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In the Unlikely Event

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From #1 Amazon Bestseller L.J. Shen comes a new, star-crossed lovers romance about loss, love, and meeting The One when you are too young to know how to keep them.

Sometimes you meet people who are out of this world, so you make them a part of yours.

A one-night stand born from vengeance in a foreign land.
An explosive chemistry neither of us could deny.
We signed a contract on the back of a Boar’s Head Pub napkin that said if we ever met again, we would drop everything and be together.
Eight years and thousands of miles later, he’s here.
In New York.
And he’s America’s music obsession.
The intangible Irish poet who brings record executives to their knees.
The blizzard in my perfect, unshaken snow globe.
Last time we spoke, he was a beggar with no intention of becoming a king.
But a king he became, and now I’m his servant.
I’m not the same broken princess Malachy Doherty put back together with his callused hands.
I have a career I love.
A boyfriend I adore.
An apartment, a roommate, a life.
I changed. He changed, too.
But Mal kept the napkin.
Question is, will I keep my word?

338 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 12, 2019

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About the author

L.J. Shen

56 books43.8k followers
L.J. Shen is USA Today, WSJ, Washington Post and #1 Amazon Kindle Store bestselling author of contemporary romance books.

She writes angsty books, unredeemable anti-heroes who are in Elon Musk's tax bracket, and sassy heroines who bring them to their knees (for more reasons than one).

HEAs and groveling are guaranteed.


She lives in Florida with her husband, three sons, and a disturbingly active imagination.


Keep up with L.J. on all platforms:
Newsletter Sign up ➜ https://bit.ly/3LhsIrb
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TikTok ➜ shorturl.at/frw59
Facebook➜ https://goo.gl/fKCSo4
Website ➜ www.authorljshen.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,218 reviews
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
1,987 reviews11.7k followers
November 20, 2019
5 STARS
All is fair in love and war, and I'm certainly prepared for battle

This book came out of left field and slapped me over the head with all of the feels. This is so completely different from anything I've read by LJ to date. A unique and angsty emotional roller coaster that was addictive from beginning to finish.

If there's one thing that I've come to expect from LJ Shen, it's her knack for the unexpected, and ITUE was definitely unexpected. If you're fans of second chance romance that offers up angst with a splash of humor, this will deliver on all fronts.

Malachy Doherty came into Rory's life like a silent storm. She didn't see him coming. They shared a steamy short-lived romance and a promise on a napkin that would be put to the test years later when they crash into each other's worlds again. Malachy was an enigma that I couldn't get enough of. He goes from sweet and enigmatic to aloof and cruel in the span of the eight years they spent apart. But when he sees Rory again, it doesn't matter that she has a new life and a boyfriend. He's determined to make her hold up her end of the bargain that she signed away on a napkin in a pub years ago. If they see each other again, all bets are off.

In The Unlikely Event blends quirky humor with emotion and angst flawlessly. It gives us a brooding rockstar and a sassy heroine that will bring him to his knees. It delivers on a second chance romance full of feels that I adored from beginning to end; addictive in a way that LJ Shen has now perfected in her writing.

*beta read*

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Profile Image for Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰.
173 reviews2,654 followers
November 23, 2019
“Can you please stop being so beautiful and real and alive all over my house like you own it or something?”

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I finished this in a day and now the bags under my eyes are Gucci.

_______________

A Note From Alex (after reading all the notes in this book, especially the chocolate one).

Whenever I finish a book, Goodreads (my number one cheerleader) always sends me an email telling me that I have actually finished the book (as if I didn't know it myself, you'd think). But this time when GR sent me this;

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I felt like Goodreads just knew (call it kismet) that this book and I are undergoing some challenges. Initially, I gave this four stars but upon looking back, I'm sticking with my 3 star rating. This is honestly the hardest rating I have ever had to debate. Because, if I'm being honest with myself... I probably enjoyed this a lot but I know that I shouldn't have.

Here's the thing. This book was fucking addicting. I burned lasagna while reading this book... I didn't hear the oven ding and then my lasagna burnt. So in order to truly know this book's rating for me; I'm asking myself now: "What it worth burning the lasagna, Alex? Was it worth having to scrape all that cheesy goodness into the bin and feel immense guilt whilst doing so?"

Here's the dilemma. During the time, yes. It was very worth it. Now? Not so much.

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In The Unlikely Event is something so different to what Shen normally puts out that I couldn't help but pick it up. It's not really a "christmas" romance, but it's a winter one. We follow Mal and Rory's story of love, loss and heartbreak. It was comical and didn't take itself seriously at all, and I loved it even more because of that. It was hot, captivating and so nail-bitingly, page turningly addictive that I really didn't get much sleep.

I loved the different narratives and I found myself laughing out loud during some moments. That is also to say though, that this book is not all comedy. It deals with really sensitive issues and in true LJ fashion, the angst is so unbearably thick, it's better than any soap opera or reality TV show I've ever watched. It's also safe to say, that I unfortunately can no longer look at chocolate the same way. This is not a bad or a good thing. Just different.

The banter between Rory and Mal was probably my favourite aspect of this book. Also, if there is any one romance writer that can take the same trope (enemies to lovers) in all her books but still manage to keep me captivated... it's this one. I rooted for so many different people in this book and although it drained me when I came to the end chapter, I felt like I went on a really long holiday.

"Want to know if you love someone? Watch them suffer and see how much it tears you apart."


But then why do I also feel like I wasted such a great (it was mediocre, I fuck up cereal on my best days), awesomely-dished lasagna? For one thing, it's always heartbreaking when you have to compost carbs. But, for reasons more suited to this review; this book frustrated the fucking lights out of me.

Yes, we already know that Shen writes up the most problematic, toxic and dysfunctional relationships but still manages to make you hooked over wanting to know what happens. I knew this going in, I came prepped for the assholes and the triggers. Just to let you know, the hero in this book is manipulative, conniving and so rude for a good part of the book. The heroine is also frustratingly juvenile and oblivious to so much. Half the time, I wished Rory would have just demanded to understand what was going on. Regardless, Rory and Mal end up being sickly cute and this book definitely amped up the steam.

