Dale McGuire is a business owner who is successful in business and in racing but her heart is empty. She feels like she will never get to have the family that she secretly dreams about. One day Jake, a gorgeous 10-year-old boy, turns up at her work and tells her that she is his missing mother and he needs her help.
Rebecca Harper is in hiding. Her father’s crimes made her infamous. She had to change her name and move to get away from the media circus and the criminals looking for her. But her past is threatening to come knocking at her door and the last thing she needs is her 10-year-old bringing a new complication into their lives. Pregnant with her second child, Rebecca is barely hanging on as it is. Her house, car and financial situation are all falling apart and the feelings that Dale stirs are unwelcome.
Sometimes, though, a little complication can be just what a girl needs.
Sheena: I am going to be brief and just talk about my two favorite characters.
Dale is such a lovely character. She is so earnest and sweet. She makes me ache with the wonderfulness of it all.
Jake is a delight. He is such a smart kid and I loved how he blossomed when Dale came into their lives. It was a beautiful side story.
Tara: I totally agree about Jake. I often don’t enjoy reading about children in fiction because they come across as caricatures. But much like Riley in Courting the Countess, Jake is believable, even if he’s precocious and smarter than the average kid.
I’m going to second you about Dale too. She’s so dreamy and is probably one of my top character crushes of the year. It’s no wonder Rebecca couldn’t resist her!
Rebecca is a little harder to connect with, but when I learned about her whole backstory I could totally understand why she’s the way she is. I love what a fierce mama bear she is though, and how Jake and her unborn baby really are her top priority. It’s also delicious watching her thaw as she grows to trust Dale. That gave me such a happy sigh.
The Writing Style
Sheena: I love the way Jenny Frame writes. I have yet to discover an author who writes like her. Her voice is strong and unique and gives a freshness to the lesbian fiction sector.
Tara: Yes, I totally agree. Frame’s books are all so engaging and easy to read, but with a sensibility that is particular to her.
Sheena: The narration was so good. The Scottish accent was adorable. I have heard one or two listeners say that they struggled a little with some of it but I didn’t have a problem at all.
(Please bear in mind that I am not from the UK, so I have no idea how accurate it was, but if TV is anything to go by then it sounded genuine to me)
Tara: I think Nicola Victoria Vincent’s voice with Jenny Frame’s words is one of my favourite current pairings in the lesfic audio world. I may have made a squeeing noise when I first heard Dale’s Scottish accent. I checked in with a Glaswegian and it’s not perfect, but it’s damned close!
Sheena: Frame’s books are adorable and I cannot praise them enough. Every new book is an exciting prospect for me and I am thrilled to have such consistent quality and unique stories each time.
Sheena: I actually don’t know why I even bother putting cons on this particular review because I have none.
Tara: I would have happily read hundreds more pages of Dale and Rebecca and their family.
Sheena: This is a gorgeous book with a wonderful cast of characters and I would love to see a spin-off of this particular one. Oh, who am I kidding, I just want Jenny Frame to write all the books and all the spin offs. And then I want Bold Strokes Books to put them on audio because these are some of my favorite books ever.
Tara: Can I just say “What she said?” Because seriously, what Sheena just said. Jenny Frame has been absolutely crushing it with her books lately and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.
Excerpt from Unexpected by Jenny Frame
Dale walked back to the front of her desk, leaned on it, and crossed her arms. “Listen, what’s your name?”
The little boy walked forward and held out his hand for her to shake. It struck her immediately that he was entirely too adult and formal for a child.
“My name is Jake Harper.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a sheet of paper.
“How can I help you, Jake? Are you lost? Are your parents around?”
“No, I’m not lost, and one of my parents is here.”
Dale, on the other had, was utterly lost, but somewhere deep inside she had a sinking feeling. “Where? What is this about?”
By now Sammy had joined Val at the office door and seemed equally perplexed when Dale looked to her for help.
Jake held out a document and said, “You’re my other mum and I’ve been looking for you. It was hard but I knew I’d find you.”
“Sammy, if you…” Her words died in her throat as she took the document and saw her details on a printout from the Orchard Fertility Clinic.
Dale’s hands started to shake as she read. “No, no, this isn’t real.”
Get This Book On Amazon
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781626399426
- Publisher: Bold Stroke Books
- Narration: Nicola Victoria Vincent
Jenny Frame Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Unexpected by Jenny Frame. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.
If you enjoyed this book then you should also look at this for a butch/femme romance