Cover Image: The Retreat

The Retreat

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Member Reviews

Everyone has a secret in this fast paced, high energy, whodunit. Jose and Eva worked hard to turn their home into a relaxing get away and decide to invite six lucky winners the opportunity to visit prior to the grand opening. Tensions rise immediately when included in The Retreat’s first visitors are Jose’s estranged cousin and Eva’s ex-best friend. While already on edge, weird things keep happening and they get harder and harder to explain away as accidents. Is it just bad luck? Is someone sabotaging the business? In a cast of characters who all have something to hide, you will need to read to the end to find out and I recommend you do.

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The ending of this book was very disappointing. The dialogue between the characters was blah, I thought it could have been better. I liked it but I couldnt say I loved it.

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She has longed for the life she now has and will stop at absolutely nothing to keep it. I was terrified of how far she was willing to go.

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Loved this book!

It was perfectly paced! It didn’t have too much going on at once, it gave away a little at a time. It was atmospheric and thrilling!

The authors description of the villa had me wanting to join the retreat! It sounded absolutely beautiful. I really enjoyed all of the characters and their personalities. It really could have been ANY of them. They all had secrets and reasons to want to take Jose and Eva down. It truly kept me guessing until the end!

What a great read. Super entertaining and thrilling! Definitely recommend this read!

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A big thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for sharing the ARC!

Eva and her partner José have invested their savings to transform his grandparents' family home into a vacation haven. The narrative unfolds as they welcome their inaugural guest for a trial run before the official summer season kick-off. Little do they know that some of these guests harbor grudges against them.

Set against a picturesque backdrop with likable main characters, the initial promise of this story intrigued me, especially as a fan of revenge tales. However, it falls slightly short of expectations. While the thriller aspect is introduced early with a body in the swimming pool, the suspenseful events are deferred until the final fifty pages. Throughout the majority of the book, the atmosphere resembles a soap opera, laden with secrets and lies that manifest more as pranks than perilous threats. Despite the plausible motive for business destruction, the sense of imminent danger was lacking.

The book does redeem itself towards the end, delivering the promised suspense and plot twists, though, for me, it came a bit too late. This is a narrative best enjoyed by readers who relish character-driven dramas, viewing it more as a soap opera than a thriller. Those seeking a character-centric drama with surprising twists at the conclusion might agree on it deserving of a four-star rating.

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This book took me longer to read because I have experienced what Bianca has experienced and any time it was mentioned I needed to take a mental break before continuing. I considered not finishing just because of this trigger, but I was enjoying the story otherwise so I just took some breaks and kept going when I was ready.

I’m glad I decided to continue on because the story was good. It was a slow burn and the first 70% just slowly sets up everything and the majority of the “action” happens at the end. I definitely fell for the red herrings and didn’t see the ending pieces falling the way they fell.

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This suspenseful thriller weaves a tale of betrayal, guilt, and the haunting past that resurfaces to threaten a seemingly idyllic life. The story unfolds in the tranquil setting of a Spanish farmhouse turned retreat, where the protagonist, with a carefully guarded secret, faces the sudden reappearance of an old friend, Saskia.

As the sunlight dances on the turquoise pool, the protagonist's initial joy turns to icy fear when confronted by the familiar face. The narrative skillfully delves into the complexities of the protagonist's relationships, unraveling the past betrayal by Saskia. The idyllic life in Spain, built with a new love, José, seems perfect, but the protagonist harbors a dark secret that could shatter it all.

The tension escalates as mysterious occurrences, like a stained water fountain and a revealing note, hint at a threat looming over the protagonist. The fear intensifies, knowing that someone at the retreat is aware of the buried truth and seeks revenge.

This is a riveting exploration of how past actions can cast long shadows over a seemingly perfect life. The protagonist's struggle to protect their newfound happiness adds depth to the story, creating a compelling psychological thriller that leaves readers guessing until the final revelation. If you enjoy tales of secrets, suspense, and the unraveling of hidden truths, this novel is a must-read, showcasing the author's ability to craft a gripping and atmospheric thriller.

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I did not finish this book. I could not get into it and the writing felt very robotic. It wont let me choose "I will not be giving feedback on this title"

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An easy read, and a good page turner! I was definitely into it as it is set in Spain (where I’m from) and there’s some descriptions and feelings that are home to me which is nice.

The plot is itself is quite a good one and could have been exploited better. Some of the things that happens are a little far fetched and the story goes at a very slow pace which can be a little annoying. Except from that, I think it is an alright thriller that one might like to read while on holiday.

Thank you NetGalley, the publisher and the author for letting me read an advanced copy.