But I'm going to lay some other things out. Spoilers Ahead

❄︎ The relationship in this book is based on insta-love. This usually never works for me but I looked past it in this book.
❄︎ The amount of miscommunication in this book could give an airline company's customer service rep a run for their fucking money.
❄︎ If LJ Shen ever writes a book with 100% women supporting women, I might actually slip into a coma. There is so much animosity between female relationships in this book that just hurt my heart immensely.
❄︎ Something that would have been so mindblowingly unique is if the topic of "loving someone whilst being in a relationship" was tackled with no cheating involved. It was so obvious that I actually thought that no one would cheat in this book. I was so wrong.
❄︎ Another thing I really wished for was for Callum (Rory's boyfriend) not to be villainized in order to cop out of the relationship. I cant stress this enough but breaking up with someone because you don't have feelings for them anymore is a very valid reason. I wish authors didn't villainize the significant other in order to "make up" for the fact that they are being broken up with because suddenly if they're not the best person, then it's okay for the MC to move on and be with someone else.
❄︎ This last one is probably the most important one. There is a rape scene in this book, and I won't put this section under a "hide spoiler" thing because this is an important trigger warning to anyone that is going to read this book. I wish it was given as a caveat in the book itself but *sigh.* The rape scene in this book needed to be dealt with so much more care and importance, rather than just being an event that occurs in the storyline.

Through all those problems... I still soldiered on. LJ Shen is really truly my biggest guilty pleasure. I know that all of the tropes and aspects of her books are so fucking problematic and controversial, but I still read this like a fanatic. This book is far from perfect but I swallowed it entirely.
Profile Image for TJ *Book Twins Reviews*.
1,038 reviews2,382 followers
November 20, 2019
Utterly breathtaking!! This book is a work of art. Complex, intricately designed, and stunningly beautiful. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever read in this genre, yet so romantic and full of hope. Malachy and Aurora’s chemistry jumps off the page!

Here’s what I loved:
From the very first time I met Mal, I was enamored! He’s so charismatic and charming, I just want to snuggle him. He’s fun, carefree, and sexy. Exactly what Aurora needed at that time in her life.

Aurora is vibrant and sweet, yet feisty. A great balance to Mal’s character. When these two meet, sparks fly!

I loved loved loved the notes!! I’m sitting here laughing just thinking about BEST DAY EVER!

The multiple POVs and insights into characters motivations and actions kept me entertained. I love multifaceted views and ITUE is certainly abundant in those.

This authors signature style of writing and storytelling is always a treasure. She is so versatile and her lyrical prose is like a siren’s song. I cannot get enough!

And last but not least, Ashton! I loveeeee!

In The Unlikely Event is unique, fresh, and an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING read. It is by far one of the wittiest books L.J. Shen has ever written. I don’t know that I’ve laughed so much while reading in a very long while. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

***BETA READ***
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,577 reviews1,226 followers
November 20, 2019
***LIVE EARLY - FULL REVIEW***

5 SHAKE MY SNOW GLOBE CROWNS

So different, and yet uniquely L.J. Shen! I absolutely loved this new world and characters. IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT is going to shake up your snowglobe.

What I love most about any L.J. Shen book is that her characters are flawed, maybe a bit broken or jaded from the hand they have been dealt, but what I also love about her characters is that they find love. Always. The love is in someone whole or some just or more broken than they are. But her stories show me that love is out there for everyone, and ITUE exemplifies this in so many ways.

Mal and Rory are everything we love about a young romance - the epic, whirlwind love. Through them we feel the incorruptible purity of romance and the pure innocence of love. The serendipitous nature of their initial meeting has all the swoon-worthy moments readers die over.

The Mal and Rory we meet as adults have become a bit jaded because it’s life. Things happen. We make assumptions. We cast people as villains. We make excuses for those we love. We make mistakes. All of these things shape who we are and the futures we carve out for ourselves. What is epically romantic about it all is that these two are still drawn to each other, that through the muck of life, their hearts and souls still call to each other.

In the Unlikely Event, though, is something special. I don’t know if it is the setting or the way they meet or the fact that these two still find each other, but there is something that sits in your soul, that has you feeling bereft when you read the final line because it’s over. There is something unique and witty and funny and romantic that grips onto your heart and doesn’t let go. And as with any Shen novel, there are lasting themes that relate to the way we love the resonates in not just my heart but my mind. And that is magical in and of itself.

In the Unlikely Event is different. It is. Will you find all the signature things fans love about her books? Absolutely. LJ’s stamp is all over this book, but it is something different in the romance world right now. I know I’ve never read a story like it, and I don’t think I will for some time.

BETA read
Profile Image for Christy.
3,707 reviews31.5k followers
November 22, 2019
2 stars

I normally love LJ Shen’s books, and let me start off by saying I loved the start/premise of this book. One day together 8 years ago, the napkin, it started off so promising. But this book was hella problematic for me… If you want to know why, read below. If you don’t want spoilers about the story don’t read it, because it’s chalked full….




I was so stressed and aggravated most of the book, I couldn’t truly enjoy the good parts. A lot of my friends loved this book, so it may be just me and my issues…. I’m so sad I didn’t love it. It’s got the greatest cover, it had some humor- which I enjoyed, and the audio was so freaking great. I loved the narration, so if you’re going to read it, I can’t recommend the audiobook enough. I’m excited to see what LJ Shen does next, as I love a lot of her books… I honestly think this story-line had a ton of potential, but my issues were much to large to overlook. This one in particular was just a big miss for me.
Profile Image for Vanessa (When Vane Reads).
557 reviews217 followers
November 22, 2019
English/spanish version
ITUE IS BRILLIANT, MAGIC, PURE PERFECTION!, I don't have enough words to describe the magnificence of this story, it hooked me from the first words, and I WAS NOT ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN a single second, it is so entertaining that I practically inhaled the pages. The plot consumed me and stole my breath, gahhh! IT'S KINDLE CRACK.

