beautifully unexpected coverRating: 4.5 stars
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Length: Novel


Magnus Carlsen is smart, confident, a bit arrogant, and at fifty-two, not interested in settling down. Magnus spends his days hard at work as a successful barrister and his nights with an endless stream of twenty-something twinks. And that is just how he likes it. No clutter, no entanglements, and no real need to open himself up to anyone.

When one of Magnus’ carefully nudged out the door one-night stands shows back up in a bit of a spectacle, Magnus meets Laurie Gentry. Laurie is house sitting for his brother in the apartment across the hall from Magnus, and Laurie gets quite a kick out of Magnus’ absurd predicament. Laurie is almost the same age as Magnus, and similarly not looking for any kind of serious relationship. He is also vibrant, messy, impulsive, and not the least bit intimidated by Magnus.

The two men strike up a friendship, both challenging one another, but also laughing together and finding a real connection. At first, it is nothing more than a friendship between two men with seemingly nothing in common. But as the summer moves on, Laurie and Magnus begin to act on the attraction they have for one another. It was supposed to be casual, and it was supposed to be just for the summer. But now Magnus and Laurie may find that love has come into their lives when they least expect it, if they have the courage to embrace the opportunity.

I have made no secret of my adoration for Lily Morton’s writing, so I am always excited when I hear she has a new book releasing. Morton has a way of combining warmth, sexiness, and humor that just totally works for me. Beautifully Unexpected encompassed all three, along with a swoony romance that I just adored.

We so rarely get older heroes in romance novels, let alone two older men falling for one another. We know that Magnus spends his time with nothing but younger men, thinking them easy and uncomplicated. He doesn’t want commitment and he doesn’t want to have to open up to anyone, so it seems perfect. But when Magnus and Laurie meet, they immediately have a connection that can only come from two strong people who are smart, confident, and willing to push one another. At first, there is nothing between them but friendship. The two men just click, and find themselves wanting to spend all their time together. The attraction grows, and ultimately they act upon it. But what I liked most here is how well Magnus and Laurie fit together and the strong bond they form even before things go any further than friendship. They love to challenge one another, to push each other a bit out of their comfort zone. And of course, to tease and gently mock one another, giving the story a nice humorous overtone.

I just loved these guys together and there is so much warmth and yumminess here. I found myself kind of swoony, watching these men fall for each other and figure out that they have found a magic between them that neither man was seeking. This was just a delightful book and a perfect choice for a contemporary story featuring two older heroes who find a surprising love affair with one another.

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