Unexpected Love Story by Natasha Madison ~ Sarah A’s Review

When one man’s death exposes a complex web of lies, three couples discover the true meaning of love, loss and redemption.

Crystal

I was the strong one, they said, until two words brought me to my knees.
It was a secret I didn’t share with anyone. A secret that made me promise I’d never fall in love.
I no longer wanted that white picket fence of every woman’s dreams.
Until the unthinkable happened.

Gabe

I thought I had it all with the best medical practice in the state and the woman of my dreams.
I wore a smile on my face every single day.
I couldn’t wait to watch her walk down the aisle and start our forever, except she never did.
My runaway bride made me realize love isn’t worth it.

What happens when your dreams unexpectedly come true?

This is the story of unexpected love.

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After reading Perfect Love Story, I was so excited to get Crystal and Gabe’s story. Their side dalliances were so intriguing in that book; I wanted to know how they looked from the inside. Unexpected Love Story was okay but didn’t quite capture my heart the way its predecessor did.

I loved Crystal (though I hate the name, it reminds me of a stripper) in Perfect Love Story, and she was a great character in this book. My heart broke for her in the first chapter of this book. She was strong, though, and did everything she could to protect herself and those she loved. I loved her snark and her refusal to back down when she was certain of herself. I would have liked to have seen a little more organic growth from her, as I felt she only allowed herself to change when the choice was taken away from her. Gabe was the far more interesting character, in terms of growth, in Unexpected Love Story. Watching him change from the jaded, surly man he’d been at the beginning to the passionate, considerate man he was, in the end, was wonderfully heartwarming.

After reading Perfect Love Story, the plot of Unexpected Love Story was fairly predictable. There weren’t a lot of new scenes, just retellings of the scenes established in PLS, which lent to the feeling of knowing exactly what was coming. That being said, I did love getting to see what Crystal and Gabe were doing in all those secret moments from the first book. It was obvious – in both books – that their connection was explosive and unrestrainable. Their back and forth was exciting and served to show how well they really knew each other.

I have a few wishes for this book. First, it needs another round of editing. There were a lot of grammatical and continuity issues. Second, Crystal’s personal struggle and how that all planned out was too far-fetched – even for fiction – for me to be able to suspend my beliefs for. Finally, I felt like recapping the entirety of what had happened before Crystal and Hailey moved was redundant. Very little of it had anything to do with Crystal and Gabe’s story, and those pages could have been far better used in helping flesh out Crystal and Gabe’s journey.

Unexpected Love Story is the second book in Natasha Madison’s Love series. These books are technically interconnected standalones, as they each deal with a different couple, but reading them in order gives a better experience in understanding the nuances of what has happened to bring them to the point they’re at. Unexpected Love Story is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Crystal & Gabe.

Natasha Madison blew me away with when I read her first novel. This one didn’t seem to have the same magic as that one, however. There were glimpses of that same intense storytelling, and I loved those. As I was reading, I felt as if this book was an obligation, a bridge to reach from one story she wanted to tell, to the next, but not something that had the author’s heart and soul in it.

Perfect Love Story – Available Now
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Broken Love Story ~ Cover Reveal June 29, 2018
***  PREORDER NOW ~ Releases July 10, 2018  ***
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When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four-inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

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