When her father passed away from cancer, Candace (C.C.) Russell’s outlook on life changed. Despite a learning disability, she decided to persevere and follow her dream of creative writing. The result is The Unexpected & The Captivating, two interesting novellas with likeable characters.
Though two separate stories, the novellas share many of the same characters. Set in the small town of Lindsay, a city in Kawartha Lakes, Canada, “The Unexpected” tells the story of star-crossed lovers Lydia Smallwood and Antonio Carpezo. Before the story begins, Lydia and Antonio meet at Fleming College where she is studying nursing and he is there from Spain, working as a student teacher. Upon Lydia’s graduation, Antonio must return to Spain, leaving Lydia, heartbroken.
She later agrees to become a surrogate mother for her friends, Alfred and Maria Lochia, who have been trying to have a baby for ten years. Lydia lives in a basement apartment in the Lochia’s house and suffers from an accident several months into her pregnancy that changes the lives of everyone involved and introduces a supernatural element to the story.
A surprising and unique plot twist keeps the story interesting enough to hold up as it carries over into the second novella. Both stories are similar in plot and can be a bit predictable at times, but the supernatural theme that runs throughout keeps the stories interesting.
Both tales, however, are marred by grammatical errors that distract readers from otherwise good writing. Russell has a gift for describing characters and scenery that gets buried beneath incorrect verb tense usage. (Many of the events are written in past tense, while descriptions of the characters are in present. Though neither is incorrect separately, together this makes for a frustrating transition for readers.) Despite this, both stories are worth reading. The Unexpected & the Captivating is recommended for romance fans who have an interest in the supernatural.
Also available in paperback and ebook.