Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
What do you do when the man you think you want to spend the rest of your life with decides to up and leave? You do exactly what Rachel Dillon does; you move on and marry someone else. Then divorce him before running into your previous ex, looking more handsome than ever, at a wedding inside the school cafeteria. Sounds strange, but it is the perfect backdrop for Rachel and Chad’s story in Sydell Voeller’s Unlikely Dad. The stars have seemingly aligned to give Rachel and Chad another chance, but instead of being the young man ready to leave the small town of Oakville behind him, Chad is now a world famous and highly sought after wildlife photographer who spends his time in the wilds of Africa or the Australian Outback. Despite his growing relationship with Rachel’s son Michael, Chad is determined to leave again and pursue his dreams which definitely don’t include marriage.
Sydell Voeller does a good job of portraying small town life—-nosy neighbors and townsfolk, gossip and all—-while also shining a light on that one person who wants to break free of small town life and become something bigger than he has ever known. The lingering emotions between Rachel and Chad are palpable but what really makes this a heartfelt story is the relationship between Michael and Chad. The innocence of his requests, his subtle insightfulness and eagerness to please allows Chad to become a better man than even he knew he was capable of being. Unlikely Dad is a surprising romance that doesn’t necessarily follow the path one would expect. It is a slow-paced story that equals that slow pace of life in Oakville, giving the reader a glimpse into what Rachel loves and Chad loathes about a life lived in a small town.
More than a tale of young love lost, Unlikely Dad is a story about a growing love that strengthens and endures, and grows into something far more than love.