Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves

September 12th, 2013 Kimberly Review 68 Comments

12th Sep
Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves
by Tracey Garvis-Graves
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

Despite trepidation over the subject matter, last year I read and enjoyed Tracey Garvis-Graves’ novel On the Island. I enjoyed it so much that I bought several copies for friends and family as holiday gifts. Imagine my delight when they enjoyed it as much as I did. As a result Covet was one of my most anticipated releases in 2013. I approached it with both excitement and nervousness, as once again Graves touches on a taboo subject. It focuses on relationships and dealing with stressful situations that test the sanctity of marriage. While boundaries are pushed it is important to note that no actual physical cheating occurred. Graves has become a must read author, whose talent at capturing human emotion is breathtaking. Three Four word review: honest, captivating, heartbreaking and beautiful.

Clair and Chris Canton’s marriage has been suffering since Chris lost his job. There are no shouting matches, but tension is high as Chris suffers depression and closes himself off from Clair and the children. Chris eventually lands a job, but the position requires traveling.  Despite Clair’s concerns about their fragile marriage, Chris takes on the job with vigor. From the outside their world looks picture perfect; with two kids, and a beautiful upscale suburban home. Clair is lonely. Chris is losing sleep in order to keep up in the dog-eat-dog competitive world of sales. Daniel Rush is a police officer who used to have it all but now comes home every night to an empty home. A routine traffic stop, and a graphics job opportunity, helps to create a friendship between Clair and Daniel. The story that unfolds is beautiful, heartbreaking and truly captures the human emotion.

The tale is broken up into three POV’s and it was brilliantly done. The first belongs to Clair, and you cannot help but admire this woman and her patience. She struggles with loneliness and mourns the loss of intimacy that she and Chris once shared. Chris grew up in a family that struggled to make ends meet. He prides himself in taking care of  his family. An A type personality, whose whole identity revolves around being number one in his career and taking care of the people who matter most. The loss of his job is a blow to that identify. While he appears completely without emotion to Clair, his POV shows the turmoil and emotional struggle this noble man faces. Daniel, is drop dead gorgeous, and a real sweetheart who has his own deep battle wounds. All of the characters were fleshed out, and I identity with each of them. We meet other couples in the neighborhood and Graves gives them voice showing their struggles reminding us the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere.

I was worried as I began Covet because I loathe cheaters. I have always believed that you fix it or walk away and that using relationship trouble to cheat is a cop-out. The synopsis is pretty clear that a line is never crossed regarding infidelity despite the emotional involvement. Graves made me see another side, and while lines weren’t crossed I understood why things were unfolding, and how these relationships developed. The pace moved slowly but I appreciated how fleshed out the characters were.  I laughed, I cried,  and I screamed in frustration.  I wanted Chris to wake-up and express his emotions, or for Clair to get seriously pissed off.  Daniel worried me the most, this sweet, sweet man never crosses the line, but you know he is falling for Clair. Graves slowly revealed Daniel’s past and gads..tissues please! What I found to be remarkable was that even though each character had reason to piss me off, Graves made me connect and understand.  I felt compassion for each and every one of them. It was brilliant. Despite everything that was happening the tale is surprisingly low on angst and by the end Graves had me smiling and full of hope.

Fans of chick-lit, human relationships, and fleshed out, flawed but lovable characters need to add Covet to their reading lists. Ms. Graves if you read this I would like Daniel’s story. Please pick it up from where this one ended. That is All.

Four and half cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

68 Responses to “Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves”

  1. Belle Read

    Great review. I would be concerned about the cheating too. I get frustrated with an emotional affair as well as a sexual one, so I am glad that you mentioned it.

  2. Dani

    I too agree with your stance on cheating and fidelity. Even after your review I am still on the fence with this one though.

  3. Ro Mejia

    Loved your review! I read one of Tracey’s novella’s and did a review on it. Unfortunately, I never read the first book, On the Island. Now that I read what you had to say, I am going to go back and read it! Also, Covet, Which you and Andrea, from A Bookish Babe, both gave great reviews on. Thanks

    A Bookish Escape

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Awesome Ro, I adore this author and I am convinced she could write about any subject matter!

  4. Diana Leigh

    I’m glad they never crossed the line, because I loath cheaters too. On the Island didn’t appeal to me, though this one sounds pretty good.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ha, they are both wonderful reads..enjoy and I look forward to hearing your take on them. TGIF!

