In the Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen
Published by L.J. Shen on November 12, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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From #1 Amazon Bestseller L.J. Shen comes a new, star-crossed lovers romance about loss, love, and meeting The One when you are too young to know how to keep them.
Sometimes you meet people who are out of this world, so you make them a part of yours.
A one-night stand born from vengeance in a foreign land. An explosive chemistry neither of us could deny. We signed a contract on the back of a Boar’s Head Pub napkin that said if we ever met again, we would drop everything and be together. Eight years and thousands of miles later, he’s here. In New York. And he’s America’s music obsession. The intangible Irish poet who brings record executives to their knees. The blizzard in my perfect, unshaken snow globe. Last time we spoke, he was a beggar with no intention of becoming a king. But a king he became, and now I’m his servant. I’m not the same broken princess Malachy Doherty put back together with his callused hands. I have a career I love. A boyfriend I adore. An apartment, a roommate, a life. I changed. He changed, too. But Mal kept the napkin. Question is, will I keep my word?
LJ Shen’s book, In The Unlikely Event took me on an unexpected virtual trip to Ireland. Having recently spent a holiday there, all the talk of sheep, small towns, potted flowers and painted doors made me smile. The story itself, though, was different from what I had anticipated.
You see, Rory and I (because LJ Shen transported me back to Ireland) were kept in the dark for the majority of the book. With the story told in the present tense, the notion came to mind that this was not unlike a crazy reality show that Rory had been thrown into without her knowledge. Over time,commentary from those in the know shed light on past events they’d observed.
Things kicked off when Rory went on a pilgrimage to Ireland to pay respects and feel closer to her deceased father. She reached out to the local priest who directed her to speak to Mal, a local busker who knew her father well. That meeting took a delightfully unexpected turn and no less than a passionate 24 hours later, her and Mal parted company agreeing to not seek each other out again. The caveat they added was that should they happen to run into each other by chance, then they would drop everything, no matter what, to rekindle their connection.
Isn’t that the essence of love? Find someone worth killing for? Someone with the power to ruin you?”
Mal was deviously charming and determined to win Rory over. He plays dirty while keeping his cards close to his chest. His irreverent rant behaviour had me Rory smirking and bending her resolve to ignore their silent agreement. At times Byron’s antics are OTT but the pace of the story doesn’t leave you to dwell on the fact too long.
Rory harboured a healthy bout of guilt. She tried her best not to hurt others through with her choices. The chemistry between her and Mal was such that blind Freddy wouldn’t have missed their connection. I loved the mystery surrounding her past and the way it was depicted in the story. She was surrounded by interesting characters that fleshed out the story by both muddying and justifying the mystery surrounding Rory and Mal.
This is a steamy dark triangle romance that has to overcome a myriad of unfortunate scenarios. It’s fair to say the story contains cheating and one scene where dubious consent is involved. The dark issues that arise within the story are briefly described with the focus on the challenges characters had to overcome.
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