Monday, March 19, 2018

Book Review: 'Taken by Surprise' by Valerie J. Clarizio


This book started off rock solid. I thought I found another winner. I was proud of Clare, the heroine, for making the brave decision to walk away from her troubled Milwaukee city life to start a new life in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She’s finally going to stand on her own and achieve her dreams. I enjoyed reading her pull from her inner strength to accomplish her goals in spite of her insecurities.
Jack, the hero, was equally brave and irresistible and thankfully well equipped to keep Clare safe from the relentless danger that followed her from Milwaukee. The chemistry between Clare and Jack was “Awe” worthy. I especially loved how and why Jack came to Clare’s rescue when she was cleaning the garage. I got quite the chuckle. Jack always came through just in the nick of time, thank goodness.
The synopsis refers to a plot thread about Clare’s alleged involvement with the Fire Chief and his “ring of female admirers”. Unfortunately, this is where I felt that the book faltered. The premise was farfetched. Another thing that hit a wrong note for me was the last chapter. It was as if the author pushed the fast forward button to quickly wrap-up the book. I kind of felt cheated.
Up until the last speedy chapter, the novel was consistently filled with suspense, mystery, and developments that were unpredictable, and that kept me turning the pages. Thankfully the evolving love story between Jack and Clare was well written and kept me plugged in until I reached the happy ending.
Taken by Surprise was a well-paced read with all the threads nicely tied up with a successful satisfactory conclusion. I would recommend this book.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.