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Unexpected

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One day forever changes the destiny of college overachiever, Michelle Rhodes.

Shattered, confused and alone, no one understands the trauma consuming her until she meets Connor Donnelly.

A native New Yorker, he believes he can aid in getting her life back on track. But what if he's even more broken inside?

Offering her a chance at a fresh start, Connor convinces Michelle to move in with him. Hiring her to waitress at his bar, their mutual attraction only complicates matters.

As more details surrounding Connor's past emerge, Michelle uncovers the full magnitude of the loss he's trying to hide. Refusing to let her feelings for him hinder his recovery, she makes a decision that winds up hurting them both.

By sacrificing her heart, Michelle thinks she is helping Connor come to terms with his grief. Little does she know, Connor is gambling everything for the sake of having a future with her.

What happens is truly unexpected.

169 pages, Paperback

First published April 2, 2013

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Faith Sullivan

11 books320 followers


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 58 reviews
Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,657 followers
August 28, 2013
Before I begin, I would like to extend all my sympathies towards those affected by 9/11. Even if you choose not to continue reading, please take a few minutes for a moment of silence.

***Copy kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review***

Though a fast-paced, quick-read for me, this book effectively explored the aftermath of 9/11 and carefully, skillfully pointed out love after loss, a theme so very important in my reading experiences and in reality. I myself recall that dreadful day, and though I was only 7, I distinctly remember how frantic and worried my pregnant mother was for my father, who had just flown into NY the very same day (he, thankfully, wasn’t hurt). This book really made me realize that the impacts of 9/11 didn’t just affect those that were directly harmed; its grasp was pervasive and no life, big or small, escaped unscathed.

“The world crumbles around me, and a desperate energy fills my veins. I pace the length of the apartment like a caged animal. I’m numb. I can’t process the severity of the situation I’m watching unfold. I keep telling myself that it’s a bad dream, nothing more.”

Unfortunately, it isn’t a dream. For the bright film student Michelle Rhodes, her world implodes when she witnesses 9/11 happening right in front of her eyes, both in front of the TV and out on the streets. Though she didn’t lose anyone nor was she hurt, she was emotionally scarred. Broken. Grades and school always were her rock, her solid ground, but because of the detriments of 9/11 that she witnessed firsthand, she find her comfort zone to be suffocating. Unsafe.

“No matter where I turned, I was vulnerable. I didn’t feel at home in my apartment. I didn’t feel safe on the street. I didn’t feel at ease in the classroom. I longed for some sense of security, but there was none to be found.”

Deeply distressed by her insecure future, Michelle heads back to her small hometown, hoping to recuperate. It is there that she meets Connor Donnelly, the owner of a local bar in NY, and is able to convince her to come back to NY and work as a waitress. Connor is the typical man-slut, playboy, wham-bam, thank you ma’am person but Michelle is still attracted to him and him to her, and for the first time, his attraction towards her isn’t just based on pure animal lust.

“There’s an unspoken intimacy in the air, a sense of being where you’re supposed to be with the person you’re supposed to be with. It’s like a puzzle piece being pressed into the exact right spot with all its jagged edges securely fitting into place.”

As the two fall into a partnership, Michelle’s past fears and Connor’s painful secrets clash head on. Though they don’t become an official couple for most of the book, the underlying current between them signals their ‘togetherness’ so their baggage really drives a wedge between them.

“Connor’s latest move is really another threat, albeit in a different form. Return to him, or he’ll wreck his life. He’s willing to give up his one source of stability to lure me back. His message is clear. But why is he taking such a risk? The stakes are too high. If he thinks he can win me back by pressuring me, he’s wrong. I never respond well when I’m backed into a corner.”

With the help of their family and close friends, Michelle and Connor do eventually work out all of their issues. I liked the premise of this book and maybe that was why I expected more intensity (?) and more character development out of the story. That being said, this is a shorter novel but the few issues I had with it didn’t deter me from enjoying the story.

4 ENLIGHTENING STARS!!!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,977 reviews82 followers
September 13, 2013
**A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**

4 Emotional Charged Stars

I dont' really know where to start with this review. I didn't really know what this story was about when i agreed to read it. I knew from the synopsis that some kind of tragedy happens to change the course of 2 lives. What I didn't realize was what that tragedy was going to be. I found it actually fitting to be reading this book on 9/11-9/12....since the tragedy is actually based on the events of 9/11/01. As I'm sure many of you can, I can still remember exactly what I was doing on the fateful day. I don't think that day will ever leave my memory. I was not personally connected to anyone at ground zero, I didn't lose a loved one and I live nowhere near New York City, but what happened that day still effects me to this day. What I loved about this story is it showed how everyone was effected by this tragic event. Michelle didn't lose a loved one on that day but she was living in New York when it happened. This story is the journey she went through to become a better and stronger person in the end. It showed that even if you didn't lose a loved one, this day effected everyone!!!! This book was definitely an emotional one....I was expecting more of a love story to this book, but that really didn't come into play until quite later in the story. Yes we get hints of an attraction, more from Michelle's side then from Connor's, but their real feelings don't come out until like 75%. What I did have a hard time with was them getting together. It seemed to come out of nowhere. I wish this book would've been dual POV because then we would've known what was going on in Connor's head as well. It was just a little far fetched to believe his feelings when they finally surface. I think not knowing what Connor was thinking and feeling throughout the story really made it hard to connect with him and him and Michelle as a couple. I would've liked to see them come together a little sooner so we could see how they worked through their grief and recovery together. I felt that once things were set into motion between them that they ended up being rushed.

Now with that said I still gave this book a Solid 4 stars because of the story it is built around. This book also envoked a lot of different emotions from me. I will say that overall feeling I had through the book was sadness. What Michelle and Connor went through on 9/11 was horrific and watching them try to rebuild their lives was tough. I can't imagine what people from New York went through on that day.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a strong emotional book with a love story on the side. I feel everyone should read this book because it gives you perspective of what people went through in the time after 9/11 and what people feel and endure every year on the anniversary of the tragic event.

This is the first book I have read about this day in history, I felt it flowed smoothly and an accurate portrayal was represented. This story felt real to me, even if the book is fiction.

***NEVER FORGET!!!!!!****
Profile Image for Kassandra.
152 reviews149 followers
October 15, 2013
I longed for some sense of security, but there was none to be found.

Unexpected is the second book I've read from Faith Sullivan- I've read Heartbeat during the summer and really liked it-and all I have to say is that I LOVED Unexpected! I loved the story, the characters, and I loved the way Faith Sullivan included 9/11 into her story. I know some people might not want to read a book that has this event in the book, but Faith Sullivan did such an amazing job that it was just beautiful and respectful the way she did it.

The story begins with this tragic event that we all experienced and remember. I felt like I was reliving the whole thing all over again-that is how much Faith Sullivan was able to impact me. The main character Michelle is in her apartment when this happens, and she goes into a state of shock, because she lives by herself and doesn't know anyone in New York.



