Single Mom Katy Roth thinks life can’t get any worse. In the past six months she’s been let go at work, had to move back home with her parents, and found out her ex is cutting his child support payment. As Thanksgiving approaches, she finds little to be thankful for in a life that is quickly spinning out of control.
Joe Mason is the town’s bad boy. Literally. He’s just returned from a four year stint in prison. He wants nothing more than to put the past behind him and get on with his life. He’s had a secret crush on Katy since grade school, but when Katy’s parents hire him to be their handyman, she’s less than thrilled to have him around.
But soon, through her young son’s eyes, Katy discovers the good in Joe. As their feelings for one another deepen, small town gossip and prejudice threaten to ruin everything. Will Joe’s past come between them, or will they be able to get beyond it and hold onto a love neither expected?
Bad boys are popular, from rogues and rakes in historical romances, to tattooed musicians in contemporary romance novels. I have nothing against them, but too many is never good. There is another problem with bad boys especially in real life – most of them stay bad. But in novels it is very common to see them reformed under the magic spell of true love. Therefore, from time to time I discover a different approach to the transformation from bad boy to good and it’s more than welcome. This is exactly the main reason why I liked Debra St. John’s An Unexpected Blessing.
An Unexpected Blessing features Joe Mason who spent some time in prison and his past is not a rosy one. He is well aware of his transgressions, and now that he has served his time he wants to just lead a normal life. Joe Mason is a bad boy, but at the very beginning of the story he is also reformed one, but not by the love of the heroine – Katy Roth – or through his love for her, but because he learned his lesson in prison. What actually stands between him and his path to a happy life is the small-minded community into which he returned. Fortunately, with Katy’s help and love he realized that if love is a true one than it will conquer all; prejudices, gossips and fears.
As I already mentioned, I liked this story because there was a shift from the usual bad boy transformation. I also liked it because the author wrote a small town mentality so realistically and palpable, it felt genuine. Katy’s character is also great. I loved how she stood up for Joe, but also how she fought for their relationship and his stubbornness.
Usually stories that features a small town, a single mother and some kind of holiday tend to be too sweet and full of unnecessary drama and emotions. But not An Unexpected Blessing. This story is a pearl, a great shiny pearl. It is really worth reading. And, it comes with bonus features: lovely recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner.