Posts Tagged ‘The Abbey Series’

The Refuge by Jo Fenton

June 2, 2019 - 5:51 am 1 Comment

My time has come for my turn to let me share my thoughts on The Refuge, the 2nd in the Abbey Series written by Jo Fenton. Also, a reminder that the competition is still open to be in with a chance to win E-book copies of both The Brotherhood and The Refuge.     

The Refuge

Following the death of The Brotherhood’s charismatic but sinister leader, Dominic, Melissa and her husband Mark resolve to turn the Abbey into a refuge for victims of domestic abuse. But when Melissa’s long-lost sister, Jess, turns up at the Abbey, new complications arise.

The Abbey residents welcome the new arrival but find it hard to cope with the after-effects of her past. As Jess struggles to come to terms with what she’s been through, her sudden freedom brings unforeseen difficulties. The appearance of a stalker – who bears a striking resemblance to the man who kept her prisoner for nine years – leads to serious problems for Jess.

Meanwhile, Mark also finds that his past is coming back to haunt him. When a mother and daughter venture from the Abbey into the local town for a shopping trip, there are dreadful consequences.

A build-up of tension, a poorly baby and a well-planned trap lead Mel, Jess and their family into a terrifying situation.

Can Jess overcome the traumas of her past to rescue her sister? 

My thoughts

The Refuge by Jo Fenton

Published by Crooked Cats Press on 28th May 2019

247 pages

Now Dominic is dead and some of the wardens have done a runner, the residents of the Abbey are trying to move on with their lives. Mark and Melissa are trying to get used to parenthood, whilst bringing the Abbey into the 21st century, turning part of the building into a refuge and being reacquainted with Jessica, Melissa’s long-lost sister.

As you start this story, you get the feeling that everything is working out well, everyone is happy and the abbey is becoming the safe haven, it was meant to be. But as you read further, you can sense that something is not right. Threats of an outside source make the community more vulnerable, you can see that Mark is beginning to crack under the pressure of being helpless, especially when his friends are not safe. Melissa was still the caring strong person as she was in the Brotherhood, but the worry of her sick baby, resulted in her making some stupid mistakes, showing that she was not as confident as she made out to be. Although there were times that I felt that Melissa was not getting the support to run a refuge, it was good that she was still getting support from Inspector Greg Matthews.  

Whilst Melissa and Mark are still at the forefront of the story, other characters that were featured in the 1st book, all have major parts to play in the running of the Abbey and as we follow them round, we get to learn more of their backstory.

The author’s descriptive style, enables you to get fully involved in the story, the character’s emotions were important to the story and you knew straightaway just what the characters were feeling. As in book one, there are scenes than certain readers may find disturbing and as Melissa and Jessica’s relationship becomes stronger, you learn just what a horrific life Jessica had with her capture.

Sometimes sequels to a series are not as good as the first, but with The Refuge, it is as good or even better than The Brotherhood. If you enjoy psychological thrillers than pick up this series.

  Purchase Links:

UK –

US –

About the author

Jo Fenton grew up in Hertfordshire. She devoured books from an early age, particularly enjoying adventure books, school stories and fantasy. She wanted to be a scientist from aged six after being given a wonderful book titled “Science Can Be Fun”. At eleven, she discovered Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer, and now has an eclectic and much loved book collection cluttering her home office.

Jo combines an exciting career in Clinical Research with an equally exciting but very different career as a writer of psychological thrillers.

When not working, she runs (very slowly), and chats to lots of people. She lives in Manchester with her husband, two sons, a Corgi and a tankful of tropical fish. She is an active and enthusiastic member of two writing groups and a reading group.

Social Media Links – Website            



Giveaway to Win 3 x E-copies of The Brotherhood and The Refuge (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.