I have been a fan of B.A Paris since listening to "Behind Closed Doors" on Audible a number of years ago. I went on to listen to her books "Bring Me Back" and "The Breakdown". I loved all of those books but especially "Behind Closed Doors" ... it was one of the first thrillers to really knock my socks off and make me fall in love with the genre.

It's been a few years since I listened to Audible; I much prefer podcasts over audiobooks nowadays but I still need my B. A Paris therefore, I bought one of her latest novels to read. "The Dilemma" was released in June 2020 and I read it rather recently.

I flew through this novel in a few days and I'm indifferent about it. I liked it but I don't know if I recommend it. I think I went into it with different expectations and it just didn't follow the path I thought it was going to.  Though, I still enjoyed it. It was just odd. 

Let's get into it!

Publisher's Summary

Knowing the truth will destroy her. Keeping it secret will destroy him.

It’s Livia’s 40th birthday, and her husband Adam is throwing her the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding they never had. Everyone she loves will be there, except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But Livia is secretly glad Marnie won’t be there.

Livia has recently uncovered a secret about their daughter which, if revealed, will shake the foundation of their family to its core. She needs to tell Adam, but she’s waiting until the party is over so they can have this last happy time together.

Adam, meanwhile, has his own surprise for Livia: he’s arranged for Marnie to secretly fly back for the party. But before Marnie arrives, Adam hears some terrible news. Now he too is faced with a dilemma: Does he share what he's learned with his wife? Is hiding the truth the same as telling a lie? And how far are Adam and Livia willing to go to protect the ones they love—and give each other a last few hours of happiness?

My Thoughts

This was a really sad book and you find out why rather quickly. It made me sad, it was honestly a little scarring to the point where I started dreaming about the characters and the situation that plays out throughout the novel. 

The writing in the book was fantastic, the pacing was great and the development was awesome. In reality, it was a really well put together book that made reading it very easy but at its core, it was a weird story.

The idea of Liva wanting to throw this party for her was so weird. It made me hate her character because of the fact that she so desperately wanted this big 40th birthday because she didn't get a wedding and didn't have her parents around felt childish. 

When you look at what the story is about, this life-altering secret that Adam is keeping on Liva's party day, the party itself seems so stupid. You spend a lot of the book trying to figure out whose side you're on; do you think Adam should tell Liva about the secret? Or should Liva reveal the secret she is holding about their daughter?

The secret Adam is holding is gut-wrenching while the secret Liva is holding is so gross, it made me so angry. There is so much back and forth, so many good arguments on both sides and you can definitely see where both characters are coming from. Despite everything, it's truly a lose/lose situation and while I can see where Adam is coming from, his secret being kept from Liva and everyone else is really dumb. 

I didn't hate this book; it wasn't one of my favorites but I thought it was an interesting read and it provoked a lot of emotion from me so I guess that's good! It kept me on the edge of my seat because I just wanted to see what happened when both secrets were revealed.

It wasn't Paris' best work but it was a fine book.

Did you read "The Dilemma"? What did you think? 


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