My moping, my fear, my insecurities- he must want to scream at me to snap out of it already.

The 9/11 event emotionally affects Michelle's life. The happy, out-going, dream-seeker, independent, and successful college student she was before 9/11 is gone. Michelle becomes depressed, fearful, doesn't want to complete her education, and has become insecure about everything she does in her life. Her character is an example of every person who wasn't related to the people that lost their lives, but she was still affected by how many Innocent people lost their lives in a matter of minutes. Michelle's character does overcome some of her insecurities and a little bit of her fear with the help of Connor.



"We all need a light in the darkness to show us the way out."

We first meet Connor at a party Michelle goes to, and he is the mysterious and sexy guy. Connor is the guy that you wouldn't consider having a serious relationship with, because he has a reputation of a womanizer. But I absolutely loved Connor's character! What did I love about him? He is sexy, mysterious, deep, respectful, hardworking, and he is just an amazing guy. Connor was also affected by the 9/11 event and I can't say much more about this, because I don't want to ruin the book for all of you! Connor's character also overcomes his own emotional problems with the help of Michelle.



"I'm starting to feel like a stalker, but I'm not giving up on you, Michelle."

I'm such a fool. I can't stay away from him. It's pointless.

I loved how the relationship of Connor and Michelle develops in the story. At first I thought he was a jerk for what he did to her when they got to New York, but late on in the novel I understand what he did. If I can describe Connor and Michell's relationship in one word it would be anchor. They are both each others emotional anchor. They both bring each other out of the darkness that they've been emerged in since 9/11. Connor and Michelle have become one of my favorite couples, and yes I do find myself thinking about
them :).



"Yes, we. It's you and me from here on out." He says it with so much conviction that I'm slightly taken aback. "Where you go, I go."

Unexpected by Faith Sullivan was a beautiful contemporary romance story. Faith Sullivan did an amazing job in adding the 9/11 event into her story, because it made it that much more emotional and beautiful.
Profile Image for Tee loves Kyle Jacobson.
2,471 reviews169 followers
April 16, 2013
Unexpected is an Unexpected book. I loved every minute of it and I look forward to reading more from Faith. First I love how she has written a story about a tragic event that happened to all Americans. Writing about 09/11/2001 is not the easiest thing for people to do and she took and put a spin to her story that I have to say I loved so much at the end I was crying like a dam lunatic. Let me just say this I read this book in one sitting at work and I could not no I would not put this book down.

Michelle has just graduated from High school and is going to school at NYU. She is excited to be away from home and experiencing new things and enjoying college until one day she wakes up and she sees smoke coming from down the block of where she lives. She turns on the TV and she sees that a plane has crashed into one of the twin towers and then another plane crashes into the other tower. She is devastated and alone and she tries to call home but the cell towers are off and she is held up alone in her apartment to deal with 09/11 by herself. When she is finally able to get out she goes home and decides she can not go back to NY no matter what. So Michelle spends her time at home depressed until her ex-boyfriend decides to intervene for Michelle.

Her ex-boyfriend's roommate has an older brother who is still in NY and asks him to help her out. They stage an intervention and when Michelle meets Connor she is intrigued by his offer to come and work for him at his families bar with him. At first Michelle is leery because she does not want to go back to NY but she decides to give it another chance and what she learns and gets when she returns to NY is the heart of this story. See Connor and Michelle have something in common... they are both broken and they don't know it yet but they will come to a crossroad and they will have to decide whether or not they will remain broken or will come together and become something else.

Thank you so much Faith for writing this story and showing that sometimes things may get rough but at the end of the day if you pursue what you want dreams can come true!
April 3, 2013
Michelle is a young girl from a small Pennsylvania town and is stuck in New York when the 9/11 attacks take place. She is shaken to her core by the events and struggles to cope so she moves back to her home town. Connor is a young man suffering his own losses from 9/11 while trying to manage his family pub since his father's heart attack. When he learns about Michelle, he wants to help fix her because he thinks it will fix him too.

Unexpected was a great book and I really enjoyed reading it. I liked that Michelle and Connor were so different from each other but ended up being exactly what the other needed. She was sweet and quiet and naive and Connor was tough and experienced. They had this undeniable attraction but Connor was so focused on fixing Michelle as a way to fix himself. It bothered me sometimes the way he would act like a big brother towards her one minute and then flirt with her and lead her on the next. I also would have like Michelle to be a little stronger when it came to dealing with Connor but considering her age and inexperience, I understood her weakness.

One of my favorite things about this book was the theme. This book really highlighted the fact that 9/11 was a tragedy that affected everyone, whether you lost somebody or not. It didn't matter how connected people were to the events of that day, the entire country felt the loss and sorrow of the attacks. The plot highlighted people's need to lean on each other for support and that you can find a way out of the darkness from some one you least expect too. This was a heartwarming read and definitely a recommended read.
Profile Image for Judy.
422 reviews82 followers
September 6, 2013
*I was given an arc in exchange for an honest review*
Unexpected could have been a great story, I just know it. Unfortunately for me, it was not.

The story is based around the tragic day 9/11, and how the lives of the characters, Michelle and Connor, were forever changed.

I remember where I was on 9/11. Everyone does. I was immediately captivated from the beginning of the story. Reading Faith's words about that tragic day and seeing it thru Michelle's eyes stirred up some deep feelings. She was traumatized and afraid and you could feel it.
I was very excited to continue reading.. but that's when things kind of went south.

Shortly after is when you meet Connor and the story evolves. He meets Michelle, wants to offer her a job, show her NY isn't that bad and wants to help her get over her fears.
This is where it got strange for me and it continued to feel that way til the end.
It seemed as though several details had been skipped over throughout the story.
One moment they just met and the next she is talking about how he is giving mixed signals, first he's hot, then he's cold. ?? When? Did I miss something?
I felt like I was missing parts of the story. It needed a little more detail, especially about Connor and Michelle's feelings. If they had an instant chemistry, I didn't feel it, or read about it!

The book was a quick read but it just felt flat. Some of it didn't really make sense.
I honestly believe it had the potential to be great, but most of it just felt a little blah.
I feel the writing in the beginning was beautifully done, but it wasn't powerful enough to bring me to tears.
Profile Image for Sarah Oxford.
145 reviews17 followers
September 3, 2013
*This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*

Ok, I'm going to start with what I did like. I thought the idea of the story was really interesting. The aftermath of 9/11 provided a myriad of different emotional responses and effects that could be explored. I was intrigued by the idea that these two come together whilst working through their grief and anxiety. I also liked the bar setting and the idea of Connor attempting to save Michelle.

Unfortunately, the book just didn't deliver for me. I didn't feel any connection to the characters, Michelle cam across as not very bright and wasn't particularly well developed. I was a bit shocked by her decision to go to the bar. When I read the 9/11 scene I found her anxiety well depicted, I felt it, but that's about the last bit where I felt any of her emotions. The explanation for her agreeing to go back to NY needed a lot more time spent on it.

