The Last Resort

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

I wanted to like the book, however, I could not get into it and I never finished reading it, unfortunately.
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The Harmony Resort, a breathtakingly beautiful and luxurious resort on the Mayan Riviera, serves as the backdrop for a couple's retreat run by Doctors Miles and Grace Markell. As renowned marriage councillors, they have the perfect marriage and through intensive therapy sessions try to impart their relationship advice to struggling couples. But not everything is as it seems, and as a hurricane barrels towards the resort, secrets and dangerous, untold truths threaten to destroy them.

Don't let the serene, bright, sunny cover fool you! This story is tumultuous and dark, just like the storm clouds brewing in the distance. The writing gave me a creepy, unsettling vibe and the constant feeling of an ax about to drop. A totally engrossing, compulsive page turner by the talented Canadian author.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster (Simon & Schuster Canada) for providing a digital copy in return for an honest, unbiased review.
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This book was aptly named, for The Last Resort was host to a couple getaway that would focus on getting their marriages back on track. Following the story line of three different couples, the reader encounters a myriad of situations that truly makes the characters make "last resort" decisions. The writing was engaging and I throughly enjoyed this story. The twists and plot turns were some what predictable, but I blame that on my over thinking imagination. To the average reader - I don't think anyone could have guessed that ending. A great summer read, especially if you like moderately dark and twisty tales.
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I love stories that have a travel element to them and this one was so full of suspense and intrigue that it kept me turning pages until late at night. A great read.
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My first exposure to Canadian author Marissa Stapley’s writing has been an absolute joy!  “The Last Resort” is a gripping read that had my full attention from beginning to end.  Comparisons to Liane Moriarity’s “Nine Perfect Strangers” does this book little justice as “The Last Resort” is leaps and bounds better in terms of storyline, pacing, and character development. (Note: I may be biased here due to the fact I found Moriarity’s latest so painful I DNF’d it).  Marissa Stapley has created a compelling story about human relationships that moves along at break neck speeds due to great writing and a plethora of both small and large twists and reveals.  This is a book that could easily be consumed in one day due to it’s addictive nature.

My only criticism is with the multi-story ending.  Without saying too much in effort to avoid spoilers, I felt some of the character perspective reveals at the end we’re too much and at times almost comical in their number.  In my opinion, the most impactful perspective of “the end” was from Ruth’s perspective and the reveals could have easily ended there with the rest of the plot conclusion following accordingly.  As I read an advanced readers copy of the novel, I’m curious if any edits were made to this section of the story.

Overall, “The Last Resort” is a fantastic read perfect for those looking for an all consuming and thrilling read.

Sincere thanks to Netgalley for providing an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Entertaining, brisk, & compelling!

THE LAST RESORT by MARISSA STAPLEY had quite the interesting premise and a fabulous setting that held my interest right from the very start.  I was immediately hooked and intrigued but felt like I was reading something very similar to some previous books that I have recently read.  Although I thought some of the reveals were a little predictable I was thoroughly entertained and found this to be a very good and enjoyable read.  I thought the whole story came together really well for an exciting and satisfying end. 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Marissa Stapley for the complimentary copy.
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First off, thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for the preview of this amazing book. 

This book completely lived up to all the hype I had been reading about for it. It was a real page turner and I had troubles putting it down at night. 

I enjoyed all the twists and turns in the story. It definitely makes you appreciate the relationship you are in (if you are in one) but also made me want to travel to Mexico and sit on the beach (but not during hurricane season,lol).

I recommend this book to everyone who is looking for a great summer read. Marissa Stapley out did herself once again.
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2.75 stars

The Last Resort didn’t end up being my cup of tea. I’m all for psychological thrillers based on secrets, but there were too many improbable secrets here for me. Grace and Miles run a resort in Mexico for couples trying to reunite. The stay even includes therapy sessions. But it turns out that they have problems of their own. Big problems that affect their ability to help their guests. Then there are couples Joanne and Ben, and Shell and Colin, who show up at the resort with their own secret problems. Lurking in the background is the threat of a big tropical storm — that Miles is keeping secret from the residents. The strands of secrets seemed all a bit too disparate and melodramatic. And the resolution at the end a bit to tidy given all the drama. I probably should have given up on this one, but I’m never good at giving up on books. And I wanted to give this Canadian book a try. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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Will not be reviewing. I enjoyed it, but other coverage in the Star superseded mine. Thank you for the kindle copy.
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A thrilling and very intense read! The main characters where interesting and complex. I liked how there were many twists and secrets revealed as I read.  The newspaper articles, online tabloid articles and interviews made the story come alive.  I definitely want to read more books by this author!
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Thrilling, disturbing, dark and mysterious! A tale filled with secrets and lies, so much turmoil and intense emotions! It reminds me of the spilt story POV that all intertwined in the end on Big Little Lies! Really unique writing style in this book but really really enjoyable!
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Everybody has secrets.  Actually, everyone has 13 secrets and 5 are secrets that they have never told anyone.  The Last Resort examines these secrets and the webs that form through the secrets.  
Doctors Miles and Grace Markell run The Harmony Resort for couples.  They seem to be the perfect powerful couple, but they carry secrets just like each of the couple at their resort.  As these secrets cannot be buried any longer, not everyone makes it out alive!

*I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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I loved this book! It was a gripping thriller that reminded me of Big Little Lies. I’ve only watched the TV adaptation of Big Little Lies, but this story had a lot of the same elements of mystery.

The story opens with the report of a character’s death, and possible murder. The mystery throughout the story was finding out who killed him. It was so difficult to figure out because most characters had a motive.

Secrets played an important part in this story. All the characters had secrets, which were slowly revealed. At the beginning, they seemed like ordinary people, but their secrets revealed dark pasts. I was pretty shocked, but looking back on hints given through the book, it all makes sense.

