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Story of Us

(Love Unexpected #3)

by
4.10  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Declan James has been Brockton Point’s most ineligible bachelor––happy with his short-term relationships and focusing on his business. But now that his closest friends have found their happily-ever-afters, he can’t help but wonder what that might be like. And then Sophia Strombi shows up on his doorstep.

Sophia’s life is––well there’s no other word for it––a mess. She’s gra
...more
ebook, 365 pages
Published March 18th 2019 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Amara)
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  58 ratings  ·  48 reviews


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D.M.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sophia has returned to her home town after a bad break-up. Her boss was also her boyfriend and when things went bad she lost everything that was keeping her away from home. Sophia may have moved back to town, but she’s not ready to face her family just yet. Declan is a friend of her brothers and a long term crush. She needs a job but what she finds is a place to call home.

Declan is ready to settle down, the problem is he’s only had short term relationships for so long he’s afraid nobody will ta
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AJ
3.5 stars

This is a seriously swoony read – a brother’s best friend romance with a great twist, and a determined romantic hero that will sweep you off your feet!

This is the third book in the Love Unexpected series, but it is my first read by this author. The characters from the previous books are a part of this story, but the book can easily read this as a standalone.

Sophia left her home town and her controlling family ten years ago to attend college and make something of herself, following her
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Bookgasms Book Blog
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shelly
One of the things I’ve come to love the most about Jody Holford’s books is that she consistently delivers more than a love story. I mean, the love story is there – don’t get me wrong – and it is lovely. But the threads of the story weave a more complicated tapestry of richly layered family dynamics, friendships, and really…just this whole package of warm, engaging relationships.

But also? That lovely, lovely romance.

And this one was a bit of a surprise for me. Things didn’t play out the way I ex
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Alison
Sophia Strombi returns to her hometown after her business and personal lives implode spectacularly. She hasn't been home for 10 years after the weight of her family's expectations about her role in the family restaurant led her to run far, far away. Now she's back and begging her older brother Marcus's BFF Declan James for a job in his bar.

Declan James was that boy in high school and hasn't changed as a grown man. A bad boy with a cute smile and a smoking hot body he has reputation as a ladies m
...more
Claire Scott
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another winner from Jody Holford. I absolutely loved Declan...he has quickly become my favourite hero she has ever written. We met Declan in the last two books in the series and Sophia was a perfect match. Not only was the love story beautifully written but there was so much more to this story. Sophia’s relationship with her family was a big part of this book and I loved how Holford captured the frustration and hurt between them. This was an amazing read...congratulations
Isha Coleman
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Story of Us (Love Unexpected, #3) by Jody Holford  
 
There are some authors who know just where to strike to make a s direct connection with readers. Jody Holford is one of those authors. Story of Us stole my heart. Sophia and Declan are a beautiful mess in need of emotional healing. With baggage a mile wide and faith a yard back, hope seems not to be in their corner. Until fate sets it's sights on forever with these two wary hearts. Their journey feels a bit like walking on broken glass, the pai
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Ayekah
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Last man standing! Declan James, owner of On Deck, his friends have all found love and Dec is feeling a little left out and lonely. Feels like maybe he's missing something. That something walks through the door in the form of Sophie Strombi who needs a job. Sophia left town 10 years ago, determined not to fall into and under the family business and her over bearing father's thumb. Her brother and Declan are best friends. Sophie put herself through college, got a good job and was in a relationshi ...more
Morgan | Mashleas Reads
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
» 4 stars! «

The Story of Us was a very quick, easy to read and great romance between Declan and Sophia.

Sophia returns to her home after 10 years living away in another state. She's just recently lost her job and money and is looking for a fresh start. Enter Declan, her brothers best friend and local bar owner. He helps give her a job and somewhere to live. Sophia has some big family issues, mostly disagreeing with her father's wishes to work for the family business. This story was a wonderfully
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Bette Hansen
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Once again Jody Holford gives us an incredible story that is not only a sweet romance but a story that touches on family dynamics and the impact they have on each of us. Declan and Sophia are such an interesting couple and you can't help but cheer for them every step of the way. Declan is the proverbial bachelor type never having a long term relationship but now he's feeling like something is missing from his life. Sophia left town years ago, leaving the stronghold of her family and working hard ...more
Char (1RadReader59)
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ten years ago, at eighteen, Sophia Strombi left warmth, love, and security of the family she always knew. Under a cloud of darkness, anger, hurt, and bad feelings. All because she wanted to go away to college. Being from just not the way it is done.
So, Sophia did it anyway. Moving to Arizona putting her self through college. Receiving two masters one in marketing and in business. She gets a great job and meets a great guy.
So, she thought. Now she has made the decision that being away from hom
...more
Carolyn's
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this series and of course Jody Holford's writing. While the romance is the major focus of the book, the relationships of the friends and family are extremely important. Those relationships definitely shape our lives and make us the individuals we are.