Then there's the romance. I felt like I was told that there was some underlying attraction between these two but I can't remember a single incidence of this being demonstrated. There needed to be a lot more flirting and sexual tension or even just Michelle yearning after him. I'm sorry to say that I just didn't feel it and got cross at Michelle for her inexplicable decision making.

In summary, a great idea for a story that didn't quite hit the mark for me. Maybe if it was 50% longer to give more development time for the characters and the burgeoning romance I may have been moved, but as it is it's just 2.5 stars from me.
Profile Image for Renee.
1,190 reviews18 followers
September 14, 2013
Unexpected is just that totally unexpected. The premise is a girl Michelle who has struggling parents. They do anything to get her into NYU and she goes. She has a small apartment and is embracing college life. Not long into her college life the attacks of September 11th happen. This send Michelle into a cocoon. She stays in her apartment for a long time cut off, nobody to talk to nobody s\to share her emotions with. She is so amazingly frightened that she leaves and goes back to Pennsylvania.
She gets in touch with Connor who has his own post 9/11 story to tell. He is going through his own grief and masked this by attempting to help Michelle. I dont want to lose focus of the plot and the story. Faith tells an amazingly accurate account of these events. For a New Yorker who went through these events I will say that for the first week after 9/11 it was like the entire state of New York closed. The schools were closed and the speculation of what happened and the enormity of it didn't sink in. No matter the outcome it is a glimpse of the people who were directly and indirectly connected to a loss or just mourning the New York that once was. Knowing that several of my family members worked there and were also involved in construction of the towers, it is something forever in our hearts,

I need to make mention of another character in particular that was Miguel. He was sort of a sub character but his story was wonderfully told. BRAVO to Faith I love her and I am such a fan girl I am blown away by this one. A must read!
Profile Image for Amanda.
75 reviews28 followers
September 11, 2013
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Unexpected, was well, an unexpected pleasure to read! I wound up reading it right in the wake of the anniversary of September 11th and I must say that Faith Sullivan, you truly are a gifted and talented writer!
You managed to take the events of that day and put to words what so many people felt. It was a refreshing look at such tragedy!

Now for the book, I love love loved it! The characters were beautifully written. Michelle, our female lead, is just starting out in college at NYU. She is within her first few weeks of school when the tragedy of 9/11 occurs. She winds up staying in her apartment, with no personal contact for quite some time. She didn't know anyone and then panic sets in. She winds up leaving school and her dreams behind to head back home to small town PA.While home, she decides to venture out to a party. She is bombarded by our main man, Connor, and he propositions her to go back to NYC and work for him. After some time they learn that the events of the day haven't just affected Michelle but they affected Connor as well. He works hard to help her and realizes that she is doing the same for him.

I loved the sense of hope in this book. The way that Ms. Sullivan has the ability to write Michelle's character and get the reader to feel along with her is truly something!

I highly recommend this book to all of my GR friends! Enjoy!
Profile Image for Hpitcher.
536 reviews
April 16, 2013
This book had potential that it didn't quite live up to for me. I expected so much more and while the story had a good idea to it, the relationship was not well developed.
Profile Image for Sandra "Jeanz".
1,149 reviews163 followers
August 22, 2013
MY INITIAL THOUGHTS (JEANZ)
After Faith contacting me and telling me that a % of the sales of this book is going to charity I was even more eager to read and review it. Having said that I will be treating the book like any other book I read and review in giving my honest opinion only. I do think it is great that Faith is giving money to such a fantastic cause. I have to say that it is a time in history no one will every forget, I can certainly remember watching it all happen on TV as I was getting ready for work that day. Then I remember going to work where it was all anyone could talk about, It was a very surreal experience. I have never visited the site but I can imagine the emotions it would invoke as I had an emotional reaction to just seeing it on TV.

MY REVIEW (JEANZ)
I received this e-book direct from the Author Faith Sullivan with the request for my review to appear on 10/9/2013 as I was previously booked that day I suggested the 11th which I think makes what Faith is attempting to do and the book all the more poignant. As with all my reviews it will be my honest opinion.
The is set just after the 9/11 attack and goes over the emotions and trauma people were going through after the drastic event. The book tells how Michelle watches the events and aftermath of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Even though Michelle is safely in her apartment blocks away from the incident she is traumatized by what she see's on TV and in the area outside her window. the people fleeing the incident and the aftermath of the terrible act. Where the wall of messages is. The place where people are leaving messages for lost loved ones. Michelle feels so distraught that she leaves her college place and returns home.
Whilst at home she meet a friend (Conner) of an ex-boyfriend who has a proposition for her. He'll help her overcome her fear of New York, by giving her a job in his pub Donnelly's, then once she'd settled down she can return to college. Michelle finally accepts as she would like to return and well . . . . Connor is rather good looking.
All seems to be decided and Connor seems a great guy, a great guy whose moods change really quickly for some reason. the reason? He too is suffering emotionally due to losing someone who was like a brother to him. Daniel, Connors friend was a firefighter. Daniel was one of the firefighters that responded to the emergency call to the Twin Towers.
Will there be a romance? There could be from Michelle's point of view, but Connor promised her parents not to make a "move" on whilst she was feeling vulnerable.
Who ends up helping who the most emotionally? Then there's a problem at the bar Donnelly's. Is Connor leaning too heavily and taking Michelle for granted? Has Michelle interfered or bit off more than she can cope with?
So did I enjoy the book? Yes, I normally avoid books to do with terrorism as I thing some books are apt to glorify it or give it more attention. This book however is just basically set around that time and tells a simply emotional, poignant tale of how people were affected by it all. the book is slower paced than I normally read, but with this story it works being a little slower. It's a very uplifting book, there's no downward spiral or intense tears, it really is a message that life goes on and the terrorists cannot and will not ever win. There's a feeling of camaraderie and kinship in the scenes described that are set at ground zero. The tragedy is not pushed down your throat it is part of the story being told.
Would I recommend the book? or those who love Faith Sullivan, or a great story where good triumphs over evil, a lovely romance and a poignant read yes! I recommended it to my mum to read and her review will also be shared on this blog. I read it all in one go too! Would I read another in this series? I think that this book is a standalone one. Would I read more books by Faith Sullivan? Definitely! I already have read the Heartbeat Series so far and intend to start to read the Take Me Now series.
Profile Image for Ashley.
Author 3 books44 followers
September 11, 2013
Absolutely, phenomenally written story about two 9/11 survivors, lost in their old life, but unable to find a new one. I can't even tell you much this story touched me. It is heartbreaking, but beautiful. I will be posting the rest of my review after it goes up on my blog on 9/11/13.

UPDATE (From my blog)

This book required a box of Kleenex to go with it, for me.

