Synopsis from Harlequin Trade Publishing:
The Harmony Resort promises hope for struggling marriages. Run by celebrity power couple Drs. Miles and Grace Markell, the “last resort” offers a chance for partners to repair their relationships in a luxurious setting on the gorgeous Mayan Riviera.
Johanna and Ben have a marriage that looks perfect on the surface, but in reality, they don’t know each other at all. Shell and Colin fight constantly: after all, Colin is a workaholic, and Shell always comes second to his job as an executive at a powerful mining company. But what has really torn them apart is too devastating to talk about. When both couples begin Harmony’s intensive therapy program, it becomes clear that Harmony is not all it seems—and neither are Miles and Grace themselves. What are they hiding, and what price will these couples pay for finding out?
As a deadly tropical storm descends on the coast, trapping the hosts and the guests on the resort, secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested and not one single person—or their marriage—will remain unchanged by what follows.
Marissa Stapley is a journalist and the author of the acclaimed novel Things to Do When It’s Raining. She writes page-turning, deeply emotional fiction about families, friends and women’s lives.
About: The Last Resort is a contemporary women’s fiction written by Marissa Stapley. It will be published on 6/18/2019 by Graydon House, an imprint of Harlequin Trade Publishing and HarperCollins, paperback, 368 pages. The genres are psychological, contemporary, and women’s fiction. According to the publisher’s website, “Graydon House Books publishes books your book-club will love! Multifaceted, provocative and original, Graydon House novels are page-turners that range from lighthearted humor to emotional tearjerker, edgy suspense to historical drama, and more.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Last Resort on 6/13/2019 and finished it on 6/18/2019. A fantastic read, this book is definitely different, from no chapter headings to celebrity articles. It was a bit of getting used to in the beginning for me. Once day 3 comes around and some secrets are being revealed, I couldn’t read fast enough. I couldn’t guess any of their secrets, especially Johanna and Drs. Markell’s. I like how the cover is peaceful and the story is anything but. I started reading this book with only the knowing about marriage counseling, but oh boy, what a ride I was given. I like following the three point of views, more so with Johanna and Shell because Grace is more in the church side. With #metoo hashtags, I thought this book is based on modern day, but I don’t understand why church is still strict on homosexuality.
This book is told in the third person point of view following an unknown man as he struggles to breathe and calling out to Jezebel. Then an article from celebrity scoop talks about the celebrity marriage counselor Dr. Miles Markell has gone missing during Hurricane Christine. There was also a mystery therapy session between a man and a woman about how each person holds on to 13 secrets, with 5 kept locked away. The woman has been seeing the doctor for a year and now is ready to tell her one big secret. The story finally begins with the two weeks marriage counseling starting from day 1 where an email was sent out to the couples from Dr. Miles, 52 and his wife Dr. Grace Markell, 35 to welcome them. The first couple readers follow are Johanna, ex-social worker who experienced trauma at work and Ben, lawyer as they ride the bus with other couples, (12 couples in all) to the counseling’s luxury bungalow in Mexico. The second couple are Shell and Colin where Shell is often angry that her husband doesn’t look straight at her. The third view is of Dr. Grace Markell, who walks around with a veneer of perfection but has several secrets of her own.
The Last Resort is very well written and offer a unique read. I don’t read too many women’s psychological fiction and I like that this book is different from any others I have read. I like Shell and Colin. Their struggles are realistic where others can relate to. I like the psychological aspect of the story because a person can feel really small and lose all self confidence when they are repeatedly told that they are worthless. I like the ending and I didn’t even expect goody Ben to involve himself in the tangle. I love a story with an epilogue and this book has it. This book kept me up many nights and I highly recommend everyone to read it.
Pro: secrets, lies, marriage counseling, therapy sessions, mystery, psychological abuse,
Con: church seems to contradicts the modern day twitter hashtags
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Marissa Stapley is the Globe and Mail bestselling author of the novels Mating for Life, Things to Do When It’s Raining and The Last Resort. Her fiction has been published around the world and her journalism has appeared in magazines and newspapers across North America. She has taught creative writing and editing at the University of Toronto and Centennial College, and still mentors/teaches a small group of writing students every year. She lives in Toronto with her family. (Photo and info obtained from the author’s Goodreads page).
More Information about Harlequin Trade Publishing
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Harlequin Trade Publishing for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.