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This was a bit of a disappointment. Normally I love a crime thriller as much as the next person but something about this was a little boring. I don’t know if I just didn't pick it up as often as I needed, as I read it in lots of little chunks rather than big sittings. It just felt a bit silly at times. Having said that, if someone needed an easy to read book for busy stressful times, this would fit the bill

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INTRIGUING mystery about the apparent attempt to sabotage Jose & Eva,s' dream venture of a lifetime. Totally enjoyed & RECOMMEND fully. Thanks to NetGalley & Bookouture for this ARC in return for my honest review.

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After coming upon this book on NetGalley, I was very intrigued by the suspenseful plot and thought that this would be a fun and short thriller to get into in between my other books. Sadly, this book was just not for me. I really loved the atmospheric vibe to this book and how it was set in a Spanish villa along the beautiful countryside and mountains, but that was pretty much the only aspect that I liked about the book.

I’m usually not a fan of slow-burn thrillers and I just thought that this book was very slow paced and lacked any sort of shocking twists. I thought some of the book was very predictable at times, and it tried too hard at times to get the readers to look in other directions of who the culprit might be. I thought that some of the dialogue was very awkward and unnatural, and I just couldn’t connect with these characters at all.

Overall, I thought the reveal at the end was okay, definitely not shocking but I was for sure surprised, and I just thought the ending was a little rushed. Again, I did love that this book was set in another country and how atmospheric it was, but unfortunately I just could not get into the story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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An excellent read, I loved the characters and the storyline which had an underlying sense of dread running through it. And the location setting was beautifully written and descriptive, so much so that you could picture yourself there.

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The launch of their Spanish retreat is finally underway, and Eva and José are determined to make it an absolute success. They’ve put so much time and money into renovating the crumbling villa into a wellness getaway, but will it be enough to impress their guests? They hope so, and it seems their guests do as well. So then why does it seem like one of them wants to sabotage Eva’s and José’s hard work?

Because soon after their guests’ arrival, strange “accidents” start happening. Little things that could be brushed off as mistakes, but as they begin piling up, neither Eva or José can shake the feeling that their strokes of misfortune are anything but coincidental. One of their guests has come for some sort of revenge, but neither Eva or José are willing to point fingers. Not when they both have secrets that would not only destroy their business, but their entire lives…

This one was a bit of a bummer. It wasn’t very suspenseful—it was more like an intense drama. The person behind it became too obvious early on, and the motives behind all the secrets and revenge were really underwhelming. Also wasn’t a fan of how the ending was so picture-perfect. I don’t know, I guess I just prefer messier, darker thrillers with more complex plots. If that’s what you’d prefer too then i’d recommend skipping this.

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I was looking forward to this after reading a really good book by Karen before, unfortunately for me nothing really stood out about it. I feel like I’ve read so many versions of the whole retreat/holiday story recently they all feel so similar.
It was really slow to get going and just felt like it was lining up the suspects for most of it rather than anything really happening.

Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read this arc.

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Told from alternating characters perspectives the premise of this book is good. I enjoyed the setting of the book and overall thought it was a good mystery.

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DNF - Pushed through 3/4 of the book but just would not pick it up to finish. Found it slow and didn't keep me interested.

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Eva and Jose are opening a retreat and want just a few guests to get a feel for what it's going to be like and get their feedback on it to see what needs changing or tweaking!
Once they learn that Jose's cousin Carlos is coming ( who they haven't spoken to in years due to family feud) and Saskia -an old friend of Eva's they are nervous as to what might happen! Little do they know the things which are about to come and who it will be that causes the problems and nearly kills them!
So many twists and turns in this novel you really didn't know who to suspect! Loved it a real page turner and kept me up till the early hours reading it.. .Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read this novel, will certainly be looking for more from Karen in the future.

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5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

First I want to thank NetGalley & Bookouture for the ARC of The Retreat.

This psychological thriller was a great page turner. It started out a little slower, but picked up and once it did I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to know who was wrecking havoc.

Knowing that Eva knew Saskia & José’s cousin Carlos were both coming had me wondering if they were going to be the ones causing turmoil at the retreat. But just when you think it may be one of them, you learn Adrienne is an ex of José & Bianca could be the daughter of the man Eva accidentally killed. There are so many possible suspects which kept you guessing throughout the book!

I was completely shocked to get to the end to find out Mario, who was such a good friend of José & Eva’s, had been one of the people sabotaging the retreat all for money. Adrienne always gave off a weird vibe and acted like a stalker coming back to see José after 10 years and mad when he didn’t recognize her. I wasn’t surprised to find out that she was the one who set the fire and even less surprised that she set fire to a new ex’s home and was arrested.

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Thank you Net Galley for allowing me to receive this book for an honest review.

I found this book to have alot of twists and turns.

Evan and Jose open a retreat in Spain at a reduced rate. And they are surprisede to have bookings.
Saskia is an old high school friend
Carlos is Jose's cousin
Adeline & her husband

But then things start to go wrong. Their is a deadly sabaoge. But who is behind it.

At times I felt this was drawn out but I wanted to find out who was behind the sabatoge so it kept me going.

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