Behind Closed Doors

Grace and Jack seem to have it all. Fabulous exotic vacations, a beautiful expensive home, and undying love. From the outside Grace and Jack are the perfect couple. Their friends pick and pry but, Grace and Jack never wither. They are simply the depiction of perfection. They’re charming, beautiful, and everything your relationship is not; but behind closed doors, sometimes perfect can get a little messy and chaotic. Some might wonder are Grace and Jack happy when the doors are closed or is there more to Grace and Jack that we’re not seeing.

“What colour was Millie’s room, Grace?”
– B.A Paris

Through the entirety of Behind Closed Doors I felt challenged, nervousness, panic, and uneasiness. I know that these aren’t typical emotions an author wants to provoke in their readers, but Behind Closed Doors is a different book. You feel certain emotions as situations shift and you’re forced to shift with them; as you put yourself in characters shoes, and as it is becomes absurdly clear that what you were originally picturing would never compare to what this book is really uncovering.”“Fear,’ he whispered. ‘There is nothing quite like it. I love how it looks, I love how it feels, I love how it smells. And I especially love the sound of it.’ I felt his tongue on my cheek. ‘I even love the taste of it.”” It’s difficult for me to discuss this novel without spilling all of the juicy, mostly horrifying details, but I’ll try to devalue my feelings without giving too much away.

“But the truth is, we never really know what goes on, on the other side of the fence, behind those closed doors. Instead of looking over the fence, we should really be keeping our eyes fixed firmly on our side and cherishing the grass that we have—bald patches and all—just a little bit more.”

– B.A. Paris

This reverting psychological thriller will keep you on your toes and make you question every seemingly perfect, inseparable couple you come across. Often main character Grace drifts from her past – so readers understand what lead to her present circumstances, “had it all been a facade, had he covered his true self with a cloak of geniality and good humour to impress me?” As the plot and motives of the characters escalated (as did my anxiety), I seem to be aware of everything but nothing at same time. I questioned events before they happened or as they were unfolding, and at times, I couldn’t tell if I wanted to close this book or keep reading with one eye open. Like I said, I’ve never felt so uncomfortable, nervous, and constantly on the edge while reading a book. I don’t think I took a real breath of fresh air until I finished reading it. I’m unsure if author, B.A. Paris wanted her readers to feel that way, but she absolutely accomplished those feelings with me.

“I look around at everybody laughing and joking together and struggle to understand my life has become a living hell that nobody present could even begin to imagine”

– B.A. Paris

The concept of Behind Closed Doors is fantasizing. It’s one of those books you promise you’re going to put down, but keep reading anyway. B.A. Paris has a crafty way of portraying some characters in a certain way to sway your judgement of them. That skills pushed me into sort of liking Angel and seeing the appeal that Grace had with him. Within the first few chapters you could obviously tell something was off, but I assumed Grace was the problem. I wasn’t expecting the plot of the book to prove me wrong in so many ways.

I haven’t read a book that kept me guessing and question the motives of the characters and the people around, in a very like time. Behind closed doors is refreshing. It differs from many psychological thrillers, but that what draws people to it.

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Reviewed by:
 Josie M. Hulen

Josie Monet Hulen is a writer with a Bachelors degree in literature. She’s passionate about the written word and often spends her time with her nose in a book or in the middle of writing one. Her hunger for knowledge and determination to learn, landed her a job as an office manager. She has also been an intern for 9 months with an online publishing company and works part time as a freelance writer. Josie one day hopes to be an inspiring writer.

A Sucky Love Story: Overcoming Unhappily Ever After

Nowadays, online dating is the norm. When apps like Tinder, Bumble and Ok-cupid hold promises of long perfect romances or steamy one night stands, who wouldn’t want to give love a shot? At the palm of her hands – YouTuber Brittani Taylor, had it all. So why not give love a go? Brittani clicked and swiped “her little heart out.” Entangled in the messy sometimes weird wonders of online dating; until a seemingly perfect individual popped up on her screen. This European heart throb swept her right off her feet. Little did Brittani know, it wasn’t love that kept her floating, but an undeniable fear she herself couldn’t comprehend. A Sucky Love Story: Overcoming Unhappily Ever After, isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s not a love story. But one of a courageous women, doing whatever it takes to protect herself and her son.

“I didn’t make it to the door before Milos had his arms around me. Overwhelming me with his strength. “Help me!” “Help me!” “Help me!” I wailed. My voice was raw, the sheer strain overwhelming my vocal cords. Two feet. All I had to make it was two feet and I would have been outside.”

Like many people, I’ve watched Brittani Taylor for as long as I could remember. Her positive energy and heartwarming smile were one of the many reasons online strangers repeatedly clicked on her videos. So, when Brittani announced she was engaged and pregnant, it was absolutely shocking. I witnessed many of her followers search and question what changed and how she was able to hide it for so long. However, as her videos indulged further into her personal life – at least I began to understand. I mean she seemed happy. And to many people that was the most important part. But that’s one of the many mishaps with abusive relationships. Things seem to be a lot of different things, to a lot of different people, even to the people in them.

“For him it was “love at first sight,” but for me, it was “anxiety on every date.” Something was telling me to run— but for two years, the only running I did was straight into his arms.”

– Brittani Louise Taylor

This book is both intense and heart wrenching. As Brittani Taylor recounts her experiences with love, you can feel the fear and heartbreak in her writing, “that was the worst part about love, discovering that what you had had was no more. One too many fights, or crossed wires, and feelings had disappeared. Now that I had made a decision, the emotional stress was also causing me physical stress. I was having a hard time eating, suffering from indigestion and acne.” Every detail of her survival is outlined – the angst in her words within every page, was immensely felt, and you can’t help but to shiver as you read it. I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting this book to be as daunting as it was (even though I knew what the outcome would be). The manipulation she went though is intense and often hard to read. I was expecting this story to end like most domestic violence story’s do; the abuser is capture, prosecuted, and finally the survivor can breathe. However, it was nothing like that. In reality, we know happy endings aren’t always happy. You can hope, but sometimes endings are just endings.

What Brittani went though was horrific and I think its easy to point out what you would and wouldn’t do in a situation, until you’re the one in a similar situation. Therefore, I’m glad she wrote this book. If not for herself then for others. The reality of dating is scary. Especially if you’re meeting someone online. Its easy to lie about yourself and make people see what you want them to see. I believe it takes a powerful person to realize that the person they’re in love with doesn’t love them in the same safe ways that they do – and it takes a stronger person to leave.

Sometimes you look for love in hopes for a fairy tale ending, but end up in a very real nightmare. Narcissistic, manipulative people will beat you down until you can’t say no to them. Or until you become unrecognizable even to yourself. This isn’t a made up story. Its real life survival that Brittani went through. That someday her son will read. And one she chose to speak up about, even though she was scared. I want to thank Brittani for telling her story. It takes courage and power to do so. I also want to caution everyone to be careful when searching for love. To watch out for red flags and listen to your body and mind when it urges you to run. Or in Brittani Taylor’s words, “Don’t be afraid of love. Just do a background check first.”


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Reviewed by

Josie M. Hulen

Josie Monet Hulen is a writer with a Bachelors degree in literature. She’s passionate about the written word and often spends her time with her nose in a book or in the middle of writing one. Her hunger for knowledge and determination to learn about everything she can, landed her a job as an office manager. She has also been an intern for 8 months with an online publishing company and one day hopes to be an inspiring writer.