Exceeding Expectations

Exceeding Expectations - Lisa April Smith My Take:
I couldn't put this book down. I will admit that I wasn't sure if I was going to like it when I first started it.
But once I got past the second page, I had to know what was going to happen next. Why did Jack stage his suicide and how could he leave his family? "Charlie" and her sister Amelia suddenly find themselves penniless and facing life on the streets. When they find out their father probably killed himself, Charlie decides to try to figure out why. The story alternates between the 60's (now) and the late 30s to early 40s (then). As Charlie discovers clues about her father and her own history, the reader travels back to the late 30s in France and finds out the real story. I liked how the story flowed. The transitions were smooth and well timed.

I really liked Charlie. On the surface she looks like a spoiled, privileged socialite. Deep down, she is a strong, loving woman who will do anything to take care of the ones she loved. Even if it means getting a job. I liked that while she has led a privileged life, she wasn't naive and clueless. I loved her and Raul together. I was hoping she could get past her own worries about what society would think of her being with a Cuban man find her "Happily Ever After".

Exceeding Expectations is a well written, engaging mystery. While it isn't a traditional whodunit, there are a lot of twists that make it that much more intriguing. There is also a really sweet romance to round out the story. The epilogue leaves a big cliffhanger and I can't wait to read Paradise Misplaced when it comes out. Pick this one up, you won't be sorry!