The author brings her game A and gives us a mind-blowing story, EPIC BEYOND THE WORDS. The intricate storyline has her unique writing style, but it's still SO DIFFERENT FROM WHAT SHE HAS WRITTEN BEFORE, it's sooo hilarious, I laughed out loud throughout the story, but also anguish overflows every chapter, typical of L.J. Shen. It's witty, original, and interesting, with secrets, intrigues and unexpected events that had me with my heart in my mouth and left me speechless. AMAZEBALLS!

Our hero Malachy is my new favorite book boyfriend, I'm so obsessed with him, he is a poet / singer Irish (insert sigh here), oh God, he is so sweet, cocky, and soooo sexy, he will melt your panties and heart gahhh, I swooned so much with him, he owns my soul. Aurora Belle, ahhhh, she is so beautiful, sassy, brave, and headstrong, she is a force to be reckoned with. I love her to pieces!

Mal and Rory were pure delight!! Their explosive chemistry is instantaneous and matchless, their scenes are so steamy and sexy, wow, I swear they could burn a room, my kindle almost makes spontaneous combustion with them!! And their banter, OMG, is on another level.Their romance is so passionate and intense, I couldn't get enough of them!

Something that I loved were the different POVs, they allowed me to have a broader vision and fall in love more with the story. And the epilogue is the BEST EPILOGUE EVER, it warmed my heart and made me cry with happiness.

L.J. Shen once again creates a masterpiece that spoke to my soul and my heart.  I am in awe of the author's talent; her words always give me life, run through my senses and hypnotize me. But with ITUE she set such a high bar for new stories, I feel that she will end up ruining me for all the other authors.  THIS CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE IS THE BEST OF THE BEST!
GET READY FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE!
  


 Versión en español
¡Tu nueva adicción está aquí!
In the Unlikely Event es brillante, mágico, pura perfección, me encantó, no tengo suficientes palabras para describir la grandeza de esta historia, me atrapó desde las primeras líneas y NO PUDE PONERLO ABAJO un solo segundo, es tan entretenido que prácticamente inhalé las páginas. Su trama me consumió y robó mi aliento, gahhh ES SIMPLEMENTE KINDLE CRACK.

La autora trae su juego A y nos entrega una historia asombrosa y EPICA MAS ALLA DE LAS PALABRAS. Esta intrincada trama tiene su estilo de escritura único, pero aun así es totalmente diferente a lo que ella ha escrito antes, me hizo reír a carcajadas a traves de toda la trama, pero también angustia se desborda de cada página, al mejor estilo L.J. Shen. Es ingeniosa e interesante, con secretos, intrigas e inesperados eventos que me tuvieron con el corazón en la boca y me mantuvieron al borde del asiento durante toda la lectura.

Nuestro héroe Malachy es mi nuevo novio literario, estoy tan obsesionada con él, es un poeta/cantante irlandés (inserte suspiro aquí), oh Dios, es tan dulce, arrogante, sexy, él derretirá tus bragas y tu corazón y el ama con tanta fuerza, él definitivamente posee mi alma. Rory, ahhhh es tan bella, atrevida y valiente, y amo su forma de ver la vida, enfrenta todo con coraje, me encanta.

Mal y Rory fueron puro deleite! Su intensa química es instantánea e incomparable, alcanzó niveles inimaginables, guau, juro que ellos podían quemar una habitación, mi kindle casi hace combustion espontánea con sus escenas. Su romance es tan apasionado, dulce e intenso. No pude conseguir suficiente de ellos.

Algo que me encantó fueron los diferentes POVs, ellos me permitieron tener una visión más amplia y enamorarme más de la historia. Y el epílogo es el MEJOR EPÍLOGO DE TODOS LOS TIEMPOS, me calentó el corazón y me hizo llorar de felicidad.

L.J. Shen crea una vez más una obra maestra que le habló a mi alma y mi corazón. . El talento de la autora me dejó asombrada, sus palabras siempre me dan vida, recorren mis sentidos y me hipnotizan, pero con ITUE ella pone una barra tan alta para otras historias, que siento que ella terminará arruinándome para todos los demás autores. ¡ESTE ROMANCE CONTEMPORÁNEO ES LO MEJOR DE LO MEJOR
PREPARATE PARA EL VIAJE DE TU VIDA!
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,066 reviews38.1k followers
November 20, 2021
NO WAY IN HELLLLLLL!!!’

Is it just an illusion uuuaaaa? Did I read it correctly or did somebody pull prank on me by changing the right copy of the book? Hero is raped by half- evil incarnation of sister of heroine and accidentally conceived a child. Is it right?

And it continues like Reagan pukes green mix a.k.a. possessed by evil/ a.k.a half sister of heroine dies and goes to hell and attends limbo contest with Lucifer Morningstar (you lucky bitch!) and hero keeps the baby’s existence as secret from heroine. This can’t be real! NO! NO! NO! Is this candid camera show? Did somebody shoot my widen eyes and distorted face during my reading?

There is also meaningless cheating… OH COME ON! Give us a break! Is this the same author I love so much. Impossible! She must have hired (and should be immediately fired) the worst ghost writer on the universe (maybe she is a real ghost) to write this book! And you called this second chance romance….

Oh hell no! Over my death body! Do you consider this chocolate bar intercourse as a dirty fantasy!
(Well what a waste of delicious chocolate!)

Arrgghhhk! That’s enough! I gotta stop right now! Or I’m gonna puke and waste a delicious bottle of Malbec! Somebody help me! Get this book out from my hands nowwwww!!! They’re burning! Argghhhkkk!

BANG!The reviewer dropped her keyboard and left the building!!!!!

