eARC Review – The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale by Stephanie Eding

Title: The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale

Author: Stephanie Eding

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Publication date: May 3rd, 2022

320 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

If you’re looking for:
Found family who always look out for you

A second chance romance with your high school crush

All the fried food that’ll take your mind off your troubles

A chance to start over and do things your own way
Then The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale is exactly what you need!

When Josie discovers that she’s unexpectedly pregnant with her ex-husband’s baby (darn that last attempt to save their marriage), she seeks comfort in deep-fried food at the county fair. There she runs into her two old friends, Ben and Kevin. While sharing their own disappointments with adult life, they devise a plan to move in together and turn their lives around. Soon Ben and Kevin make it their mission to prepare for Josie’s baby, not least by making sure Josie always has the food she’s craving. Maybe all together they can discover the true meaning of family and second chances in life…


I genuinely wanted to like this book because the concept of a romance where the woman is pregnant with an ex-partner’s child was highly intriguing to me. But I ended up being underwhelmed by this book overall.

Josie Hale is going through a divorce after finding her husband cheating on her, but she is pregnant. With nowhere else to turn, Josie moves back to her home town and reconnects with her two best friends from high school who are roommates and haven’t yet grown up. Josie moves in with them and the three make a pact to grow up and improve their lives. Whereas the growth in the three characters was interesting and the two men end up taking good care of Josie while she is pregnant, the romance was completely unconvincing.

I didn’t think it would be, especially when Josie and Ben were interested in each other in high school and there was some tension between the two in the beginning. But every page that passed just didn’t make sense in advancing a relationship and by the end it seemed like nothing had happened. I had such high hopes but it just didn’t do it for me.

The best part was watching the three start to grow up and work on their values in life, but I wouldn’t read this for the romance aspect at all.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

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