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December 29, 2020

Jennifer Valenti Tackles a Difficult Subject in THE MAVERICK

by Susan Roberts


"Everyone needs to feel like they have a place here, Jane.  I told you this before and it's not just lip service.  Every one of us is part of a single thread that works together toward a common goal.  There can be no mavericks."  (p 144)

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Some rules are waiting to be broken.

The Maverick
December 2020; Broken Arrow Books
978-1735371313; ebook, print (322 pages)
women's fiction
Jane is working in a dead-end job in Florida, helping her father take care of her brother when she finds out that her dream job has become available in New York City.  It's at one of the hottest companies in the world and they are interested in her and offer to fly her to New York for an interview. The interview goes well and she's confident that the job will be hers until she goes to the company Christmas party. What started as a drunken misunderstanding leads to a brutal sexual assault that leaves Jane shattered. She goes back to Florida very discouraged and is shocked when she gets a job offer.  She has to think twice due to what happened with her boss but decided that she was strong enough to handle it.  She is thrilled with the new job but is also dealing with PTSD from the assault.  She tries to cope with her feelings of guilt and worthlessness by not telling anyone about it and trying to keep it buried. When she uncovers some information at work and realizes how toxic the environment is at the workplace, she decides that enough is enough and starts legal proceedings. Torn by the violence of what happened that night and the shocking choices she inevitably makes, Jane embarks on a precedent-setting journey to right the wrongs she has endured. 

Jane is a perfect example of many working women. They have to work harder and be smarter than men and never be emotional under any circumstances. Did Jane make some mistakes?  She did but they were all very understandable and there was no way that she deserved what happened to her at the whim of her boss.  At times in the story, Jane appears to be weak and willing to just not think about the rape but then the real Jane comes roaring out as a badass woman willing to help not only herself but other women in the same situation.  I loved Jane and was rooting for her the entire book.  

The Maverick was a great book about a difficult subject and one that I won't forget. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

Trigger Warnings:  Rape and sexual assault

NOTE:  The Maverick is the first in a series of seven novels entitled "The Jane Valiante Series," which crosses multiple themes within the women's fiction genre, particularly focused on stories reminiscent of the "Me Too" movement.

Buy The Maverick at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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