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  • Covet
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 17 September 2013
Last year, Tracey Garvis Graves' novel On The Island rocketed up my list of favourite novels, ever. It wasn't a novel I expected to like; I thought a relationship between a teacher and her student was weird, but I frigging loved it so much. It sort of had that effect on everyone who read it and it was a massive bestseller, blowing people away left, right and centre. So it's fair to say when I was approved for her second novel Covet I nearly died of excitement.

Covet is like the When Harry Met Sally of books, it asks the lifelong question of whether men and women can be just friends. (I think they can, but it depends on the circumstances, and it most certainly wasn't true in this instance.) Claire Canton is happily married, until her husband Chris loses his job and it all falls apart. Once he gets back onto the career ladder, Claire can't help but feel lonely as her husband spends 90 per cent of his time on the road. So when she meets officer Daniel Rush, she finds herself growing closer to him, but they both tell themselves it's just a friendship, until it turns into something more.

When I started reading Covet I wasn't sure who I was meant to be rooting for - did Garvis Graves want me to root for Claire and Chris's marriage or was I meant to be spellbound by Daniel Rush? The more I read, the more I became captivated by Claire and Daniel's friendship, the more I pulled in their direction. In my heart of hearts I always felt as if it was a long shot, but I'm always rooting for the love that can never be and I couldn't understand Claire's desire to stand by Chris, who I found cold and distant. But, that's because I have no idea about marriage, about how you're meant to stay when the going gets tough, and not just run because things are hard. One day I'll see and appreciate that part of the novel, but for now, I was firmly Team Daniel.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed Covet, no, I'll be honest it wasn't as good as On The Island - I think it would be super hard to ever write a book like that again, but Covet was amazing in itself. I was torn for so long over what I wanted to happen and even though it didn't always go in the direction I wanted it to, I still thought it was a seriously well written novel, with some pretty stellar characters, particularly Daniel Rush. This is a real thinker of a book, and it definitely has stayed with me since I finish it, it's a really great 2nd novel from Tracey, and I look forward to book 3!
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Review from my Goodreads page written August 6th 2013:

One of the signs of an amazing book is one that takes less than a day to read. Another sign is when you have to stop reading and can't stop thinking of the moment you can pick it up and continue reading. Another is when you should be sleeping but you can't because you are nearing the end of the book and it is impossible to stop reading until you finish it. And perhaps the most obvious sign of a good book is when you finish it and are left feeling ecstatic at finishing a good book but sad at the same time that it is over, and when you have no idea what your next book will be because you feel like nothing can beat the story you have just read. This book was all of those things and that is why I am writing this review at 2.26am, just moments after finishing this book. Again though I find myself wishing I could write a review that does the book justice, I will try!

About a year ago I downloaded to my Kindle a book called On the Island. I hoped for a half decent read after reading the plot which I found pretty exciting. What I ended up reading was one of the best books I read in 2012 and what I now call one of my favourite books of all time. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of returning to that island in the novella Uncharted which was just fantastic. Needless to say that when I requested this book on Net Galley and was approved, I couldn't wait to get started. I was in work when the approval email came through and had to get through four hours more before I could start Covet.

I knew however that this book would be very different from On the Island. I am not the intended reader for this book but to me that doesn't matter. If a book is good then it can be read by almost anybody, and despite this being classed as Women's Fiction, I feel that the book, or at the very least extracts of it could be read by men. Particularly those who may be facing problems in their relationship or marriage. This certainly isn't one of those awful erotica novels that are constantly at the top of the bestsellers charts, what it is instead is a wonderfully written story which felt very real, you could have been reading a person's life story as opposed to a story from a writer's imagination.

The chapters alternate between the three characters: Claire, Chris and Daniel. The bulk of the chapters are from Claire's POV however it was nice to hear from the other characters so we weren't just getting Claire's side of things and we could actually see what Chris and Daniel were thinking as opposed to what Claire assumed they were thinking, if that makes sense. Chris and Claire's marriage is pretty much on the rocks, Chris loses his job and Claire takes us through the months that followed the loss talking about how they grew apart and the trouble they faced with his unemployment. Then Chris finds work that means him being away from home throughout the week. I remember as a child my dad would work from 7am until 11pm and I would hardly ever see him despite living in the same house. I could definitely relate to the children in this book and it is only when you are older that you fully realise and understand what your parents do for you.

