Unexpected Fate is my absolute favorite book from Harper Sloan! It is so hard to pick just one since I love them all, but there is just something about this story that has stayed with me since I first read it. For those unfamiliar with Harper's books, Unexpected Fate is the first book in her Hope Town series (a spin-off from her Corps Security series featuring the children of the Corps characters), with each book being a standalone. So when I got the opportunity to experience my favorite book from Harper in a completely new way I jumped at the chance! Unexpected Fate features narrators Shirl Rae and Sean Crisden as Dani Reid and Cohen Cage.
Danielle Reid has loved Cohen Cage since they were children. Their families have been close and the two of them have always been a huge part of each other's lives. But Dani has always wanted more. She has loved him through every girl he has dated and through his deployments. But when she finally tells him how she feels, he begins to distance himself from her as much as he can. She knows that he feels something for her even if he refuses to acknowledge it. Dani and Cohen both know that with their family and friends so intertwined that if anything happens, things will be messy. But Dani is determined to finally get Cohen to give them a chance, or move on for good.
Dani and Cohen have to be one of my all time favorite couples! These two are absolutely perfect for one another, and exactly what you would think of when the term soulmates is used. They have such a strong and undeniable connection that was there for their whole lives. These two started out as friends when they were kids, and grew into so much more as they got older. Though Cohen fought his feelings for Dani, it was clear that it was because of age and because he was trying to protect her. Dani was strong and feisty, and her love for Cohen was unwavering. Seeing her devotion to him is one of my absolute favorite things about this story. These two would go to the ends of the earth for each other, and their love and relationship is rare and special, and truly one of a kind.
While I enjoyed seeing this story brought to life in a way that isn't possibly by simply reading the book, I have to admit that the choice in narrators wasn't my favorite. Shirl Rae had some moments where her voice came off as a bit stiff and robotic. She didn't seem to be able to bring Dani's personality to life at times, and some of Dani's spark seemed dimmed compared to how it felt by just reading the book. Same for Sean Crisden reading Cohen's POV here. His voice seemed to be a bit too old for the age group, and just didn't fit the character I have come to know and love. Unfortunately this is something I have seen previously from Sean Crisden, as he is often the narrator for many of my favorite NA stories. I'm not saying he is a bad narrator as he clearly has talent, but his voice just doesn't seem to lend itself to the younger characters. But even though the narration here wasn't my favorite, this story is so good that I found myself enjoying it regardless. Dani and Cohen's story is one that I would highly recommend, and if you love listening to audiobooks or love the NA or contemporary romance genres it is definitely work checking out.
**Audiobook Provided by Publisher**