Sometimes you meet people who are out of this world, so you make them a part of yours.
Today we are thrilled to be on tour with USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen’s new contemporary romance with heart-wrenching twists and laugh-out-loud moments,
IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT
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?
In The Unlikely Event is available in Kindle Unlimited
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Narrated by Joe Arden, Shane East, Muffy Newtown & Savannah Peachwood, In The Unlikely Event is now available in Audible!
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Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KFF
Shen’s word wizardry has kept me stuck to many a page in the books she has written thus far and In The Unlikely Event is no exception. But here’s the thing. Although her stamp is clearly evident, the ingenious plot came as a surprise. Crazy, uplifting and emotionally distressing, I found it a tad convoluted in places. One minute my hopes were raised only to come crashing down. And at times I wasn’t sure whether to give her protagonists a good-hiding or hug them. In fact, the heroine was just as confused as me and it took a long time for either of us to make heads or tails of what appeared to be an omnishambles.
‘His talent, charm, and beauty are a weapon, and right now they’re aimed at me.’
Lots, but I mean lots of goings-on should have scandalised me, but they didn’t. Everything that happens is well-thought-out, adding to the angst which comes and goes in waves. I didn’t like some of the secondary characters but that’s the idea. You’re not supposed to. However, I connected with Malachy Doherty aka Mal instantly. He’s by no means perfect, just how I like my book heroes and wow, Shen did a really fine job with the Irish-Brit English lingo. You see, this is Aurora Belle—everyone calls her Rory and Mal’s story to tell, but no-one goes without having their say. To mention a few, an upper-class Englishman who I didn’t much care for and a cow that gets let off lightly gifts us with their accounts! This is where a dash of dry wit, hearty criticism, a couple of outbursts and dollops of warmth kick in, sometimes lightening up the mood. Also, the story flipping back and forth gave me a better understanding of Mal and Rory’s past feelings and present grievances.
‘There’s an elephant in the room, and if she thinks I’ll take mercy on her by addressing it she’s about to discover New Mal is nothing like the one she left behind.’
The palpable animosity between these two got me turning the pages quicker than quick to see if they were going to work out their differences. When Rory found out that many untold truths were being kept from her, I wondered if she’d be able to ignore the weight of not knowing what they were and go for it. Have a second chance at love. On occasion, Mal was deliberately spiteful and him deceiving her as he did wound me up a tad. I thought by not being honest with her out of character as he was unquestionably in a conundrum, too. I spent a good while wishing he’d find the right moment and words to soften the blow. Stange when this poet-cum-songwriter had the last spent eight years composing hurtful lyrics aimed at her for reasons I’d rather not go into. And you’ll see why Rory has a habit of collecting paper napkins although only one that Mal has holds the key.
“My truth shouldn’t be conditional,” she whispers.
I take a deep breath. “Neither should your promise.”
Rory definitely left her mark. I loved her cheeky remarks, resolve and compassion. I can see her in my mind’s eye wearing wonderfully weird attire that fit perfectly with her persona. Regardless of a shared skew-whiff moral compass which consumes her more than Mal, it was he who stole the show. Ladies, he is hot and even hotter in the bedroom. Yes, the chemistry is sizzling and Shen…well, her amorous scenes are on the verge of erotica. Inner thoughts abound, there’s less banter than I would have liked; nonetheless, my reading enjoyment wasn’t hampered in the slightest. Leading up to the epilogue, Shen’s second chance lovers-to enemies-to-lovers romance is a little bizarre, but ITUE is most certainly worth reading.
© 2019 by L.J. Shen
All rights reserved.
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.
MEET L.J. 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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