Cover Image: The Guest House

The Guest House

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Member Reviews

The Guest House was such an addictive read - the style of writing kept you guessing, it was unpredictable and entertaining.

I enjoyed the three POVs and two timelines - I felt like this helped move the plot along, and the cliffhanger/reveals kept me wanting more.

I finished this book in less than 48 hours. I couldn't put it down.

Thank you NetGalley and the author for the ARC.
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It should be a happy time as Victoria and Jamie prepare to become parents. Wanting to celebrate, they opt for a babymoon, a final weekend break in a remote part of the North Pennines with just a few weeks to go before their new arrival. The guesthouse is perfect; private and peaceful, the ideal location to unwind together before two become three. Upon arrival, they are greeted by Barry and Fiona, the couple who run the guesthouse who cook dinner and show them to their room before retreating to bed. So far, so welcoming. Until the couple wake up the following morning to an empty guesthouse. An empty, locked guesthouse. Where Victoria has just started having contractions… But what really happened there? And what happens afterwards is very important as the couple try to put their relationship and lives back on track. This weaves so much through the plot, that’s incredibly well thought out.
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The Guest House has an interesting central premise and a classic twisty sense to it and as a narrative is very addictive.

The characters were unique to be sure and I loved the unpredictable nature of it. However there was the odd down side. For example some of the actions undertaken by the characters made little to no sense within the wider story which left me shaking my head a bit.

Overall though as it all came together it was an entertaining read and very enjoyable.
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4.5 stars

Man, this is a journey and a half.

You have to start by thinking what couple goes to a remote cottage with 3 weeks to go before their baby is due? But all is revealed in what proves to be a fascinating and exciting read.

Told via three POVs and two timelines –  there are twists and turns aplenty and some absolutely banging end of chapter cliffhangers and ultimate reveals. And a last page that is just superb.

Highly recommended.
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A new author for me which is always exciting..
The blurb as usual won me over so I was eager to see where this author would take his story.
Imagine you are coming towards the end of your pregnancy. You are exhausted and excited all at the same time. You cannot wait to meet your new little one. Leaving aside the heartache and struggles of IVF and fertility issues you both had to endure to get to this moment.
A night away might be just what is needed before the baby arrives.
We meet Jamie & Victoria in this story.
A break away to a remote part of the countryside seems rather appealing as they head off to a small and beautiful guesthouse.
Older couple Barry & Fiona are the hosts and they greet their guests with much delight.
Fast forward to the next morning when Jamie & Victoria arrive downstairs to discover all doors and windows of the guest house are locked and their hosts have disappeared.
Strange when they notice that gone too are their phones and car keys.
I will admit I was frightened for them at this stage. Most especially when Victoria starts having contractions and knows the baby is on the way. The sheer panic that sets in as they try to understand what is happening to them.
A strange storyline to try get to grips with I thought..
I enjoyed how the author told his story between the alternative view points..
Hugely atmospheric, I could almost feel the remoteness of the guest house all around me.
A chilling and quite intense read, slightly crazy too..
His characters seemed so irrational at times that I began to wonder what I had immersed myself into...
It has all what you want in a good thriller though, suspense, drama, unease..you get it all..
Well worth your time.
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Jamie and Victoria are expecting their first child after a few struggles conceiving.  They decide to go for a few days away before the birth and stay in a guest house.  Then Victoria unexpectedly goes into labour, they can’t find their car keys, or the owners of the house and they appear to be locked in.

The story is told on two timelines, the first at the time of the birth and the second a few weeks later after they have returned home without their child who appears to have died.  But what is the true story?  Who are the mysterious guest house owners and what happened there?

I always worry when I have enjoyed an authors debut novel and their second one comes out, will it be as good as the first, better or worse.  Well in this case I need not have worried it was every bit as good as their debut.  Roll on book number three.
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I really enjoyed this one and read it quickly. 

The story is about a couple, Jamie and Victoria who are expecting their first, much longed for, child. While staying at an isolated guest house, Victoria unexpectedly goes into labour early.  What happens next is both completely unexpected and terrifying and leaves the couple not knowing what to do or who to trust. 

I found the book well written and the pace certainly kept me reading. The characters were believable and the setting of the old guest house in the remote Pennines only added to the tension and suspense. 

The story was told in differing timelines and from multiple points of views, which worked well. I didn't guess any of the twists, always a bonus!

A book I'd definitely recommend. I'll be certainly looking out for the author's next book. 

