Review: Where You Least Expect by Lydia Rowan

where you least expectReviewed by Shelly

I’ve never heard of Lydia Rowan so while I was scrolling through the Amazon ‘romance – multicultural – interracial’ filter, I wasn’t sure if I should try this. But based on the price, I couldn’t not give it a try. I’m so glad I did, because this was one of the best stories that I’ve read this year. Suffice it to say, this is my first but not my last by this author.

One of the first things I noticed with this story was the jarring lack of ethnic identification. Do you know how rare it is that a writer will not say the color of a character’s skin? Did you know that you could fall in like with a character based on their personality only without knowing how light or dark their skin is? If you haven’t experienced character development so good that you end up not caring what color skin someone has – dear readers, I encourage you to read this story.

The way this read, I believe it’s a spin-off from another series, but I didn’t feel as if I missed out on anything. I’ve already found what I believe to be the other series and I’ll be reading the first book in that series to see if the writing style is consistent. And I’m also very curious to see if Verna Love was the same in that series as she was in this story. Now that being said – it’s on and upward with the review.

The chemistry between Navy SEAL Joe MacDermis and his next door neighbor, Verna Love, was a tangible thing. The moments of interaction between these two always produced an eyebrow raising reaction. Sometimes it was a ‘no she didn’t just say that’ to ‘Joe, why do you keep poking the bear?’. It was flirting, the way that creates an opportunity for something more than a wham-bam-thankyou-ma’am. Remember when that guy used to purposefully irritate you at every turn and you just couldn’t not respond? And then you’d find yourself wondering what he was doing. Then when you didn’t hear from him for a couple days, you realized that you missed him. This is that, but done so much better than I could every synopsize.

The thing about this story is that although each character gets their own time to tell their truths, I was way more empathetic with Verna. She’s had a hard life. She thinks she’s not done anything to contribute, but that’s because she’s been mentally beaten down. I wouldn’t say it was abuse; some readers might think that, but to me it wasn’t because that would be too easy. Verna’s parents didn’t treat her the same way that they treated her older sister. Now I don’t know why they didn’t, because there’s no resolution to that in this story, but that’s okay, because eventually Verna got a life of her own and it stopped revolving around her parents’ wants and needs.

Verna’s father is an absolute jerk. I mean that. Rowan didn’t tell me he wasn’t a nice person to Verna, she showed me he wasn’t a nice person to his child. And it’s okay to not like your kid but it’s not okay to not love your kid and this father had issues with this daughter. Verna’s mother was apathetic. I’m sure she had her reasons for her half-hearted attempts to communicate her feelings, or lack thereof but nonetheless, she was a lackluster role model for her last child. It’s witnessing the interactions between parents and child that showed the relationship dynamics.

I enjoyed all of the characters in this story and to watch Verna go from a low self esteem heroine to having a reasonable and healthy outlook on her life and her accomplishments was a true pleasure. I’ll gladly read more from this author.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

Where You Least Expect
by Lydia Rowan
Release Date: January 20, 2015

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