Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Book Review: The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones

Pages: 320
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: August 3, 2021
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Other Woman
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Six friends.  Rachel and Noah have been friends since they met at university. While they once thought that they might be something more, now, twenty years later, they are each happily married to other people, Jack and Paige respectively. Jack’s brother Will is getting married, to the dazzling, impulsive Ali, and the group of six travel to Portugal for their destination weekend.  Three couples.  As they arrive at a gorgeous villa perched on a cliff-edge, overlooking towering waves that crash on the famous surfing beaches below at Nazaré, they try to settle into a weekend of fun. While Rachel is looking forward to getting to know her future sister-in-law Ali better, Ali can’t help but rub many of the group up the wrong way: Rachel’s best friend Paige thinks Ali is attention-seeking and childish, and while Jack is trying to support his brother Will’s choice of wife, he is also finding plenty to disagree with Noah about.  One fatal misunderstanding . . .  But when Rachel discovers something about Ali that she can hardly believe, everything changes. As the wedding weekend unfolds, the secrets each of them hold begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel. Soon, jumping to conclusions becomes the difference between life and death."


Will and Ali are getting married in gorgeous Portugal and four of their closest friends are coming along with many family members. What could go wrong? Well, a lot.  Ali, Will, Paige, Noah, Rachel and Jack are all sharing a beautiful villa on cliffs that overlook the ocean.  No one likes Ali, the bride, as they find her manipulative and attention seeking.  Will's brother, Jack, doesn't even like her even though he is the one that introduced the two. Readers find out that Ali once worked for Jack.  Jack's wife, Rachel, has her own problems on this trip.  She is excited her best friend, Paige, is coming along with her husband, Noah, but she and Noah were best friends in college. They have a romantic history and one that she can't seem to forget.  While at their beautiful villa that they are all staying in, secrets start to come out, suspicions get serious, and there's tons of drama that unfolds in The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones.

At first I wasn't sure why no one liked Ali, but the more I got to know her, the more annoying she became in The Guilt Trip. She wasn't exactly bridezilla, but she is extremely attention-seeking. She has some major secrets and they will seriously disrupt the wedding if they get out.  Then there's Jack, the groom's brother, who is mysterious as well. Rachel can't help but feel like he is hiding something. She starts to suspect he is having an affair.  Or maybe it's her mental affair that she is having with Noah, her college boyfriend? Rachel can't seem to let go of the fact that twenty years ago she walked away from Noah to be with Jack and she is still grappling with this decision.  Being here at a wedding in Portugal with Noah doesn't make anything easier, not to mention her best friend, Paige, is Noah's wife!  So, as the story unfolds none of the characters are who they seem. They are all withholding secrets and as they get closer to the wedding, the drama comes to a head.

What makes The Guilt Trip more of a beach read than usual is the cliff side villa in Portugal. Jones really brought it to life and made me feel like I was on vacation too. The rocky caves, the large waves, and the beautiful cliff side homes and restaurants were all perfect settings for a beach read.

I thought The Guilt Trip was going to be a thriller, but it actually reads a bit like a domestic suspense novel. There's a lot of drama. At times I felt it was overdone; it was like car accident you can't stop staring at.  I was drawn to the drama just to see how it would play out.  And things get really dramatic towards the end. So, if you like an immersive soap-opera of a novel, check out The Guilt Trip as summer comes to an end. It would be a great book to get lost in over vacation or a lazy day at the pool.

Are you a fan of Sandie Jones? Is The Guilt Trip on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments below.



  1. Thanks for putting this on my radar - it's just the type of book to break up all the romance i tend to read!

    1. It was definitely a great escape. Thanks for visiting, Michele!

  2. This definitely sounds drama-filled - I want to know what everyone's secrets are!

    1. Oh, man. The drama! So much! Thanks for dropping by, Angela.


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