Book Review & Blog Tour: The Dream House by Jess Ryder (eARC)

The Dream House

Author: Jess Ryder

Publication Date: 21 June 2019

Genre: Adult Fiction – Psychological Thriller

Pages: 338

Publisher: Bookouture

It’s everything she’s ever wanted…

When I first set eyes on Westhill House with its breath-taking views of the sea I knew Jack and I could make this our forever home.

It may be falling apart with an overgrown garden, but with some tender loving care, we can repair this beautiful building and perhaps our relationship too…

But the more time I spend renovating our new house, the more time Jack is spending at work.

At least Lori is here to keep me company.

She has her own troubles yet she always listens to mine.

She’s helping to restore the house, uncovering its secrets one by one.

Like the children’s drawings under the wallpaper in the back bedroom.

The hidden papers underneath the floorboards in the turret room.

And the fact that Westhill House is a place women used to go to feel safe…

Lori seems to know a lot about Westhill House.

The question is, why?

A gripping, spine-chilling read brimming with secrets and lies.If you loved The Girl on the TrainThe Wife Between Us or The Woman in the Window then this dark, twisting psychological thriller from Amazon chart bestseller Jess Ryder is guaranteed to have you gripped. 

Following the death of her parents, Stella decides to use her inheritance to buy a fixer-upper by the sea to share with her boyfriend Jack and turn it into her dream home. The remodel has definitely taken on toll on their relationship, so one evening Stella decides that she is going to go above and beyond to recreate the mood for the two of them.

The mood is cut short when Stella and Jack are startled with an incessant banging on their front door. Stella is floored when a battered woman named Lori shows up at her door seeking refuge since apparently the house used to be a refuge home for battered women. Jack is immediately weary of Lori since he suspects that she’s hiding something. Stella is forced to choose between helping Lori and upsetting Jack, so she decides to hide Lori in the house. While Lori is in the house, memories of Stella’s past begin to haunt her.

As the story continues, we jump back to the past to the story of Kay. Kay felt like the luckiest woman in the world when she met Alan since he didn’t seem to judge her for being a teen mom. Kay and Alan married after a year of dating, even though her parents were hesitant about Alan. However, Alan’s behavior changes and he becomes incredibly violent and controlling. Kay knows that she needs to escape Alan before he ends up taking her life.

As you continue reading the story, you see the mental decline of both Stella and Lori, which makes things a bit confusing, but it becomes quite apparent why. Additionally, you know that Kay is somehow connected since we become familiar with this story, but I was left guessing until the end.

I typically don’t read stories that deal with domestic violence since is a trigger for me, but I will say that this story is well done. The honesty in which the author presents these womens’ stories as well as their resolve was much appreciated.

Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing an eARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Jess Ryder is the author of three psychological thrillers – ‘Lie to Me’ (April 2017) and ‘The Good Sister’ (August 2017), and The Ex-Wife (June 2018) -all published by Bookouture. She also writes books for children, teens and young adults as Jan Page, with many titles published including ‘Selina Penaluna’. With many years’ experience as a scriptwriter, she loves watching television crime drama. Jess is a passionate reader and particularly enjoys thrillers. She blogs about writing, reviews books and interviews writers at www.jessryder.co.uk and www.janpagewriter.com

Jess lives with her partner in London, UK and has four grown-up children.

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