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Saturday, July 22, 2017

REVIEW: The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond @michellerichmon @randomhouse

The Marriage Pact
by Michelle Richmond
Bantam Books / Random House

Thank you to Bantam Books for this copy in return for my honest review.  Stay tuned to see what the other members of #cjsreads thought of this one. 

How far would you go to make sure your marriage is successful?  How far would they go to keep you in line?

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice's prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . . Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples. And then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare

My Review:

Meet Alice, the lawyer, and Jake the psychologist. Newlyweds, happy and living the dream. Then they receive an odd package from one of Alice's most prestigious clients - The Pact. After talking to Vivian, a member of The Pact, they find out that The Pact has one goal - keep marriage happy. There's a manual on everything: monthly gifts exchanged, mandatory trips four times a year... and do not speak of The Pact to anyone. Never ones to put off a challenge, they enjoy the solidarity of the community... until Alice breaks one of the rules. Punishments meted out to ensure rules aren't broken are more than they ever had expected. No one leaves The Pact... alive, that is.

I flew through this book - an absolute page turner. It reminded me of a cross between the movie The Box with Cameron Diaz and James Marsden (mmm... James Marsden <3) and King's Quitter's Inc. I love reading anything related to cult like societies and this definitely fits the bill. The Pact is larger than anyone seems to foresee and their influence seems to be beyond reproach. Where the author takes you re their punishment had me on the edge of my seat. What is going to happen to Jake and Alice? Will they make it? Together? Separately? What other punishment could possibly be enforced to make them comply? Utterly fascinating. Then the ending... guys and gals, I'm not going to say too much as I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but W...T....F.... It just didn't fit for me. To have all the build up lead to that had me scratching my head and I either need another book to figure out what happens next, or an ending that wasn't ... so... neat? Off kilter? I don't even know. I'm perplexed and confused and felt a bit let down.

I will say this, the author knows how to weave a tale and keep you focused. Told strictly through Jake's POV, we get a real sense of who he is and how much he loves his wife. I mean, no matter how much you know your partner, do you ever really know EVERYTHING? Is there every such a thing as FULL disclosure? I would 100% pick up another book by Michelle Richmond. Until then I'm going to stew on this one for a bit. I'm truly torn on how to rate this one so I'll stick with 3.5 stars due to the ending.

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