9/11 is a day I will never forget, even though I lived in a small town in the Midwest at the time. I can remember exactly where I was when I heard the news, as I'm sure many people can: walking out of the girls' locker room after P.E. in 9th grade. The rest of the school day kind of went by in a fog. Even though I didn't know anyone personally who was lost on that day, I will still forever be affected by it. I cannot imagine how those who were actually in New York at the time of the attack were able to cope and move forward after such an awful tragedy. I honestly can say that I don't think I would have been able to cope if I had been there. But let's see how these two main characters handle this exact situation.

Michelle Rhodes has only lived in New York for about two weeks when she wakes up one morning to a deafening rumble. She has no idea what it was that woke her up, but nothing seems to be amiss. That is, until she turns on the television, and reports that something has gone wrong in one of the towers of the World Trade Center. The reports continue to get worse and worse, and then, of course, the second tower was hit. Michelle is all alone, in a strange city, and then all transportation into and out of Manhattan is stopped...needless to say, Michelle is feeling entirely trapped, and scared out of her mind. Although she makes an attempt to stay in school, she just can't do it, and returns home. Michelle may never be the same.

We meet Connor a few months later, on New Year's Eve. Despite being perfect strangers, he has come to take Michelle back to NYC, offering her a job and a place to live. It takes a little convincing (and takes her parents a couple of months of convincing) to get Michelle to join Connor in New York, but she does it. Connor is a native to this great city, and to Michelle (and many others) he seems completely at ease, despite the tragic things that happened only a half a year before. But looks can be deceiving. In some ways, Connor was even more messed up by 9/11 than Michelle was.

When Michelle and Connor are living and working together, we can all tell that they are attracted to each other, and they like spending time together, but they are both fighting it for their own reasons. They are both so broken, and yet they could both help one another to be whole again, even if it's a different version of whole than they were prior to 9/11. Connor's motives to help Michelle grow a back bone and face her fears may be a tiny bit selfish, but mostly, he just wants what's best for her. Michelle eventually discovers just how much Connor lost on that fateful day, and she does everything she can to help Connor move on and truly start living again.

They are both trying to help the other, without helping themselves, and things look like they could work out between the two of them. But then Michelle makes a decision for the both of them, without even talking about it to Connor...she thinks what she is doing will help to 'fix' Connor, that her own sacrifice is worth it. But sacrificing herself is exactly the opposite of what Connor wants, and it could send him into a tailspin.

Will Michelle ever get over her fear of being in the city that changed her life forever? Will Connor convince Michelle that he truly loves her, and that they could be together? Or will Michelle's sacrifice for Connor backfire, and leave them both with their hearts shredded? I guess you'll have to read it yourself to find out! There is SO MUCH MORE to this story than meets the eye!
Profile Image for Sarika Patkotwar.
Author 4 books61 followers
May 20, 2013
I was looking forward to reading Unexpected, especially after seeing some great posts about it on author Faith Sullivan's blog, Faith Sullivan Writes. Faith is really one of the kindest authors I know and I was delighted when she generously sent me a copy of the book.
I must, however, admit that I was apprehensive about starting Unexpected. I wanted to read it as any normal New Adult Contemporary Romance, and not as a book written by my author friend and reading buddy because that leads to biases and favouritism which can come close to dishonesty. It turns out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about.
On it's own, Unexpected was an absolutely lovely story about healing wounds, slowly finding the path that leads to happiness and peace and unexpectedly finding love on the way.
Michelle Rhodes moves to New York from an almost non existent small American town to study at NYU. When the 9/11 attacks happen right under her nose, she bravely gives in to her fear and flees back to her home. That's where she meets Connor Donnelly, a New Yorker, who persuades her to go back to New York because he believes that facing her fear is the only way she can overcome it. He offers her a job and room at his bar and eventually, the two establish a splendid relationship. But obviously, like in any relationship, there are downs, hardships and twists and turns that come in the way.
Michelle was a great girl. Her vulnerability was actually very brave because it is tough to admit your own fears and face them. There were times when I didn't like what she did, especially her plan to leave without a sound. When seen from her point of view, what she did was much needed, but I just don't like silent escapes and so I couldn't digest it.
Connor, aside from appearing to be cocky and cocksure, was hot and a complete darling on the inside. His past was terribly emotional and I admired how, with persuaded help from others, he tried to fill the potholes in his life. He was arrogant and selfish, but that's what made him, him, and in the end, he fought his battle and accepted that what he wants isn't what others want. Connor was swoon-worthy with his hard attitude and soft nature.
Both Michelle and Connor had their own flaws, but then again, no one is perfect and being perfect is close to being boring. I loved how Connor set out to heal Michelle with help from her family and he ended up being the one who needed healing and Micelle healed him, with help from his friends and family. Although it was difficult for me to catch up with the slowly yet suddenly growing fondness and romance between them, I found myself smiling at the banter between the two and the sparks between them were hard to miss. Both of them were genuinely nice people who just wanted to help all those who they could help, particularly those who horribly suffered the aftermaths of 9/11.
It was nice to see how author Faith Sullivan, in a very clear and systematic way, put down the tremendous impact 9/11 had on the people, along with a subtle and sweet love story, keeping the emotions and feelings right in place. The author's writing is very clean and fresh. Michelle's voice was broad and pellucid.
Overall, Unexpected was a lovely read that combined two of the most significant aspects of life together- hard hitting reality and love. It was an emotional read that I devoured and very much liked reading from the starting until the very end.
Profile Image for Diana (Offbeat Vagabond).
362 reviews44 followers
September 3, 2013
Original review here: http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/2013/09/book-review-unexpected-by-faith-sullivan.html

Unexpected is an emotional story that follows a woman after being affected by September 11th. Michelle had her life set. She knew what she wanted to do and where she wanted to go. That all changes when getting ready to go to class, she sees the tragedy of the World Trade Center crumbling. Her life is turned upside down and she no longer has the energy to deal with life. She moves back to her parents, but ends up meeting a guy named Connor. Connor is a New York native who has been deeply affected by 9/11, but he doesn't want to see Michelle throw her life away. He offers to help her, but he is keeping his own pain hidden from her. Will they be able to help each other or will they cause each other even more pain?

Man, Sullivan has done it again! She always pours so much emotion into her books and this really will take you for an emotional spin. We see our main character, Michelle, and how 9/11 has affected her. She is a girl from a small town who has moved to the Big Apple. Her family is working hard to put her through school and she feels bad for leaving. But after 9/11, she doesn't have the drive or the focus. Connor has his own demons associated with 9/11 that he tries his best to hide from the world. I really liked the chemistry between these two when they start working together. Connor offers Michelle a place to work and live. They seem to constantly bump heads, but you can feel the attraction between them. But they are both to scared or stubborn to face their issues. They avoid them like the plague, Connor especially.