Sophia being the youngest in an Italian family deeply rooted in tradition feels suffocated by her overbearing parents. It's not asked or alluded to that you would join the family business but downright expected. While Sophia has the utmost r
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Sonya Wasden
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Declan James was happy with his life. He owned his own pub/bar, On Dec. Life was good and he was single. He had been thinking that it might be time to settle down when the found the right woman. He had never done long-term relationships but his friends were happy in their relationships/marriages and he wanted that same kind of happiness for himself. He wasn't in a rush but now that he was in his early thirties, owned his own home ad business, it seemed like the right time.

Sophia Strombi left ho
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Didi
2.5 Stars

I was excited when Declan would finally get his story after witnessing (and mercilessly teasing) his friends in the previous two books of Holford’s “Love, Unexpected” series. Which is why it’s such a bummer that his book turned into a somewhat meh! read for me. It’s double whammy that I felt his love interest is the cause of that mehness. It really pained me to say that as I love strong heroine and Sophia was painted as an independent and hot headed one. Yet somehow, her family drama an
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S H E L L E Y
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it


Declan James has been Brockton Point’s most ineligible bachelor—happy with his short-term relationships and focusing on his business. But now that his closest friends have found their happily-ever-afters, he can’t help but wonder what that might be like. And then Sophia Strombi shows up on his doorstep.
Sophia’s life is—well there’s no other word for it—a mess. She’s grateful to have some work at her brother’s best friend’s bar, and a place to stay. Since she’s working hard to get her life back o
...more
Tara Peters
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Declan and Sophia were two amazing characters that had me rooting for them from beginning to end. Sophia is home after being away for ten years. She has a secret and has always felt like the disappointment in her family. She wants to mend fences, but her family is stubborn and they all make it difficult. When she applies for a job at Declan's bar, she believes this is the first step in proving she isn't a complete mess up. Declan has been changing over the last year. He used t ...more
Paula
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Story of Us is a complicated story of romance, life and all that can happen. Declan and Sophia fit together but family, friendship and past events keep that from being a smooth ride for either of them. Declan best friend’s little sister has returned home and needs a job. That is nopart of the book description and the beginning chapter of the story. From there the story takes twists and turns that are not expected from how the book begins. It is still a growing-but-once-small-town romance but not ...more
Brittany (The Crafty Engineer's Bookshelf)
Story of Us is book 3 in the Love Unexpected series. I have been impatiently waiting to get my hands on Declan's story and it was even better than I had hoped. 

Declan is a known player. He usually only spends one night with a woman and that's always been enough for him. After his friend, Adam, marries Megan, Declan starts to want a real relationship. He doesn't expect to feel such a magnetic pull from Sophia, especially since they've known each other for years and she's his other best friend's l
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Kristie
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
** I received an ARC of this from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

The best known bachelor of Brockton Point is Declan James. Declan is more than happy with his short relationships and working towards his career aspirations with no one in the way. Just as he is questioning if he wants his life to be all about business and if he's missing something, that something shows up on his doorstep in the form of Sophia Strombi.

Sophia is a hot mess though. She is just gratefu
...more
Christy B
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
I. Loved. These. Two! I thought they were fabulous. Sophia "ran" away from home when she turned 18 - but did she really? According to the locals - particularly her family - she did. And now she's back. Declan isn't sure what to think - he knows his best friend has never really forgiven his baby sister for leaving. But as he grows closer to Sophia he realizes that maybe she wasn't running away, just chasing her dreams - chasing what she wanted. Unfortunately, her family is very reluctant to come ...more
Fizza
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is a sweet and sad kind of story and I enjoyed reading it a lot. Dec and Sophe are both great characters. Sophia is an independent and stubborn woman who doesn't like it when others tell her what to do. She had left home right after school and has been living on her own since then. It is something not acceptable in her family and that has caused her family to be disappointed in her. Now, she is back in her home town. Ready to pick up the pieces of her life but also scared of how her family wi ...more
Lori
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful story about acceptance, family, making amends, and love! Let's start with Declan. Seriously, could a man be more perfect. Yes, he is flawed, as we all are, but his heart was always in the right place. The overwhelming urge to know Sophia, then to support her, love her, then to make her his, and showing her all this was so amazing. And for him to be a little insecure about all this, swooning over him for sure. Now for Sophia. I could totally understand her reasons for leaving at ...more
Becky
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, contemporary
Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 3/22/19.

