Book Reviews

Unexpected by Jenny Frame at Bold Strokes Books

Genre Lesbian / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Kym Palmer on 04-September-2017

Book Blurb

Self-made business owner Dale McGuire has always enjoyed two things in life: women and fast cars. Now in her mid thirties, she’s restless and can’t work out why. Then one day a ten-year-old boy turns up, claiming to be her son, and her simple ordered world turns upside down.
Rebecca Harper bears the emotional scars of her father’s crimes, and now she has two rules: never let anyone get too close, and never admit weakness. Thanks to an anonymous egg donor, infertility didn’t stop her from having her son Jake. Now pregnant for a second time, she’s horrified when Jake brings home the woman he believes is his other mother.
When distrust turns to understanding and passion, can Dale and Rebecca, two women bound by fate, make a family neither expected?

Book Review

I’m a sucker for a slow-burn romance between two women who seem worlds apart, so this story really hit the spot.

Dale owns a successful business and can have any woman she wants. Except she’s bored with that lifestyle and can’t put her finger on why. When a ten-year-old boy, Jake, turns up to say she’s his mother, her world gets turned upside down.

Jake’s birth mother is Rebecca, a woman with a lot of secrets in her past that she wishes would remain there, so she’s worked very hard to build a new life for herself, her son, and the baby she’s now carrying. Determined to rely only on herself, after others betrayed her so badly in the past, she’s taken that stubbornness to a point where she’s coldly distrustful of anyone new.

So, when Jake brings Dale into their lives, all of Rebecca’s fears escalate, and sparks fly…

While this book covered a few tropes all in one, it did so with an ease that meant that all bar one worked for me. We’ve got playgirl vs celibate stay-at-home mom, rich girl/poor girl, and we’ve got an archvillain from the past who threatens to wreck everything. For me, the latter was actually unnecessary and a little distracting, to be honest. However, the other two work very well and were a delight to read.

Rebecca trusts no one, and Frame did an excellent job of portraying the torment she went through when Dale was suddenly thrust into her life. While she came across as cold and unforgiving, Frame gave me just enough glimpses of the pain underneath Rebecca’s harsh exterior for me to really connect with her character and cheer her on every step of the way.

Dale, in contrast, I took a lot longer to warm to. There were a couple of inconsistencies in her character that meant I distrusted her almost as much as Rebecca did. But once I got past those early chapters I could believe in her motives and her true feelings, and then I was completely on her side in her attempts to convince Rebecca they could have something special.

There are some excellent side characters that flesh this novel out beautifully. Dale’s chosen family, Val and Sammy, with their daughter Mia are the great voices of reason to Dale’s sudden and mysterious change of lifestyle. Rebecca’s ex, Trent, is a little hard to take but she has some great moments toward the end of the book. And Jake is a wonderful little character, with his advanced brain encumbered by his ten-year-old view of the world.

Frame’s writing style is good, and there were only a few edit errors. The pacing was also good—like I said, the side story with the villain was the only thing that spoiled the flow for me. When Dale and Rebecca do finally start to act on what has been simmering between them, it’s at the perfect point in the story.

Overall, a good read with a lovely story that anyone who likes a good romance will enjoy.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Bold Strokes Books for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 70500 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-August-2017
Price $9.99 ebook, $16.95 paperback, $16.95 bundle
Buy Link