Claire at the start of the book is pulled over by a police officer because of a problem with her car. It is all fairly innocent at first but in the weeks and months that follow a friendship is formed between the two to the point where there is a question mark surrounding whether anything will happen beyond that. It's hard to continue talking about the characters without giving away too much of the plot so all I will say is that you feel for all three characters. I didn't really feel that Claire was in the wrong throughout the book, but perhaps having never been in love or married makes me see the story differently than somebody who is/has. I read a few comments on Goodreads from people who were a bit wary about reading this book because of the cheating aspect but I urge those people to read this book and forget about those worries. The story here is incredible to the point where I just didn't know what I wanted Claire to do.

The three characters I liked very much. Claire has diabetes which I thought was very interesting and made for some heart stopping developments throughout the book. There were some wonderful scenes between her and Daniel regarding this but to elaborate would be giving the story away. I also liked the flashback scenes where we learnt more about Chris and Claire when they first met. The love between these two characters is evident. I definitely synpathised with Chris having to work away from his family for most of the week to support them. His love for his wife and kids was clear throughout the book. I really liked Daniel. I loved the scenes between him and Claire.

Overall I cannot reccommend this book highly enough. It now cements Tracey Garvis-Graves as one of my favourite authors as she has now written three books which I will always rate as some of the best I have read. In reading the acknowledgement section Tracey mentioned an alternate ending and after only just finishing this book I want to know what that ending is so badly because as I said I didn't know what I wanted Claire to do and I don't know how I would have written this story or indeed ended it. I was satisfied with the ending of the book however. When I finished On the Island I couldn't stop thinking about the story for a while afterwards. I think the same will be true of this book. I don't feel like I have just read a of fiction but instead somebody's life story. Tracey thank you for another truly amazing book which I just loved reading. Your next book cannot come quick enough as far as I am concerned (whatever it may be)!
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on 7 October 2013
I loved Tracey Garvis Grave's debut book On the Island so when I saw that Covet was available on NetGalley I had to request it as I was hoping I would love it just as much.

Claire's marriage to husband Chris suffered terribly whilst he was struggling with depression due to being out of work but now that he has a new job she's finding herself having to deal with him constantly on the road working long hours. So when she meets handsome policeman Daniel she strikes up a close friendship with him that helps ease the loneliness when Chris is away but can she really be just friends with another man?

This was an interesting concept for a story but is an emotive subject as to when does a friendship/relationship cross the line and become cheating on a partner? Does an emotional connection count as being unfaithful?

Although the majority of the storyline is told from Claire's viewpoint we do also get the odd chapter from both Chris and Daniel so also get to see their side of things.

All three main characters had their flaws but no one person was to blame for the situation they found themselves in. Chris was just trying to do his best to support his family, Claire needed someone to turn to when she was down and Daniel was the person she turned to rightly or wrongly. I had expected myself to have quite strong feelings against both Claire and Daniel, due to my own previous personal experience, and was quite surprised that I didn't.

Although I didn't love this book, it was an OK read and I'll definitely pick up more books from this author in the future.
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Claire and Chris have been married for years and have two children together. However, their marriage has been put under severe strain thanks to the recession, Chris losing his job and subsequently getting a new one which takes him away from his family more often than he or Claire would like. So when she meets police officer Daniel Rush by chance, and the pair strike up an unlikely friendship, Claire begins to feel confused about her feelings. She knows that she misses her husband but things haven't been right for a while - and she loves how Daniel makes her feel when they spend time together. Will Claire be able to get her feelings under control and make the right choice for her and her family?

I'll be honest and say I did struggle withthe idea of this book before I had read it. I don't approve of affairs by any stretch of the imagination, so I was curious how I would find a book that explores that part of a relationship - whether or not Claire would take her friendship with Daniel to the next level, and how she would reason with herself over that decision. Garvis Graves doesn't make it an easy choice for Claire, showing her struggling with the very realistic emotional turmoil she is going through, both through her story with Daniel, and flashbacks to the tough times she has already gone through with Chris too.

