Surrender by Jennifer Burrows
What would you do if you walked in on your husband-to-be with another woman? For New York City food critic Katherine Anderson the answer is simple – head to Europe solo. Determined to move beyond her broken heart she heads to Italy, turning what should have been her honeymoon into a grand European adventure. However, her plans to taste her way through Italy and visit the historic sites she’s always dreamed of are cut short when she meets Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome on a bus in Florence. Now, instead of playing tourist in Rome, she finds herself caught in the middle of a feud involving the Italian mafia, olive oil, and a man she just can’t walk away from. The good girl has finally found her adventure – but will it come at the price of her life?
Surrender is equal parts romance and mystery. From the first chapter Burrows sets the scene for an unexpected mystery that keeps the reader in suspense throughout the novel. Perhaps the most interesting and unexpected part of Surrender was the details pulled from real life – the Italian mafia does control a portion of Italy’s olive oil business. This set the novel up for success as the mystery truly came alive with such a unique setting. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the romance portion of the novel. From the beginning, the relationship between Tony, who is literally described as Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome, and Katherine felt stereotypical at best. Despite Burrows best efforts, the relationship never truly developed beyond sexual attraction and, at times, it was difficult to see why exactly Katherine trusted him so blindly. Fortunately, it was easy to see where substance could be added to the relationship and as this appears to be the first in a series, hopefully this is an issue that will be worked through. Regardless, Surrender is worth reading – just do it for the mystery, not the romance.
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