Category Romance Review: Beware of the Stranger by Janet Dailey

category romance
Beware of the Stranger by Janet Dailey
Rating: two-half-stars
Published: 1978
Illustrator: TBD
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Presents #256
Book Series: Americana #32
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 192
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Category Romance Review: Beware of the Stranger by Janet Dailey


The Book

Beware of the Stranger by Janet Dailey was a real meh book. This is the 32nd entry in her “Americana Series” where each book takes place in one particular State.

The best part of Beware of the Stranger was the 1970s kitsch. The hero is introduced wearing a forest green blazer and plaid pants. The heroine’s wardrobe is full of plaid blouses and light-blue bell bottoms. Plenty of smoking, tossing those cigarettes down, and then engaging in passionate make-out sessions.

The Plot

As for the plot of Beware of the Stranger

Samantha is an heiress to a fortune. Our plaid-wearing hero shows up at the heroine’s newspaper job with important news. He claims to work for her wealthy father who needs to see her immediately.

The hero takes Samantha hundreds of miles away to a secluded island in the St. Lawrence River. He never lets her off the island, and never lets her use the phone. He swears her father will get in touch with her.

Samantha is a cunning journalist with sharply-honed instincts… So it only takes her 100 pages of this 190+ page book to realize that she’s been kidnapped!

The hero’s a shady guy hiding the truth from her. His name changes every 42 pages or so. Not joking.

  • First, he’s Owen
  • Then he says he’s Chris
  • Then he reveals he’s Jonas

And then…

It was like a Scooby-Doo mystery with a face reveal under the first face reveal loop that never ended!

Oh, and this was Janet Dailey’s Harlequin Presents dedicated to the State of New York? As a lifetime New Yorker, I’m offended this one was so boring.

Final Analysis of Beware of the Stranger

Beware of the Stranger was underwhelming. I’ve read quite a few Janet Dailey books, including another mediocre read, Show Me. I recall she said that she finished her manuscripts in only 4-6 weeks max, many times she could write a book in just over one weekend.

It shows.

2.5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 2.5


Samantha’s experience with men as the daughter of tycoon Reuben Gentry had been disillusioning.

But she’d gone willingly to Chris Andrews’s home miles from anywhere on an island in the St. Lawrence, expecting her father to join her there. Suddenly she realized she was subtly, but surely, being held prisoner there. Were Chris’s calls to her father about ransom? Was he really Chris Andrews?

Samantha knew she had to escape. But the thought of never seeing Chris–or whoever he was–again, filled her with desolation…


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