Thanks to author, Robin Morgan Bentley, publishers Orion Publishing Group and Net Galley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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This is a compelling and disturbing read and whilst it may be a tad unbelievable and OTT in places, it is enjoyable and rather riveting and has a premise like no other I have read before.

The characters are well developed and whilst you may not like some of them very much, this works well with the story.  It is written in the past and present which helps to build the tension and intrigue until the killer twist is revealed.

Recommended to those who enjoy something a little different with plenty of suspense and thanks go to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley for enabling me to read The Guest House and to share my thoughts.
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Holy moly what an absolutely wonderful read this book was, talk about locked room thrillers!!!. I couldn’t put it down! I was gripped from start to finish trying to figure it all out in my mind. I connected with Victoria and Jamie instantly and I just wanted to see them get out alive, along with the baby, oh man. Poor Victoria! If you only read one book this year, make it this one.
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Jamie and Victoria are expecting their first child and the road to conception wasn’t easy with fertility issues and numerous failed IVF attempts. A few weeks before the due date they book a final weekend break for just the two of them in the North Pennines. The Guest House is owned by an older couple, Fiona and Barry who give them a meal before they all turn in for the night. In the early hours Victoria goes into labour but Fiona and Barry can’t be found, they are locked in, their mobile phones and car keys have disappeared…the baby is coming and they are trapped!!

The Guest House is a book that delivers twist after twist. I was grabbed from the start and couldn’t put the book down. Apologies to my family who got no sense (or meals) from me until I’d finished. This was a total one sitting read – I HAD to know what was going on!

The thought of going into labour in such a remote setting is terrifying enough never mind being held captive in a house where the owners are adamant that the baby you are about to have is going to be handed over to them to keep and raise as their own. Barry and Fiona are SO scary, the fact that Barry is ex police force backs up the thought that there would be no alternative way out of the situation. What would you do?

The book skips forward a month and the couple are in London apparently mourning the loss of their much longed for child. They are receiving postcards threatening them with police action if they speak out and an implication of murder…we are left wondering what did happen in that Guest House.

I loved how the story was told from the different characters points of view and my sympathy was constantly shifting between Jamie and Victoria. I think I’d plump for Jamie; I’ve never read a book featuring a character that has cerebral palsy and seeing Jamie’s frustration at his own limits was hard to read. Also the way in which people approached his disability was an eye opener, I know how rude people can be and I’m sure the author has based some of these comments and reactions on his own experiences. 

There’s not much more I can say without spoiling any of the amazing twists – go read it!

Five stars!!
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This is a great psychological thriller. 
Victoria and Jamie are expecting their first child and just before her due date they go away for a few days. 
Things don’t go to plan and soon Victoria is in labour at the guest house and the owners seem to have taken their phones and car keys. 
I can’t say much else about the story as there’s quite a few twists and turns and I don’t want to spoil it. 
This is a great thriller that will certainly keep you guessing what’s really going on, right up until the last page. 
Thanks to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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A fast-paced and intriguing mystery, The Guest House is a chilling and tense story that will leave you breathless in the race to find out what actually happened at the ominous guest house.

While I enjoyed this overall, there are two main things that prevented me from engaging with it more, so I'll get those out of the way. The first is a personal preference as I find it really difficult to read about infants in danger, and there was too much of that here for me. While I'm all for dark thrillers that can instil that sense of dread in you and I believe there are ways around this subject that can invest you in a story more emotionally, it's the one thing that I find too uncomfortable to read about and I don't think it felt necessary enough here.

My second issue is that book includes one of my thriller pet peeves, which is when an early chapter is revealed to be a false account that couldn't have happened once you know the outcome. I love when a narration tricks you into believing something else, but when you've read something that obviously didn't happen in that way at all, I find this a lazy way to add a shocking twist, which left me annoyed rather than shocked.

But there's a lot of great potential in this story at the same time. I loved the atmosphere, the mystery, and the duo timelines work really well alongside each to build up to the truth. However, The Guest House is one of those books that you will love or hate, as it relies on your personal connection to the story and how you think they would react in the same circumstances.

At first, I thought everything was far too ludicrous, but I kept up some hope that the answers at the end would justify everything going on. And for the most part, the end did provide me with the answers that I needed and there are some extra twists that I really wasn't expecting. But overall, I'm left feeling fooled rather than deceived, and it didn't work well enough for me in the bigger context of the story.
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I've heard lots of good things about this author and I was excited to see what he can do for myself. The Guest House has everything you need in a psychological thriller: there is tension and atmosphere by the bucket load and even though I've never had children, Morgan-Bentley's writing made me feel so claustrophobic and I was completely hooked wanting to know how the situation in which Victoria and Jamie found themselves would be resolved. 

