Friday, August 6, 2010

Susan Fox - Love Unexpectedly

At thirty-one, Kat Fallon's luck with men shows no sign of improving. But when she asks her best friend Nav Bharani to be her date at her younger sister's wedding in Vancouver, she has no idea that she's about to get on board the most surprising ride of her life. . .

Nav has been secretly in love with Kat ever since he moved in next door. When she reveals that she loves taking train rides, especially the meeting-strangers part, Nav devises a plan to win Kat's heart. On every leg of her trip to Vancouver, he shows up disguised as a different sexy stranger. Stunned by Nav's daring, Kat finds herself succumbing to his inventive transformations. But what starts out as an innocent adventure soon becomes much more for Kat as she is forced to choose between her long-held fantasies of the perfect mate--and the prospect of something far more real.

The Wild Ride To Love series is about three sisters traveling home for their kid-sister’s wedding. In part one Sex Drive (published under the pen name Susan Lyons), Theresa Fallon flies home for the wedding and finds true love in the arms of Damien Black. I fell hard and fast for Damien and the way he seduced Theresa. Therefore I could not wait to continue my ride with Theresa’s sister Kat in Love Unexpectedly, who prefers trains over planes to get home. Could her journey by train equally mesmerize me the way Theresa’s journey did? The answer is yes for train trips are sexy too! From page one Kat pulled me along on her journey and nothing could deter me from reaching my final destination: the last page of Love Unexpectedly.

This story begins in the basement laundry room of Kat’s apartment building, where she pours her heart out to her neighbor and best buddy Nav Bharani. Kat is happy for her baby sister but she is also green with envy that sis is getting married while she also longs for marriage and kids, yet she somehow jinxes every single one of her relationships. She picks her men poorly and Nav wonders if she ever is going to open her eyes and realize that her Mr. Right is standing right in front of her. He has been in love with Kat from the moment they met, but Kat has stuck him in the buddy trap. He is her best friend; she has never had a best friend before and won’t risk her relationship with him. Then out of the blue Kat asks Nav to be her date at her sister’s wedding and to pretend he is her boyfriend. Now he sees his chance, since Kat hates to fly she is going to take the train home and what better way to show her who her perfect mate is and make her his girlfriend for real while spending time together as strangers on the train…

Love Unexpectedly is an even-paced and character-driven story. Both Kat and Nav have to take a long look in the mirror and make some changes if they ever going to be truly happy with themselves and in a relationship. Kat is the PR director of a luxurious hotel; she is beautiful, creative and has great organizational skills. She is social and outgoing and yet she has no high self-esteem, she thinks herself boring and average. Therefore she dates men who are the complete opposite of her and they are of course completely wrong for her.

Nav Bharani is a photographer, he is basically a nice guy who could look a lot better but he does not care about his appearance. He is laidback, a good listener and likes to date, but the only reason he dates a lot is to get over his love for Kat. His parents do not approve of his career, they wanted him to take over the family business and agree to an arranged marriage. Their culture and way of living collides in every way with the way Nav wants to live his life, Nav loves his parents but their relationship is uneasy. He is determined to make it on his own as a successful photographer.

I liked Nav from the start but he stole my heart when he fully revamps his looks and surprises Kat on the train playing the “stranger”. Together they play their little game and they come to see each other in a different light. Kat discovers that though she and Nav have been neighbors for many years she really doesn’t know that much about him. The more she gets to know him the more she wants him but she desperately clings to Nav as her best friend, she does not want to lose her best friend. But the “sexy stranger” is lean, muscular, and has an awesome butt, he is drop dead gorgeous and soon Kat longs for more. They have many in-depth conversations and their journey really is one intense ride of self-reflection. Nav discovers that he likes to look well groomed and that his aversion to keep up appearances has to do with his parents constant strive for perfection. Kat also learns that she dated exciting guys with good looks but no substance to boost her self-esteem.

Just as in Sex Drive every chapter is told either from Kat’s point of view, or Nav’s. This gives you a good insight in Kat’s confusion for having feelings for her best friend and Nav’s determination to conquer Kat’s heart for good. I love that their in-depth conversations together with the casual chats they have with other travelers on the train are meaningful and provide them with many insights about themselves and each other. Both Damien and Nav have given Teresa and Kat a fresh perspective on their family. It is obvious that though all sisters have a warm affection for each other they also experienced their childhood differently, they have issues and insecurities and therefore drifted apart. Now little by little they find their way back to one another.

The dialogues in this story are so down-to-earth and easy to relate to, they keep the story dynamic and interesting. The sexual tension between Kat and Nav is very erotic and comes to a full eruption on the train, at the same time I could feel Kat’s confusion and Nav’s frustration and I liked the way their friendship develops into something more, with each page I turned their characters grew more profound.

With Love Unexpectedly Susan Fox took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride, with amazingly well rounded characters, intriguing dialogues and seductive passion she kept me on the edge of my seat!

4 stars