What's Not Lost

A Novel

Fiction - Womens
321 Pages
Reviewed on 04/28/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

The engaging, soul-stirring story, What's Not Lost: A Novel by Valerie Taylor, follows a woman’s journey to finding herself and discovering happiness. Once again, Kassie’s life falls into disarray after her late husband's burial when her fiancé’s pregnant ex-girlfriend shows up at her door. Despite the new turn in Kassie’s and Chris’s lives, she is optimistic and excited for him. Kassie is also looking forward to going to Paris for a business assignment; a life-changing opportunity she earned by herself. Kassie’s best friend warns that the distance could strain things between her and Chris. Still, Kassie is excited and takes up the assignment. By chance, she meets a Greek businessman who changes her perspective. She forges new friendships and discovers more love and happiness than she has ever known.

Valerie Taylor masterfully creates characters who are real and vulnerable. I loved Kassie’s growth throughout the book; how she finds her true self and can follow her heart. I also loved the characters’ vulnerable moments and how believable they were. Taylor’s ability to create secondary characters whose lives are entangled with the main characters’ stories is fully displayed. I found Kassie’s cat’s viewpoint at the beginning of the story amusing. I also loved that the story is suspenseful and slowly builds its way to a satisfying conclusion. What's Not Lost is a lovely, captivating novel with a host of colorful characters and many moving moments. Readers will find Kassie’s emotional journey compelling and enjoy its happy ending.

Grace Ruhara

What's Not Lost by Valerie Taylor is a novel full of family drama, jealousy, and love. It's about Kassie, whose husband died, and she is now set to wed Christopher, her stepson, with whom she is intimately involved. Everything is going well until Lexi, Christopher's ex-girlfriend who is pregnant shows up at Kassie's house unannounced. This forces Kassie to accommodate her for the night. In the morning, Lexi trips down the stairs, ends up hurting her leg, and is rushed to the hospital. Kassie and Christopher's love is tested when Christopher stays to care for Lexi. They seem to get along so well, making Kassie jealous. With Lexi in the picture and determined to snatch Christopher from Kassie, does their love surpass this trial, or is it swept away as if it never existed?

I liked the engaging plot of What's Not Lost by Valerie Taylor. There were no scenes that dragged or hurried. This made it easier for me to catch up with every stage and interact fully with the characters. I learned about their personalities and why they made their choices and decisions. The flow of the story was also well done and exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. Once I picked this book up I could not put it down as the suspense present at every stage of the plot development kept me longing for the conclusion. I ended up sleeping late as I spent the night reading because of how good it was. Therefore, I recommend this novel to readers that enjoy family dramas filled with love and jealousy.

Vincent Dublado

What's Not Lost by Valerie Taylor is a charming tale about one woman’s discovery of what matters most in life as she redefines happiness. In this final book of the trilogy, you find Kassie O’Callaghan searching for answers after her husband’s passing as she now wears an engagement ring and is betrothed to Christopher Gaines. As Chris and Kassie are dealing with a new origin story surrounding Chris’s family and his biological father, another family drama enters the scene: Chris’s ex-girlfriend, Alexandra Moore, is pregnant and wants Chris back. Lexi claims to have fallen over a cat and falls down Kassie’s stairs. As Kassie’s friend asks her about her plans of going to Paris to manage a company merger, Kassie becomes uncertain. At that point, she knows that Lexi has the power to sabotage her long-held dream.

It is impossible to dislike this conclusion to the What’s Not Trilogy. How much you will like it, of course, will depend on how much you like Kassie. She is so much the center of this story, but you must give credit to Valerie Taylor for giving meaty exposure to the rest of her characters, especially Cecilia, Karen, Lexi, and Sarah. Kassie bristles and bubbles because of the people around her. Taylor effortlessly animates her characters with quick wit. I was smiling a lot while reading the story as I find it amusing how the storyline presents rich people's problems. At the end of the book are some questions for discussions where the first one draws my attention: What’s not lost in What’s Not Lost? It’s a question that will make you want to read this book.

Idowu Adekunle

In Valerie Taylor's What's Not Lost, we meet Kassie O'Callaghan, the wife of the late Mike O'Callaghan, a successful businessman. When Kassie takes over the company after her husband's death, she continues the love affair she had with Chris, who was thought to be Mike's son. They started an affair when Kassie's marriage was filled with conflict. Kassie gets engaged to Chris, but their marriage plans are ruined when Chris impregnates his ex-girlfriend. Kassie goes on a business trip to Paris to carry out a merger with a foreign company. She discovers a world of love, roses, and wine there. Kassie meets a Greek man who seems to be attracted to her, but she is still engaged. Her relationship with Chris is on shaky ground. What does the future hold for the couple?

Kassie's selflessness astounds me. Despite being disappointed by her fiancé's fling that resulted in a pregnancy, she still loved him and took care of the mother of his unborn children. She had everyone's best interests in her heart, neglecting her own needs. I formed a deep connection with Kassie. She reminds me of my mother, and we both love the color purple. The author's visual storytelling is top-notch. I was completely immersed in the story and the characters she used had diverse personalities, which made the book more enjoyable. Valerie Taylor's description of life in Paris increased my desire to visit the lovely city. What's Not Lost is a well-written romantic novel with fantastic themes of love, friendship, and family. If you are looking for a tale with lots of female characters, drama, and complicated love stories, Valerie Taylor's book would be the right choice for you.

Emma Megan

What's Not Lost: A Novel by Valerie Taylor is a cleverly written tale of love, family drama, and big decisions. It follows Kassie O’Callaghan as she tries to grasp her new reality after the death of her husband, Mike. Christopher Gaines, with whom she was having an affair for the last five years, isn't her husband’s long-lost son. Chris is her new fiancé but his ex-girlfriend recently announced that she is pregnant. Now Kassie is about to become the stepmother of her fiancé's child. As a result, all her plans need rethinking. Will Kassie be able to fight to maintain her relationship with Chris and not let Lexi sabotage her long-held dream of achieving professional success and personal happiness?

What an entertaining book! What's Not Lost by Valerie Taylor draws the reader into an intriguing and complex web of relationships. This novel is quite juicy, gripping, and so much more than a simple romance. It's a smart, relatable story for every woman who's spent most of her life focused on caring for others and who hadn't the time to discover who she is, what she wants, and what's missing in her life. The book is about self-discovery, complicated modern family relationships, redefining happiness, and conflicting roles. The writing is fantastic, incredibly sharp, and realistic. I love it when a book is unpredictable and filled with spicy characters, and this one is completely unpredictable to the very end. I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy a good contemporary novel.