Monday, November 25, 2019

In the Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen Blog Tour

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?

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When I finally come face to face with the street artist standing on the side of the pavement, his guitar case open and full of rolled-up notes and change, I understand why his grandfather told me I’d recognize him with the self-assurance of an avid believer.

I’ve never seen someone like him before.

He is beautiful, true, but that’s not what stands out to me. He is radiant.

It’s like his presence has a presence. He sucks the air out of everything in his vicinity, making it impossible not to look at him. Malachy is tailor-made for a huge, colossal heartbreak. Everything about him—his tattered jeans, filthy boots, white shirt, and leather jacket that was broken in decades ago—screams trouble. He looks like a seventies heartthrob. An icon. A Terry Richardson muse. Bruce Springsteen pre-fame.

His voice is like honey and warm spices. It lulls me into a place in my mind I’ve never been before, even though it’s far from beautiful. It is gruff, throaty, and smoky. When someone bumps my shoulder to get closer to him, I snap out of my reverie and realize what I’m listening to.

“One” by U2.

The coincidence is strange. I try to tell myself it’s nothing. This is Ireland. U2 is a national treasure.

His eyes are squeezed shut as he sings. It’s like no one exists other than him and his guitar. Something warm rushes through my skin, like a heat wave, and I shudder in delight.


I always thought there was something melancholy about street performers—the way people walk past them, ignoring their music, their art, their passion. But this guy, he’s the one doing the ignoring. The tables have turned. He’s got the crowd eating from the palm of his hand. Every woman here is under a thick, sweet spell. He’s got that Harry Styles quality that makes girls want to bed him and older women want to adopt him. The men are a cross between impatient, annoyed, and jealous. You can see it in the way they tap their feet, check their watches, nudge their wives and girlfriends to move it.

The song ends, and Malachy Doherty cracks his eyes open and stares directly at me, like he knew I’d be here. Like he watched me watching him through closed eyes. Disoriented—and for some reason wanting to do something, anything—I throw a bill into his guitar case and look away, realizing to my horror that I threw the fifty euros his grandpa gave me. Everyone around me murmurs and whistles. They think it was intentional. I can feel my face flaming red. I bet he thinks I want to sleep with him.

Do I? Probably. But should he know that? Hell no.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mal and Rory fall in love in 24 hours when Rory is only 18 years old. They make a connection most people dream about. When this 24 hours was over, I felt really hopefully for our couple even though they were not together at this point. I was thinking this story had a different feel from the previous books I’d read by Shen. But I had spoken (or thought) too soon. Before I knew it, angst and drama were running rampant. My hope was fading just a little as I wondered how on earth Rory and Mal were going to get a happily ever after.

I still had faith in our couple because even after eight years apart they are still clearly crazy about each other. The problem is there are so many secrets being kept from Rory, not just by Mal but by other people in her life. I loved the way the secrets were kept and revealed. When some were uncovered, I wasn’t surprised as they were things I suspected, others were a complete surprise, things I did not see coming that left me with my mouth hanging open.

But my favourite thing about this story are the notes. The majority of this story is told from Mal and Rory’s point of view, except for the notes which are scattered throughout the book. They are from other characters in the story, both alive and dead, inanimate objects, and even a cow (that one made me laugh). The notes are fun, cute, serious, and one tore my heart out and had me crying big ugly tears.

I was completely captivated by In the Unlikely Event. Mal and Rory are not characters I have anything in common with, but their love and their chemistry pulled me right in and didn’t let go. Their story is difficult and they have to fight to get what they want and that makes it that much sweeter.

Spoiler-Free review: no book report, featuring a play-by-play of the plot. To go too in-depth would ruin the journey for readers. Just my entertainment value found in the novel itself. The blurb does a wonderful job giving the reader what to expect on the pages.

Escapism at its finest. In the Unlikely Event is a standalone by LJ Shen. I am a self-admitted fangirl, so realize this review is written with that bent.

Worn-down from working 'round the clock, and suffering from a dreaded cold, I was thrilled to have In the Unlikely Event drop into my tablet to escape life's little miseries for a few hours. Read from start to finish in one sitting.

One of my favorite tropes is second-chance. After a whirlwind insta-love, where Mal and Rory fell head over heels in a day's span, fast-forward eight years for a hefty dose of angst and more angst and secrets and unexpected humor.

More mature adults, no longer teenagers, the emotions are deeper and rawer. Mal and Rory bring the romantic tension, which had me clicking the pages at a rapid rate. LJ Shen shined at the delivery of information, which kept me on fully-engaged from start to finish. Secrets and lies, some taking me by surprise while others were easy to deduce, but all that angst was hella entertaining.

A solid mix of tension, banter, humor, and the full spectrum of emotions, I can't highly recommend In the Unlikely Event enough to readers who are fans of the author, as well as this being a good place to start for new readers.

This is a wonderful book – it has many, many layers, and I will most definitely be reading it again, probably more than once. I have no doubt that in my haste to find out what happened, I missed some of the detail.

Be prepared for a complicated, but somewhat magical tale of two people who completely fill every moment of the book – and both tell us their point of view... but, and this gave rise to my absolute favourite line in the book – we also get some of the side characters’ points of view, including the chocolate bar (I challenge you to find a better use of three words!).

The information we get to help us make our judgements of people is used to confuse, confound, and cause us to doubt, and struggle to understand their motives and actions. It is clever, fascinating, and helps to draw the story into something much more than just a second-chance romance. The level of history, of subterfuge, and of downright lies and deceit make the intensity of the feelings between Rory and Mal stand out like snow in a world of mud. Or at least that is how I felt.

This is a wonderful book – I am indeed repeating myself – and I recommend that you go and get a copy straight away and enjoy it from cover to cover.

I absolutely loved In the Unlikely Event. It hit so many emotions throughout the story, one page being brought to tears and the next laughing out loud. Those are some of my favorite reads, the ones that make you feel as you read their story and Shen did it amazingly.

Mal and Rory had off-the-charts chemistry. There was so much angst and sexual tension between them it was perfect. This story is so unique compared to anything I've read from Shen. She is quickly becoming a go-to author. I highly recommend you one clicking this one, it is so worth the rollercoaster Shen takes you on.

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 Best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold in nineteen different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Connect with L.J.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
LJ’s Sassy Sparrows Facebook Group

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of In the Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen to read and review for this tour.

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