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Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,012 reviews46.1k followers
November 20, 2019
if you want to know what really rubbed me the wrong way

:/

me and LJ have a complicated relationship but it really just boils down to: her stand-alone novels are too self indulgent and dramatic for me.

and if i were an author with a VERY successful series that i had to grind and hustle writing i think i’d want to indulge in writing some fun and wild books from time to time too.

but this felt so all over the place. the pacing was nonexistent and the “coincidences” and misunderstandings were far too much for me. this certainly isn’t the worst book i’ve ever read, and i appreciate LJ’s attempt at adding some humor to her writing but it couldn’t make up for the lack of character and relationship building.

this felt like a less successful and wannabe poignant version of Midnight Blue. if you want angsty messed up singer song writer vibes i’d say go for that one. if you want a true christmas romance DEFINITELY look elsewhere.

Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,328 followers
September 12, 2020
*Spoiler Alert*

2nd Update: I decided to finish so yay me
; nevertheless, the lies and the rape and the stupidity of ALL the characters made this "love" story tortuous to read.

1st update: DNF@50%. FRTC
Profile Image for Parker Huntington.
Author 28 books3,606 followers
August 11, 2019
This book was so surprising, different than what I expected, better than what I expected. There's something about Leigh's writing that sucks you in, and you know when you open the pages to one of her books, you're in for a wild ride. 10000000% recommended.
Profile Image for Bookgasms Book Blog.
2,713 reviews1,266 followers
November 20, 2019
Ahhhhhh!!! You guys!! Remember that time L.J. Shen dropped a book promising that it was different from anything she has ever written? Well that day is today and I can 100% wholeheartedly attest that this is one of her best books. It is SO unlike any of her previous books but no less incredible. It, without a doubt, has that PERFECT LJ touch that I die for. Malachy and Aurora were nothing short of magnificent! They are one of my favorite couples from this author!! 

When Aurora "Rory" Belle Jenkins and Malachy Doherty made a contract to marry years earlier she could never have expected that the charming young musician she met in a foreign land would make such a lasting impression on her heart and mind. Fast forward eight years later and the man she remembers has turned into a cold, callous and genius musical lyricist with secrets and anything but forever on his mind.

In The Unlikely Event (ITUE) was absolutely magical!! Malachy and Aurora's story was so different but it still has the unflinching honesty, raw angst, spitfire fiery banter, intelligent writing and the sexual tension and love affair we DIE for. Their love was tumultuous and delicious, smothered in warmth, secrets and lies and topped with a love that can rival any Disney fairytale. Read this story to end your year with a BANG!! 5 stars! ~Ratula 
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,150 reviews97.7k followers
January 29, 2021
I'm really torn on this one, because I never wanted to put it down, but holy moly was this so very messy. The chocolate bar scene will forever be in my prayers.

Trigger and Content Warnings: talk of domestic abuse in the past, dub-con, loss of a loved on in the past, cancer, alcoholism,, drug use, grey area cheating, talk of suicided, talk of abortion, mention of mascaraing in the past.

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Buddy read with Amy! ❤
Profile Image for Dilek VT.
1,529 reviews1,341 followers
Shelved as 'never-no-way'
November 21, 2019
This book is being promoted as a modern day fairy tale romance - a star-crossed lovers romance...



Let me enlighten you about it so that you can decide how romantic it is! This is what I have gathered from some good reviewers...

The hero gets raped by a virgin girl while he is drunk... and as she doesn't use a condom, she gets pregnant. Our hero continues to have sex with his rapist and then gets married to her because she is gonna have their baby.

Oh oh, this woman is the half sister of the heroine. And they say the romance is dead. Huh!



Some day, this adorable half-sister and later, our lovely couple name their own child after her to always remember what a nice sister/wife she was.



Please read the 1-star-reviews for more delightful information about this romance! book; I just don't have the patience or enthusiasm to write all the absurdity it includes.

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Now, hear this because this is good... really good :)

The book involves point of views of not only people but also objects such as a napkin, a cow and a chocolate bar.

And having mentioned about the chocolate, let me say that the hero f*cks the heroine with a chocolate bar.



I think the writer should have been kind and considerate enough to also add footnotes on that page and include cleaning instructions for afterwards. Shame on her for not thinking about it... Tsk tsk tsk...

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Sorry but I am really obsessed about the mess it will leave; WTF kind of a fantasy is this?? And the pathetic part is that I cannot erase it from my memory, what now??!!

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P.S. My humble advice... If you like the idea in the blurb, then go watch Before Sunrise / Before Sunset. If you have already watched them, then watch them again, they are that good with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy's awesome acting!

And you can also watch Serendipity starring John Cusack; it tells the decent and romantic story of a couple who search for each other years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they'd end up together..
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for C.L. Matthews.
Author 47 books1,761 followers
November 20, 2019
What.
The.
Fuck.
Did.
I.
Just.
Read.

CL can't come to the review section yet, because she's ... dead.
Bai.

EDITED:

Unique. Spellbinding. Whimsical. In the Unlikely Event is a seamless book beyond my comprehension. The angst, pull, and giggles it drew from me will be seared into my mind forever.
Profile Image for Tessa.
467 reviews29 followers
November 10, 2021
I wasn't going to write a review but I can't stop stewing over his book. I also realize that I'm in the minority with my opinion. With that being said there are 2 major things in this story that I can't overlook and honestly ruin it for me.

Your honestly going to tell me that not only did Machlen continue to sleep with Kathleen( Rory's half sister) who raped him (yes raped. He said no repeatedly) but that he then married her because he got her pregnant....and this women is so crazy like fatal attraction crazy that she doesn't care that he calls her by Rory's name during sex. Like really? In what universe does a person not only continue to sleep with their rapest but then marry them?

If that's not messed up enough for you let's fast forward 15 years to where Rory and Machalen are married and have twins a boy and a girl. They then proceed to name the girl wait for it....Kathleeen...WTF...why would you name your daughter after the women who raped you and lied to you better yet why would you want to name your daughter after your sister who raped your husband??? Can anyone explain this to me???
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥.
745 reviews2,421 followers
November 24, 2019
4.5

Well, damn. My opinions and emotions were all over the place the entire time I was reading this book, and now that it's over, I feel like they are in such complicated knots that I can't unravel them. I've been thinking about this story all day nonstop, and to be honest, I'm still unsure if I have my thoughts sorted out even now. That being said, I'm going to try my best. 

