Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
Taken by Surprise by Valerie J Clarizio is full of suspense, mystery and romance. Clare Ulster is engaged to high-flyer Sean, but when she finds him in bed with two other women, it’s the last straw. Leaving her fiancé and her job as a probation officer behind, she moves to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, into her grandparents’ old house in a bid to start again. Iron City is peaceful and quiet, just what she needs to get herself together and get her life back on track. Unfortunately, she isn’t going to get her wish. Sean has followed her and insists on making trouble for her, more than he ever did before. Her relationship with Matt, fire chief and town player, lands her in hot water with all of his admirers and leads to a whirlwind of trouble, including murder and kidnapping. Will Clare survive to tell the tale? Can Police Chief Jack save her from the trouble that has followed her?
Taken by Surprise by Valerie J Clarizio was a great read. It was all action, right from the word go, with no let up throughout the whole book. You have to feel sorry for Clare – she seems to find herself in trouble, no matter where she turns, and it seems that the snakes she tosses out of her garage are tame compared to the human snakes that enter her life. I thought the plot was very well written, it ran naturally and there were plenty of twists and turns to keep me interested. The characters were exceptionally well suited to the plot and written in such a way that the reader will get to know them intimately. The lives of the characters were brought into the story gradually, keeping them alive, and giving more meaning to the story. Excellent book, and I hope to read more from Ms. Clarizio.