>i?Story of Us is perhaps my favorite of the series…so far!

I loved Declan and Sophia’s story. Sophia’s “secret” takes a while to reveal–there are clues along the way, but Ms. Holford doesn’t hit readers over the head with them. It definitely adds one heck of a wrinkle to their journey to an HEA, though, and certainly helps out with the apparent goal of putting readers through the wringer… 😉

(Tears! The last line of the epilogue brought me to tear
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Cara Ross
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
When Sophia Strombi left Brockton Point, she left to experience life and become her own person, but in doing that she instantly became the black sheep of the family, just because she didn’t follow their rule of staying in the family business and living her life as they dictated to her.

But now she is back and with a big secret, but rather than going back home and being swallowed up by her overwhelming family, she gets a job at her brother's best friends Declan‘s pub and is trying to start again.
...more
Becky Wise
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Story of Us is such a wonderful read. I highly enjoyed this one. Sophia is back home after trying to live her own life outside the family business. She has a lot of bridges to mend within her family. I love her strength throughout everything in this one. She is one strong and stubborn cookie with a huge heart. You will absolutely love Sophia's connection with Declan. Declan may be her brothers best friend but the electricity they give off is felt as you read this. I love Declan so much. He is sw ...more
Kari Hansen
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s been ten years since Sophia left her hometown to pursue her dreams for the future rather than her family’s dreams for her future. After the demise of both her career and her relationship she heads home to pick up the pieces.

Declan is Sophia’s brother’s best friend and when he sees Sophia again, he sees her as a woman not just his friend’s pesky sister and offers her a job at the pub he owns. Sophia had a crush on Declan when she was younger and now that he has finally noticed her she is con
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Stacy Ross
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of Story of Us by Jody Holford to read and review. Jody herself reached out to me and I’m glad she did. I fell in love with the story line and the characters, and being Canadaian, especially loved the mention of a Canadian favorite in the story. Declan and Sophia were the perfect couple. Both are stubborn as a mule and when they finally gave in and became a couple it was perfect.
I’m sad to see this sorry end, I loved reading this book and watching Declan and Sophia’s story unf
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Melena Torretta
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, netgalley-arcs
Jody Holford's Love Unexpected series is so much fun to read! After I really enjoyed the first two books I was excited to read about Declan and Sophia.

After seeing a couple of his friends fall in love, Declan feels like he's ready to find the one for him. It was fun seeing him in that frame of mind from the get go. Especially since he struggles with should it be Sophia from the first time they reconnect in the very beginning of the book.

While Sophia wasn't blameless in her struggles to connect w
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Diane McConnell
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Awesome book to read!

Sophia Strombi has finally moved back to her hometown because she lost her job and fiancé and wanted to mends fences with her family. Sophia needed a job and On Dec owned by Declan James needed a manger for his bar. Sophia wasn’t sure about working for her brother’s best friend but when Declan hired Sophia, things started to change because Declan had dated around and Sophia wasn’t sure what she wanted. And she needed to straighten out her relationship with her family first.

N
...more
Laura
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
I loved the first two books in this series but Declan and Sophia's story is on a whole other level!

Dec is so funny and charming. Watching him fall to his knees for Sophia was beautiful to watch. He went from being a bit of a player to being one of the swooniest heros I've read in a long time. Sophia is smart and fiercely independent. It was heartbreaking to watch her family turn away from her for just being herself but her strength was palpable.

I was immediately connected to these two and was
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Katrina Berry
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Story of Us by Jody Holford is Book 3 of the Love Unexpected series. While this book is part of a series it can be read as a standalone. This was the first of the series I had read and I had no issues following along.

So much sweetness in this one ya’ll...beware of cavities j/k. Honestly this read was spot-on perfection. Nailed it Ms. Holford...

Please note that an ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review of which this is both honest and completely voluntary.
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Other books in the series

Love Unexpected (3 books)
  • Let It Be Me (Love Unexpected, #1)
  • Never Expected You (Love Unexpected, #2)
“You don’t seem all that affected to me.”
… “I’m not allowed to be.” Her words went breathy. Declan clenched his hands into fists. Do not touch her. “After all, you don’t fu--- mess around with employees. Plus, I have the added hands-off bonus of you being friends with my brother. I’m sure you don’t see me that way.”
Jesus. She couldn’t be more wrong. He stared at her lips. “I shouldn’t. But trust me, I see you, Sophe.”
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“Pressing his forehead to hers, he closed his eyes and just absorbed everything she was making him feel. Fuck. He’d done more in three days than he had in a lifetime. 0 likes
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