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Book review: 'Unexpected' is an LDS Cinderella tale

Published: Sunday, Oct. 27 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

"Unexpected" is Karen Tuft's new novel. (Covenant Communications)

"UNEXPECTED," by Karen Tuft, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 245 pages (f)

“Unexpected,” Karen Tuft’s new romance novel, will resonate with most singles over 31 — especially those who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ross McConnell is a handsome, successful, wealthy lawyer who is also LDS, 37 and single. His family and friends have tried to find him a wife for years. To discourage the matchmaking, he gives them a description of his perfect woman — one that would be almost impossible to find.

Natalie Forrester is a single LDS mother who has been married and divorced. She’s bright, artistic and working on getting a college degree as time permits. She works as a housekeeper, which leads to her unexpected introduction to Ross.

Karen Tuft's new book is titled Karen Tuft's new book is titled "Unexpected." (Provided by Covenant Communications)

Both Ross and Natalie have been hurt in previous romantic relationships. The path to their romance is rather thorny and full of obstacles; it is also filled with gentle humor. This is a heartwarming Cinderella tale and ends in true fairy tale fashion — happily ever after.

Almost every LDS cliché about being single, male and over 26 is humorously employed by the author, but the dialogue feels natural and the story flows well. There are numerous references to Utah LDS culture and lifestyle.

Written in third-person, the author shares the story from both the men and women's perspectives.

The language is clean and there isn't any described violence. There are romantic moments that involve kissing and hugging, but no bedroom scenes.

The importance of family is a concept woven throughout the story.

It’s the kind of book the two mugs of marshmallow-topped hot chocolate on the book cover imply — one to enjoy curled up on the sofa with a blanket and some hot chocolate on a chilly evening.

LDS author Tuft lives with her husband and children in Sandy.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.

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