• Beautifully Unexpected

  • By: Lily Morton
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (158 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sometimes love comes when you least expect or want it.

Magnus Carlsen is determined to grow old disgracefully. At 52, 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 neighbor. 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?

From best-selling author Lily Morton comes a romantic comedy about two footloose older men and how one summer in London brings something quite beautifully unexpected into their lives.

©2021 Lily Morton (P)2022 Lily Morton
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Beautifully Unexpected

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what a lovely tale.

I've listened to most of Lilly Morton books, and while most are hilariously funny this is not. It has cute antidote throughout but not the same hilarity that most do.
What I loved most about this is that it's centered on two older men. Myself being closer to 50 than 40 I really enjoy a more mature setting. No kids, no crazy ex's. Just two gentlemen finding themselves and each other. With a little help from family and a dog.
What starts as a summer fling ends up being such more. And I loved hearing about all the sites around London, I even looked up some to get a reference.
The only downside, and not enough to ruin the story, is that I lose track of the time line, seems like it should have been X amount of time, then it's mentioned that X time has passed. And I'm thinking...huh..

Of course Joel Leslie does a phenomenal job with the narration. I simply could listen to him all day every day.

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European through and through

Although it's nice to read a story with more mature characters, some of the humor is lost in translation. I still loved it.

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A sweet romance!❤️

I absolutely loved this sweet low angst contemporary romance.


Magnus and Laurie were sweet together and I loved the chemistry between them.


I loved how the characters find love late in life and the author portrayed the dynamics between the two very beautifully.

The storyline was interesting and relatable!

Joel Leslie performed an amazing audio delivery and narration.


Definitely recommend

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Again and again and again

Lily and Joel you did it again. Every story is as good or better than the last one I listened too. Please keep writing and narrating together for MANY years. You both are soooo good. Magnus and Laurie were so fun, snarky, and loving. Thanks again.

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What’s not to like?

Great story, great main characters, good heat, and amazing narration as always by Joel Leslie. Minimal angst, just a charming listen. Highly recommended.

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They did it again Lily and Joel is truly a magnificent combination

I so enjoyed reading this book I put it off for a little while thinking it was older guys but I’ll tell you it was just amazing between the storyline and the reading it may become my very favorite however I have loved everyone of these books written by Lily Morton and read by Joel so it would be hard to choose

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Simply lovely

Joel Leslie brings this sweet, romanic, story to life. I loved the characters and their interactions, it reminded me of some many of my friends and family. Highly recommended

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Enjoyable Story - Stellar Narration

I liked this one fine the first time around when I read it originally but was really hoping Joel's stellar narration would bolster my review of the story up at least a full notch. Sadly, it didn't. Don't get me wrong though, it's still a sold 3 star read with a wonderful pair of over 40 MCs with loads of fun and witty banter featuring a terrific cast of supporting characters. There's a lot to enjoy about their overall dynamic and story plotline. It just left me feeling wanting something more from/for them.

I was thrilled to add this new narration from Joel to my collection as he always provides a stellar performance and this one was no exception to his remarkable talent. However, even he couldn't completely make this one a home run for me.

Story: 3 stars
Narration: 4.5 stars

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Amazing. Funny. Snarky. Accent loving story.

Lily Morton is ALWAYS amazing. I loved this, totally different than a lot of other stories coming out, with more men over 40 years of age. They have so much already in life & are looking for nothing more than hookups but end up finding their beautifully unexpected match. The snark and quick Witt is awesome. Joel Leslie is fabulous and i adore him. The story was beautifully written. The MCs were lovely and so real. This story is so easy to dig into and listen so quickly because you don’t want to miss a thing. I want more. Haha so good. 5 stars :)

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Witty and Beautiful

This book is witty, snarky and beautiful. The humor is so amazingly intelligent and adult and far from the juvenile low brow humor of so many books today. It is a breath of fresh air and the performance by Joel Leslie matches the book perfectly. I so love this.

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  • Drdzim
  • 08-29-22

Nah

The characters laugh a lot, but I find myself not laughing along with them. They would need to take a breath or two in between the quips. Their interactions are at times cute but not believable for the middle-aged men they're supposed to be. Sure, there is no single way a man or a woman should behave at a certain age. There are various sides to a person etc. etc. All of us remain children in some way, despite our skinsuits getting older. This is what I love about men at this age, actually: their maturity, experience, more of a relaxed attitude toward life due to knowing by this point what they are and what they want, and a uniquely human softness underneath. These characters... they are not it for me. 20-somethings at best.

