What's Not Said Book Review & Book Tour Giveaway

I am not generally a romance novel or chick-lit reader--I always say that there must be something more than romance to the plot. I recently had the opportunity to read and review What's Not Said by Valerie Taylor.  Read my thoughts on this novel, learn about the book & the author--and be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.


Book Title:  What's Not Said by Valerie Taylor
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 yrs +),  316 pages
Genre: Women's Fiction, Chick Lit
PublisherShe Writes Press
Release date:   Sept 15, 2020
Format available for review:  print, and NetGalley Download (mobi for kindle, epub, pdf)
Will send print books out:  USA
Tour dates: Sep 28 to Oct 16, 2020
Content RatingPG-13 + M. WHAT'S NOT SAID is rated PG-13+M because of four F-words, moderate cussing, two explicit sex scenes, and a couple of implicit sex scenes.

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About the Book

In WHAT'S NOT SAID, we meet Kassie O’Callaghan, a middle-aged woman who’s on a mission to divorce her emotionally abusive husband and start a new life with a younger man she met while on a solo vacation in Venice. When she learns her husband has chronic kidney disease, her plans collapse until she pokes around his pajama drawer and discovers his illness is the least of his deceits. Then again, Kassie is no angel. As she struggles to justify her own indiscretions, the separate lives they lead collide head-on into a tangled web of sex, lies, and DNA. Still, mindful of her vows, Kassie commits to helping her husband find an organ donor. In the process, she uncovers a life-changing secret. Problem is, if she reveals it, her own immorality will be exposed, forcing her to decide whose life to save—her husband’s or her own.

WHAT'S NOT SAID (She Writes Press) is Valerie Taylor's debut novel. Its sequel, WHAT'S NOT TRUE (She Writes Press), will be published in the fall of 2021. While WHAT'S NOT SAID is the first installment of a series, it is written and can be read as a stand-alone novel.


My Review


What's Not Said Offers a Look at Marriage, Life, Trust, and Infidelity. The author creates a different kind of novel as she shares Kassie's story from Kassie's perspectives, Kassie's husband, and Kassie's lover throughout the book. The storyline takes a 5-year affair--and follows the characters, their motivations, and feelings as the story moves along through challenges and surprises. The author takes a different approach from the same-old affair stories by having the wife take a younger boyfriend--and face a moral obligation to see an ailing husband through a life-threatening illness. While the novel's coincidences challenge the imagination at times--there are realistic points to consider that often pop up during aging, strained relationships.  


Readers May Not Like Any of the Characters. This novel is honestly the first book that I have ever felt compelled to read to a resolution that did not hold a single character that I liked. Extramarital affairs are a touchy subject for me--and I am generally not a fan of the excuses and the rationales that lead to them in relationships. I didn't feel myself feeling sympathetic toward any of the characters--not even the ill husband. Having said that--the portrayal of the scenes and the relationships felt real, and I could see the characters' conflicts and understand some of the emotions. While I wasn't rooting for a happy after ever for anyone--I had to know how the soap opera-like scenarios played out.


Would I Recommend What's Not Said by Valerie Taylor? What's Not Said doesn't give a whirlwind romance with instant relationships and non-stop action. Instead, the novel tells a story of the breakdown and challenges of a middle-aged couple's long-term, loveless marriage. While it sounds like I didn't like the characters or the primary "love triangle,"--I was still unable to put the book down. I enjoyed the author's writing style and how she developed her characters and their difficult stories. I didn't like the characters' actions through most of the novel--but the story was relevant and realistic enough that I needed to see what happened next. Marriage is difficult, life throws curveballs--and this novel takes readers through a series of unfortunate, coincidental, and somewhat unique events that will hold reader interest from the very first pages through to the end. This interest will also lead me to the next book in the series when it is released!   

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Meet The Author
Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She earned a B.S. Marketing degree and an MBA from Sacred Heart University, as well as a graduate certificate in health care administration from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College). She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. After her divorce, she spread her wings and relocated her career to Boston and then to Seattle. When she retired, she resettled in her home state to be near her two grown children and granddaughter. She’s a published book reviewer with; and a member of Westport Writers’ Workshop, Independent Book Publishers Association, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator. WHAT'S NOT SAID (She Writes Press) is her debut novel. Its sequel, WHAT'S NOT TRUE (She Writes Press), will be published in the fall of 2021.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads

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