Ground Zero on her own, but she wasn’t ready and had a panic attack and somehow found herself back at the bar.

There are so many secondary characters that really have an impact on their lives. There are others who have had to deal with all that occurred. Like the man, Miguel who works at Ground Zero every day in clearing the rubble and finding bodies. And the counselor that they see at the Y to help them. They all have major impacts on Michelle and Connor and vise versa.

Since they are both grieving and Connor isn’t always being forthcoming on all the secrets he holds, Michelle gets frustrated with him and makes some decisions that hurt Connor. But Michelle is hurting too and they both need each other.

They both have to overcome grief and learn to let each other in and decide what is best for each of them as individuals and if they are to ever to become a couple.

I shed a few tears reading Unexpected and loved the ending. This is a story with grief, loss, canoeing, museums, bus rides, train rides, family, friends, helping others to overcome, and finding love.

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