Cover Image: Her Last Holiday

Her Last Holiday

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Member Reviews

Loved, loved, loved this book. Full of everything I enjoy reading and loved the characters too. C L Taylor never disappoints,  definitely worth a read.
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Wow what a book! It’s so good you won’t want to put it down! Highly recommend this one! I’m starting to become a huge fan of this author and can’t wait for the next one!
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Fran's sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat. The man behind the retreat has just been released from prison, and Fran joins his latest retreat to discover the truth. There are plenty of twists and turns and the answers to many questions are not what we might think. Really enjoyed and would recommend.
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It took me a few chapter to get into this, but by the end, it was brilliant. From the beginning I hated Kate, I didn’t think Tom was guilty at all and he became one of my favourite characters throughout because of his journey! I loved Fran! She was so honest and genuine, and she was so desperate to find her sister. 

There was so many different relationships throughout the book, and there’s a few that I loved the connection between, and others I didn’t. My opinion kept changing throughout because your not sure who you can trust! 

I honestly thought I had it all worked out - and even though I guessed a tiny part, I didn’t expect the ending at all, especially when I thought the ending had happened then another twist came along. 

It wasn’t a five star for me, however I did have a slight book hangover after finishing it, I got so attached to Fran and her story I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days after. It was brilliant and I’d definitely recommend it if you like C L Taylor.
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I love a C.L. Taylor book and this one is included! Such an easy read that allows you to slip away and engross yourself in a book completely! The book builds suspense well and I didn’t guess the ending at all!
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I’m a huge C.L. Taylor fan so I was delighted when I was sent a proof copy to review. It comes out tomorrow so be sure to pick yourself up a copy!

I loved that the story was written from the point of view of three female characters! It’s not often you get books with such a strong female presence and, as I’ve said before, I so enjoy a book where the chapters are from different perspectives.

The characters aren’t the most likeable, but then I think it adds to the feel of the book and the fact you are suspicious of everyone! I think it’s also the sign of a good author when you come across characters you really don’t get one with.

This is another of C.L. Taylor’s books that hooks you in and makes you want to read on! Whilst a little slow in places compared to some of her other novels, there is still her usual twists and turns, along with strange and unexplainable things. The ending was not what I expected, which is quite refreshing in thrillers nowadays!
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Two years ago, tragedy struck at a wellness retreat in Gozo: two people died, and Fran's sister Jenna went missing. Even though she's presumed dead, Fran's mother just can't let go of the idea that the leader of the retreat, Tom Wade, might know more than he's letting on. So when he organises his first retreat since his release from prison, Fran's mother books her a place, determined that Fran will finally solve the mystery of what happened to Jenna...

This is a tricky one to review. It's told from the POV of 3 women - Jenna in the past, attending the ill-fated retreat in Gozo, Fran in the present, attending Tom's first retreat since his release from prison, and Kate (Tom's wife), also in the present. Jenna is quite a likable character, and I enjoyed reading about her time at the retreat and guessing at what actually happened to lead to her disappearance. However Fran was a very hard to like character - doing a lot of stupid things and being a very judgemental person made her very hard to engage with. And while Kate was interesting, her chapters too became a bit silly when she began doing some very foolish things (I wont say what for fear of spoilers, but safe to say she's not the most logical of women). And while the ending was nice enough, it did feel a bit flat and anticlimactic. So all in all, an ok read, but the author definitely has better books out there. 

Disclaimer - I was fortunate enough to be provided with an advance reading copy of this book by NetGalley. This has not affected my review in any way, and all opinions are my own.
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I did a feature for this one rather then leave a negative review. Thank you for sending me the e galley
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Thanks to Net Galley and Avon Books Uk for an ARC of this book in exchange for a review. 
I am a fan of C L Taylor but this book was disappointing for me. I found the story totally unbelievable.  I did not like any of the characters.  
SoulShrink, a wellness retreat, run by husband and wife, Tom and Kate, is where Fran is trying to find out what happened to her sister Jenna 2 years ago. 
Jenna’s death has been labelled as suicide but Kate and her mother both find this hard to believe., so Fran is investigating and ropes in one of the other guests who happens to be an undercover journalist, also after the story of what happened to Jenna 
The retreat, the dangerous activities and the personal sessions  with Tom all seemed bizarre, especially as Tom has had no training and isn’t long out of prison.  
The story dwindles along and has a farther flat and unsurprising ending 
Not my favourite book by this author.
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Interesting, light, and entertaining!

HER LAST HOLIDAY by C. L. TAYLOR was an easy read that had a few surprising twists and turns.  It was a fairly good book that did indeed keep me turning those pages, but it wasn’t one that I was particularly excited to get back to reading though. 

