Beautifully Unexpected by Lily Morton | Book Review

Sometimes love comes when you least expect or want it.

Magnus Carlsen is determined to grow old disgracefully. At fifty-two, he doesn’t believe in keeping anything. Men, sofas, books-everything gets jettisoned, eventually. He’s divided his life into happy compartments. A successful trial lawyer, he spends his days lecturing jurors, exasperating judges, and striding arrogantly around courtrooms. He fills his nights with a parade of handsome young men who want to make him happy. Why date someone his own age to discuss back pain, retirement-planning, and corns, when he can date men who don’t care to discuss anything at all?

However, when one of these sunny young men shows an inclination for dramatic scenes, Magnus meets his new neighbour. And his whole world implodes.

Laurie Gentry is nearly the same age as Magnus, but that’s where the similarity ends. He’s messy and creative and nosy and mysterious. He’s everything that Magnus has spent a lifetime avoiding. So, why can’t he get Laurie out of his head?

Luckily, Laurie is only in London for the summer. Magnus can uncover Laurie’s mysteries and indulge their annoyingly hot attraction, and Laurie will be gone before complications arise. A few months isn’t long enough to lose his heart. Is it?

How was it?

I didn’t know much about this book going in, except that it was from Lily Morton an author whose book I have enjoyed in the past. The latest being After Felix, and Charlie Sunshine.

The fact that the main protagonists are middle age, made the story a little more interesting to me since I most often read about college-aged or age-gap stories. Magnus and Laurie had an interesting dynamic, they met in an unexpected and comical way that almost made me think that one or both of them would act like man-children. But do not worry they both act their age, I mean like what you’d expect a gay 48-year-old painter, and a 52-year-old Queen’s Counsel – the highest-ranking lawyers in the UK. – to act.

The two have strong personalities and a great sense of humor. So there’s a lot of banter in this novel, laced with a sarcastic tone in some of the dialogue. Magnus and Laurie’s relationship evolves slowly – the book is a slow-burn -, they are friends first and their friendship very discreetly morphed into a loving relationship as the pages go by. They slowly realize that they are good for each other.

The novel is pretty smooth sailing but there is some drama that rears its ugly head – otherwise, there wouldn’t be a story. However, it serves a purpose – thank goodness – it opens our main protagonists’ eyes as to what they were gently getting into.

Overall this book was a fun satisfying story, the audiobook is beautifully narrated by Joel Leslie.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
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