Sunday, 14 February 2016

Behind Closed Doors - B. A. Paris

I am excited to be able to host an extract of Behind Closed Doors, as well as my review today - a difficult read, but one that kept me hooked from start to finish!

"Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
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."

Behind Closed Doors makes for an incredibly uncomfortable, tense read, one that I found hooked me immediately - while it didn't blow me away, it was extremely addictive and very cleverly written with a protagonist that really is truly despicable. 

The story of Grace and Jack is one that is chock full of twists and turns, full of lies and deceit and made for a quick, easy read despite the uncomfortable subject matter. Although the characters are very well written, and Jack in particular is very well-written, I found my self more drawn to Millie, Grace's sister, than to Grace herself, and it was a case of that I was turning the pages to find out how Millie dealt with things, than with how Grace dealt with it all. I'm not sure what it was about Grace that I didn't like, perhaps it was just the way she rolled over for Jack in the beginning, but I couldn't warm to her at all. Millie, however, I loved. She is feisty and funny and knows her own mind, never letting her disability hold her back. 

Perhaps a difficult read for some, I did enjoy this and would recommend it.

**My thanks to the publisher for my ARC**

EXTRACT from Behind Closed Doors


‘The dream is over, I’m afraid.’
‘It doesn’t matter,’ I said reassuringly, telling myself that it could be the best thing to happen to us. ‘We’ll manage.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Well, I’m sure you’ll be able to find another job easily—or you could even set up on your own if you wanted. And, if things are really tight, I could always go back to work. I wouldn’t be able to have my old job back, but I’m sure they’d take me on in some capacity or other.’
He gave me an amused look. ‘I haven’t lost my job, Grace.’
I stared at him. ‘Then what is this all about?’
He shook his head sorrowfully. ‘You should have chosen Millie, you really should have.’
I felt a prickle of fear run down my spine. ‘What’s going on?’ I asked, trying to keep my voice calm. ‘Why are you being like this?’
‘Do you realise what you’ve done, do you realise that you’ve sold your soul to me? And Millie’s, for that matter.’ He paused. ‘Especially Millie’s.’
‘Stop it!’ I said sharply. ‘Stop playing games with me!’
‘It’s not a game.’ The calmness of his voice sent panic shooting through me. I felt my eyes dart around the room, subconsciously looking for a way out.
‘It’s too late,’ he said, noticing. ‘Far too late.’
‘I don’t understand,’ I said, choking back a sob. ‘What is it that you want?’
‘Exactly what I’ve got—you, and Millie.’
‘You haven’t got Millie and you certainly haven’t got me.’ Snatching up my handbag, I looked angrily at him.  ‘I’m going back to London.’ He let me get as far as the door.
‘Grace?’ I took my time turning round because I wasn’t sure how I was going to react when he told me what I knew he was going to tell me, that it had all been some kind of stupid joke. Neither did I want him to see how relieved I was, because I couldn’t bear to think what would have happened if he had let me step over the threshold.
‘What?’ I asked coolly. He put his hand in his pocket and drew out my passport. ‘Aren’t you forgetting something?’ Holding it between his finger and thumb, he dangled it in front of me. ‘You can’t go to England without it, you know. In fact, you can’t go anywhere without it.’ I held out my hand.
‘Give it to me, please.’
‘Give me my passport, Jack! I mean it!’
‘Even if I were to give it to you, how would you get to the airport without money?’
‘I have money,’ I said haughtily, glad that I had bought some baht before we’d left. ‘I also have a credit card.’
‘No,’ he said, shaking his head regretfully, ‘you don’t. Not anymore.’ Unzipping my handbag quickly, I saw that my purse was missing, as was my mobile phone.
‘Where’s my purse, and my phone? What have you done with them?’ I lunged for his travel bag and scrabbled through it, looking for them.
‘You won’t find them in there,’ he said, amused. ‘You’re wasting your time.’
‘Do you really think you can keep me a prisoner here? That I won’t be able to get away if I want to?’
‘That,’ he said solemnly, ‘is where Millie comes in.’ I felt myself go cold. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Put it this way—what do you think will happen to her if I stop paying her school fees? An asylum, perhaps?’
‘I’ll pay her fees—I have enough money from the sale of my house.’
‘You paid that money over to me, remember, to buy furniture for our new house, which I did. As for what was left over—well, it’s mine now. You don’t have any money, Grace, none at all.’
‘Then I’ll go back to work. And I’ll sue you for the rest of my money,’ I added savagely. ‘No, you won’t. For a start, you won’t be going back to work.’
‘You can’t stop me.’
‘Of course I can.’
‘How? This is the twenty-first century, Jack. If all of this is really happening, if it isn’t some kind of sick joke, do you really think I’m going to stay married to you?’
‘Yes, because you’ll have no choice. Why don’t you sit down and I’ll tell you why.’

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