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In the Unlikely Event is nothing like what I was expecting it to be and completely different from anything else L. J. Shen has ever written. I thought I knew (based on what the author warned on social media) what type of book I was getting into. I did not. 

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It's hard to describe such an original story in a way that doesn't spoil it or misrepresent it. I wouldn't call this a romcom, but I wouldn't say it doesn't share some similarities. The first half of the book reminded me of a chick flick that I could easily see as a movie. The meet cute was perfection. The first night Rory and Malachy spend together is sexy, adorable, and gave me all the feels. Then, the second half took a turn that changed the way I felt about the book entirely. It could still totally be a movie, but it would be somewhat heavier and a tad bit twisted. One thing that didn't change was my level of enjoyment. In fact, the more crazy and messed up the story became, the more I couldn't stop reading! 

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Bottom line, don't think ITUE is light and fluffy, because it's not. This book is not all moonlight and roses. There is tragedy, betrayal, death, alcoholism, abandonment, and that's not all. I have to leave out a few more things that are super fucked up, because they could be considered spoilers. In other words, it's not the Hallmark holiday movie the cover may lead you to believe it is. That's a selling point for me, because I don't really like sweet, simple romances or Hallmark movies (gasps lol). 

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For example, the characters in this story are incredibly flawed and downright unlikable at times. In fact, I can't say that I loved any of them 100 percent of the time. That includes the hero and the heroine. Yes, you heard me right. No one person was completely innocent. In fact, some were guilty of more than one instance of despicable behavior. 

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By the same token, the characters weren't all bad either. Most of them had some redeeming qualities. I got emotional several times in the book, because of how much I felt for them.  They were clearly purposefully written to be complicated, imperfect individuals. It seemed like the author enjoyed playing around with morality in this one. Everyone does messed up things to people they are supposed to care about, and fucked up things happen to them that can't be taken back or changed. 

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I can't conclude my review without talking about an unique aspect of the story that I absolutely loved. The points of view of inanimate objects, a farm animal, side characters, and a few deceased family members are sprinkled throughout the usual dual perspective narrative we're used to in Leigh's novels. If that sounds bizarre, that's because it is. The thing about weird shit though is that I like it. Lol In my opinion, it was a cool addition to the story. 
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In the Unlikely Event is a fresh and surprising second chance romance that will have you laughing, fuming, smiling through the tears, and absolutely captivated from the very first page. This story may be something we've never seen from this author before, but her writing is just as incredible as it always has been. Her characters make you feel all the feelings, and her story stays with you long after you finish the last page. 

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If you want something new and different from one of the best authors in the romance industry, this one's for you! 
Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
1,986 reviews9,746 followers
November 20, 2019
It pains me to give this a low rating (I’m in between 2-3 stars), but struggled with ITUE. Miscommunication/no communication between MCs is one of my biggest pet peeves and the entire story was basically that. I grew incredibly frustrated with all the characters and didn’t particularly have any one that I wanted to root for. Sometimes they made me want to throw my kindle against the wall. The way Mal kept Rory in the dark about so many important things for the longest time (80% of the book) was manipulative and rubbed me the wrong way, so I sadly didn’t love him like I hoped to. Almost everyone is either a cheater, a liar, a drunk, or a combination of the 3. As much as I wanted to love ITUE - it’s a second chance romance!!! My favorite - it just wasn’t for me. But if you do like lots of drama and don’t mind miscommunication, I’m sure you won’t have problems with it like I did!
Profile Image for Yeasmin Alo .
187 reviews285 followers
October 7, 2020
Updated 7, October , 2020

Soooooo
I Thought about it if I can up my rating little bit

No!

This book lacks Humanity
Or you can even straight out call it inhuman

Not gonna talk about conscience, moral or ethics

So many things are wrong
From the cheating
To the sexual abuse
I hated Male and Female protagonist
Female protagonist has no compassion
Their relationship was dysfunctional

Oh myyyy god how she handled her breakup with Callum!!!
I mean what is wrong with you??

Author also made Callum aka h's ex a cheater out of blue why? to prove a point that it is karma?

Sorry not happening

And you know what the sad part is?
The book had soooo much to offfer!!
I was totally hooked with Mal (H) and Rory (h)

How it stared, H and h's introduction, their separation, Their reunion everything was so dang good untill the middle of the book then everything went down
(After 60% of the book it is not readable,
YES it is THAT BAD)

It is not even one or two issue that I can look past!!
It is issue after issue after issue
It is just toooo much!!!

Whoever has finished this s%&t including myself deserves an Award 😴 when do I collect that award lemme know


I didn’t think I will ever read anything worse from L.J than The Hunter
Turns out Hunter is 100 times better


Okay..............
Phew
Imma sit here and pretend that it is not a L.J Shen book


____________________________

06, October, 2020

(I am way too much agitated right now I need to calm down I will think about my rating later but right now it is 1 /5)

____________________________
.
.

and here all I was thinking about what if the chocolate bar breaks?
How far is the hospital 😑!!
At least Chisels Don't Break 🤐!!
On a second thought which one is more dangerous?

Chisel
Or
Chocolate Bar 😑

(also did Richard wash his hands before slapping Mal's back 😖😖!!!
pls say YES pls pls pls)


But you know this is not even my breaking point
My breaking point was that f*%king
"3 Way kiss"

Untill then the book was 4/5 for me

THIS BOOK IS disrespectful

and

a second hand embarrassment on L.J's career




And L.J Shen Sweetheart it is high time
YOU NEED TO STOP😑!!



You Don't need to back up your writing with unsanitary stuffs I swear honey 😑

it does no good.....

