Review: Unexpected by Faith Sullivan

Summary/Cover Image from Author's Website:
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.

As soon as read the summary for Unexpected by Faith Sullivan, I knew I had to read it. For one, I loved Faith's previous books. Plus, the subject of 9/11 and its effects isn't something too many books go into, surprisingly enough. Thankfully, Unexpected was everything I had hoped it would be, and much, much more!

Unexpected starts a couple of days before 9/11. Michelle, a student at NYU, is about to start her first year of college, and she's just starting to get settled into it all. However, everything changes for her the morning the Twin Towers come crashing down. Suddenly, Michelle is scared to be in a city that's transformed before her very own eyes. Michelle runs to her hometown, vowing to never return to the city. However, everything changes the moment Connor walks into her life. As a lifetime New Yorker, Connor has seen the tragedy that the attack has caused right in front of him, and he's not about to let it claim another victim in Michelle. Dragging her back to the city with him, he plans to get her back on track by having her face her fears while also helping her figure out what to do next. However, as Michelle and Connor are about to learn, not everything can be expected....

From the first page, I was instantly hooked by Michelle's story. She was an ordinary, everyday character, and that's what made her story so intriguing I think. She was just somebody who been affected by a terrible event and didn't know how to move on with her life. Faith made her fears and feelings about the event come right off the page and come to life while at the same time presenting it in a realistic way. It was always interesting to see Michelle transform as the story progressed into somebody strong and willing to stand up for what she believed in, no matter the price. One of the biggest reasons for this transformation was Connor, her hero in the form of a young bar owner. Sarcastic and blunt, Connor gave Michelle a run for her money more times than one, but at the same time, he helped her as she did him. What I liked most about him, though, was how Faith made his character so developed. There certainly was a lot more than meet the eye to say the least.

The plot in this was also well done. As mentioned before, I was first attracted to this story based on the 9/11 story line, and I have to say, Michelle did a great job in presenting it. I loved how easily she feel back into that era. She made the New York scenes jump of the page and come to life all while keeping them realistic, like any little character or part in this book could have happened in any New Yorkers post 9/11 life. I also enjoyed the addition of Connor's bar. It added some comic relief to a mostly serious story. Plus it introduced some of my favorite side characters. Lastly, the relationship between Connor and Michelle was great. I loved seeing how everything developed between them.

In all, Unexpected is yet another fantastic book by Faith! Oh, and the ending? ADORABLE!

Grade: B+

Unexpected (Amazon, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: eBook provided by author for review- thanks Faith!


  1. Oh, a 9/11 story. I haven't read too many of those, simply because it's still sort of taboo in terms of media capitalization. I've seen a movie or two, but no books. I'll have to check it out!

    How did you feel about how she handled the actual scenes and aftermath of the 9/11 plot?

    1. I thought she handled it gracefully. The book begins right on the day of the attacks, and then forwards on to a few months later. There's various degrees of people's connection to the day, but what I really liked was how while she didn't make the book incredibly sad she didn't make it not focus on the aftermath. It was a good balance.

  2. I saw this last night when I was looking at the sequel to "Heartbeat", and I wondered if it was worth a read.

    Your review is timely for me so muchas gracias.

    I'm guessing from your review that there isn't a twist-y cliff-y ending (ala "Heartbeat")?

    1. Yes, it's not anywhere as nearly as twist-y as Heartbeat, mostly because it's a standalone. But there's still some intense scenes where you're not sure what exactly the outcome will be.


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