C. L. TAYLOR delivers an engaging, suspenseful, unpredictable, and slower paced mystery here that is told from three different perspectives and two timeframes.  I do love unreliable and unlikeable characters, but for some reason I didn’t particularly enjoy any of these characters or felt a connection towards any of them.  So that definitely had an impact on why this one was just an okay read for me.

For the most part this was an unpredictable read, but I did quess one of the major reveals but had no clue how the author was going to pull it off though.  The primary motive and the resolve left me feeling a little bit underwhelmed and unconvinced.  Even though it fell a little bit flat for me,  I was satisfied and felt that it provided all the answers I needed.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Avon Books UK, and C. L. Taylor for my review copy.
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Oh, I so wanted to love this book as I’m a big fan of C L Taylor, but unfortunately, I really struggled with this one. 
Nothing really gripped me, so I didn’t get the feeling of wanting to pick the book up every chance I got. 
I found it quite confusing at times with the skipping between the timelines and the characters, I don’t normally struggle with that in books but for some reason, I did on this one. 
I didn’t get a connection with any of the characters either or like them very much, so that is probably a big reason why I struggled with this book. 
I’d say the action gets going in the last half, not a lot happens in the first half. The ending sadly felt a bit lacklustre and the explanation for everything that happened in the past just seemed a bit random and a tad unrealistic. 
Please don’t let my opinion put you off reading this book though, I think it’s important to judge for yourself as you may love it. I think it’s also important to appreciate the time and effort the author took to write this book, I think it must have been a complicated one to write. I feel terrible giving a 2 star rating, but unfortunately this just wasn’t the book for me.
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Atmospheric, claustrophobic and intriguing best describe this psychological suspense told from three female viewpoints in dual timelines. Fran is seeking answers for her sister's disappearance at a wellness retreat two years previously. The sisters are not close, Fran being much older, and the family dynamic comes across as toxic.

The story has many twists, and all the women have issues making them unreliable protagonists. The story's lynchpin is Tom, the leader of the retreat who is multifaceted and keeps secrets. This is an addictive book with mostly unlikeable characters, but this doesn't stop it from being an enjoyable read that keeps the reader's attention with its well-paced reveals and unexpected conclusion.

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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A gripping addictive read told in the present and past. Jenna disappears from a wellness retreat, assumed dead, people die, the leader goes to prison, then years later her sister joins a retreat to try and find out what happened. Excellent story!
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I loved the beginning of this book, as in I was predicting 5 stars kinda loved. However, the book almost seemed to lose momentum as it progressed.

On a positive note, the author creates such an excellent atmosphere of distrust and suspicion.
The setting is described so well, it was really vivid.

I also liked the plot line of the wellness retreat gone wrong and the slow reveal of characters was well done.

The only thing that brings this book to a 3 star rating is the the unfortunate way the storyline almost became derailed and was confusing towards the end.

I would still say this worth the read if you like the sound of the Synopsis, just because the writing wasn't for me, doesn't mean you won't love it. I'll definitely still pick up more books from this author in the future!

Three stars!

Thanks to NetGalley, Avon Books & C.L Taylor for an eArc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Jenna went to Gozo on a retreat and never returned. This book tells the story through the point of view of three main female characters Fran, Kate and Jenna, and two timelines - then and now. This could have been confusing but it is not, in fact the book flows very well. It is one of those books that keeps you reading on when you should really put it down and get some sleep.
Enough twists to keep you guessing all the way through, good characterisation and a flowing engaging read.
This is my kind of book!

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy for my honest review.
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Her Last Holiday by CL Taylor reminded me a little of Liane Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers, although this is more of a thriller. It does however feature a wellness retreat run by an interesting duo, and plays host to some quirky guests.

This is the third book I've read by Cally (CL) Taylor and yet another enjoyable read with a couple of surprise twists at the end.

Fran describes herself as prickly and Taylor does a great job of sharing her brash nature. We also get insight into how she became that way and the childhood Fran spent challenging her mother and her expectations. The family history also goes some way to explain why Jenna went on the wellness retreat in the first place as she'd spent her life working frantically to avoid disappointing her mother as her sister had done. There's a 12 year age gap between the sisters so they weren't close, but they still had a connection.

Kate's been waiting for her husband, Tom to be released after two years in prison. She's boldly ambitious and brought business acumen to both the relationship and the wellness business, and she wants that life back. The Tom we meet in both timeframes is a bit harder to read. We see a version of him that believes in his work, but he becomes increasing cynical and is obviously keeping secrets.

I liked that Taylor makes this as much about Fran as finding out what happened to Jenna. At the retreat Fran is forced into therapy sessions with Tom despite her misgivings. There's stuff she needs to deal with however and her time at the retreat isn't wasted.