And the Sad part is - it doesn’t even hit as Kinky 😑
Because IT IS NOT AT ALL KINKY ewwwww

I can't even count it as Taboo or Dark romance 😑 which I wholeheartedly wish I could 😭😭





P.S- I don't recommend this;

not even to my enemies 😑

No one deserves the mental pictures I got by reading this piece of s&*t

Also How can I bleach my memory
HELP!
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,112 reviews7,104 followers
November 20, 2019
24993460-SX540
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'IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT': Is a full length romance novel by L.J. Shen. Spoken in various POV's. Meet our hero Malachy Doherty and our heroine Aurora Belle Jenkins aka Rory.

I went into this book completely blind, and I mean that literally, I never read the synopsis, didn't pay much notice to the cover, one look at the title and the author sealed the deal. I had to have this in my life!!

So jumping into 'In the unlikely event', the last thing I expected to read would be a POV from a cow!! Yes you read it here!! So expect the unexpected because L.J. Shen delivers something that's never been written before. This book went beyond unique!!

It all started with a one night stand, that had the potential to be so much more.. But they were both from different worlds with an ocean between them. So they decided to make a pact that would change their lives forever..

We signed a contract on the back of a Boar’s Head Pub napkin that said if we ever met again, we would drop everything and be together.

Untitled

And from this point onwards the journey jumped until they met again, both had moved on, but both still connected to the other like a soul mate should be. Heart ache, deceit, hate all rolled into a big jumbled mess as we unravel the puzzle pieces that got them to where they were in present time.

There were so many things I loved about this book, especailly the Ireland setting, I felt like I was actually there, and so many quotes that I absolutely adored!!


Profile Image for Fre06 Begum.
1,256 reviews211 followers
November 19, 2019
Disgusting book with ALL the tropes I loathe in a so called “romance” book!

Spoilers!!
He has sex with h’s half sister (he was drunk) a half sister who he maintained was like a sister to him

He continued to have sex with a woman “he thought of like a sister and had no sexual feelings for” obviously didn’t stop him from getting an erection when he still continued to sleep with her “sometimes”

Half sister becomes pregnant (he didn’t use a condom the first time)

He then starts to have sex with her all the time but does it in all these different ways (she was a virgin) so he doesn’t have to see her face (that was a lovely image to have by the way)

He marries her when she is 8 months pregnant knowing that she deliberately got him drunk and more or less raped him. She then manipulates the situation so his mother and hers can pressure him to marry her. The arse knows all of this but is too weak to stand up for himself.

Maybe the first time he had sex with her could be forgiven by most people because she deliberately got him drunk and had sex with him without a condom hoping for pregnancy. He did say no to her but she still carried on. What I can’t forgive is him continuing to sleep with her when he was sober and then knowing he was was “shagging her all the time”.

All that time before when he was saying he thought oh h’s half sister like his own blah blah, well if he really thought like that but could sleep with her well that makes him DISGUSTING!

Don’t care what the reasons are but double dipping and having a child with the “love of your life’” sister is unforgivable. I honestly felt like being sick reading this so called romance.

In the end they both made a martyr of the ow and author tried to be funny with all the POV’s from side characters including the ow but honestly I didn’t find the book least bit funny with all the disgusting tropes in the book. Oh they even named their daughter after the ow as though we are all supposed to forget how nasty and vindictive she had been when she was alive. The sex scene with ow.....I need to bleach out my brains because that scene was really nasty!!!

This was not romance but pure torture. I have a like hate relationship with this author’s books and this book def goes on the hate side,
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for mel ☽.
365 reviews6,540 followers
November 25, 2019
this was just problematic as hell.

i mean, come on.

(SPOILERS)

❥ cheating. the drama with the boyfriend wasn’t solved satisfyingly for me and same goes for that married woman H had an affair with. (ps. H said he's not a cheater and he hates it but i consider sleeping with married women cheating sooo hypocrite much?) and h's lack of remorse or compassion towards her boyfriend... made me hate her to be honest.

❥ the rape of H by h's half-sister and how that was swept under the rug??

❥ making the rapist “good” at the end. even naming their kid after said rapist? the fuuu-?

❥ lying and hiding H's secret kid with the half-sister.

❥ OW/OM drama. double dipping and such (yuck). and that whole threesome spin the bottle scene was weird. i really disliked the h in that scene. and let's not start with the H having sex with OW so that h can hear it AND the whole half-sister situation.

❥ miscommunication. the dumbassery of the H in this one *eyeroll*.

❥ neglecting Ashton. he was more interesting than both MCs to be honest. and i felt more sympathy towards him than Mal and Rory.

❥ lack of character and romantic development (more telling instead of showing). like the wedding? their first time together after 8 years of separation?? i thought those scenes would be epic but they felt so emotionless.

❥ weird reactions of MCs to things like the h masturbating to the sound of H having sex with a married woman next room. and the fact that the H literally told h he was practically raped by her half-sister and ya know what her reaction was? absolutely nothing.

❥ and that chocolate bar scene... eeeewwww !!!

———————————————

anyways, i’m just really disappointed with this one because this had sooo much potential but the angsty drama was just too problematic which eventually made the romance feel so bland and emotionless.

how can i root for the MCs to be together when they were so vile and remorseless about their actions?
they say they feel guilty but their actions show otherwise (literally marrying the day after h's boyfriend found out she cheated on him).

though, silver lining for me is that this book got me out of a book slump so yay.
Profile Image for Ⓐlleskelle - That ranting lady ッ.
981 reviews765 followers
November 21, 2019
In The Unlikely Event that you are looking for a second chance romance... This is not it.
Was this truly an epic second chance romance? The very reason I decided to pick up this book in the first place?
I couldn't really say... under all the drama, the petty lies, the never-ending game of trying to one-up another with hurtful words and even revenge fucks... who knows? Somewhere under all that mess lies a fated love story that transcends all. Sadly, the love part must have been buried deep under all that juvenile shite because I have failed to feel anything other than pure bewilderment.

I'm sure I could open the english dictionary at "miscommunication" and find ITUE referenced there. The whole plot was so contrived with lies it got old and boring pretty fast.

I did like the insta-love at the beginning, I felt sorely disappointed by how the things unraveled after the heroine goes back to the USA. It started magical, instant, like an evidence of a love story and it ended into something that didn't even make sense to me as a romance reader.

