Andrea Bartz / Book Review / Reviews with Spoilers

Andrea Bartz | The Spare Room

The Book: 

The Spare Room by Andrea Bartz
Published June 20, 2023 by Ballantine Books
Date read: July 15, 2023

The Characters: 

Sabrina and Nathan

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

Staying with a friend and her husband is sexier—and deadlier—than anyone could have imagined, in this provocative domestic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Reese’s Book Club pick We Were Never Here.

Kelly’s new life in Philadelphia has turned into a nightmare: She’s friendless and jobless, and the lockdown has her trapped in a tiny apartment with the man she gave up everything for, who’s just called off their wedding. The only bright spot is her newly rekindled friendship with her childhood friend Sabrina—now a glamorous bestselling author with a handsome, high-powered husband.

When Sabrina and Nathan offer Kelly an escape hatch, volunteering the spare room of their remote Virginia mansion, she jumps at the chance to run away from her old life. There, Kelly secretly finds herself falling for both her enchanting hosts—until one night, a wild and unexpected threesome leads the couple to open their marriage for her.

At first, Kelly loves being part of this risqué new world. But when she discovers that the last woman they invited into their marriage is missing, she starts to wonder if they could be dangerous . . . and if she might be next.

How did The Spare Room end?

Click here for book spoilers for The Spare Room
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Spare Room, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Sabrina and Nathan invite Kelly to throuple with them. At first the relationship goes great, until Kelly finds evidence of abuse towards their last partner. She also finds a secret room with a camera set up pointing at the bed where they often had sex. Eventually Sabrina and Nathan admit that their previous partner, Beth, had gone missing just after they broke up. The timeline doesn’t make sense, though, and Kelly realizes they never broke up. Scared that they were responsible for Beth’s disappearance, Kelly leaves to stay in a hotel for the night to get space.

She comes back the next day, and Elizabeth has returned. This obviously puts their relationship in an awkward position. That night, Kelly sleeps with the Lamonts and Elizabeth sleeps in the spare room. When they wake up in the morning, Elizabeth is dead.

Kelly realizes that the murder weapon was the triangle paperweight from Nathan’s office. She assumes Nathan is the murderer and kills him. She and Sabrina call the cops, and Nathan’s death is considered self-defense.

The Ending:

Kelly and Sabrina remain a couple. They decide to move to NYC, but Kelly stops along the way to pick up things from her ex Mike’s house. Mike admits to knowing more about the events at the Lamont’s house than were published in the papers. He had killed Elizabeth, thinking it was Kelly. Kelly doesn’t tell Sabrina, but they decide to be just friends.

The epilogue flashes back to Elizabeth’s POV. She was indeed a grifter targeting the Lamonts and Renee.

The Review: 

While interesting, this book was certainly not at all what I expected! I don’t read thrillers that have some spice all that often, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find that in this book. Steamy sex scenes are the perfect way to throw the reader off the scent of the murderer. I also enjoyed that the relationship was poly.

The plot was certainly unique and kept me guessing. I definitely recommend this one if you’re stuck in a rut of similar thrillers and are looking for a change!

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