You don’t have to read Valerie Taylor’s first book — What’s Not Said — in order to find yourself delightfully immersed in the goings-on in her second, What’s Not True (She Writes Press). Taylor’s a master at making sure new readers aren’t lost, slipping in important details from the back story whenever they’re needed and without breaking stride. 

We learn right away that the lovers about to check into a hotel in Paris have a checkered past. Chris is a young man with purpose and a flair for romance; Kassie is a woman in love against her better judgment. By the end of the first chapter, we know why.

Many of the complications from What’s Not Said come back to haunt, along with new unexpected plot twists. This time around, though, we’ve got a villain we can count on and Kassie seems a lot more grown-up.  

NEW PARTNERS MEANS NEW DRAMA

Although she’s hesitant about her love affair with Chris, who is ten years her junior, she’s looking forward to the day her divorce is final.  So is Karen, who is waiting impatiently to marry Kassie’s soon-to-be-ex-husband Mike and claim what she considers her share of his money and control of his business. She also wants to reclaim her son whom she gave up for adoption when she was in college.

The tangled web becomes stickier as we are introduced to Chris’s adoptive parents, Sarah and Charlie, and learn more about who’s who in everybody’s love life, including the housekeeper’s daughter.

Compared to the other players, Kassie may be the most sensible and she’s certainly holding most of the cards. She’s even dealt an ace when she’s offered a plum position in her company’s Paris office. If she was having a difficult time juggling her marriage, a love affair, a career and the responsibilities of acting as caregiver for a husband she no longer loved, she would now add negotiating a new job and living in a country where she didn’t speak the language. And what would happen with Chris?

It’s easy to pledge allegiance to Kassie by this time, and Karen’s so easy to hate, right down to her reading habits. Karen is shallow, two-faced and greedy. “Fair share?” she asks Charlie who, as a lawyer, offered to help her secure her financial future. “I want more than my fair share.”

Chris, on the other hand, continues to be steady, dependable, reasonable and generous. Kassie’s resolve is dissolving — almost gone. “I think it’s time for us to put the past behind us, don’t you?” he asks her. “Let’s throw all the craziness that was out of our control into the Seine. Let’s keep the good memories that brought us together in the first place and move forward. Together. What do you say?”

A FAIRY TALE ENDING UP IN THE AIR 

But just as readers may be expecting that happy-ever-after ending for Chris and Kassie and are convinced that Mike is getting what he rightly deserves with Karen as his new wife, one trans-Atlantic phone call changes almost everything.

But Taylor isn’t done yet. Kassie and Chris hurry home to the States to sort out the family business, finances and some shocking DNA results. Readers probably suspect that we haven’t seen the last of Karen. However, things appear to be falling into place — until the doorbell rings.

Taylor hadn’t planned on writing book number two but readers of What’s Not Said wanted to know what happens next.  This time, Taylor lets us know there is a book number three in the works. There has to be. 

What’s Not True has much to spark lively discussion among its readers, which makes it a fine choice for book clubs. Taylor has anticipated this and there’s an appendix with helpful conversation starters, along with a playlist of the songs referred to in the book because every love story has its soundtrack. 

Visit Valerie Taylor’s BookTrib author profile page.


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Valerie Taylor is the award-winning author of What’s Not Said. She 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.  Valerie is a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com; 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. The next book in the What’s Not Said trilogy is a work-in-progress.