Not only are our main characters great, but I really enjoyed the side characters a lot as well. The people that Michelle and Connor work with put a smile on my face. I loved Emily and her tough attitude. She doesn't take crap from anyone. And there was Connor's friend, Miguel. He was quite the angel in this book. I loved him.

This book has done a great job focusing on the aftermath of 9/11. You find yourself thinking of where you were when it all took place. It was hard for me and I live in Florida. I couldn't imagine what it must have been like just living a few blocks away from the WTC at the time. Sullivan really captured the emotions well in this book. The book is a fast read, but it doesn't fall short of captivating you. This book is more than a romance, it is a read about two people who are lost and need to fix themselves before they can be together. People who need to heal on their own instead of sweeping their problems under the rug. Their demons are what holds them apart and I honestly thought they would keep them that way. You can see how right they are for each other if only they can crawl out of the dark places they are in.

Unexpected is a beautifully written book. I only wish it were longer so it could dive a little deeper. But it was fantastic for just under 200 pages. I won't lie, I did want to smack some sense into Michelle at some parts of the book. The way she reacted sometimes when Connor or school was concerned confused me. But near the end, she explains herself to someone then it all made sense. I got where she was coming from. I can't imagine what it must be like being with someone who uses you more like a crutch. You will feel for these characters though specifically Connor. I just wish the book was longer so that we could explore more of his side of things. This was a great book that was hard to put down. I look forward to reading more from Sullivan, she really knows how to suck you in. I am definitely hooked.
Profile Image for Kelly.
712 reviews51 followers
October 1, 2013
This book was hard for me to rate. It is a lot about grieving and overcoming the events of 9/11. I definitely handle stress and grief and loss differently than the 2 main characters, and many more who will read this book will deal with it in their own way. And yes, I remember exactly where I was when it happened and I watched it all from the comfort of my own home. So I tread carefully here.

I had to trudge through the beginning as it started off a little slow but the pace picked up and I started to really enjoy it.

Michelle goes to NYU. She has a plan for her life. She is away from home and has barely met people and has no one’s phone number yet when the events of 9/11 unfold and she witnesses it. She stayed in her apartment for a few days with no one to talk to. She tried to make it but she couldn’t and went home.

At home and on New Year’s Eve there was a party that she was talked into going to. She was at the door ready to turn around when she heard “Having Second Thoughts?” from a guy on the porch. He called her by name and she didn’t know who he was. Well as it turns out he has come to take her back to NY to deal with her grief. She would live above a bar and would have room and board and work in the bar below with the man who has come to take her there, Connor.

Connor is a few years older than her. He has taken over the family pub since his father had a heart attack. Connor has some secrets of his own. He seems very protective of Michelle. He runs hot and cold when it comes to her. He makes it clear though, that the two of them will never be a couple.

There is chemistry between the two. But when a kiss happens, he pushes her away and shuts her out even harder.

Come to find out, Connor is grieving too. His best friend, Danny was a firefighter who died in the World Trade Center (can’t remember if they shared which tower). But that’s not his only secret. I am not telling the rest though.

Michelle finally learns how to waitress with some mishaps. If she gets into trouble, Connor is there to protect her.

Michelle tries to go to Ground Zero on her own, but she wasn’t ready and had a panic attack and somehow found herself back at the bar.

There are so many secondary characters that really have an impact on their lives. There are others who have had to deal with all that occurred. Like the man, Miguel who works at Ground Zero every day in clearing the rubble and finding bodies. And the counselor that they see at the Y to help them. They all have major impacts on Michelle and Connor and vise versa.

Since they are both grieving and Connor isn’t always being forthcoming on all the secrets he holds, Michelle gets frustrated with him and makes some decisions that hurt Connor. But Michelle is hurting too and they both need each other.

They both have to overcome grief and learn to let each other in and decide what is best for each of them as individuals and if they are to ever to become a couple.

I shed a few tears reading Unexpected and loved the ending. This is a story with grief, loss, canoeing, museums, bus rides, train rides, family, friends, helping others to overcome, and finding love.
Profile Image for Lauren.
1,020 reviews103 followers
August 2, 2013
As soon as read the summary for Unexpected by Faith Sullivan, I knew I had to read it. For one, I loved Faith's previous books. Plus, the subject of 9/11 and its effects isn't something too many books go into, surprisingly enough. Thankfully, Unexpected was everything I had hoped it would be, and much, much more!

Unexpected starts a couple of days before 9/11. Michelle, a student at NYU, is about to start her first year of college, and she's just starting to get settled into it all. However, everything changes for her the morning the Twin Towers come crashing down. Suddenly, Michelle is scared to be in a city that's transformed before her very own eyes. Michelle runs to her hometown, vowing to never return to the city. However, everything changes the moment Connor walks into her life. As a lifetime New Yorker, Connor has seen the tragedy that the attack has caused right in front of him, and he's not about to let it claim another victim in Michelle. Dragging her back to the city with him, he plans to get her back on track by having her face her fears while also helping her figure out what to do next. However, as Michelle and Connor are about to learn, not everything can be expected....

From the first page, I was instantly hooked by Michelle's story. She was an ordinary, everyday character, and that's what made her story so intriguing I think. She was just somebody who been affected by a terrible event and didn't know how to move on with her life. Faith made her fears and feelings about the event come right off the page and come to life while at the same time presenting it in a realistic way. It was always interesting to see Michelle transform as the story progressed into somebody strong and willing to stand up for what she believed in, no matter the price. One of the biggest reasons for this transformation was Connor, her hero in the form of a young bar owner. Sarcastic and blunt, Connor gave Michelle a run for her money more times than one, but at the same time, he helped her as she did him. What I liked most about him, though, was how Faith made his character so developed. There certainly was a lot more than meet the eye to say the least.

The plot in this was also well done. As mentioned before, I was first attracted to this story based on the 9/11 story line, and I have to say, Michelle did a great job in presenting it. I loved how easily she feel back into that era. She made the New York scenes jump of the page and come to life all while keeping them realistic, like any little character or part in this book could have happened in any New Yorkers post 9/11 life. I also enjoyed the addition of Connor's bar. It added some comic relief to a mostly serious story. Plus it introduced some of my favorite side characters. Lastly, the relationship between Connor and Michelle was great. I loved seeing how everything developed between them.

In all, Unexpected is yet another fantastic book by Faith! Oh, and the ending? ADORABLE!

Grade: B+
Profile Image for Sara Strand.
1,143 reviews33 followers
October 3, 2013
I've read other books by Faith and I really like her. I just do. I've emailed her a few times and she's the kind of gal you just want to have coffee with and talk about the chunky girl wearing white leggings as pants in the coffee shop. So anytime I get to review a book of hers I get excited because I have high expectations.

And I haven't been disappointed.

What I love about her books is that they aren't super long, they aren't drawn out, and you don't have all of this extra fluff and all you have is the story. And she always has normal, flawed, human characters. These are people you have in your life right now. They face actual problems and the things they deal with are things that are legitimate issues.