  5. Kimberly

    I got a copy of The Island ages ago but still haven’t read it yet but I think I’m going to give this one a try before I read The Island because it looks so good. And the cover! I love it 🙂

  6. DannyBookworm

    Oh I still need to read On The Island…

    I’m so happy you loved this one too. It seems like it deals with a very honest and genuine situation that can occur to everyone. I love how character driven this book seems to be so I am excited to start it!

  7. sharonda

    I love your review…it really makes you want to go and pick up this book. I’m going to have to check it out at my library to see if they have it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Aww, thank you..hmm can you tell I like it? LOL I hope you do pick this up, and if your library hasn’t ordered a copy yet..bug up till they do!

  8. Heidi

    I still haven’t read the Island… I know I know.. I even bought a copy. I would love to read both of these books. Cheaters are hard to handle, but it is unfortunately a fact of life. I would like to see how it is handled in this one.

  9. Lark

    Like Felicity, I’m putting this on my maybe list. I’m glad I’m not alone in loathing cheating and prizing fidelity. You describe this book beautifully, and while I’m glad there’s no physical cheating involved, the whole situation seems so fraught with the potential for disaster. No matter what, someone will end up hurt or disappointed. Even knowing it ends well for Chris and Clare (presumably, since you want Daniel’s story) I’m afraid I would be tense the whole way through! But you’ve lauded the book so movingly, I feel as though I should give it a chance. So. . . I will put it on my someday list, which gives me time to think about it. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Lark, add it to your library is really low on angst, and oddly I did not feel anxious as I read this if anything it made me grateful for the wonderful relationship I have with my husband.

  10. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Sometimes I worry about multiple POVs and sometimes it is like you said… it works brilliantly. So glad this is the later. Oh this sounds like a great read and I like that it feels real. Hm… I really need to check out this author. I might have to pick up a contemporary soon…

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I don’t think this would have worked without them. Thanks Melissa 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Gads no, did I feel for the characters? Yes. Did I bawl my eyes out? No.and I am a very emotional reader -always have been. Read the ending first *shivers* I know peeps do it but for me it would ruin the ride..LOL

  11. Candace

    I think this one sounds very realistic, this is the sort of thing that likely happens a lot. Well, obviously, since divorce is so high. I’m not sure what the conclusion is for them, but it’s nice to know there’s no real cheating. Though emotional cheating can be worse, especially since we can use the excuse that it’s not cheating.
    It’s funny, I just loaned out my copy of The Island to my SIL because it’s one that fits a variety of people. Plus she needed an escape to a deserted island. 😉

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope she enjoys On the Island and this was so well done. Thanks Candace 🙂

  12. aurian

    Hmm this sounds very intense, not something to read for fluffy entertainment. And thanks to your last sentence, I know the ending 🙂 although it is sad that one person is left in the cold.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Well remember both the synopsis and my first paragraph state it is platonic and the sanctity of the marriage remains intact. It is wonderful and brilliant!

  13. Adriana

    I like that the author is showing us another side to “cheating” by not having the characters actually cheat… It’s actually very clever in showing that not everything is black and white in that type of situation. I also love that everyone gets a say – the three POVs. This actually sounds like something I could enjoy which is surprising given the subject manner. It also kind of sounds like something Nicholas Sparks would write. Lovely review (:

    • kimbacaffeinate

      psst…I think she blows Sparks out of the water..just saying 🙂 thanks Adriana I hope you get chance to read this.

  14. pabkins

    Yeah – who doesn’t loathe cheaters!!?? I picked this one up for April at BEA and I hope she ends up enjoying it as much as you did. Too contemporary for me – and I hate reading about divorces and breakups…too sad.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      no divorce, no break-ups just human emotions in a very realistic situation. I cannot wait to see what April thinks!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Ellie, it doesn’t go on sale until the 17th but I saw it at a food store the other day too 🙂

  15. Michele

    Okay, you’ve convinced me to give this one a chance! I really had a completely different idea of what this was about! Thank you for setting me straight with this lovely review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was nervous going in but I should have known I was in good hands 🙂

  16. Braine Talk Supe

    I saw this at Bookish Babes and I swear I got teary over the quotes she shared. I’m buying this for my birthday, I don’t care if I’ll bawl and get all snotty, I think it’ll be worth it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Aww, first Happy Birthday and second I am so excited you are reading this. I cried towards the end, and felt the characters emotions but this isn’t a snotty read like Kristen Hannah’s Night Road..I cried so hard reading that my son and hubby didn’t know what to do.

