Posted November 26, 2019 by MeliMel in Blog Tours, Book Love, Guest Posts & Reviews, Home, Meli Mel Review, Our Reviews, Release Blitz, Special Content & Excerpts / 0 Comments

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“Romance masterpiece” – Kylie Scott, New York Times bestselling author

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.

In The Unlikely Event is available now!


Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

In The Unlikely Event is also available in audio!

Narrated by: Shane East, Muffy Newton and Savannah Peachwood


In The Unlikely EventIn The Unlikely Event
by L.J. Shen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: November 17, 2019
Publisher: Self
Pages: 368
Buy the Book: Audible, Amazon
Source: eARC, Publisher
Rating: ★★★★

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?

♥ ♥ ♥ 3.75 STARS ♥ ♥ ♥

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“All’s fair in love and war, yeah?”

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Rory finds herself in Ireland looking for clues of what her father was like since she never got to meet him while he was alive. This is where she meets Mal Doherty, an alcoholic busker with a charming personality and looks that make any woman melt. He knew her father and the more she talks to him to the more she falls for Mal. After sharing a one night stand with him in which neither wants to part ways, they decide to make a contract on a napkin. If they meet again, they are to get married to each other no matter who they may be with at the time. It all seemed so exciting even though they knew it was unlikely they’d ever see each other again. There was only one rule, neither was to seek the other out. Years later, Rory takes a job where she ends up working alongside Mal. She now has a boyfriend, but she is thrilled inside to see him. Mal, on the other hand, looks as though he loathes her and she doesn’t know why.

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‘Love makes you do twisted things.’

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I’m not going to lie, this is one of the hardest books to review. Why you may ask? because there were definitely things I really enjoyed about this book and some things I wasn’t too keen on. Rory was quite naive in this book and that was quite frustrating at times for me. I wanted her to be stronger and stand up for herself more. I also wished she could make decisions for herself rather than doing what others wanted her to do. Like when it came to her boyfriend Callum who she didn’t truly love. Mal became a total jerk to Rory which was hard to read at times because I didn’t understand why he tried to hurt her so much. I definitely loved the Mal that wasn’t being an asshole and was instead caring and kind.

It started off pretty good for me, even though this was insta-love, in this case however it totally worked. I was a little bummed with Rory and Kathleen’s interactions. I wasn’t expecting maliciousness and jealousy. I don’t want to get too in-depth in this review of what exactly transpires between them but it was sad they weren’t closer. I also hated a moment between Kathleen and Mal. It was terrible and I wanted people to be outraged. While those events did occur which I wasn’t exactly a fan of, there were also moments in the book that I enjoyed. When Rory and Mal were genuine to one another and finally communicated, I found myself loving it. The steam was explosive and the connection was strong. It was a page-turner for me. I just had to know if things got worse or better for them. There were some questionable moments where lines blurred for sure that I was on the fence about. But there were also moments that were quite humorous, especially when you got to see the point of view of the secondary characters.

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‘Rory is still pure and good and meant to be mine. And I will make her so. Even if I have to fight Callum, her mother, and the entire village. Which I will.’

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Overall, I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t love it either. Although I wish I could have loved it more. It was somewhere in the middle-ish for me. I definitely didn’t want to put this down though like I mentioned before. And there were moments that tugged at my heartstrings and made me an emotional mess. Plus some sweet romantic moments. There was also a lot of angst in this book which probably contributed to me wanting to keep on reading. I do love me some good angst. This may not have been my favorite book, but I am still a big L.J. Shen fan. I cannot wait to see what she has next in the works. I know there are many who absolutely loved this book so who knows, it might work for you so give it a try.

~A.R.C. kindly given in exchange for an honest review.~

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.



LJShenL.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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