Member Reviews

I am really grateful to have been provided with an ARC of this book.
The premise of the story is really good, and it's what drew me to the book in the first place, but the writing became quite repetitive at some point and the twists and reveals were predictable (at least to someone used to reading thrillers and mysteries).

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Jose and Eva have converted an inherited family villa into a wellness retreat. To test their venture they invite guests to a trial week to iron out any issues.
When their guests arrive they realise things may not be plane sailing. One guest is an old friend. Another a warring relative. As the week goes on things start to go wrong. Simple things at first. Is it just a series of accidents or is someone planning to derail there plans.

A great read with lots of twists. You will be constantly changing your mind as to what is happening.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to see an ARC

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Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced copy!

When a couple converts an old family villa into a wellness retreat, they had no idea what was to come during their first trial week. Both Jose and Eva ended up knowing a guest or two from their past. They instantly began to think why would they come? Are they supportive or jealous of this new venture? The week starts out well with the guests getting to know each other and exploring the property. But then day by day something kept going wrong that Eva and Jose could not figure out. But when Jose experiences an "attack" they finally realize that someone there is out to get them. A classic who done it situation up until the last chapter...

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Fun and juicy beach read about murder and intrigue in a luxury home turned retreat. A solid but limited cast of characters, each with secrets and perhaps a reason to murder, in a beautiful locale, will keep you guessing through the many twists and turns. A page turner for sure!

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The Retreat by Karen King Narrated by Daphne Kouma was a totally unputdownable and jaw-dropping psychological suspense thriller with lots of twists and turns throughout especially as it had you guessing right till the end on who it was.

The narrator Daphne was excellent with the voices and made it entertaining,

I highly recommend this audiobook or book and great for a holiday.

Big Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture the publisher for the ARC.

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Thank you Bookouture for inviting me to be part of the Books on Tour for “The Retreat”. Karen King is a new author to me and I look forward to her next book.
Eva and her husband Jose turn Jose’s grandparents’ home in Spain into a wellness retreat. Eva has some secrets from her husband but the other guests are also hiding things too.
This book will have you flipping the pages so fast to see what happens. Many thanks to the author, Bookouture and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of the book. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
#TheRetreat #KarenKing #NetGalley #Bookouture #BooksOnTour #BookLove #BooksSetInSpain #Bookstagram #NewBook #ILoveBooks

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Isn't the cover of this book The Retreat fabulous. The gorgeous cool colours make me want to dive in the pool immediately.
I read a previous book from this author and loved it so I was delighted to be invited to take part on this tour. She's a great author. The blurb to her books are so inviting.
We meet José and Eva in this story. They have created the most wonderful holiday retreat in the Andalucian mountains in Southern Spain.
A home that used to belong his grandparents.
This has been a labour of love for both of them and finally it is ready to accept guests and they couldn't be happier.
Deciding to have a trial run, they both decide to accept just six guests to their retreat offering them a discount. They'd like feedback on what they have created.
When they notice that Carlos, a cousin of José who has been estranged through a family feud going back over the years, has signed up for the retreat, they can't help wondering what his motives are for wanting to take part.
Another person to sign up for the retreat is an old friend of Eva's, Saskia. Eva feels their friendship ended with one leaving down the other quite badly so she is baffled as to why her former friend would want sign up to their retreat and reconnect.
But they want to think positively and so they welcome all their guests to their retreat and delight in showing them what they have to offer.
When a series of mishaps happen with no explanation, José and Eva begin to wonder is someone trying to sabotage their beautiful dreams.
I loved the location to this story. I could almost feel the heat on my skin as I read along..
Many secrets were being kept, lies were told and you couldn't help wondering was anyone being honest.
Plenty of twists and turns to keep your interest in this story. I found I couldn't quite leave it down at times..
The characters were enjoyable, José and Eva I took a shine to immediately...
I think this one is so well worth your time...

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Karen King's The Retreat will keep you on your toes as the story unfolds and the twists pile up. There's certainly no shortage of secrets, and it seems that everyone is guilty of something. It's just a matter of sussing out who is using this little getaway as a means of getting revenge. I did end up guessing correctly, but I think I was more lucky than good this time. The story is entertaining, and between the beautiful setting and storyline, it would make a good vacation read, in my opinion. I feel like the dialogue could've been a bit more nuanced, and some things were a little over the top, but neither of those things kept me from enjoying the read. Besides, when there are this many secrets, learning them is kind of like hearing some guilt-free gossip.

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The story starts with Eva and Jose running a retreat together in a scenic place in Spain. Their guests include Saskia, Eva's friend, Brenda and Nathan, Adrienne and Sean and Carlos, Jose's cousin. The mansion where the retreat is used to belong to Jose's grandparents. What was supposed to be a peaceful vacation soon turns into a nightmare when one of the guests has an agenda to ruin the retreat and seek revenge on either Eva or Jose.