The novel is narrated mostly by Victoria and Jamie and I liked that this helped me to get to know the characters and try to understand the dynamics between them. I must mention my excitement that The Guest House features a disabled character whose disability is not central to the plot! My own disability is slightly different to Jamie's but I related to a lot of the issues he encountered and loved seeing a disabled person represented so well. In addition to this, I loved that Morgan-Bentley has created characters in Fiona and Barry who really got under my skin and made me feel really uncomfortable. 

Part of the appeal of The Guest House was that I could never quite figure out what direction the story was going in. I was constantly surprised as I was reading and I loved being taken on the ride! 

I will definitely be checking out the author's previous book!
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If I have one thing to stress about this book is that please try and get to the end. I know that there are parts that will make you wonder and maybe doubt what you are reading but, if you have faith and do manage to stick with it and get to the end, it will all become clear and finally make sense. I do fear however that the journey may lose a few along the way as there is a lot of bonkersness going on and a lot of motivation questioning of certain characters.
So, we follow Jamie and Victoria as they take their final weekend break prior to becoming first time parents. It's not long now until the day that will change their world. Although, that day is about to come a lot sooner and will change their world in a whole different way to the direction they thought they were going... And that's all I am saying...
And so begins the bonkers, and implausibility, and weirdness, and out of character, unintelligent decision making... Which, all that aside, is one heck of a ride... And, with the benefit of the hindsight you will get when you get to the end, will all eventually make perfect (if insane) sense...
If you want credibility and non-crazy characters then this probably isn't the book for you. But if you are willing to let certain things ride, to put aside your questions and confusion, and just go with the flow, then you might just be pleasantly surprised and rewarded.
I did, and I was.
My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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The author is an excellent storyteller as this story kept me hooked and on the edge even if I found the plot fairly unbelievable.
That said I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the story even if it's a bit disturbing at times.
It's fast paced and kept my attention alive, I appreciated the style of writing and the character development.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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I loved the premise of this book but, sadly, the execution just didn't work for me. I really struggled to get through it.
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2.5 stars
Having recently read the authors previous book The Wreckage and gave it 4 stars, I was looking forward to reading this and the blurb had me excited to start it.
Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this book much at all.
First of all, the beginning felt rushed. I do enjoy when a story dives in straight away, but this felt like you are dropped right in it with no real background as to what is going on.
I felt like the flash forward chapters really spoiled any tension/intrigue that the author was trying to put across. So because of that there didn't really feel any need to keep reading.
The characters (especially Barry & Fiona) lacked depth and felt very 2D.
I really struggled to connect to the story and never cared about any of the characters, so as the book went on, I lost more and more interest.
The plot is quite slow and there is not much pay off by the end.
I finished this feeling very disappointed after having enjoyed this author before, this was a big let down.
However there are many good reviews for this, so maybe I'm the exception?
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Victoria and Jamie drive from London to the Pennines for a break at a guesthouse, before their first baby is due. Victoria goes into early labour,and they find themselves locked in the guesthouse by the owners Barry and Fiona, until the baby is born.
The book then moves to a month afterwards. The book is told from the two dates, so moves forward and back until the whole story is revealed.
When Jamie and April felt trapped they made some bad decisions which affected them both in different ways later. Can they ever break the hold of the guesthouse? What really happened with the baby? 
Great conclusion and very good book. I enjoyed piecing it all together and seeing the whole perspective.
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With a few weeks to go until their first baby is due, Jamie and Victoria head off for a weekend break in a small countryside guesthouse. The next morning, Jamie and Victoria awake to find the guesthouse had been emptied. Both their mobile phones and their car keys have disappeared, the owners are no place to be seen, all the doors are locked. Even though it's only a few weeks early, Victoria knows the contractions are starting. And there's no way out.

I was quickly pulled into this story. You know the inevitable is going to happen when it involves a remote location, this time it's the North Pennines. The characters are complex and unlikeable. The story has a dual timeline, the time spent in the guesthouse, and after their visit. The plotline is unpredictable, the ending I never saw coming. I liked the authors writing style. This is a gripping and shocking read with a few surprises along the way.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #OrionPublishingGroupUK and the author #RobinMorganBentley for my ARC of #TheGuestHouse in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was not really for me re the subject matter and so was a dnf am afraid,I did not realise the subjects the book covered,apologies
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