Review Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed By Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite
Never Too Late by Harold J. Fischel is an action packed romantic drama. Frederick High’s class reunion begins a chain reaction in the lives of the once golden couple, Sharleen and Clint. They were high school sweethearts, but their romance ends soon after high school. Clint leaves to play baseball for the Dodgers and Sharleen heads for Hollywood to become a star. Clint gets injured, moves home, and takes over the family restaurant. Believe it or not, Clint has married Jada, Sharleen’s childhood best friend. Meanwhile, Sharleen becomes the wife of a Mafia boss, Giovanni Fuentes. Sharleen’s husband is a jealous, domineering man; he keeps Sharleen well protected and on a tight leash. However, Sharleen is a good hearted woman, who is always willing to give a helping hand to those in need. When Clint’s life begins to unravel financially, Sharleen secretly secures a loan for him. This begins a series of events that unites Sharleen, Clint and Jada into a three-stranded cord that is not easily broken. Sharleen believes that fate has brought them together. “Never too late” becomes a driving force to guide them.
Harold J. Fischel’s Never Too Late proves the bonds of friendship, family and love. But hold on, it is not your normal romantic tale. It is fast paced; the short chapters keep the action moving, resulting in a captivating read. Anything and everything is thrown into the melting pot of conflict in this narrative – drug addiction, racial discrimination, cancer, Mafia hits and international sex trafficking. Characters are multiracial and Fischel highlights and portrays their different heritages throughout the story. The characters range from the self-righteous Italian mob to the traditional and numinous ways of Native American Indians. The heroine is strong, charitable and a romantic at heart, but believes that she has bad luck. The hero is masculine, yet at times vulnerable. These traits make the couple magnets for the down and out, causing their lives to intersect with many. However, the supporting cast of characters propels the action. The plot is a blend of romantic love and vendettas, benevolence and hatred, fear and faith, hope and despair.
With such a vast cast of characters, I believe that some of the lasting traumatic effects they endured were minimized, especially regarding the recovery from being a victim of sex trafficking and witnessing the brutality of violence. There was many characters to keep up with, in this instance, I believe focus on less characters would have made a more enjoyable read. Nonetheless, the happy ever after ending, is a contributing factor the romance genre.