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by B.A. Paris

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-12100-4
Publisher: St. Martin's

Behind the facade of a perfect English marriage, a woman is held prisoner by her dashing husband.

Grace thought her life would eventually revolve around the care of her younger sister, Millie, who has Down syndrome, and if she could find a man she loved along the way, all the better. She didn’t expect to be swept off her feet by the charismatic Jack Angel, a chivalrous Prince Charming who dotes on Millie as much as he seems to love Grace. After a whirlwind courtship, Grace and Jack get married, though the affair doesn’t go entirely smoothly, with Millie tumbling down the stairs hours before the ceremony and breaking her leg. It isn’t until the couple is away in Thailand for their honeymoon that Paris begins to dole out the first bites of something sour in the relationship. Turns out that Jack, who, ironically, is an attorney specializing in defending battered women, has a penchant for psychological (and physical) torture. By shifting between the revelatory rather than romantic honeymoon and Grace’s life in the present, when Jack keeps her locked in their beautiful Spring Eaton home, Paris underscores Grace’s seemingly unassailable predicament, especially with Millie soon coming to live with the couple. Yet Paris undercuts her own suspense by allowing Jack to, at great length, recount his coming-to-villainy back story. Grace schemes a way to escape Jack’s clutches and save Millie from the same fate, but the tension sags.

An at times tense debut with a clever heroine caught in an overladen plot.