Cover Image: The Retreat

The Retreat

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Member Reviews

Things don’t always go as planned!

Are you superstitious? With a Friday 13th publication date, King’s upcoming release will shatter all our preconceived notions about unlucky. Let this established author show you that good things (such as her addictive psychological thriller ‘The Retreat’) do indeed happen on this infamous date!

King writes to examine the impact of secrets and lies and in doing so, she brings us to question if some mishaps are actually plans that were doomed from the start.

Jose and Eva are on the cusp of realizing their dream - turning Jose’s grandparents’ home tucked away in the Andalucian mountains of Southern Spain into a wellness retreat. In an effort to tame pre-opening day jitters, they decide to offer an Easter trial run - a discount to the first six people to book. The result is an eclectic mix of past and present, strangers and friends with ulterior motives. El Sueño, meaning ‘the dream,’ will soon be the center of attention - and not the kind that Jose and Eva had in mind!

The story is built around secrets and the three R’s; relaxation, recovery, and revenge.

Readers are kept on their toes as they know that the foundation (of both the marriage, friendship, and business venture) will crumble when the secrets are set free. When we start to see ‘cracks’ appearing at this soft opening leading up to the big day, readers are hooked and pointing fingers as they follow the mysterious events, looking for answers. Added to this tension is the question of sabotage - is someone purposely sabotaging this dream? Why? Perhaps recovery isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

King is masterful at misdirection and at creating a setting we’d all love to visit. Her love of Spain and Spanish cooking will pull you into this richly layered story and her well-plotted mystery will keep you entertained.

While there are some eye-raising moments, this is a captivating read that will ignite your inner sleuth.

Will Eva and Jose’s relationship survive the secrets? Who’s sabotaging their dream? You’ll need to pick up King’s upcoming release come October 13, 2023.

I was gifted this copy by Bookouture and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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I hate to give bad feedback, because it takes guts to write a book and put it out there for the world to read. But unfortunately, this was not well written, repetitive, and just plain obvious. Although I did take the time to finish in case I was wrong, or I missed a good twist among the inexperienced writing. I wish I had a better review, but thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and truthfully give my opinion on this book.

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The retreat is a fun whodunit book. Jose and Eva are test running their new wellness retreat by inviting 6 individuals to come and stay for half price. A crazy coincidence has them each not only knowing one of the lucky 6, but also each having a large fallout with them as well. Soon after the guests arrive, someone starts slowly sabotaging the retreat, ensuring it doesn’t go well. Everyone is a suspect and it’s soon revealed that Jose and Eva may know more of the guests than the originally thought.
This book kept me guessing. I was back and forth on who I thought the culprit was. This wasn’t an intense, gripping book and I did find myself bored during some parts. Overall this was a fun, casual read.

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I really enjoyed the ending, the first part of the story is ok, but a bit drawn out before the excitement happens. Great location and the last part is really great. It kept you guessing.

José has inherited a house from his deceased grandmother and turns it into a retreat along with his girlfriend Eva. The first group of guests are arrived, but Eva is not excited about it. Her old college friend is arriving and she has a secret she doesn’t want to tell.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a copy.

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The setting sounded perfect. A retreat in the countryside of Spain where people could go off the grid for a week to take in the scenic beauty, eat healthy, relax with massages and rejuvinate with yoga and other mindfull exercises. For José and Eva, opening up their very own Relaxation Retreat is a dream come true. They are just about ready but before a full grand opening, decide to do a soft launch and invite six people following them on social media to visit them at 50% off.

The spots sell out and the six guests arrive for the week. The guests include:

Saskia - Eva's former best friend. They have not had contact in many years after a falling out.
Carlos - José's cousin. They do not have a relationship as Carlos is the "black sheep" of the family due to his fathers side of the family being disowned.
Adrienne & Sean - Adrienna knows one of the owners from

It is definitely an interesting group which has gathered and does not take long for strange things to start happening around the villa.

The story really took on a "Clue" vibe for me. Lots of twists, accusations, lots of suspicions, no reason to trust anyone but not quite figuring out who was behind everything and why. I really enjoyed how the story was written and when I thought "oh yep, I know who did it" something would trigger me to think "hmm maybe not, it was this person I think" so I never really knew. I, just like the characters in the book, was also accusing everyone in my mind lol

It's a slower burn book but very well written and held my attention, I finished it over the course of two nights. If you want a good mystery book without a lot of blood and gore, this one is perfect. It was the first novel I read by Karen King but won't be my last!

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the digital advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

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This book is a slow burn. A little bit too slow for me. But I stuck with it as you try and work out what is going on and who did it and suspecting everybody.

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Wonderful book and so well written. So many twists and turns. i read this book in a day - i could not put it down. I have ordered more of Karens books and i cant wait to read them. A gifted writer and i loved the descriptions of the weather, trees etc - it made me feel like i was in Spain.

truly brilliant book.

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I would first like to thank Net Galley, Karen King, and Bookouture for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Jose and Eva have made a dream retreat in the mountains in Spain - built from a dilapidated villa Jose inherited from his beloved grandparents. They invite a group of six at 50% off the cost as a trial run in exchange for sharing the retreat/villa on their social media.