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  • Lesetiger
  • 08-03-22

Wonderful

As always, Lily Morten has written a romance novel that makes you feel completely comfortable. This time there are two interesting and fascinating characters, Magnus and Laurie, who are middle-aged. I have to say, I particularly liked the age of the men in this novel. As well as the relationship that develops throughout the story.

It begins between Magnus and Laurie as a light summer flirtation and eventually the two realize they want more. I loved the deep love these two have for each other. It was wonderful to watch them fall in love and friendship turn into so much more. As a reader, you could feel this magic between the two. You don't need to miss out on Lily's usual humor.
This book is an exciting and entertaining romance and also the setting in London was great.

Joel Leslie did a wonderful job narrating, as always, and he chose perfect voices for the characters. It was a pleasure to listen to this audiobook

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  • Mandy Tunstill
  • 10-01-22

Magnus and Laurie ❤️

WOW.......Absolutely brilliant love book by Lily Morton and in audio listening to Joel Leslie bring Mags & Laurie to life is truly amazing these two are simply magnificent together the fun the banter so hilarious never laughed as much from friends to lovers to something very beautiful can't recommend enough. ❤️

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  • Phantasmagoric
  • 09-17-22

Absolutely beautiful

It's one of my favourite books by Lily and I'm so pleased to say Joel does a fantastic job of bringing each character from the book to life. I enjoyed every moment of this story and recommend it wholeheartedly.

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  • Mr. J. Tyler
  • 09-11-22

Lily is Spectacular

I’m a huge fan of the M2M romance genre. Lily writes some of the best in the business. There is very little cringe factor, all of the characters are well thought through and the story character driven.

This is another amazing story in her collection with endearing characters and a gripping prose.

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  • David Le
  • 08-11-22

Fantastic

Devoured this within days - the story was well-written and all characters are wonderfully portrayed, with the last few chapters being the highlights of the book. Great performance from the voice actor - highly recommended

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  • KBR
  • 08-03-22

Beautifully Unexpected

A beautiful story from Lily Morton with exceptional narration by Joel Leslie. I loved these characters and their journey to happily ever after. I loved that they were older characters coming into love for the first time.

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  • Trio
  • 08-03-22

Beautifully Unexpected! Lovely Job by J. Leslie

I'm a loyal Lily Morton fan, but I honestly wasn't expecting to adore Beautifully Unexpected as much as I did. These two guys literally drew me in right from the start. Both a bit curmudgeonly, and completely stuck in their ways, watching the friendship between Magnus and Laurie blossom is completely fulfilling.

When the romance finally happens, it just so natural... and they're incredibly hot together. Lily Morton crafts this one perfectly.

The audio version is nicely performed by Joel Leslie. He's come up with a really pleasant accent for Magnus.

an audiobook copy of Beautifully Unexpected was provided for the purpose of my honest review, all opinions are my own

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  • AL
  • 08-03-22

Lovely

Story: Lovely story! Lily Morton's characters never fail to make me fall in love. The story was entertaining, the emotions genuine and palpable. Just what you need!
Narration: Joel Leslie is a great fit for this story. The acting is spot on.

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  • Susie Umphers
  • 08-03-22

A re-energizing love

Magnus has taken the Marie Kondo method to heart, not just about his posessions, but about the men in his life. Keep them younger and keep them moving on. That is, until he meets Laurie who is close to his own age but has kept all the youthful spirit Magnus has lost over the years. Turns out, over the summer, Magnus discovers Laurie "brings him joy" all the time. What's a playboy to do? It's a romance, it's a Lily Morton romance, somyou know where things will go but it is always such a joy to watch her characters realize where things will go. As always, you'll smile and chuckle and get that wonderful Lily Morton warmth in your heart with this one. Might just be my favorite of hers. Joel Leslie gives his usual amazing performance here. I especially loved his vocal changes as Magnus starts to realize what Laurie means to him and the way he makes you feel Laurie's warmth and zest for life.

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  • Avid
  • 07-20-22

Amazing 🤩🤩🤩

Wonderful book read equally wonderfully by Joel Leslie. Thank you to both Joel and Lily Morton.

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  • Kibbit
  • 07-20-22

Beautifully Unexpected was unexpected.

Couldn't count how many laugh out loud moments I had listening to this story. Loved the conversations and witty banter throughout.