Tuesday, January 28, 2014

REVIEW: My Unexpected Forever (The Beaumont Series #2) by Heidi McLaughlin

I expected a life of music.
I expected to raise my son.
It took one look to make everything change.
I never expected happiness.

I never expected to find her.
I never expected to feel desire.
I never expected I’d be a family man.
I never expected to be loved.
I never expected to fall in love.

They say you should expect the unexpected, I didn’t realize my unexpected would be the forever kind.
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"Everything in my life is changing and there isn't a thing I can do to stop it."
This was my first read of 2014! Yay me! I really loved it. I was pleasantly surprised because to be honest,  I wasn't crazy about Forever My Girl (The Beaumont Series #1).  I had no intention of continuing this series because for some reason, as much as I loved Liam, I couldn't get over his past mistakes. However, there were SO many rave reviews about My Unexpected Forever that I just couldn't pass it up. I decided to bite the bullet and read My Everything (which was the perfect novella). After reading it, I felt like the author tied up some really important loose ends that really irked me in Forever My Girl. For that reason, I was all ready (and excited) to read this!
Before you read my review, please keep in mind that this is a series. Technically, each story is about a different couple but their lives are heavily interconnected. I highly recommend that you read the books in order so that you can fully experience the emotional turmoil and friendships that develop throughout the series.

My Unexpected Forever picks up about a year after Mason's death. For those that don't remember, Mason's death was the reason that Liam returned to town in Forever My Girl. Mason left behind his wife, Katelyn, and their twin girls when he tragically died in a car accident. This book' s storyline focuses on Katelyn and the drummer in Liam's band, Harrison. I was a little unsure about this book because writing about a romance after the death of a spouse is a very delicate matter. What's so magical about the story is that the author didn't shy away from that at all. I really liked that the story acknowledged that it was a tumultuous situation. It faced the struggles of guilt and grief head on to create a story that focused on heartbreak and healing. I felt every bit of it and truly don't think it could have been written any better.
The thing that stood out to me the most was that neither character's past was ignored. There were several flashbacks to Katelyn's life with Mason that were very emotional along with flashbacks to Harrison's short time with his son's mother. The author managed to write a story that allowed Katelyn to move on without tarnishing Mason's memory.  It was a tough road for her  between dealing with her own grief, guilt, and trouble with raising two very hurt little girls. So much so that it was very easy for the me to accept Katelyn's new relationship. The whole thing was very believable and heart warming.
"Maybe this is my consequence for lusting after a woman who clearly doesn't want me. Maybe those hints that I'm seeing are just my clouded vision and demented mind at work. She probably throws daggers at me every time I turn around."
Oh and Harrison... I have hearts in my eyes for that boy. Oh man, oh my, Harrison was such a tender character. He was so respectful of Katelyn's past with Mason. He never tried to push her, and he took understanding to a new level when she was pushing him away. I loved that the author didn't play it off like Mason was being replaced. I was also very pleased when I reached the end of the book and the author had done nothing to turn Mason into a 'bad' guy. This was just a tragic case of a life that ended too soon and a wife that struggled to move on with a new love.  
Keep in mind, this is a slower, character building romance. Much of the book focuses on the characters and their healing as a family because the children were a integral part of the Katelyn and Harrison's relationship.  
The emotion really poured off the each page.
I felt the loss of Mason with Katelyn.
I felt for Peyton.
I felt for Harrison.
I just felt.
"Want me to distract you?"
"How on earth are you going to do that"?
Harrison shrugs and turns his baseball cap around. His lips are on mine before I can take my next breath.
The characters had some serious chemistry. While there aren't any extremely provocative scenes, there is some very flirty banter. Most of the love scenes are more fade to black type scenes. There are a couple of areas that get a little more risqué though. There's also a little drama thrown in to mix things up. Sam from Forever My Girl is back to stir up some major trouble. For the most part, I liked that twist. The only minor complaint I had was that I felt some of the drama was just fueled by a lack of communication between the characters. There were a couple of moments that I was thinking "Come on." I sometimes get a little annoyed when I feel like a disagreement is blown way out of proportion for a dumb reason. They worked it out though, and I quickly got over that agitation.

This is just a sweet, sweet story of life after a deep, deep, deep gut-wrenching loss. It's a beautiful story. I highly recommend it to everyone but especially those that are either married or have been in a long term relationship before.

4- 4.5 Stars 

Other books in the series

Forever My Girl (The Beaumont Series #1)
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My Everything (The Beaumont Series #1.5)
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Finding My Forever (The Beaumont Series # 3)
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