Encounters can be exciting or in this case unusually crested, staged and practically like a script for a reality show. Ann and Reese decided to go on a retreat to possibly meet their perfect partner but what you yourself will endure along with both Ann and steers Reese will shake your faith in this type of meeting or dating to the core.
Imagine having to sign away your personal communications and agree to wear what the owner Christina has provided plus having to spend 30 days at the retreat meeting men or women under the watchful and controlled eyes of the staff.
Reese and Ann both tell their stories and about why each are there. Reese went to meet someone special but as we join her on her date with someone named Lamb, you begin to wonder whether these men were setting up the women for a huge downfall or if it was the way to lure them to come back again if they failed the first time. Ann manages to contact Ned to have his help we to find Reese who has disappeared . No one is allowed to eat on dates and only liquor is provided and Reese’s rejection of it does not set well with her date or the staff.
The author allows readers to hear both Ann and Reese’s voices as they experience the journey in the retreat, and you wonder what Ann hopes to uncover.
Why would someone use Reese’s license and impersonate her? What about her phone and where it wound up? Why is there’s text message from her to a burner phone saying she needs to get away?
More information is needed about Christina and when Ann has her meeting to talk about her experience she’s perceptive enough to realize something is off.
As the story moves ahead Ann shares why she know Christina is lying about Reese and her not connecting-with anyone. Added we listen to her conversation with Honey, and more is revealed but Honey is worried about Ann, and you realize she might not be safe. Reese hits a man she thinks reminds her of Ann’s ex and both voices let you know there’s much more in store that might endanger them both.
Ann finds herself on a unique date with Nick who seems to have an in with Christina and hit Ann’s date switched to him while Reese is called on the carpet by Christina for her actions?
As the author flashes back and forth between Ann and Reese we get to know more about each of their relationships with Nick and how they begin to intersect. Ann realizes that the retreat might be a staged way of creating a reality show and that Christina is the one orchestrating it and you wonder what her real motives are and if this is a form of blackmailing people after they leave.
Reese has relationship with someone named Luca who is dangerous, and she owes money to is that why she disappeared? Ann learns about him as the author once again flashes to an incident that happened where Ann was present, and Luca was taken in by the police. You can an eerie feeling about this retreat and the two women who seem to be attached to Ann, Magda and Stephanie seem suspect and their actions and what is expected of Ann dark and strange.
Reese has a relationship with Lamb Martin and then Luca shows up at the retreat and things get violent and the result she is injured, and Ann must help her get an order of protection but in the present not only does she return from the retreat Ann learns that Lamb did not too. Taking chances and we learn more about Reese and the Marigold family you wonder what secrets are hidden and you wonder exactly what Christina has in mind when people are not allowed to eat on dates, ruins the camera and food is limited but drinks are not. Ann’s resources are helping her uncover something but when dealing with Christina she might have met a dangerous match.
Reese has been to AAA and has been sober for a long time as Ann has Ned looking into her family, Luca, and learns that Lamb’s parents are really not that concerned about his disappearing claiming he goes off the grid a lot but what about the fact that two people are missing after attending the retreat, no police or FBI looking into it and Ned is hoping to uncover something that will help solve what happened to Reese. Ann finds herself enlisting the help of several other women at the retreat who knew Reese and hopefully will get some answers as to what might have happened to her but will the staff, the Handlers or Christina catch on to what she is doing? How safe is she?
The author allows us to get to know more about Reese and her relationships and the falls she endures but it is interesting that Christina is not concerned about successes and successful relationships but hearing the negatives and the pitfalls hoping that if you don’t succeed the first time the person will return. Added in Ann seems to be dreaming about Reese and remembering interactions, but will she ever find her if she’s alive and what about Lamb why did Luca seek out Reese and tell her some startling information. Intrigue, tensions, suspense and a plot that will keep you thinking twice before going on such a retreat if you are single.
When the truths come out and the deceptions, realities and the lies are revealed the reader will learn the hidden basis for Last Chance, the reasons why some were chosen to attend and the horrific endings that took some lives. Just who really runs this retreat you will not believe. Reese’s story is tragic, Ann’s story is even more in retrospect, and the relationships lead back the past, and the final reveal will shock you to the core.
Reese realizes what really is happening as Ann learns the truth about her friend’s fate and the pieces of the puzzle fall apart into tiny shreds as lives are lost, harsh realities spoken, and will Ann survive what someone has planned for her? Does your attitude affect your changes of true love? Can you change the way events occurred? Will anyone come into your life after what you endured, and can you trust your instincts? Just what is the truth behind Last Chance? A real experience to find love, a reality show that has not been aired or is there something sinister behind it all?
Characters that manipulate the way you the reader might view the results, events and outcomes. Friendships that were forged, dates that were manipulated and what does lie underneath those flowers that grow so fast what is BENEATH THE MARIGOLDS?
Author Emily C. Whitson created a mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews
Thanks so much for the review! This one is already on my wish list. It sounds fantastic!