Tuesday, March 16, 2010

REVIEW: Love, Unexpectedly by Susan Fox

ISBN 978-0-7582-3826-9
Series: Wild Ride to Love series, Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
(c) April 2010, Kensington Brava
Susan Fox's website 

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble 
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook 

"Wonderful characterization, magnificent story. A great read!"

Susan Fox did it again! In Love, Unexpectedly, she takes us on an exhilarating ride on the train of love. Her compelling love stories will tug at your heartstrings and make you root for an HEA for the characters. In case nobody knows, Susan Fox is also Susan Lyons, who wrote Sex Drive, book 1 of this series.

Kat Fallon is the second child in the family, insecure and overshadowed by her brainy sister. To find a niche for herself, she became Ms. Sociability, cultivating lots of friendships, only to find out later on that her friendships were all shallow and she never let anyone gets too close to her. In her relationships with men, she ran at the first sight of trouble, not staying long enough to work things out with the guy. The longest relationship she has is her friendship with Nav Bharani, her neighbor, and consequently, she treasured their friendship very much and wouldn't do anything to jeopardize it.

Nav, on the other hand, had slowly been falling in love with Kat over the two-year period of their friendship, yet each time he mentioned them dating, Kat brushed him off. When Kat asked him to stand in as her boyfriend at her sister's wedding, Nav was hit by an idea so crazy that if he could pull it off, he just might get his heart's desire.

Ms. Fox excels in characterization and character development. As I read, I could see that Kat is so different from Theresa (the heroine in Sex Drive), and I like how we learn to know about Kat at the same time that she discovers things about herself and her family. Kat and her sisters are close as siblings could be, with the usual squabbles, and it was fun to see this family dynamic in their interactions and even better to see them move past their misconceptions about each other and develop a more mature relationship.

(It reminds me of me and my own siblings, and coincidentally [perhaps not?] the middle sibling is also Mr. Sociability, the one with the most number of friends among the three of us.)

As for Nav, I love the hope that burns bright in his heart and the persistence with which he pursued Kat, never giving up despite the numerous brush-offs she'd given him. I like that in a man, one who knows what he wants and goes after it, but of course, he shouldn't bulldoze her into accepting him. Which Nav doesn't. He just opens her eyes and mind to possibilities and waits for her to come to her own conclusions. Sexy traits in a man, and even sexier is his confidence, especially when there was no encouragement or whatever from Kat. Nav, end of Chapter 1: 

"Token good guy? Screw that.
He was going to be the sexy guy on the train." 

Their encounters as Nav flowed from one alter-ego to the other are exciting and stimulating. Nav is certainly unpredictable and one never knows what one would get when with him. I'm sure that was now Kat came to see him--exciting, stimulating yet safe. I don't believe for one moment that Kat failed to remember that he was Nav, in whatever guise he put on. And we can see this in the way she sometimes lapsed into thinking of him as Nav and the desperate way she convinced herself that he was Pritam or Dhiraj. I think she recognized subconsciously that he was giving her a reason to indulge in their attraction and she seized upon it, because she wanted it as well.

The set up disturbed me a bit, because Kat comes across as someone who wants to have her cake and eat it and not have to own up to the responsiblity. A bit cowardly and not as likeable as Theresa (Sex Drive).

However, I like the way we get to see what happens after the end of events in Sex Drive and how Kat's family interacted with Nav. Love, Unexpectedly is a great read in itself and as part of the series. I anxiously await the third in the series, flaky sister Jenna's story. I know I've labeled her as flaky, and may I say I "borrowed" the term from the books, but we all know that things aren't always what they seem. Plus, as I've said, Susan Fox aka Susan Lyons, is great at character development and characterization. Thus, it would be interesting to see Jenna as seen from Jenna's eyes.

As with Sex Drive, this book is written in alternate points of view per chapter, with Nav in third person POV and Kat in first person POV. Like I said, it didn't bother me, however, I find myself being more interested to read Nav's chapters than Kat. What can I say? I'm a girl. Of course, I'm more fascinated by the sexy hunk.

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble 
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook

*Note: The review copy was provided by the author.


Susan Lyons said...

Shana, what a lovely review! Thanks so much. LOL re being more fascinated by the sexy hunk. Yeah, me too. It's so much fun writing them, especially when they're as genuinely sweet and loving as Nav.

Shana said...

Thanks for dropping by, Susan! I really love all your heroes. Not only are they appealing physically, but more so mentally and emotionally and character-wise. Would that there are more men like that in real life. LOL Or maybe I just haven't the luck in meeting them. LOL

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