REVIEW: In The Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen

From USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling author L.J. Shen comes a new, contemporary romance with heart-wrenching twists and laugh-out-loud moments.

This standalone is like no other by this author.

In The Unlikely Event is available now!


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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My Review

When some readers hear the word ‘different’ or ‘unique’ when it comes to a a favorite author’s new release, they worry or question why the tried and true storytelling and writing methods used needed to change. But for other readers, like me, who love to see writers grow in their craft, stepping outside of their comfort zone or venturing beyond what they’re ‘known’ for is exactly what makes an author become one of my favorites…one of my unicorns. It’s that versatility as a curator of words that makes a lasting impression, and it’s their own need to adjust and change as the book world ebbs and flows that allows them to remain at the top of this business – one that seems to always be recreating itself based on the needs and desires of this community of readers and because that is, assuredly, who writers share their worlds and their characters with, it makes sense that authors either change with the times or find themselves on the outside looking in.

It’s beyond clear that LJ Shen is adored by her readers/her fans, and it’s because she has proven herself time and time again with every new release and with the characters she creates and the story lines that she crafts that she has the pulse of her readership and that she refuses to be pigeon-holed based on her previous books and/or the tropes and the drama that seem to accompanying them. And that idea shines true in ITUE.

In the Unlikely Event may not have all of the same components of Shen’s past best sellers, but it still exudes every facet of who Shen is as a writer and storyteller, meaning that it still reads like a LJ Shen story even if it’s in a category all on its own. And it’s the uniqueness of Mal and Rory’s story

that kept me captivated, that had every single one of my emotions on high alert, given the amount of lies told  and secrets withheld and the quest for revenge that seemed to be the driving force for many of the characters inside the pages of this story.

The multiple perspectives provided and the unique use of letters and notes that shed further light on the past as well as the present-day circumstances and situations allow readers to fully immerse themselves into Mal and Rory’s mess of missed chances, stolen opportunities, false perceptions, and malicious words and deeds. My head was spinning for a majority of the book because of how everything played out and the people responsible for the hero and heroine not finding their way back to each other until 8 years later, and even after that, it’s still a struggle for them due to where their lives sent them and who they surrounded themselves with all that time.

My frustrations with quite a few of the secondary characters as well as the hero and heroine themselves definitely played a role in how I viewed all of them and what I wanted to see happen, and while things didn’t quite go the way I expected or even wanted to, in some ways, the path that Shen took these characters on as well as her readers was based on a pact that was created during Mal and Rory’s initial meeting, but could not be fully realized until everything was out in the open and the past was, once and for all, laid to rest.

ITUE is a story that will stay with me regardless of how many other LJ Shen books I read, which proves that Shen’s ‘different’ is find by me!!

4.5 Poison Apples

About LJ Shen


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 to 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.

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