The story is told from the POVs of Eva and Jose and we know as a reader that the two characters have something dark to hide. Eva believed that one of the guests is the daughter of a man who she accidentally killed years ago and that the daughter knows who Eva was and was about to seek revenge. Jose's ex-girlfriend is Adrienne who is not very happy about the breakup. There is a hint of mystery involved and it was actually a fast paced and twisty thriller. Despite being a thriller book, the writer was taken to the sceneic and beautiful landscapes of Spain so the reader was made to feel like they are in Spain. The who dunnit sense vibe is felt in the book and it was actually quiet unputdownable. The ending was quiet unexpected although the greatest twist was revealed towards the very end. Overall, this was a great thriller book packed with twists and unexpected turns and overall woth four and a half stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Many thanks to Bookouture for making me a part of this blog tour.

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Another great read by Karen King!

Jose and Eva are excited to open their Spanish Wellness Retreat after spending a lot of time and money and effort into bringing the villa, El Sueno, back to its former glory. The villa holds a very special place in Jose’s heart after his beloved grandmother left to him in her will. Jose and Eva decide to run a trial week in spring before opening the retreat to the general public in the summer, however once the six places are booked Jose and Eva realise, they know at least two of the guests themselves; two couples arrive, Adrienne and Sean and Bianca and Nathan, and then lone guests Carlos and Saskia. Carlos is Jose’s cousin who due to a family rift Jose hasn’t seen for a very long time and Saskia was Eva’s best friend at college until Saskia betrayed Eva and their friendship was lost. Jose and Eva are a little wary but determined to make the retreat a success and that means believing both Carlos and Saskia are coming with good intentions. Soon after the guests arrive strange things start happening at the villa, at first little inconsequential things but soon things get more dangerous, and Jose and Eva realise they have an enemy at the retreat trying to ruin things for them. Who is this person who is trying to destroy the retreat, and how far will they go to make sure Jose and Eva’s dream fails and they get revenge?!

This was a really enjoyable read. I loved how secrets were revealed to the reader pretty early on in the story and the descriptions of the villa and surrounding land were so good I almost felt I was there in Spain. I really liked the characters of Eva and Jose and was definitely rooting for them to make the retreat a success. I loved the “mystery voice” and enjoyed trying to figure out who it was. I initially had three suspects, which were completely wrong but then I did guess near the end who it was however, this did not ruin the story for me at all as there were twists at the end that came as a big surprise. I also really enjoyed learning about the Acupressure points for anxiety and I definitely will be looking them up and seeing if I can get them to work for me.

All in all, another great read from Karen King. I would recommend this for any fans of Psychological Thrillers, and I look forward to seeing what she writes next. Very deserved 4 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley, Karen King and Bookouture my advanced reading copy. Out now.

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i didn’t like this book personally. the start felt very slow and muddled and the end felt super rushed. i’m glad i read this but i don’t think i’ll be reading anymore of this authors work personally but i really enjoyed the concept of the book :)

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This book was not my jam, felt really slow & predictable.
I feel like this could’ve been a much better book if we didn’t keep repeating things we already knew.

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This is my fourth book by King that I've reviewed via Bookouture and she certainly knows how to engage her reader's and keep them wanting more!

The Retreat was a one sitting read for me as I simply couldn't tear myself away from the pages. The plot and the characters were so easy to become invested in. Its fast paced, twisty and secrets and lies are the perfect precursor to an explosive ending, which as always I didn't see coming.

Highly enjoyable, entertaining and definitely one to lose yourself in for several hours.

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This book had the perfect amount of tension and build up throughout. All the characters become suspects as you try to to get to the bottom of who could be trying to ruin the retreat. An amazing read to be put in a summery holiday mood! The last 100 pages had my heart beating so fast and desperate to find out who the culprit was. I love a mystery book and really enjoy guessing but I couldn't guess who the culprit was!!

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The perfect location in the Andalusian Mountains in southern Spain to open a wellness retreat centre. Sounds absolutely perfect and this is what Eva and her Spanish partner Jose have done. When they decide to open their first retreat offering a discount to guests they are delighted with the response they get but there are one or two familiar guests, can they be trusted or will this wellness retreat not be as peaceful as it’s meant to be ?

Truthfully when I started reading this one I found it a tad slow moving and was becoming a bit concerned I was going to struggle with it. But I had nothing to fear as after a few chapters this book took off at a fast speed and I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough to keep up with all that was going on. Characters that were really well developed and each of them at certain times through the book I was suspicious of . One twist I did see coming from quite early on but it was only one as there are quite a few through the book that honestly threw me. Apart from a slowish start this was an excellent psychological thriller with an absolutely WOW ending . ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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I enjoyed reading this well-paced story, I was wondering who had the biggest motive for the revenge of all the characters in the book. This is my first book by this author and it won't be my last.

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This was an entertaining thriller that kept you on the edge of your seat until the end. The whole time I was rooting for our main characters. Based on the description of the landscape and the food, I could easily imagine the retreat, which I enjoyed. I am definitely interested in reading more books by this author.

