Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne.
Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I knew that I would be in for an edge of my seat read, having read books by this author before. After having nothing, including somewhere to live, Amelie was given a chance after meeting Carolyn in a coffee shop. She formed a close friendship with Carolyn and two other friends and had a job she enjoyed. But a trip to Las Vegas with her boss changed everything and she regretted almost immediately agreeing to his offer of helping her with her career.
There are two parts to the novel, part one shows Amelie recalling what happened in her past and how she was dealing with being locked in a dark room in the present. You could appreciate her character and how strong she was. Unlike Ned, also imprisoned, who resorted to tantrums, threats and betrayal. The second part shows what led to the kidnapping, who was genuine and Amelie’s attempts to rebuild her life.
The storyline in part one was the one I liked much more. I really liked Amelie, the way she adapted to the situation that she was in and her attempts to escape. She didn’t let the realisation that Ned was prepared to put her at more risk affect her, just used it to her advantage the best way she could. But parts of part one were also present in part two. In particular the way she only felt safe in the dark, her sense of smell and knowing that the only person she could really depend on was herself.
I felt that despite the book having quite a few characters the only one I got to know was Amelie. Nearly all of the others were just in the background. This isn’t a criticism, I just felt that it showed her determination to survive on her own. I loved everything about her.
It’s Livia’s 40th birthday and she’s having the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding she never had. Everyone she loves will be there except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But although Livia loves Marnie, she’s secretly glad she won’t be at the party. She needs to tell Adam something about their daughter but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.
Adam wants everything to be perfect for Livia so he’s secretly arranged for Marnie to come home and surprise her on her birthday. During the day, he hears some terrible news. He needs to tell Livia, because how can the party go on? But she’s so happy, so excited – and the guests are about to arrive.
The Dilemma – how far would you go to give someone you love a last few hours of happiness?
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Dilemma was a book that I had to wait a few days before I tried to review it. I didn’t find it an easy book to get into, partly because I didn’t care for either of the characters at first but also because you find out very early what Adam is concerned about and you know that he is in for a very long night. I felt very tense at times, wondering how he would tell Livia and Josh about his fears. But the way it started to develop was mesmerising and Adam was a character who I quickly changed my mind about.
One of the strongest points of this novel were the differences between the characters. Some smarmy, most loyal, but there was an overwhelming feeling of true friendship from most. The relationship especially between Adam and his son Josh was one that showed a closeness that had been worked at over the years, rather than one that was instantaneous.
It was a novel where I couldn’t judge either for their actions. What would you do? If you faced with a similar dilemma to Livia and Adam. I honestly don’t know.
He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.
When I was reading the first chapter of Behind Closed Doors everything seemed normal. A successful dinner party hosted by a happily married couple. But just a few pages later I wanted to go back and read it again. So I could see how I was completely fooled. Jack is a monster. Never with his fists, with him it’s all psychological games and threats. The only reason that Grace kept going was her devotion to her younger sister Millie.
The novel switches between past and present so the reader meets Jack when Grace does. And just like Grace did, loves the way that he was with Millie. And also like Grace, believes everything that he says and does. It was a shock how swiftly he showed what he really wanted and the way that he did it. I liked both periods equally, reading the past became much easier to read as Grace learned how to play Jack at his own game.
There was nothing that I didn’t like about this novel, it was a very addictive read that I read in a few hours. It could easily be one of the biggest books of the year.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received via NetGalley.