Fran, Jenna and Kate are all interesting narrators but I would have liked a little more insight into other characters who played key roles. There's a journalist who pops up briefly and some guests at the current retreat who attended the earlier one. There was a smidge of inconsistency around the portrayal of Jenna and Fran's father that confused me, and I didn't entirely understand some of Jenna's fairly-dramatic decisions.

Having said that Taylor takes this in a direction I hadn't expected. We know what some of the players are thinking and what they're hiding but we're still not sure who to trust so there are several last minute surprises.

3.5 stars
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Ah fab! Another C L Taylor book out. She is amongst a handful of authors who I feel as much as possible that I'm guaranteed a good book.

As usual I wasn't let down. This story felt slightly different to her usual ones, but that's not as bad thing at all. I was as usual, consumed by the story and lost a couple of days of 'real life' whilst engrossed!
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Her Last Holiday is my first novel by C.L. Taylor, but I have a feeling that it will not be my last.  This is a duel timeline story as the story takes place in present day and two years prior where the initial event takes place.  The back and forth between the two time periods is not for every type of reader as it can disrupt the flow, but the pacing and writing style worked for me.

In the past timeline we have Jenna who attends a retreat on Gozo, one of the 21 islands that make-up the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. I actually looked up pictures of this place and I have added it to my travel list and hope to go there one day as it is gorgeous. During the Soul Shrink retreat, ran by Tom Wade and his wife Kate, Jenna disappears and is presumed dead. There were also two other guests at the same retreat that died. Tom ends up in prison for the two deaths, but the fate of Jenna remains unsolved.

The main story takes place two years in the future, where Jenna’s sister, Fran is set on finding out the truth behind Jenna’s disappearance after Tom is released from prison. Soul Shrink has started again, this time in Wales, and will be run by Kate and Tom. Fran’s mother suggests that she attend the new retreat to get closer to the people that could potentially be behind her sister’s death. This plot took me a minute to process as I am not sure I would willingly go to a resort ran by people who could be murderers and behind my sister’s disappearance. As determined as I would be to solve the mystery, I think my mother would be firmly against me going instead of suggesting it.

The story, in general, has suspense, but it takes a while to fully feel the tension. There are bits in the middle where Fran’s time at the resort is a little too drawn out for my taste and I would have preferred some pieces to either be shortened or left out entirely. I enjoyed the addition of Kate as a point of view character as it is interesting to see the inner workings of her part of the story while also seeing the events from the points of view of Jenna and Fran. There are a lot of characters in this novel to keep track of and sometimes trying to keep them all straight in my head took away from my enjoyment of the story.

Fran was an interesting character as she has emotional trauma from the bullying she received as a child plus her parents who had higher expectations. She felt a lot of pressure to be the good daughter and that shaped her personality as an adult. As some of the characters at Fran’s retreat are the same ones from Jenna’s retreat a captivating element was added to the mystery as the reader tries to figure everything out. There were not a lot of characters in this story that I found to be likeable, but they were all written well. Jenna also went through her own emotional journey that helped lead her to go to the retreat in the first place. I found both sisters to be interesting in their own way and I liked how their stories were intertwined.

There are tons of secrets in this story and it was thrilling to read as each one revealed itself. There are some tense moments that cement this novel as a psychological thriller and I found myself fascinated in trying to figure out what will happen next and how it will all come together. The ending itself is good, but it seemed a little rushed compared to the pacing in other parts of the story. Overall, I found this to be a satisfying read and I am very intrigued to read more from this author!

**I want to give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Avon Books UK, for a review copy of this entertaining and thrilling novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**
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Thank to NetGalley for this ARC.  Jenna spent her last week attending a mental health retreat in Gozo but did not come home.  Though were two other deaths at this same retreat, the investigation determined she committed suicide.  Her sister and mom aren't convinced.  Jenna's sister, Fran books herself on the next retreat to get some answers.  Was she murdered or did she in fact commit suicide?  Pretty good read.  I didn't figure it out!  #herlastholiday #cltaylor #apr2021
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Her Last Holiday is a well thought out thriller that delivers twists and turns as all good thrillers do. But for me, this genre is somewhat saturated and there are no real surprises. It didn't particularly grip me and I didn't care about any of the characters. I think perhaps I have just read too many thrillers and it would take something extraordinary to hold my attention.

The story centres around Fran, whose sister disappeared on a spiritual retreat three years ago. Tom was arrested following the deaths of two guests, but Fran's sister (Jenna) was believed to have committed suicide. Her body was never found. Now Fran wants answers and signs up for a retreat - the first since Tom was released from prison. There is suspicion surrounding Tom, or is it his wife Kate who holds the answers?

As Fran covertly investigates, she no longer knows who to believe as some of the guests are also acting suspiciously.

I found the closing chapters somewhat far fetched, but perhaps this is a positive for some readers who like to escape into an over the top psychological thriller.
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