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Eva and her boyfriend Jose spent every dime they had to renovate his late grandparent’s rambling estate. Located in Spain’s Andalucian mountains, they nearly broke their backs converting the villa from a state of disrepair into a beautiful health and wellness retreat. With a sparkling swimming pool, fruit trees, a garden full of fresh vegetables, and an olive grove, it’s a hidden paradise. And it’s finally ready to open to the public, starting with a small test run on Easter weekend. Placing an ad on social media, Eva offers fifty percent off a four-day retreat for the first six people to respond. The slots are filled within hours. Delighted by the response, Jose and Eva look at the list of names who will be attending but are taken aback when they realize… not all of them are strangers.

Saskia was Eva’s best friend in college. She betrayed her back then by revealing her secrets, then running off with the boyfriend who left her when he found out. Carlos is Jose’s estranged cousin, one he’s never gotten to know because of a long-standing family feud. While Saskia seems thrilled to see Eva again and resume their friendship, Carlos makes it clear he isn’t there for a happy reunion. He’s angry and bitter that Jose inherited their grandparents’ beautiful — and now profitable — estate. When Saskia and Carlos quickly become a couple, Eva worries Saskia will spill her secrets again and cost her the relationship she’s built with Jose.

Then, there are the couples. Adrienne and her husband Sean sign up for the retreat to reconnect with each other and heal their marriage. However, Adrienne can’t take her eyes off Jose from the moment they arrive. Nathan and Bianca are a nice couple everyone instantly likes. But when Bianca reveals the town she grew up in and how her father died, Eva’s blood freezes. Is it possible Bianca knows what she’s hiding? Is Bianca at the retreat to finally get revenge? One thing’s for sure. Someone is.

From the very first day, calamity seems to befall the retreat at every turn. From a gate being left open and goats destroying the garden to Eva’s massage oils being spilled, constant mishaps are threatening the success of the retreat. But when Eva finds a note in her room labeling her a murderer and the accidents start to grow in severity, she knows someone at the retreat is out to get her for what happened years before. But she’s not alone. Jose has secrets too. By the end, what they’re hiding could cost them the retreat, each other, or — worse — their lives.

A fast-paced whodunnit filled with enough red herrings to keep a hunting dog chasing its tail, “The Retreat” by Karen King is as intriguing as it is engrossing. Not one of the characters is above suspicion in this book. The tension that exists starts off as Eva’s anxiety and perhaps paranoia, even as the first mishaps occur. Initially, all the characters are likeable (although Adrienne and her husband come across as snobby). But as things start to progress and tension fills every page of the book, each character starts to look like the culprit — even if the only thing they’ve done is behave nicely. Author Karen King does an impressive job of creating bucket loads of doubt and casting suspicion on everyone. She’s even better at hiding who the guilty party truly is until the very end.

Told from the alternating points-of-view of Eva, Jose, Carlos, and sometimes the culprit, “The Retreat” is packed with twists and dripping with suspense. It reels you in with the breathtaking descriptions of the villa and the mystery of who’s causing the accidents. It pulls you to the edge of your seat and keeps you there with the threatening notes Eva receives, as well as the unease starting to show in the usually cool, calm, and collected Jose. What happens toward the end will have your palms sweaty and your head spinning. When the true culprit is revealed, you’ll be right there with Eva and Jose, not believing you didn’t see it all along. But honestly you could have — if those red herrings didn’t have you chasing your tail too.

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A psychological thriller set in a remote farmhouse in the Spanish mountains.

The formerly dilapidated building has been turned into a wellness retreat complete with pool and vegetable gardens. José and Eva are ready to open their business after great expense and decide on a trial with just six guests.
However, in true thriller style we must suspend our disbelief at the coincidences as all the guests that turn up may or may not have connections to the owners.

There are plenty of secrets, not least those that Eva and José are keeping from each other.

Secrets have a habit of causing problems and at The Retreat those secrets could turn deadly as someone is out for revenge. But why?

The setting effectively creates a locked room mystery in whodunnit style.

Never has wellness been so stressful! Welcome to Relaxation, Recovery and Revenge.

It's a good set up and all the characters are soon suspected of causing events that are damaging or could turn fatal. Are Eva and José safe or will their first holiday opening be their last?

I must admit I found the first two thirds slow paced and there was a lot of repetition of characters thinking over what had happened and voicing the same concerns chapter after chapter (great if you've a bad memory. It could be a wellness technique 🤔).

I partially guessed the outcome halfway through but there were more twists and turns in the final section than I anticipated and the pace really picked up at this point.

Overall, an entertaining read with an intriguing plot.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for access to the book.

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Full of secrets, lies and deception, The Retreat by Karen King is a fast-paced psychological thriller. It won’t have you jumping out of your seat or hiding behind the sofa, but it does have enough umph to keep you reading, to find out who is behind all the weird things that are going on here.

Jose and Eva have opened their home as a wellbeing retreat, and the first guests have received a discount to discover anything that needs changing, to enable any tweaks to be ironed out before Jose and Eva open properly to paying guests.

I can’t say I warmed to any of the characters, apart from maybe Eva and Saskia. However, to me, this is the work of a good writer. I don’t think we were supposed to actually ‘like’ any of them! It definitely kept me guessing the whole way through the book, although I did have my suspicions at various points as to who was sabotaging things throughout their stay.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review The Retreat by Karen King.

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