The setting played an important part in the story. It was descriptive, with details of the beach and villa, so I could picture the resort vividly. This will be a great beach read for the summer!

I highly recommend this shocking thriller!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The Last Resort takes place at Harmony Resort, a couples counselling centre on the Mayan Riviera whose name pretty much declares that harmony is the last thing we can expect. I'm a huge fan of soapy dramas and of beach settings, so add in a rather sketchy pair of resort owners and a tropical storm that traps everyone on-site, and I'm all in for a big and juicy summer read.

The novel focuses on two couples at the resort -- Johanna and Ben, and Shell and Colin -- who all clearly have some deep-seated issues that a few days at the beach will be unlikely to solve. Adding to the mix is the fact that resort owner Dr Miles Markell is a totally domineering egomaniac who flat-out emotionally abuses his wife Grace, also a doctor. Grace and Miles present a facade of a happy and loving marriage, but I absolutely hated Miles throughout. He reminded me of Alexander Skarsgard's character in Big Little Lies, and just like that character, I was hoping the entire time for Grace to escape and Miles to get his just desserts.

Stapley has written a taut and emotionally arresting story, and I couldn't put the book down. She takes on the perspective of multiple characters, and through that, provides us with a view of the overall situation that is both intimate and comprehensive. Each of the characters has their own trauma to process -- Johanna is a social worker who survived a violent episode with a client's husband, Ben is a loving husband who struggles to forge a connection with his wife, and a family tragedy has led to Shell becoming an alcoholic and Colin becoming a workaholic -- and I love how Stapley somehow ties them all thematically and, more important, emotionally. Beyond Miles' character, this book also reminded me of Big Little Lies because of the friendships between the women characters. I love how, even though these women barely knew each other, they can still somehow find a touch of connection and support each other. 

The overt thrillerish aspects of this story happened closer to the end, when the tropical storm descends and the danger to certain characters becomes urgent. But I love how Stapley maintains a low thrum of menace throughout, such that you know something's wrong and you want to yell at the characters to run while they still can, but there isn't yet a clear source of this danger.

If you like Liane Moriarty's fiction and Big Little Lies in particular, I highly recommend checking this book out. It's a fascinating glimpse into the emotional lives of several couples, an examination of how various types of trauma impact the way we respond to the world, and, quite simply, an overall enjoyable read.


Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for an egalley of this book in exchange for an honest review.


This review will go live on my blog on July 2, 8 am ET.
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

If one bases this book just only on the cover, it's a beachy read. It takes place on a resort, for goodness sake. However, this book is dark. So dark that it leaves you shaking. 

This starts with celebrity therapists, Miles and Grace Markell, who are running this destination getaway to work on your marriage (hence, the last resort). Two couples (Johannah and Ben. Shell and Colin) go to this "retreat".  This retreat is more like a fucking nightmare. 

I just want to let you know that there's some content warnings: Domestic violence, alcoholism, loss of a child, cults, God complexes, homophobia, religious manipulation, drunk driving, suicide, gaslighting, mental health, sexual assault. 

Guilty pleasure: I love reading about cults. They are messy as hell.

Back to the review. Miles and Grace appear to have it all: Money, fame, success and the "perfect" marriage. However, everything is not what it seems. 

I won't go into great detail because this book has so many moments that left me shocked. If you like books that have a twisted roller coaster experience, this is  the one .  I predicted some things, but this is the perfect summer read if you want something heavy-hitting.
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This book was so strangely weird. It was full of marriage problems, betrayal, abuse, cults, lying and deceiving. Was definitely a hurricane of a ride.

The Harmony Resort where the story takes place is a resort couples visit to help restore their marriages in the Mayan Riviera. Miles and Grace the resort owners may look like the ultimate couple but every couple has their secrets. As the story evolves and focuses on two main other couples the story gets lots of twists and turns. Then a threatening hurricane is due to arrive that may just destroy everything. Will anyone make it out alive and at what costs?

I would like to thank Simon & Schuster , Simon & Schuster Canada and netgalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review

My review is also posted on my Instagram and my goodreads
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Thank you Netgalley  and Simon & Schuster Canada for the advance copy for a review.  Harmony Resort promises hope for struggling marriages – or does it? Power couple Miles and Grace Markell run the resort and seem to have everything…but do they? Johanna and Ben, and Shell and Colin hope Harmony Resort’s intensive therapy program can help them, but once there it’s not as therapeutice as it’s supposed to be…and as deadly tropical storm approaches secrets start being revealed!  I enjoyed this book, it was a quick summer read and the plot kept me interested. My first book by Marissa Stapley, but not my last!
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Problems in your marriage? Come for a 2 week intensive course at Harmony Resort in Mexico. In addition to luxury villas, room service and beautiful amenities you will also be treated to surveillance, hypocritical therapy, a level 4 hurricane and fear inducing actions by your tall Texan leader. Bring your bug repellant and safe drinking water for this campy whodunit.
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I was instantly hooked from the first page. Two couples, shell and colin, Joanna and Ben are at a couples therapy resort in hopes of either saving their marriage or being able to say they did everything before finally ending their marriage. They end up getting alot more then what they signed up for. This is not just your average couples therapy resort. Celebrity couple Miles and Grace Markell have other plans. This book is filled with twist after twist. It starts off with an interview and at first you think you know who it is but the further you read the more you start to question it. The more secrets that come out the harder it is to put the book down !! 

Thank you netgalley and Simon Schuster canada for allowing me to read and review early.
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This one wasn't for me. The characters were a bit too strange for my liking, and the mystery aspect didn't appeal to me as much as I expected. However, I could definitely see a lot of people love this one!
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