Book Reviews · Releases & Reveals

Blog Tour + ARC Review: ‘In the Unlikely Event’ by L.J. Shen

From USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling author L.J. Shen comes a new, contemporary romance with heart-wrenching twists and laugh-out-loud moments. This standalone is like no other by this author. In The Unlikely Event is available now!


“Romance masterpiece” – Kylie Scott, New York Times bestselling author


In the Unlikely Event AMAZON

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?


5 ‘Have you ever been in love?’ Stars!

ARC provided via Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.

L.J. Shen is such a talented author. Holy moly, she did this! Another unique, emotional love story that I literally devoured in less than a day. I could not stop reading! You always know, when you get into reading one of this woman’s books, you’ll get one hell of a ride and still, Leigh managed to surprise us again and give us a fresh and outstanding holiday romance.

So, In the Unlikely Event is a standalone contemporary romance and it’s a holiday themed story between two people who had an instant spark and shared an unforgettable one-night stand that changes their lives forever. They fall in love and they promise, after signing a napkin contract, that if they found each other again they will drop everything and be together. But life is not that easy. Eight years pass, they reunite and there are a lot of emotions bringing so many other people and difficult situations in the mix. Will Mal and Rory find the way back to each other?

Life is too short not to kiss the one you want. 

I always use the same word to describe L.J. Shen’s work but I don’t know if any other would do as good. Her words and characters are simply UNIQUE. There are so many layers to both Mal and Rory and it’s always wonderful to read how they peel them off and become vulnerable with each other and with the rest of the characters. This is so much more than a love story, it’s the journey back to love and forgiveness for this couple and the people around them. You’ll see how Leigh has given such a fresh twist to the book in order to involve everyone and everything in the story.

“Surrender,” I whisper. “I want us to surrender to this, Rory, like you promised all those years ago.” Before life tainted what we had.

Of course, this is a romance, and what I enjoyed the most is Mal and Rory’s chemistry. That instant spark, the tension, the sexiness, the promises, the secrets and the emotions. Everything was on point. Leigh definitely knows how to bring the angst and ITUE did not disappoint. I loved and hated all these characters and I loved experiencing every second of it. Mal and Rory are such a fantastic couple and together they are explosive and just perfect for each other.

“I loved you when you hated me, I loved you when I thought you were indifferent to me, and I loved you when you were on the fence about me. But when I realized you loved me back? All bets were off. The world kept spinning. Days went by. Things changed—other than one thing, my love for you.” 

Therefore, I am rating In the Unlikely Event with 5 STARS because it an angsty and fresh holiday romance that had me hooked from start to finish. Surely one of my favorite books this year and I am so glad we got another incredible novel from this freaking talented woman. I loved this couple, their story, the past and present, the ups and downs and their much deserved HEA. If you are in the mood for a holiday romance with a unique twist, make sure to read this one because it’s 100% worth it!

Amazon Worldwide:
Amazon Paperback:

In The Unlikely Event is now available in audio!
Narrated by: Shane East, Muffy Newton and Savannah Peachwood
Amazon Audible:
Amazon Audible Worldwide:



When I finally come face to face with the street artist standing on the side of the pavement, his guitar case open and full of rolled-up notes and change, I understand why his grandfather told me I’d recognize him with the self-assurance of an avid believer.

I’ve never seen someone like him before.

He is beautiful, true, but that’s not what stands out to me. He is radiant.

It’s like his presence has a presence. He sucks the air out of everything in his vicinity, making it impossible not to look at him. Malachy is tailor-made for a huge, colossal heartbreak. Everything about him—his tattered jeans, filthy boots, white shirt, and leather jacket that was broken in decades ago—screams trouble. He looks like a seventies heartthrob. An icon. A Terry Richardson muse. Bruce Springsteen pre-fame.

His voice is like honey and warm spices. It lulls me into a place in my mind I’ve never been before, even though it’s far from beautiful. It is gruff, throaty, and smoky. When someone bumps my shoulder to get closer to him, I snap out of my reverie and realize what I’m listening to.

“One” by U2.

The coincidence is strange. I try to tell myself it’s nothing. This is Ireland. U2 is a national treasure.

His eyes are squeezed shut as he sings. It’s like no one exists other than him and his guitar. Something warm rushes through my skin, like a heat wave, and I shudder in delight.


I always thought there was something melancholy about street performers—the way people walk past them, ignoring their music, their art, their passion. But this guy, he’s the one doing the ignoring. The tables have turned. He’s got the crowd eating from the palm of his hand. Every woman here is under a thick, sweet spell. He’s got that Harry Styles quality that makes girls want to bed him and older women want to adopt him. The men are a cross between impatient, annoyed, and jealous. You can see it in the way they tap their feet, check their watches, nudge their wives and girlfriends to move it.

The song ends, and Malachy Doherty cracks his eyes open and stares directly at me, like he knew I’d be here. Like he watched me watching him through closed eyes. Disoriented—and for some reason wanting to do something, anything—I throw a bill into his guitar case and look away, realizing to my horror that I threw the fifty euros his grandpa gave me. Everyone around me murmurs and whistles. They think it was intentional. I can feel my face flaming red. I bet he thinks I want to sleep with him.

Do I? Probably. But should he know that? Hell no.

The Author

LJShenL.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 Best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to nineteen different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

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