Take Connor and Michelle. Connor is a business owner not far from the World Trade Center who lost his best friend on 9/11. He struggles to cope with the loss of someone he considered a brother. Michelle, alone in the city for the first time on her own, freaks out and can no longer handle any of it. She goes back home and in a weird coincidence of fate, Connor and Michelle connect in her hometown. He convinces her to give New York City a try again and offers to give her a job at his bar and let her live upstairs with him until she can get on her feet. Enter mutual attraction, and you've got a romance just bursting to happen but neither are emotionally in any kind of shape to go there.

I really liked this because Michelle is the type of person I hate. I should say strongly dislike. But she's the girl who never really strikes out on her own, isn't ever independent, is basically scared of what's out there. She's the girl who marries her high school sweetheart right out the gate, she's the girl who refuses the thought of going away for college, she's the girl who can't live on her own. These girls are annoying. They make me shake my fist in the name of feminism and want to shake them silly and say, DO THESE THINGS. Do all of these things because you won't understand what you are made of until you do.

And Connor. Swoon. We all want to be the girl who fixed the boy, don't we? Admit it. We read these books with flawed boys and think we could be the ones who guide them to the light and they fall head over heels for us. I won't judge, I'm right there with you.

But Michelle and Connor are perfect for each other. They really are. They both suffered a loss that day, and they kind of need each other to get through it and get to the next stage of life. Except they can't do it under the guise of "If I fix them, I'm fixing me." It never works that way, and that's Connor's lesson here.

I flew through this book in a couple of hours and you will too. It's good, it's light, and it's not smutty. I know some of you don't like the smutty (I'm a fan, don't judge), but this one is good. You'll like it.
Profile Image for Roni Guzman.
251 reviews11 followers
October 4, 2013
I read this book in one night. This was a different type of love story which it makes it better since it's not like all other books. The story takes place during the 9/11 attacks in NY when the WTC were hit. Michelle is a new college student studying at NYU in her first semester when the attacks happen. She doesn't really know anybody at all since she hasn't made any friends because school just started. This is the sad part. She lives alone in a small apartment that her parents are struggling to pay for her because they want her to have the best. They are very good parents. Anyways the attacks happen after Michelle is in a city where she knows nobody and can't get in contact with anybody because cell phones weren't working. She stayed in her apartment for three days all by herself without knowing what was happening. The solitude of being alone in a big city where a horrible tragedy took place which affected the city and the whole country, she decides to go back home to her parents. When she leaves she doesn’t know what she had planned for the future.

After being home for a while she dropped out of school and ends up on anxiety medications along with depression. Her family is worried about her as well as her friends. Michelle's ex-boyfriend and she are still friends. He introduces her to this guy Connor. Connor is very Alpha male and basically said she needs to come back to New York with him and to move on. She was livid because she didn't even know this guy. He offered her a place to live and a job at a pub that he owns. She is very hesitant as to why he is so willing to help her and doesn't even know her. Finally after thinking it over she decides to take him up on his offer. They become very close as the months go by. Michelle develops feelings for Connor but he makes it clear that he is just her friend and her boss. So she accepts it and tries to start dating. Connor keeps saying he doesn't have feelings for her but he becomes very jealous. Another concern for him is the age difference. It’s not huge but Connor believes Michelle is too young for him. However, we all know that we can’t help who we fall in love with.

There are some secrets that Connor is hiding and Michelle is determined to find out what they are because these secrets are apparently painful for him. She sees the pain in his eyes. I love how Michelle is determined to help Connor. But will this be enough? Read the book and you will enjoy a wonderful love story like no other. I'm glad I was given the chance to provide an honest review, and I think that this is one of the best Faith has written. Honestly, I like anything Faith writes.
Profile Image for Angie Elle.
857 reviews98 followers
September 21, 2014
***This book was provided but the author in exchange for an honest review.***

I want to start off by saying that I love the 9/11 backdrop for this story. Everyone remembers where they were the moment they received the news of the events taking place.

There were some sweet parts to this story, and a few moments of insight that you felt were just for you.

There’s an unspoken intimacy in the a, sense of being where you’re supposed to b with the person you’re supposed to be with. It’s like a puzzle piece being pressed into the exact right spot with all it’s jagged edges securely fitting into place.

Unfortunately, I felt like everything happened too quickly. All of a sudden, Michelle was in love with Connor. There was no moment of revelation and no build up, just one moment she was crazy about him, and he was crazy about her. I wish we could have seen it happen instead of being told it had happened.

Michelle was very immature and selfish, and she really stuck her nose in places it didn’t belong.



I think there were times when Connor was immature, too, but he wasn’t manipulative like Michelle was.

I think this story could have used a lot more fleshing out. The descriptions of physical things around them were very nice, but there really was a limited amount of description regarding the feelings between the characters. There were times when it felt more like ‘framework’ as opposed to a finished story. More information would have made a lot of difference for this story.

There was a lot of potential here, but it was lacking development.
Profile Image for Tiffany .
156 reviews102 followers
October 1, 2013
Everyone has their own story when it comes to 9/11. It's something that no matter where you were or what you were doing at the time, you remember every minute of that morning. Unexpected is Michelle Rhodes' story. It's her first year of college and she is living alone in New York City when tragedy strikes. Even though she didn't know anyone who died that day and was a few miles away, she is still having trouble dealing with it. She leaves school and goes home to Pennsylvania to her parents.

Then she meets Connor Donnelly. He offers her a job and a place to live in order to get her back into the city. He is struggling with 9/11 in his own way and wants to help Michelle get over her fears. But soon Michelle and Connor find themselves in a tangled relationship and she doesn't know where to turn. Is she strong enough to face her fears and help Conner face his?

Michelle's story was one that I understood and connected with immediately. Even though I wasn't in New York on 9/11 and didn't know anyone personally that was killed, it still affected me greatly. In fact, I still get nervous when I see planes flying low to the ground on their way to the air force base nearby. I don't think this will ever change. So even though Michelle wasn't directly involved, I could still understand her fears.

I admit I had a hard time liking Connor at first. He came off as cocky and demanding and I couldn't understand why Michelle was so attracted to him. Even though he was her boss at the bar, he seemed to think he ruled her life and tried to control her outside of work too. It took me a while to warm up to him, some of the things he did just threw me off.

Eventually though, I came around and started liking him more as his story came to light. He was hurting just as badly as Michelle, even more so, actually, and he was having a hard time dealing with his loss. Did he make the best decisions? Absolutely not, but I began to understand them.

Unexpected was a very emotional read with a very heavy topic. What I liked most about this story was that it didn't make me feel like people who weren't immediately affected by the events of 9/11 were wrong to feel the same as those that were. Everyone was affected in their own way and needs to grieve in their own way too.

Overall, this was a quick, heartfelt story of love, loss and moving forward. I highly recommend Unexpected to anyone and everyone, especially those still dealing with the events of 9/11.
Profile Image for Dawn Smith.
188 reviews15 followers
September 9, 2013
I was given this book to read by the author in exchange for an honest review.