Pretty much as soon as the guests arrive, things start going wrong. It's clear someone wants to sabotage the villa. Everyone seems shady at some point and both Jose and Eva have secrets.

This book was a slow burn, I enjoyed the morsels along the way but in my opinion the twist at the end wasn't enough of a reward.

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Thanks to netgalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

When a couple opens a relaxing retreat for the first week they run a 50% off special to hopefully get some good clients booked. As the guest show up it become clear that they are not strangers at all. They all seemed to have a past with the owners. At first I enjoyed this book. The retreat in Spain was ideal. I loved hearing about how they fixed up his grandparents place. The story has a slow start and a lot of the “problems” are really juvenile. For example goats eats the food in the field or a heavy statue almost falling on someone’s head. I really had to suspend belief with this one. It felt a bit like a lifetime murder mystery. If you are looking for an intense thriller this might not be for you. If you want a light cozy read this will probably be your cup of tea.

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I found this really entertaining and it kept me up whilst I was finishing it as I wanted to know who was behind it. There were enough twists and turns to keep me entertained, I did want to throttle some of the characters but that is half the fun of the read.

Looking forward to reading other books by this author

I was given an advance copy by netgalley and bookouture but the review is entirely my own.

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This is a really good psychological thriller it has plenty of suspenseful twists and turns and the ending was unexpected. The characters were intriguing, the story itself was enjoyable and the style of writing was perfect. I have read many books by this author and have loved them all.. looking forward to the next one out. I would recommend this to anyone who likes reading this genre.
Thank you netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this in exchange for a honest review.

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A couple, Eva and Jose, restore an inherited family home into a relaxing retreat. Eva and Jose host a trial run at the retreat to work out any issues that may arise before they actually open full time. The couple wasn’t planning to host anyone they knew, but as it turns out, each guest is somehow connected to one of them. When things start going wrong, they think someone is sabotaging the retreat…but WHO?

I was really looking forward to this read, but it surprisingly fell flat for me. I felt like this book took forever for me to get through, there was a lot of unnecessary fluff and not much “suspense.” In the end, there was an unexpected twist; however, it was seemingly out of no where and didn’t fit the plot as well as it could have.

I do appreciate the opportunity to read this ARC—thank you NetGalley and Bookouture!!

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The Retreat by Karen King will keep you gripped till the very end, with an unexpected twist. Kings writing is impeccable.
Every book I have read by this author has been intriguing with suspense.
Her books are always an excellent read! Karen's latest book was no different The Retreat was an excellent story with superb twists and turns from the beginning that made it a great page turner. The storyline and characters were excellent. Kept me up and turning pages way past my bedtime.
The suspense and plot was very well thought out with lots of twists and turns that ensure you won’t put the book down.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read this ahead of its publication date in return for my honest review.

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Relaxation. Recovery. Revenge…

This is what I call a "popcorn book." Fun in the moment, but utterly forgettable at the end of the day.

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I have read a few books from this author and never been disappointed, a great storyline that kept me on the edge of my seat with great characters The storyline was full of twists and turns and what a brilliant ending with so many culprits which I never guessed and my opinions kept changing.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for this exciting ARC which I have no hesitation in recommending.

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Thank you NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC.
A couple organizes a small retreat for a handful of guests as a trial run before the grand opening of their hotel villa. Chaos ensues.
I loved the rustic Spanish countryside setting. The goats and Jose's vegetable garden really set the mood.
The pacing was perfect. The author did a great job strategically releasing backstory and moving the narrative along. The incidents escalating built tension which was echoed in the inner monologue of both MCs, each harbouring their own secrets.
The two POVs worked well and I liked that additional POVs were introduced at the very end of the book. Since there was only a handful of characters, we really got to know each of them. Everyone had a motive and I think they were all resolved very nicely at the end.
Loved all the twists at the end. There was a lot happening in the final quarter of this book.
Five stars - I recommend!

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2.5 stars I’ve read a few of this authors other books and loved them. Unfortunately I really struggled with this one. It was very slow and boring and nothing much seemed to happen. It wasn’t a very unique storyline and I really struggled with it

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I loved the setting of this book which is set in the countryside of Spain. The two main characters came across as caring people whereas some of their guests at the wellness retreat not so. Is one of the guests out to destroy their retreat? I must admit I kept changing my mind who it could be. A good read and I recommend it.

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Thanks NetGalley for my advanced copy of The Retreat. I really enjoyed this book. It kept me on my toes the entire time not knowing who the culprit was until the very end. Would recommend this book

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Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!
The synopsis of this book sounded great! The idea was there, but somehow it was lost somewhat in the book. This took me much longer to read than it normally takes me, I was interested to find out who it was behind everything, but I’m not sure if it was the overall pace of the book that made it a struggle, I just had a hard time staying invested. I am glad I finished it, the reveal was a little drawn out, but was good and was surprising since fingers were pointed at so many along the way, I wasn’t sure who it could be. Not a bad book, the idea was great, the synopsis was great, just a slow paced story. I enjoyed it otherwise!

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