Unexpectedly You by Lily Santana

Unexpectedly you by Lily Santana
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (168 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rated: 3.5 Stars
Review by Poppy

Emma LeFleur’s vintage beach home is close to foreclosure. With a business struggling to take off, she has no choice but to turn to her neighbor, sexy and arrogant real estate investor Mitch McKenna—the man whose reputation she’s spent the past six months pulverizing.

Mitch offers her a deal that will save them both: if she’ll convince her neighbors that she’s 100% behind his controversial condo project he’ll save her home. As a prominent leader in the community, Emma’s the only one who can help him salvage the project and keep his employees from getting laid off.

But the chemistry between Emma and Mitch burns surprisingly hot, complicating their deal in a way neither had anticipated. Mitch unearths the long-buried siren within Emma, who’d forgotten how good it is to feel sexy, alive.

As Emma begins to turn public opinion in Mitch’s favor, she’s drawn to him in a way she can’t deny. And Mitch finds himself wanting to prove to Emma that he’s not the player she thinks he is….

I’m a sucker for a small town romance and author Lily Santana has done a bang-up job with all the things that make these types of stories so rich.

Emma is a young widow in her thirties with a daughter about to enter college. She’s struggling to let go of her husband (still has his things, for instance, and really hasn’t jumped back into the dating pool). Everyone is trying to “help” from her daughter to the rest of the town, while also reminding her what a great guy her late husband was. Too bad they don’t know how badly in debt he left his wife and daughter!

Emma was a character I was really ambivalent about. I felt how real she was, and how very emotional. But there was the problem: she was frequently over-the-top emotional, given to yelling, impetuous actions, jumping to conclusions and the occasional tantrum. It made it difficult for me to really like her because I spent much of the book wanting to shake some sense into her. She loves and hates in huge amounts and it must be exhausting to be her.

Our hero, Mitch, was a bit more settled, at least on the outside. Oh, he feels some exceptionally strong emotions in the story, but manages to keep them mostly under control. I liked Mitch and that may have been a reason I wasn’t as fond of Emma (at least in the beginning) as I wanted to be. Because she did NOT like him, and went out of her way to make sure no one liked the man.

I loved the secondary characters, even the ones I didn’t like so well. The author really has a handle on the small town feel, the busy-bodies, the way everyone is in everyone else’s business. This is what really made the story for me. It’s everything I look for in a romance like this.

Honestly, I really admired the author’s overall skill. Her writing is clear and descriptive. I could see the town, the buildings, the scenery and the characters were all unique and three-dimensional. If not for the difficulty I had warming up to Emma, this would have been a much higher rated story. I have the very talented Lily Santana on my watch list and will absolutely check out whatever she releases next.


  1. Mary Preston says:

    I wonder how I will feel about Emma. Great review thank you.


  2. Thank you for hosting today.

  3. Rita Wray says:

    I think I’m going to love the story.


  4. Thank you to Long and Short Reviews for hosting me today and my immense gratitude to Poppy for the review. It made my day.

    Lily Santana

  5. Nice review about the characters

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. Catherine says:

    Thanks for a thoughtful review. It sounds like Emma is struggling but I usually don’t care for an overly-emotional heroine. I do like small-town romances and quirky small-town secondary characters.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  7. Chelsea B. says:

    I appreciated your honest review and look forward to trying the novel!


  8. Rita Wray won the beach themed gift bag! Congratulations Rita.

    Thanks to everyone for the wonderful feedback. Hope to chat with you again on a future tour.

    Best, Lily Santana

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