So, today we don’t just have one book on this blog tour, but two! These are the first and second books in The Abbey series.
We have a lot to get through, so let’s get started…
The Brotherhood (The Abbey Series #1)
When a young woman becomes pregnant in a religious sect, how far will she go to escape the abusive leader and save the people she loves?
The Brotherhood – safe haven or prison?
After her parents’ sudden death, a grieving Melissa falls back on her faith and into the welcoming arms of a religious sect. Captivated by their leader, Dominic, she leaves her old life behind and moves to the countryside to join them.
But life in The Brotherhood is not as safe as it first appeared. When engineer Mark joins The Brotherhood, Melissa finds herself conflicted between her growing feelings for him and her crush on Dominic. With their leader’s initial encouragement, Melissa and Mark grow close.
But as her haven becomes a prison, Melissa’s newfound happiness is destroyed by Dominic’s jealousy. How can she escape and save the ones she loves? – Goodreads –
There’s no doubt that ‘The Brotherhood’ is a religious cult. Dominic finds individuals in their most vulnerable state, that is the only way that they can believe he is helping them by bringing them to the safety of The Abbey. Melissa has just lost both her parents, her sister was abducted 9 years earlier and she’s unable to shake off her abusive boyfriend, she’s completely alone. This makes her the perfect candidate to join his group of followers.
Jo Fenton takes us on a serious psychological ride, Dominic develops a possessive interest in Melissa. Things take a nasty turn and she quickly becomes his prisoner completely isolated from the community and made to live in appalling conditions.
I really enjoyed this book, however, I have a few issues. In my opinion the punishments handed out were the main focus of this book, I think some may have been unnecessary. There are so many concepts which I would have loved to see developed further instead, such as focusing on the mentality of a person who can manipulate over 100 people to completely give up their lives and their possessions to stay in The Abbey to worship him as the ‘Messiah’.
That being said I couldn’t tear myself away from this book, I felt so much anger and frustration for the ‘messiah’ and the wardens, especially because I was so invested in Melissa and Mark’s relationship. Thankfully I had the follow up The Refuge to get stuck into straight away. The Brotherhood definitely deserves 4 cups of coffee out of 5!
The Refuge (The Abbey Series #2)
Following the death of The Brotherhood’s charismatic but sinister leader, Dominic, Melissa and her husband Mark resolve to turn the Abbey into a refuge for victims of domestic abuse. But when Melissa’s long-lost sister, Jess, turns up at the Abbey, new complications arise.
The Abbey residents welcome the new arrival but find it hard to cope with the after-effects of her past. As Jess struggles to come to terms with what she’s been through, her sudden freedom brings unforeseen difficulties.
The appearance of a stalker – who bears a striking resemblance to the man who kept her prisoner for nine years – leads to serious problems for Jess.
Meanwhile, Mark also finds that his past is coming back to haunt him. When a mother and daughter venture from the Abbey into the local town for a shopping trip, there are dreadful consequences.
A build-up of tension, a poorly baby and a well-planned trap lead Mel, Jess and their family into a terrifying situation. Can Jess overcome the traumas of her past to rescue her sister? – Goodreads –
This is the aftermath of the events occurring at the end of The Brotherhood. As stated in the synopsis, Dominic is dead, Melissa has married Mark and gave birth to their baby girl, Emma, they are now attempting to turn The Abbey into a community for those still remaining after Dominic’s death. Melissa’s sister Jess has also escaped from her captor of 9 years.
There is so much happening in this instalment of The Abbey series, that at first I was worried this was just way too many components which would be fighting against each other.
However, again Jo Fenton surprised me, each of the residents stories weaved beautifully around the others. I loved the little nuggets being left behind, urging us to try and link everything together.
What I also found really interesting was Jess and how she was adapting to life after her captivity. We see books focusing on the victims time being held captive (I read one of these fairly recently 365 Marks on the Wall) however, I believe that this is the first book that I have read which explores trying to rebuild their life.
Throughout this book I was asking myself so many questions: Is there really a stalker? What does being held prisoner for 9 years do to your mentality? Is mark in danger? Is the refuge actually a safe place for those women in need of help? I love when books make me truly think about the issues being raised.
Overall, The Refuge was a fab follow up to The Brotherhood and I hope to read more from this author, I’m rating this book 4 cups of coffee out of 5!
Giveaway to Win 3 x E-copies of The Brotherhood and The Refuge (Open Internationally)
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Who is Jo Fenton?
Jo Fenton grew up in Hertfordshire. She devoured books from an early age, particularly enjoying adventure books, school stories and fantasy. She wanted to be a scientist from aged six after being given a wonderful book titled “Science Can Be Fun”. At eleven, she discovered Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer, and now has an eclectic and much loved book collection cluttering her home office.
Jo combines an exciting career in Clinical Research with an equally exciting but very different career as a writer of psychological thrillers. When not working, she runs (very slowly), and chats to lots of people. She lives in Manchester with her husband, two sons, a Corgi and a tankful of tropical fish. She is an active and enthusiastic member of two writing groups and a reading group.
-Make sure to check out the other stops on this blog tour-
See you in the next one…