It would take a much harder heart than mine to not be affected by this book.

Unexpected starts off with Michelle, a Pennsylvania native, now living and attending college in New York City in 2001. It is just another ordinary day in her life when she watches the September 11th terrorist attacks unfolding on her television. The description of the attacks and Michelle’s reaction were so realistic that I felt that I was back there on that day. The author describes the aftermath, confusion, terror, and death that gripped NYC on that day to a T.

Michelle decides that she can no longer deal living on her own in a city that is no longer safe and familiar to her so she moves back to Pennsylvania where she meets Connor, who is managing his father’s bar and dealing with dark issues of his own.

The pair seem to be direct opposites. Michelle is a sweet, almost shy, nervous sort of person while Connor is more gruff and serious. But somehow the couple works. They help to heal each other. I loved how everything wasn’t sticky sweet and their path wasn’t easy. It just added so much to the story. I appreciated their struggles and how hard each had to fight to get to a place where they could feel loved. The author gives the main characters very rich, in depth personalities. Each are desperate for each other but the past and their own self incriminations hold them back.

I absolutely loved the pacing and buildup in this book. When I did reach the ending it was such a payoff. This is the first book that I have read that deals with a young adult’s reaction to the events of 9/11. Kudos to the author for picking such heavy subject matter and not dumbing it down but letting us remember the pain and loss of that day., I appreciated the fact that these characters did not feel healed overnight. That they struggled with the guilt of surviving and pain and loss.

Unexpected is a marvelous book. The characters and the plot all had such a depth to them. Michelle and Connor felt like people I would know and people that I would hang out with. And I am very grateful to the author for letting me tag along on their journey of healing and love.

My favorite quote from the book was when Connor said, “I never thought I’d be happy again. But I am.” I think that sums up everything perfectly.

5 out of 5 stars from me.
Profile Image for Lissette.
Author 23 books104 followers
September 19, 2013
When she first moved to New York City, Michelle Rhodes never once imagined just how much her life would change. Determined to make her parents proud, she's done her best to fit in at school while striving to be the best she can be. Sadly, not everything everything is hunky-dory. Never-the-less, she's vowed to see things through the very end.

Her life takes a different turn when the twin towers are bombed on the eve of September 11. In the blink of an eye, she finds herself at a loss as to who she is, and what she wants to do with her life. The unimaginable pain she feels inside is something she can't rid herself of, much to her parents chagrin. It's not that she doesn't want to. It's just that she's still reeling from the chaos of having been so close to the terrorist attacks.

Deep inside, Michelle feels as if she's unable to cope with the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. It's hard to grasp just how many lives were lost that day. When she's unexpectedly presented with a chance to make something of herself, and start anew, she begins to wonder as to whether she's doing the right thing. It's hard to pick up where she left off, but she's willing to give things a try, none-the-less.

The fact that she's not alone in New York helps her to move along. To live each day as it comes. Connor has been her rock, even if she won't admit it to herself. He's the one that's kept her grounded amidst the chaos she calls life. Although everything seems to be going well, she hasn't quite forgotten the events that caused her break down in the first place. If she's to move on completely, and find the happiness that's lurking just around the corner, she'll need to confront the demons that continue to plague her at every turn.

Heart-wrenching and bittersweet, Unexpected is one of those stories that will touch your heart in many ways. While this is a work of fiction based on the September 11 attacks, everyone all around the world will vividly remember what happened in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania that day.

Faith was able to draw forth such emotions within the story itself that you find yourself vividly recalling what happened so long ago. I think she did a wonderful job in bringing forth a tale that will be read over and over by those of us who take a moment to truly open this book. Unexpected will pull you in, and keep you so engrossed in the story that by the time you get to the end you'll wonder as to whether there is more. It's that good!
Profile Image for Laurie Treacy.
Author 58 books88 followers
October 21, 2013
(From a blog tour stop: http://www.readergirlsblog.com/2013/0...)
(My rating: 3.5) Unexpected by Faith Sullivan is a fast-paced contemporary New Adult romance which sucked me in and flew by so quickly I couldn't believe the story ended. Michelle is a reserved, shy young girl, an only child, shielded and protected by her country life and loving parents. They want more for her than they had and pay for her expensive shoe box of an apartment so she can attend NYU. Michelle is intelligent, an overachiever, and pretty much alone as her first semester gets underway. Then tragedy strikes. Monumental tragedy our country had never seen before. Michelle lives nearby to the Twin Towers and as she's getting ready for class, she turns on the TV and stares in horror at the unfurling events. For days after, she first locks herself away in her place, then walks the city streets in a daze.

She can't concentrate. She can't handle being in the city. She flees and goes home, failing for the first time in her life. Enter Connor. Strong, rugged, handsome, in your face, a city guy with a big heart. He treats Michelle like a lost cause, understanding her struggle more than she knows. He gets her to return to the city and reclaim her life. And during all of this, feelings for each other surface.

Unexpected seemed to go by in a flash. I didn't mind the shorter length since it was easy to fill in the missing pieces as the story progressed. There were instances of Michelle revealing too much information I would have preferred actually seeing play out. Her relationship with Connor moves quickly and I would have liked a little more background on each character. What the author gave us was a love story told with the frenzied pace of city life. The scene at the support group was deeply moving and exposed Conner's character more. Many people were affected by the events of 9/11, including me, a New Yorker. Michelle's fight to reclaim her life and Conner's need to help her and help himself was conceivable and poignant.

Author Faith Sullivan is an author to watch in the crowded New Adult genre. Unexpected was exactly that, an unexpected treat. Though short, the story packed emotion and a growing love story in what seems like a loving homage to the city which never sleeps.
854 reviews46 followers
August 6, 2013
4.5 stars

I have recently discovered New Adult author Faith Sullivan and have made it my mission to read all of her work. I adore her Heartbeat series, and while I wait for book three, the conclusion to the series, to be released in October, I'm reading all of her other books.

I really, really liked Unexpected. The book starts with Michelle, new to college at NYU, witnessing the events of 9/11. She's all alone in New York, completely new to the city, and knows no one. She is so terrified and shaken after the terrorist bombings that she returns home to her parents.

Unexpectedly, she meets Connor at a friend's party. Connor hires Michelle to waitress at his bar in New York, and offers her a room in his apartment above the bar. Michelle accepts his offer, desperate to get away from her well-meaning but overbearing parents and hoping to get over the events of 9/11.

There is a constant attraction between Connor and Michelle but nothing happens between them for what felt like forever (for me). I liked the slow build to their relationship and the fact that they were friends first.

My favorite part of Unexpected was how Connor and Michelle deal with the emotional trauma of being in New York on 9/11. That made the book very affecting and moving for me. Like everyone else, I still remember where I was when I heard the news, and it's something I'll never forget. Unexpected is not a book about 9/11, it's about how two people come to terms with their experience and loss. I thought Sullivan did a great job with both Michelle and Connor's emotional recovery.