  17. Andrea

    I am so, so happy you enjoyed Covet, Kim. If there’s anything I know, it’s that Tracey can write ANYTHING, and make it into a gorgeous story.
    Great review!

  18. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I have huge issues with cheaters, but I think I’d be just as captivated by this story as you were. I thought I’d struggle with On the Island too, but I ended up really liking it.
    They just recently translated On the Island to Croatian so I bought a copy for my mom. Let’s see how she likes it.
    Wonderful review, Kim! Really beautifully written.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Maja and I hope you mother loves it and I hope you try this author.

  19. Ginny

    I am so glad you reviewed this. I would never have picked it up for the same reason you mentioned…I hate cheaters. I feel the same way you do, either fix it or leave, don’t lie and cheat. Which means I tend to avoid books, movies, etc. that feature them because all they do is piss me off. I am going to give this a shot and expand my view and hopefully my very narrow understanding of why and how it could happen. Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Ginny, I really owe so much to her publisher, who reached out to me for On the Island. I would have shied away because of the subject matter and I simply adore this author now. Honestly I would buy any of her books now sight unseen, regardless of subject.

  20. Ellen

    I can’t wait to read this and your glowing review makes me want to read it more. After reading Andrea’s and now your review. I am convinced.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am so excited, and guess what all those peeps I bought copies of On the Island for last Christmas are getting this year! LOL

  21. Toni

    Great review, Kim! Just added this to my TBR. It sounds so different from what I’ve been reading lately, even with the variety of genres I read. It seems very “real life” based on the synopsis and your review; struggles that so many people in the world today can relate to. I’m going to have to read this sooner than later!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Toni and yes, it all felt very genuine and everyone has felt like these characters at one time or another.

  22. Michelle

    I remember all of the hype that surrounded by on the island and it has been on my wish list forever but I still haven’t read it yet. Shame on me! But covet looks good and it sounds like the writing will be great. I can’t wait to check out something by this author. I agree with you Kimba, I think cheating is a total cop out too. I’m glad you enjoyed the book despite initially disliking some characters.

    Thanks for the great review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Michelle, I cannot say enough good things about this author.

  23. Kristilyn (Reading in Winter)

    I just finished this one last night! I thought it was beautiful … at first, I was a little skeptical, since I LOVED On the Island, and this one just seemed a little simple, but I like how it’s that gradual build. I loved Claire’s character and you’re right — she had a LOT of patience. I’m not sure if I’d be able to put up with Chris as a husband. I would feel very lonely, very insecure … though, it’s hard to say if I’d take Claire’s route with Daniel. I loved Daniel’s character!

    This was so well written and very fast-paced. Glad I got to read it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That is the beauty of her writing, while we might not react as these characters did..we understood them and felt for all of them regardless of what they did.

  24. kindlemom1

    I have been waiting for you to review this one!
    I am so glad you liked it every bit as much as her first novel. I agree that taboo subject matter can be hard and not always easily pulled off but once again, it sounds like she did great with it and I am so excited that she did.
    Great review Kim!

  25. brandileigh2003

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed, I have heard the same thing from a few cheater haters like myself that they were glad they got over and still read

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is really wonderful and touching and still kept the marriage intact.

  26. Nick

    I’ve seen a couple of reviews for this book and they have all been positive. I’m not a fan of cheating in my books either, but I’m interested in this book because the author’s writing style seems great. I like how she managed to make you sympathize with all the characters.
    Lovely review, Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      She is brilliant Nick I think she could tackle any subject and make even the biggest naysayer see both sides.

  27. Lupdilup (Loupe Duffy)

    Adding it to my TBR and hope that is scheduled for an audio release too 🙂
    I fixed my little blog widget, your feed is working great, now I’ll be able to keep a close eye on all these great new releases on your blog.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      So glad you got it working 🙂 and I am anxious to hear your thoughts on the audio version of this.

  28. Felicia The Geeky Blogger

    I am putting it on my maybe list–I realize the line is never crossed (which is good to know) but it still is probably my least favorite subject matter. I would probably get really frustrated while reading. I know at the end that someone is going to be hurt and be alone. It would make me sad.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Felicia, this did not end sad for me, if that is what is holding you up.

  29. Tanja

    I have read On the Island and yeah surprisingly I ended up enjoying it. I wasn’t sure about this one as cheating is something I tend to avoid but it seems like I won’t have problems with it here. Great review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have very strong feelings about the subject too, and it can ruin a book for me as I no longer connect with the character but this was brilliant.