Review + Giveaway: Not Always Happenstance

Title: Not Always Happenstance
Author: Rachael Anderson
Publisher: HEA Publishing
Release Date: February 2016
Length: 200 pages
Series?: Power of the Matchmaker #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

Lani has lived in Hana, Hawaii for five years. She’s learned to surf, fish, dive, and manage her grandmother’s bed and breakfast. She’s also learned to take one day at a time the way it should be taken—relaxed and unrushed, savoring every moment.

But, like a large wave on the brink of breaking, her life is about to crash out of control. A proposal of marriage, a conniving grandmother, a cryptic Asian woman, and a handsome guest, and suddenly everything calm begins to churn, everything clear becomes confused, and all that was normal segues into peculiar.

As Lani struggles against the current to hold her ground, she realizes that she can either continue to fight and eventually lose, or take a take a leap of faith, hold her breath, and ride the wave wherever it takes her.


***** Review *****

Not-Always-HappenstanceThe Skinny

Lani has moved to Hawaii to take care of her grandmother, who is not so ailing. After falling in love with the island and the people, Lani has found it hard to leave…so she stays. Even after a marriage proposal, she stays.

When Easton arrives to the island, Lani’s hackles are raised. All of a sudden, her grandmother is renting out the house she shared with her husband, talking about him, sharing details of their life. Lani is on Easton’s case like white on rice about all of these sudden changes in her grandmother.

The two are both suspicious of one another after a few interesting incidents. As Easton’s stay continues throughout the summer, they both encounter Pearl, who they both find a bit mystical. Pearl does her best to gently make Lani and Easton look at their situation through different lenses.

The Players

Lani –

Puna (Cora) – Lani’s conniving grandmother

Pearl – the mysterious matchmaker, also involved in some Puna shenanigans

Easton – a travel writer who avoids goodbyes

Ahe – Puna’s “nephew,” he is the traditional Polynesian who dislikes the hoales, he has formed a very strong friendship with Lani

The Quote

I hope she breaks your heart. Samah’s words thudded in his brain, and for the first time in his life, Easton wondered if his heart was susceptible to breaking and if Lanie would be the one to fulfill Samah’s wish.

The Highs and Lows

  • + The setting. Maui. Oh my lanta. I already know it is beautiful, but some of the descriptions about Hana area made me need to go there. There is nothing better than a breathtaking setting, no matter the time of day.
  • + Lani. After getting well into the book, Lani began strongly expressing herself, and I found that our thoughts on life and relationships are exactly alike. It is like I was reading about another version of me in another dimension…or, you know, Hawaii. I loved the soul of her character.
  • + Pearl. The magical Asian matchmaker has some mystical tricks up her sleeve, and the descriptions of Pearl from Lani’s perspective and Easton’s perspective were interesting because they saw the same things in Pearl.
  • + Easton. From the first page, Easton was that stereotypical man who loves ’em and leaves ’em. He refuses to say goodbye. He just bolts when he’s ready to go, but throughout his Hawaiian summer he grows so much as an individual, and as a man. He becomes the kind of man a woman needs and wants.
  • Ahe. I had mixed emotions about Ahe, who loves Lani and keeps it under wraps. He is jealous of Easton and has those moments, but he also pushes Lani and Easton together. I can’t decide how I feel about him, but he is also a keeper.

The Take-Away

The element about this book that really sucked me in was the character’s insights. When Lani and Easton describe Pearl, it is beautiful. When they internally reflect about themselves and one another and their future, it is the want and need and conflict that is so honest, sincere, and authentic.

Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip? 

BUY. IT. Go, now!

***** About the Author *****

USA Today bestselling author Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.


Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

***** Giveaway *****

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/29/16

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

9 thoughts on “Review + Giveaway: Not Always Happenstance

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