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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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7 May 2015

Valerie's Retreat
Joseph Rinaldo
Publication Date
March 2014

Description (from Amazon)

Valerie, 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.

My Review

This book provided a quick and enjoyable read. I did get into the story straight away. Both Valerie and Franco are a likeable character. And nice to see a book where a female character falls for a younger man and the relationship is a happy one! 

The workings of a bank were well researched; I'm not sure if the author is an insider (jokes and puns aside :) or whether this came purely from his imagination. Nevertheless, believable in its execution and build-up of the story. And also not too complicated to understand which I think suited this light book well. 

For anyone who has ever had any dealings with a country where money and connections can provide for you and where the law with maybe no apply to certain people of power will fully understand what is happening to Valerie and Franco when they leave the country. Having had plenty of dealings in SE Asia, I had to smile ever so often while I recognised who powerful people behave, and especially so with Western world foreigners. 

All in all, this is a feel-good story of two people who have been wronged and are planning the perfect heist. Will they get away with it? 

About the Author
Joseph Rinaldo lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his family that included a cat named Caesar. Caesar plays himself in this book. Joe has written three other great novels: A SPY AT HOME, HAZARDOUS CHOICES, and A MORMON MASSACRE.