I won't drop spoilers or get into details but either I'm too old for this shit or... I'm too old for this shit.


More reviews and book talk at :

You can find me here too ☞
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,554 followers
November 20, 2019
❤️5 STARS❤️

''You were a part of package deal. It's not fate. It's us. From start to finish. Twisted, screwed, obsessed, destructive, wonderful us.''


Thank you Leigh Shen for another fantastic read, what a ride!L.J Shen takes the reader to an emotional,intense and heartwarming roller coaster!I fall in love with everything, the characters rocked this story and the story was unique!It has angst and the romance was epic!

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My new favorite couple and story for this year!The relationship between Mal and Rory is intense with passion,angst,love,and so many emotions!

This is a must read!It's the best book I've read and it goes to my all time favorite!

 


  
Profile Image for Ariadna Basulto.
918 reviews64 followers
November 18, 2019
L.J. Shen has done it again! In the Unlikely Event is refreshingly unique and unexpected and yet so quintessentially Shen at the very same time. Get ready to drop everything you’re doing and devour each word like it was air and you’re gasping to breathe.

Rory and Mal’s story brings us a different side of Ms. Shen. We get the spectacular writing that grabs you and doesn’t let go, but it’s balanced by a lighter, brighter side that had me laughing out loud and smiling like an lunatic at my kindle. Of course it wouldn’t be an L.J. Shen novel without the delicious angst, hypnotic storytelling, and crushing waves of feels both drowning us and driving us toward a most perfect ending. With ITUE we get both sides working together in perfect harmony and the result is a book that lives up to the hype and then some. And I haven’t even talked about Mal yet! All you need to know is he’s fecking brilliant.

In the Unlikely Event is beautiful, addictive, and deliciously unique. It’s also unputdownable and unmissable and certainly about to top everyone’s top 10 list of 2019! Wow.
Profile Image for Mali Mor ❤️ The Romantic Blogger.
415 reviews497 followers
November 18, 2019
lj

If you ask me, this wasn't just Shen's best book ever... it was the best book I've read in a while!!! 💥👑😍

I knew from the blurb that this book was going to be different from her previous books, so I started it with no expectations - and found myself drifting with it until the middle of the night. 😱

📚 “𝑰’𝒍𝒍 𝒍𝒆𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂 𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒍𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒓. 𝑱𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒅𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒂𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅.” 📚

18-year-old Aurora (Rory) has grown up with her mom in America. Her Irish father has never been a part of her life, other than the gifts and letters he sent on birthdays. 😬
When she finds out he passed away, Rory goes to Ireland to hear for the first time about his life and to get closure before she starts college, despite her mother's disapproval. ✈💜

There, on Main Street, she meets 22-year-old Malachy (Mal), a street singer, songwriter and the town's womanizer (and hot as hell with his Irish "feck you" accent 🔥) They spend her day in Ireland together and drift into a lustful night with lots of passion, emotion and laughter.🔥😍💜

But their time is about to end... 💔

📚 "𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒅 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒍 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒗𝒆.”
“𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕?”
“𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝑮𝒆𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒖𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓, 𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒔.” 📚

fate? kismet...? Whether it was that made the rainstorm stops, the power faile or the light flickere when they kiss - the universe seems to be trying to get them together, so Mal suggests Rory stays with him forever. 💜
But Rory wont change her life for a guy she only met 24 hours ago (no matter how magical it was 💥) and Mal doesn't want long distance relationship... So, a few hours before she leaves for the airport, on a pub's napkin, the two sign a contract -

IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT they will meet again, they will be together forever. 😍❤

The only rule? it has to be fate - not contacting or searching each other. in which case - the contract will be canceled. 😱😱😱

📚 "𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅, 𝑹𝒐𝒓𝒚, 𝒏𝒆𝒙𝒕 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝑰 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 , 𝑰’𝒍𝒍 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝑰 𝒘𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂 𝒃𝒐𝒚𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅, 𝒐𝒓 𝒂 𝒉𝒖𝒔𝒃𝒂𝒏𝒅, 𝒐𝒓 𝒂 𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒆𝒎 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒆𝒏 𝒗𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆..." 📚

Years passed by and Rory sought Mal everywhere... no man could compare to the Irish cheerful guy who captured her heart all those years ago. 💔
Until finally she realizes it's time to leave the fantasies and move on with a new love, Callum. 😍

Eight years after signing the contract, destiny gets Rory and Mal to meet again in New York, where her boss sends her to Ireland for two months so they could work together.
There is only one problem...
MAL HATES HER, and she has no idea why!!! 😱😱😱

📚" 𝑰𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒛𝒚 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒆𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒚𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒂𝒈𝒐, 𝑰 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒖𝒍𝒔𝒆 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒕 𝒎𝒚 𝒑𝒂𝒍𝒎 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒅𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒌𝒔 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒘𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔.
𝑹𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒏𝒐𝒘, 𝑰’𝒅 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒊𝒑 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒕, 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒊𝒇 𝒊𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒚𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆." 📚

What happened during those 8 years that made Mal hate her so much? Did they both live up to their promises? Did she get her closure about ger dad? And will fate bring back the magic between them...? 💜

DAMN, I loved that book! Unique, funny and sexy... 🔥🔥🔥
One moment I fell in love, the next I got angry. Even in moments I wanted to roll my eyes and say "Come on" - a second later I found myself laughing out loud! 😂😂😂

From the most romantic meet cute ever, to a great tragedy and up to a comedy of mistakes - this book had everything! 💥

Shen's writing was absolutely brilliant. All the characters were witty and hilarious. I didn't have one dull moment!!! 👏

📚 “𝑫𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂 𝒏𝒂𝒎𝒆?”
“𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒂𝒎 𝑰, 𝑨𝒓𝒚𝒂 𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒌? 𝑶𝒇 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆, 𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂 𝒏𝒂𝒎𝒆.” 📚

I even liked the parts I didn't like. Does it make sense...? 😂

But what I liked most is that almost every chapter ended with a note from one of the secondary characters - which helped understand the story and was also a great comic sigh!!! (Especially the notes from the napkin, the cow and the chocolate bar) 😂😂😂

