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Thanks to NetGalley and Bantam for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: Available Now

432 Pages

Synopsis: Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter…Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples. And then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

The Marriage Pact poses an interesting question. With so many marriages ending in divorce, how far would you go to guarantee that your own marriage stayed intact? I have to be upfront and say that there’s a certain amount of disbelief you have to suspend going into this book. I mean, who in their right mind would sign a contract to join a group that they really know nothing about? And, Jake and Alice don’t even read the contract, despite Alice being a lawyer herself. But they both have their own reasons why they’re drawn to this group, and much to my surprise, I found myself being a lot more understanding than I thought I would. 

The story is told by Jake, and perhaps because of this I felt more connected to him than Alice. They’re both highly educated people, but because of their individual insecurities, they allow themselves to be sucked into this cult. Naturally, it’s not long before the newlyweds discover that The Pact is not the benevolent group of “…like-minded individuals intent on achieving a similar goal.” Far from being supportive of their members, there are consequences for breaking the rules listed in the Manual. At this point Jake and Alice want to leave, but no one ever leaves The Pact. 

There are many twists and turns in this story, which kept me glued to its pages. For the majority of the book, I honestly had no idea where this was going to end up, and as the conclusion neared I found myself shocked at the way events unfolded. And the ending? Well, let’s just say you’re going to either love it, or you’re going to hate it.

The Marriage Pact had me hooked from the very beginning, and with its relentless pace, I finished it over the course of two nights. Yes, there are some moments that will leave you incredulous, but the book is so well written, that this doesn’t negatively impact the story. It’s a truly creepy tale that will leave you wondering “What if?”