The stick turned blue and Tessa Bradley’s world fell apart. But unplanned
turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to her. Add a marriage of
convenience to her best friend and unplanned just might give her the
happily every after with the man she’s always loved.
Gunny Cameron White devoted his life to God, country and the Corp. Marriage
has never been a blip on his radar. When his best friend—a woman he’s
always loved—turns up pregnant and alone, he throws out the rule book and
commits to her like a Marine.
Can two people overcome the choices of their past when an unplanned baby
gives them the chance of an unexpected forever?
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Pregnant? Tessa Bradley’s hand slid across her abdomen, was there really
a little person growing inside her? Her doctor’s voice droned on, but she
couldn’t hear him. She was twelve weeks pregnant without a father for her
baby, and after today’s shift—an unemployed mother-to-be.
It can’t be…I was so careful.
She hit the end button on her cell phone, and slipped it back into her
pocket. During the last nine weeks, she’d worked as the secretary for a law
firm in town, while their permanent one was on maternity leave—talk about
How was she supposed to be a mom when she didn’t even know how to take care
“Tessa, there you are.” Mr. Jacob smiled as he stepped into the office. “I
wanted to give this to you before you left. It’s just a token of my
appreciation for stepping into Bev’s shoes while she was on leave. I
thought this might turn into a permanent position when I hired you, but Bev
obviously has other plans. She wants to come back. If things change, you’ll
be my first call.” He offered her a plain white envelope.
“Thank you. I appreciate it.” She accepted it with a small, honest smile.
Mr. Jacob was a wonderful boss and a good lawyer. He truly cared about his
clients and did everything he could to fight for them both inside and out
of the courtroom.
“Very well, it’s Friday and we have no more clients booked for today. Why
don’t you take off and enjoy your weekend?”
She grasped at the generous offer, especially after the doctor’s call. She
needed to get out; maybe a walk in the park would help her clear her
thoughts. Maybe then, she would have a better idea what to do about her
situation. In a daze, she moved around the office and gathered her things.
“Thank you again for the job Mr. Jacob.” She called to him from the door as
she slipped her purse over her shoulder, and let herself out for the last
The air felt cool against her flushed skin, and the wind tugged her long
brown hair, but she didn’t care. Heading into the park, she made her way
past the children’s playground.
One day I’ll be one of those frantic mothers watching from the bench
praying my child doesn’t get injured.
The countdown to ‘one day’ ticked faster than she’d ever imagined.
“Tess?” He looped his arm around hers, startling her out of her reverie and
pulling her to a stop. “Aren’t you supposed to be working?”
Cameron White stood before her in his breath-stealing,
damn-isn’t-he-good-looking crisp blue Marine uniform. The medals on his
chest made her proud—and served as the steel fence between the future she’d
wanted and the life he’d chosen fifteen years ago. He was a fine specimen
of manhood—over six feet, muscular from his military training and hours in
the gym, and shoulders wide enough to carry the world.
Over the years, she’d nursed a long-standing fascination and attraction for
Cameron, one he refused to acknowledge after he joined the Marines. She
tried to supplant the desire, redirect it to someone else, but even Brian
didn’t measure up to the yardstick she judged all men by. They weren’t
Young Marines spoke of him with respect, edged with fear. She knew he was
strict, and expected only the best from his men, but he was also fair.
Whenever someone needed a helping hand he was there, helping, guiding, but
he expected his men to learn from their mistakes—to pay for their mistakes
with pushups, loss of leave, whatever it took to drill the message home. He
pushed his men to the breaking point, making them the finest Marines he
could and he wouldn’t stand for them to give less than one hundred and ten
“Why are you in your dress blues?”
“I just left John’s wedding, they pushed it up so they could be married
before he ships out. It was a nice ceremony by the lake.”
She heard him but it was as if his words came through a haze, distant and
she couldn’t focus. Her legs felt heavy, and her head swam.
“What’s wrong Tessa? Are you feeling okay?” He cupped a hand under her arm
and guided her over to a bench.
“I’m fine…I just need to go home.” God help her it was good to see him. He
was like a port for a ship lost at sea but she needed to wrap her mind
around what she was going to do—and how could she tell him? She didn’t
think she could bear his disappointment.
“Come on, I’ll take you home.” Arm around her waist, he pivoted neatly and
guided her toward the street.
“I’m fine. My apartment isn’t that far, I can walk. I’m sure you have other
things you need to do before you have to go.” Even to her, the words
sounded flat and they wouldn’t convince him, but it was all she had left.
“You’re all that matters today. I was coming over once you got off work.”
Even if he didn’t believe her, he didn’t force the subject. Maybe all the
years they had known each other had enlightened him to the fact that if he
pushed she’d only shut down more. What am I going to tell him? She tried
to think of something, anything as he led her towards his car. They only
had a few days left together before his upcoming deployment. She didn’t
want to ruin the time she had left with him by bringing up her mistakes.
Just the thought of another deployment was enough to send her into panic
mode. Yes, he was career military and that was part of his job, but it
scared the hell out of her every, single time. In truth, he married the
Marines from the day he enlisted. He wouldn’t be there for their weekly
movie date, or nightly chats. Selfish? Yes, but he was such a large part of
her life, she didn’t know how to give it up—even for only a short
time—without her heart breaking.
If she were honest with herself, she’d admit she was in love with him, and
had been since they were sixteen. Fifteen years later nothing had changed,
at least not for her. For Cameron, he’d chosen the Marines, and that
loyalty was absolute. He left no part of himself free for a girlfriend, let
alone a wife. No matter how much she’d always wished otherwise, Tessa had
accepted they would never be anything more than friends. Cameron wouldn’t
allow anything more. He said something else, but she didn’t really
understand it, the world around her tilted and she swayed. Blackness
swamped her vision and everything faded.
My Review:Unexpected Forever made me cry. I'll admit it; I teared up quite a few times actually.
Being a Military brat and spouse at one point, I could totally relate to the feelings Tessa was experiencing (minus the pregnancy while deployed part). The emotions and thoughts were hit dead on and the story was written beautifully.
Marissa has yet again written an amazing story full of emotions and detail. I totally recommend reading Unexpected Forever and other great works by Marissa.
Born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, Marissa Dobson now resides about an hour from Washington, D.C. She's a lady who likes to keep busy, and is always busy doing something. With two different college degrees, she believes you are never done learning.
Being the first daughter to an avid reader, this gave her the advantage of learning to read at a young age. Since learning to read she has always had her nose in a book. It wasn't until she was a teenager that she started writing down the stories she came up with.
Marissa is blessed with a wonderful supportive husband, Thomas. He's her other half and allows her to stay home and pursue her writing. He puts up with all her quirks and listens to her brainstorm in the middle of the night.
Her writing buddies Max (a cocker spaniel) and Dawne (a beagle mix) are always around to listen to her bounce ideas off them. They might not be able to answer, but they are helpful in their own ways.
She love to hear from readers, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her online at http://www.marissadobson.com.