ARC Review: The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

TheMarriagePactCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?

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.

 Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Setting: Modern-day San Francisco

***I received an eARC copy of The Marriage Pact from the publisher, Bantam, via NetGalley.***

Review: Compulsively readable but the whole premise was unbelievable. The Marriage Pact is, to put it bluntly, a weird book. Like really weird. Our main characters are newlyweds Jake and Alice, and for some bizarre reason (read: there really isn’t a good reason), they decide to sign The Pact in hopes to have their marriage last forever.

My main issue with this book is that the decision to sign The Pact makes zero sense. For example, Alice is a lawyer. And yet she signs a contract without really thinking about it, or reading the fine print. That made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. And Jake just kind of goes along with whatever Alice says because he doesn’t want to lose her. And when things start to go oddly, both Alice and Jake just ignore all of the warning signs. Alice gets on someone’s bad side and it starts off with her having to wear a tracker bracelet. And both Alice and Jake seem to be amused about it all. It was very weird. Things escalate from the tracker bracelet, and I won’t spoil that here, as part of the readability of The Marriage Pact is that you know things will go downhill, but you don’t know exactly what is going to happen. I would’ve read this book in one sitting if I had the opportunity to; I was desperate to know what was going to happen next! And the ending is, well, it was a letdown for me, but only because it was bizarre, a bit disturbing, and a tad ambiguous.

The Marriage Pact was a book that I didn’t want to put down, so I would definitely start this at a time when you can devote a few hours to either reading this in one sitting or in two sittings. It’s one of those books where the character choices really don’t make a lot of sense (when you are running from people with all kinds of resources, it’s probably best to NOT take your cell phone or use your credit card….just sayin’….), and there were just some very weird things in the book, but I did read the book quickly and can’t stop thinking about it, so it gets three stars from me!

Bottom Line: Bizarre, but utterly readable and engrossing even though it was unbelievable and far-fetched.

Links to The Marriage Pact on   Amazon   |   Goodreads

Does this sound like a thrilling read?


7 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

    1. Thank you! It is a very quick read, so if you end up not liking it, at least it would go quickly… 🙂 But, yeah, there are some very odd scenes in the book!


    1. There actually weren’t any orgies here, (at least none that I remember!) but there was the odd feeling that any minute an orgy would/could happen. The members of The Pact have parties they are required to attend (and also host), and I kept expecting those parties to delve into orgies. There are a few odd sexual things in the book, but I don’t recall any orgies.


  1. I enjoyed the beginning of the book but I found the character of Alice and her sloppiness and self absorbed personality quite annoying. The narrator Jake seemed intelligent and consistent in issues relating to his patients but a bit immature in his perception of Alice. I found the ending bizarre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that ending was weird. I still think about it sometimes because it was just so odd. I couldn’t get past why a lawyer would ever sign The Pact to begin with!


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