I can't wait for her next books!!! 💜

*** 𝕀 𝕣𝕖𝕔𝕖𝕚𝕧𝕖𝕕 𝕒𝕟 𝔸ℝℂ 𝕗𝕣𝕠𝕞 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕒𝕦𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕣 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕒𝕟 𝕙𝕠𝕟𝕖𝕤𝕥 𝕣𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨 ***

📖 ᖴOᒪᒪOᗯ ᗰE Oᑎ IᑎᔕTᗩGᖇᗩᗰ: 🎉 https://www.instagram.com/the_romanti...
Profile Image for  Sonya ♕Chatterbooks book blog♕.
953 reviews1,052 followers
November 24, 2019
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In the Unlikely Event was the kind of book that we didn’t know we were waiting for from L.J Shen. It was different, but still had her signature style that we all love so much along with the angst and emotional turmoil that will have us pulling our hair while secretly begging for more.

Taking a journey to find out more about her life, Aurora meets a man who is going to change everything for her. From a one night stand that created a promise for years to come, to a secret past and a trail of forgotten memories that will soon come to the surface. But with those things, comes something that is completely unexpected.

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Everyone knows that I’m a big fan of when it comes to second chance romance and knowing that one of my favorite authors was writing one? I couldn’t get to this book fast enough. I love knowing that for whatever reason a couple was not together anymore, their reunion was going to be worth everything . The love is still going to be there along with the sexual tension, Heartache, anger and redemption and that is what makes the story so gripping. But unfortunately for this particular story, I had a bit of a hard time with this one.

There were too many miscommunications and different things that I wasn’t a fan of when it came to Mal and Rory’s relationship and it made it difficult to connect with them. I desperately wanted things to go differently in certain situations and I honestly felt that a lot of things could have been avoided and we wouldn’t have had the unnecessary drama.

I’m a die hard L.J Shen fan and even though I didn’t love this one as much as the authors previous books, I think that it’s still worth giving a try. Her words will always suck you in and there’s something so raw and poignant in her storytelling that you just have to experience for yourself. So if you’re a fan of this author, then add this one to your list.


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Profile Image for Harloe Rae.
Author 37 books5,510 followers
November 20, 2019
I’m floored—absolutely astounded—by the epic wonder of In the Unlikely Event. L.J. Shen is the pinnacle of unique romance. She proves, once again, why her raw talent is the best in this business.

I’ve been a mass of jittery anticipation since she released the four letters to the title months ago. What a tease, but so freaking delicious. The excitement I felt to finally get this book in my hands can only be described as pure bliss. I dove in and didn’t come out of the haze unless forced.

Malachy is a hero when Rory needs one. He’s also the catalyst to much angst and trouble. What Mal and Rory share tests the span of time, showing us exactly how powerful love can be. A simple agreement turns into so much more. What an incredible duo they make.

This powerfully engaging journey is unlike anything I’ve read. I breathed the words and saw the expressions and experienced this spectacular story right alongside of them. I didn’t want the final chapter to approach but loved every last scene.

As always, LJ Shen has given me a romance to obsess over. I’ll be pondering the exquisiteness of In the Unlikely Event for months to come. This is how an unforgettable story is told. #AllTheStars
September 30, 2020
”Life is too short not to kiss the one you want.”




Such a good book. There was so much to the story and it was not predictable, slow or boring at any point. I really liked the way it was written. It was dual POV, but intermixed with the two main characters were these notes where you would get insights about the relationship between Mal and Rory or even some laughs. The notes were from supporting characters, a cow and even inanimate objects, like the napkin that Mal and Rory used as a contract that said if they ever meet again in the future, they would be together.

There was a bit of serendipity at work when they first met. They came together when Aurora (Rory) went to Ireland to see if she could find out more about the father she never knew after hearing that he died. She was only there for one night and both Rory and Malachy fell for each other hard. But they were both young and selfish and it just wasn’t their time. Mal wanted Rory to give up college and move to Ireland to be with him, while Aurora couldn’t give up her whole life and future plans for a guy that wouldn’t give up anything for her.

”Understand, Rory, next time I see you, I’ll have you. I won’t care if you have a boyfriend, or a husband, or a harem of men vying for your love. If you have children, I’ll raise them as mine.”


They both suffered quite a bit and missed each other terribly. Eight years later, they meet at a social event and things have changed quite a bit. Aurora has a great boyfriend, a job she loves, a terrific roommate. The entire situation with Malachy is fraught with many obstacles and complications. The story is beautiful and tragic, but also hilarious at times and you can’t help but have strong feelings for some of the characters. I loved Mal, he was sweet and funny and not afraid to show his emotions. He is also smart confident and cocky at times.

There were several great supporting characters as well. Including a drug addicted rock star, a sister Rory meets on her trip to find out about her Dad, some conniving mothers, Rory’s best friend Summer and her rich shiny boyfriend Callum. I really loved this book. I have seen a few poor reviews and though I don’t understand why, to each his own. We all have the right to our own opinions when it comes to books we read.

There are times when you are just not feeling a book, because of your mood or whatever, when a book just isn’t working for you, even though if you had read it at another time, you probably would like it. Also, it seems to me that some of the low reviews were due to a few things in the book that are spoilers so I won’t mention what they are, but to say the things a few of the reviewers are mentioning are such grey areas in this book. By that I mean you could take it like those things happened, but also in ways they kind of didn’t or if they did it isn’t really a black and white situation based on things you learn later.

I know a lot of people like reading about relationships where everything is pure and the love is true and deep and nothing really goes wrong, but real life isn’t that way. This book has the characters going through tough times and not always being nice to each other or to everyone else. And bad things do happen. It is part of what makes the book unpredictable and real. Mal and Rory don’t just make a promise on a napkin and meet years later and all the sudden they can live happily ever after. Life is messy sometimes.

“Life’s morbid. Spoiler alert—we all die at the end.” Malachy shrugs.


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