Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review 'Valerie's Retreat' by Joseph Rinaldo

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18750966-valerie-s-retreatValerie, a middle-aged woman, leading an average life as a head teller at a bank finally finds her soul-mate, Franco. He's sixteen years younger and studying for a Ph.D. in Archeology, but they click. Suddenly, the evil hand of fate causes their lives to fall into a downward spiral. They lean on each other. Trying to find happiness they happen to commit a little crime - make that a little felony, and dash out of the country. Now they're happy - mostly. 

A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of ‘Valerie’s Retreat’ in exchange for a review. Not really knowing what I could expect I dived into this book.

In ‘Valerie’s Retreat’ we follow Valerie. A forty year old single woman working at a bank. Together with her best friend she decided to go to a singles dance. There Valerie meets twenty five year old Franco. They immediately hit it off and soon they are inseparable. The big age difference doesn’t bother Franco at all, and even though Valerie has her insecurities, they spend more and more time together. When Franco loses his job and Valerie is being harassed by her colleague, they begin to fantasies over a different life. When things get worse they decide to take drastic steps to purchase their dream. Together, Valerie and Franco, come up with a plan to steel money from Valerie’s work and start a new life in another country. Everything goes as planned and soon Valerie and Franco are in their new country. But what they didn’t expect was the different and sometimes difficult rules and culture in their new country and soon there dream doesn’t look very good anymore.

At the beginning of this book we meet Valerie. Having watched the book trailer, I kind off knew what would happen to her and so I was waiting for her to meet Franco. When that happened I was a little disappointed, I didn’t really feel any kind of chemistry. I sort of felt like Valerie just found it interesting to get the attention of a much younger men. From my point of view, she just wasn’t interested in anything more. But apparently she was because soon they were ‘together’.
In this book we learn a lot about Valerie’s work and how everything goes on in the bank. I understand why this information was in the book but I found it a little boring. I felt like it took away the attention of Valerie’s and Franco’s relationship.

What I did like about this book was the archeology stuff. I loved Franco’s passion for his work and how hard he had worked to come where he was. Franco really studied hard to become an archeologist and I felt very bad for him when things got rough for him.  

I found this review very hard to write. This book really wasn’t for me. I couldn’t relate to the characters and I didn’t really enjoy it. I felt like things were going much too fast. Like the part when Valerie and Franco meet. They meet and BOOM they are in a relationship and they are telling each other how much they love one another. It’s possible off course but I really didn’t feel it. Still, if you’re a romance thriller fan you should check this one out. It really is a one-of-a-kind book.  

About the Author:

Born in Illinois, I nevertheless spent most of my formative years in Kentucky. I attended The Ohio State University and am an avid Buckeyes fan. I currently work in finance, am married, and am the father of a wonderful young woman with Down syndrome.

I have written four novels that have been published. A Spy At Home, Hazardous Choices, A Mormon Massacre, and my newest release, Valerie's Retreat are currently available on Amazon. 

For more information about 'Valerie's Retreat' and Joseph Rinaldo visit his website, his blog or go to Goodreads or Amazon. You can also look for Joseph on Facebook

Check out the book trailer of 'Valerie's Retreat' by Joseph Rinaldo.



  1. Thanks for the great and honest review. This one doesn't really sound like it would work for me either, sorry it wasn't more enjoyable for you. I hate when the romance in a book lacks any kind of chemistry because then it's hard to find the coupling believable.

    1. You’re welcome! :D I really tried to enjoy it but sadly it just didn’t work for me.

  2. Maureen, I appreciate the review, even though it wasn't "your kind of book". Requesting reviews means taking the not-so-good with the good, so I still thank you.

    Joe Rinaldo

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. It was really hard for me to write this review and I'm glad you still appreciated it. ;)


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