I loved the way the book ended, it was not what I was expecting would happen, but it was perfect for the story. I was so happy to have closure: that's something I love about stand-alone novels. I highly recommend Unexpected, and all of Faith Sullivan's work!
Profile Image for Mikki D.
600 reviews80 followers
November 21, 2013
Unexpected by Faith Sullivan was an amazing read. It's a story about loss, love and hope. It's not easy to go back and watch or discuss the events that took place on 9/11. Many of us remember that day like it was yesterday. In Unexpected, we follow Michelle and Connor's lives after that tragic day. This book is inspirational. No matter how hard it is to go on, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Michelle and Connor meet unexpectedly when fate brings them together. It was meant to be that these two individuals had to overcome their fears together. When Connor brings back Michelle to NYC, he is willing to do whatever it takes to make her feel safe again. What he didn't expect was to be put on the spot and come face to face with his own demons. As days go by and Michelle and Connor get closer, the walls that they have put up because of their fears are coming down slowly one by one.

Awwww!!! This story was so emotional! Not everybody deals the same way with loss. Michelle did not lose any family members that day, but she did see her world turn upside down when for a couple of days she was left alone and afraid. Connor on the other side is having a hard time dealing with the loss of his best friend Danny. It was beautiful to see how these two characters helped one another. Many times in our darkest moments we always look for that sign that will guide us through these difficult times. For them that sign was each other. It was really hard to read some parts of the book without getting all chocked up.

This story is really sweet and heart-warming. It's fast-paced and the connection with the main characters is instant. You can feel what both Michelle and Connor are going through. Love blooms in the most unexpected way sometime.

I give Unexpected by Faith Sullivan, 4 sweet, romantic, heart-warming, emotional stars! Fantastic work by Faith Sullivan!
Profile Image for April.
233 reviews4 followers
September 5, 2013
Michelle and Connor gave us a look at the many emotions that surfaced after 9/11 and showed the reader that trauma of every kind-not just childhood trauma-can have a both devastating and awesome consequences as the individual finds a way to heal. I know many people went through much worse than either of these characters and my heart goes out to each and every one of them. I hope that each has found support and is able to some day achieve a measure of peace. One of the things I appreciated about this book is that two unique perspectives of the same life-altering event are present and it shows the reader how different a reaction and an experience can be. I think it is a good reminder for us not to assume that we know what someone else is dealing with or feeling simply because we have dealt with something similar. As for the characters themselves, I enjoyed both Michelle and Connor, but I have to admit that I would have liked to have a little more of Connor's personality and side of the story. Adding his POV would have really brought me to a 5 star rating. I think it was difficult to understand him at times because we were mostly seeing him through the eyes of others. I liked and understood Michelle. She had a heart, but made mistakes and had to find a way to fix them. She also struggled to make big decisions rather than just jumping in and hoping for the best by the end which showed that she had changed and was becoming a different person with different goals. Overall, I enjoyed the book, the characters, and the fact that the story made me think.

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Amanda Munes.
76 reviews2 followers
August 27, 2013
********** I received this book from the author for an honest review **********

First let me start by sending my sympathies to all effected by 9/11.

I really enjoyed this book . I however did NOT like where the kids were saying Allah and talking about what happened. I'm hoping it wasn't meant to be racist but it seemed so. While 9/11 was a terrorist attack not all Muslims or Arabic people are terrorists, I by the way an Christian not that it matters but I do not care for simple minded thinking.

In this book we find a country girl trying to make it in the big apple. Being new and not really having a support system in place in New York Michelle found herself completely devastated by what she saw with the events from 9/11. She ended up going home unable to cope with the city life and demons that haunt it. Connor who is devastated due to a loss coaxes her back to the never sleeping city. She lives with him and works for him. While living with a hot older guy seems great, is it? Can they co mingle? Will his lifestyle be a deal breaker? Can they be friends or is there more? Can they save each other or cut the rope?

While seeing their ups and downs it brings a reality of the events of that day and on. Most people like me remember where we were when we found out, but it really hasn't affected our day to day living. This book kind of opens that wound a shows outsiders like myself that their is still a lot of healing to go emotionally. I hope this book can help others how struggle with coping and move forward rather than stand still.

I recommend this book to all there is sex sciences but its not erotica in any way. This is a great read!!!

Happy reading :)
Profile Image for Jess.
157 reviews1 follower
December 22, 2013
This was such an emotional read for me and it took me signifigantly longer to review than most books I read. Everyone knows where they were on 9/11. The feelings of loss and pain and fear hit everyone, regardless of what part of the country they were in.
For Michelle, she was 2 miles away from ground zero. It was her first time away from home, first time going to the "big city" for college. The first chapter exposes just how scared and helpless a young woman can be. Not surprisingly Michelle needed to go home, away from college and NYC. Eventually she sinks into such a depression that an intervention happens. Her friend's roommate's brother needs help as well. Connor offers her a job, a place to live, and friendship. He wants to show her that NYC isn't all bad, that there are good parts and people in his city. What quickly becomes obvious is that Connor has another reason for needing Michelle in his life. He needs her as much if not more than she needs him. Can 2 people so completely broken "fix" and heal each other? How can you save someone if you aren't on steady ground to begin with?

What stuck with me about this book was the honesty, fear and emotion you felt from Michelle. Connor was harder to understand, a bit less clear. At times it felt a bit disjointed the way the relationship between Michelle & Connor happened. Then I realized this was 2 people who were deeply impacted and affected by PTSD. They wouldn't think clearly, react normally. This book reminded me to be thankful for how far we have come as a society regarding PTSD and mental health.

I will be looking for other works by this author.
October 8, 2013
I went into this book thinking I would like it and I really did.
After reading the blurb I had a general idea of what the book would be about but the true story of it was totally unexpected (pun intended) and beautiful.
We get to meet Connor and Michelle who are both struggling in the aftermath of one unforgetteble day in their lives.
I really liked both of their charachters and they where easy to feel with. I sometimes had a bit of trouble to relate to Michelle since it felt that she just ran from her problems instead of just working through them. She ran home to mom and dad instead. But...who am I to judge? I was not there so... I can´t even imagine what I would do in a situation like that. I just know that I feel for all of those who where.
Connor really was Michelles rock even though he had even worse problems than Michelle. He made her want to take care of her problems and in return Michelle was able to help him.

This book was moving and emotional and really gave me more insight. It was the first of it´s kind for me to read so it was interesting aswell. Faith has a way with words which makes it so well written.

The only thing that I can complain about was the love story between Michelle and Connor.
It felt like some parts where missing in it. It felt like they went from friends with some attraction between them to saying the L word in a jiffy and I would have loved if it would have been more about how they got there.

I can really recommend this book for anyone really!
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