Review: Unexpectedly His by Maggie Kelley
Release Date: 08/17/2015
Series: Smart Cupid #2
Unexpectedly His by Maggie Kelley features one of my favorite tropes in romance! Shy girl moons over her best friend's brother from afar until a crazy situation throws them together and then they fall in love. And of course, in this book, it's a convienent and necessary fake engagement that throws Marianne McBride and Nick Wright together.
To further explain (without giving anything away!), Marianne sets out to prove that she isn't just a computer geek. She can live on the wild side. Her first step in that direction? Dressing like a bad girl and popping out a cake for Nick, her crush and the birthday boy. Nick, on the other hand, has always lived a bit on the wild side, which doesn't help his case for the desired promotion to partner. His first step in the right direction? Finding a fake fiancee to show the board that he is a family man (and not a manslut who is rumored to be sleeping with a board member's wife). Luckily, his sister Jane runs a matchmaking business, and she has the perfect woman for the job. His sister also happens to be Marianne's BFF, and after witnessing their chemistry on Nick's birthday, she secretly sets out to make the fake match between Marianne and Nick a real match.
Unexpectedly His is a sweet little story for those days when you just need to unwind and you don't have a lot of time to do it. I like the mystery to it, and by mystery, I mean that it is SUPER FUN to watch Nick be fake engaged to his cake girl who he doesn't know is his cake girl. Does that make sense? In other words, Nick doesn't know that it was Marianne in the cake who gave him a sweet birthday kiss! The big question in this story is how long will it take Nick to figure this out, and when he does, what will he think about Marianne? Unless you think that, "What will happen if Nick's work finds out that his engagement is fake?" is the bigger question.
And you know, besides her crush, Marianne has a reason for agreeing to the fake engagement, too. Nick isn't the only one using another person for his benefit. But I'll leave her condition for the fake engagement a secret so you have something else to look forward to finding out! I liked Marianne. I could relate to her desire to step outside of her comfort zone. Although, I was a little surprised at how quickly she became so comfortable and confident around Nick. It was so contradictory to her thoughts, which I guess made her a more dynamic character. Nick's thoughts are pretty consistent throughout--it's easy to track his changing feelings towards Marianne. Plus, his thoughts debunk the whole "I don't do commitment because I'm a player and don't have feelings" thing. His ways are very much a result of his past, which I honestly would have liked to been able to delve deeper into.
There was enough tension (that didn't make me absolutely crazy, THANK GOD) with dirty ex's (like seriously you suck and OMG you're an awful person ex) and scheming co-workers to make the story exciting and not boring. Marianne's family is great, and the effort Nick puts into helping Marianne's dad is so cute and admirable. He's definitely a keeper. The ending was a bit of a surprise, but not in a bad way because of course there is a HEA. There was an unexpected yet pleasant outcome to their whole charade. And the epilogue was great--I love epilogues!!! I sincerely hope there is a third book in the series for Jane and Nick's elusive and mysterious little brother!