Review: Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Tuesday, September 17

Title: Covet*
Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves
Series: n/a
Genre: contemporary adult fiction
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Format: hardcover, e-book, & audiobook
Date/Year: September 17, 2013
Reviewed by: Michele

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller On the Island. 

What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.

Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.

Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.

My Musings:

I was a big fan of Tracey Garvis-Graves’ debut romance ON THE ISLAND so when I saw she was writing a new book that wasn’t strictly romance, I wondered if it would be just as good a read. The first chapter of COVET was included as a bonus in UNCHARTED, the follow-up novella to ON THE ISLAND, and from the moment I read the first page, I was hooked. But I could not have anticipated just how much of an emotional read COVET would be once I had the opportunity to read the whole book.

I’m not ashamed to admit it: COVET didn’t just make me cry, it made me weep so uncontrollably that my husband kept trying to comfort me as I continued to read. Even now, it’s been over a week since I finished reading it, and I’m still starting to get all welled up again. This doesn’t mean that COVET will or should affect anyone else like that, but I’m telling you so you know what you might expect if the story of Claire and the two men she loves gets to you in the same way.

Claire Canton had a marriage and family so picture perfect that even their closest friends were envious. But now she is clinging to that life by her fingernails as the weight of her loneliness drags her ever downward. Her husband, Chris, had his whole identity wrapped up in being the family provider and as long as he was working, they were happy. When the bad economy finally reached his company and he spent the next 18 months unemployed, it was only by Claire’s determination and love that they managed to keep the family together and solvent, while she begged and threatened Chris in an attempt to pull him out of his dark emotional hole. Antidepressants are finally starting to make a real difference, but Chris’ desperation to get another job in his field leads him to accept the worst possible solution - a job that keeps him away from Claire and their children for days and weeks at a time.

After Daniel pulls Claire over for a burned out taillight, neither of them are able to forget the seemingly innocuous encounter. Daniel is initially drawn to Claire because she looks so much like the ex-wife who left him after an unspeakable tragedy. Claire is attracted to Daniel not only because he is “ridiculously good looking” but also because he gives her more attention in that one traffic stop than she’s gotten from her husband in months. As they are thrown together more and more, the physical attraction deepens into something they don’t know how to handle, and that’s when COVET becomes the story of how love can be both the best and worst thing ever.

What happens to Claire and Daniel and Chris is not particularly unique, but the way Tracey Garvis-Graves presents it with the thoughts and emotions of each character provides the compelling sense of psychological tragedy as Claire comes to love both men and Daniel struggles between what he wants and what is right. The series of events that lead up to the final denouement are shocking but not out of place, given what we’ve been shown all along the way, and the ending made sense, even if it wasn’t what I might have wanted. But above all, I was and am Team Claire, and she’s why COVET affected me so strongly and why it’s now the number one candidate for the best book I’ve read this year.


Overall: 5 stars
Sensuality level: 

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