While I didn't expect to like Claire, I did like her. She's a normal mum, working hard for her family, enjoying time with her friends as well as supporting them through some tough times too. I felt she started off with good intention towards Daniel, but as the pair spent more time together, it inevitably turned into something more. Daniel was a very likeable character, a upstanding policeman in their small town, and someone we know has been hurt before in a relationship. I liked him because although you can see he likes Claire, he too struggles with the fact she is married. Both Daniel and Claire struggle with their feelings, and I did have a small hope that they could make it work together.

As well as the main story of Daniel and Claire, and the subsequent effect that has on Claire's marriage, I really enjoyed tre smaller storylines of the problems that several of Claire's friends are facing. Outwardly they seem to live ideal lives but as usual, things aren't what they seem and there's a lot of heartache behind closed doors. Claire dealt with these really well, the sort of friend that you need in this situation, it allowed us to see a different side of this character and that she wasn't a bad person, despite her actions in parts.

I really enjoyed the book, it was really well written and presented what could be a tricky storyline in a fair way that made you actually question what would be the right decision for Claire. I did feel sorry for Chris in parts, but I did feel he neglected his wife somewhat, although he didn't deserve to lose his marriage over it. Daniel was lovely, and he definitely deserved happiness after what he had been through. The book is quite slow paced, but it needed to be like this for the story to develop well. I definitely recommend this book, it's well written and an enjoyable book.
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on 10 October 2013
Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Truly touching, truly amazing, and what a dilemma. How things can slowly happen in a marriage and from all angles everyone feel so differently.

Chris, when he said he loved his wife and family I was surprised, what? and sleep on the settee? But more and more came to light.

Claire loves her husband, but like any marriages it has its ups and downs worse when feeling are nto communicated, bring in another person Daniel and you may have a disaster on your hands.

Chris and Claire appear the ideal family apart from one friend she confides in.

I got into this story right away and read this in one sitting. Good thing I had our supper cooking in the slow cooker is all I can say!

Great author, great story telling and brilliant humane real life saga. Loved it and would definitely recommend it to everyone.

*I received this from Net Galley and the Penguin who are the publishers*
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 September 2013
Chris and Claire's marriage is fragile. Chris needs to support his family but his new job means that he spends long periods of time away from home. Claire is lonely and responds to the friendship offered by Daniel, a local police officer, who always seems to be there when Claire needs a friend. What then follows is the dissection of a once successful marriage which highlights the effect that social pressures can place upon relationships. The notion that non-physical friendships between men and women can be successfully navigated is perhaps where the book is strongest.

Once I started to read Covet, I really couldn't put it down and probably read the complete book in an afternoon. All the characters are sympathetically portrayed and the story really emphasises the choices that needed to be made both by Chris and Claire whose shared history as a couple meant that they had so much to lose if the marriage failed. And yet, I couldn't help but be drawn into Daniel's role in the story ~ he comes across as a really lovely guy and one who you know would make a good choice as husband and father.

But throughout Covet, the rocky road of marital infidelity is always bubbling under the surface and the question whether or not men and women can ever be just `friends' forms the basis for a fascinating and powerful story. I really enjoyed it.

This book is currently available as an ebook. With the paperback coming out in April 2014.

My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for a digital review copy.
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on 19 February 2014
Having read 'On the Island' and Unchartered' (and absolutely loved, loved, loved them), I feel totally cheated with this book. Whilst the writing is still beautiful - the story line goes nowhere! All stories have a 'beginning, middle & end'... this one had a beginning and the end was back to the beginning. The middle just went on and on building up to to to to to to nothing!!!!!! Oh my, what a total waste of anxious reading. I didn't like Chris one bit - totally selfish, and I so wanted him to get his come-upance. I didn't like Claire - far too perfect, how on earth could she still love him? and as for Daniel - the poor sod was just used, and anyway he was far too perfect. So what was the conclusion of this story - well.... ... I'm still trying to figure that one out!!!!!!
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on 26 August 2015
I have to say this one has been sitting on my Kindle since it was first released back in 2013. I’m a little ashamed that I didn’t get to read it sooner as. I fell in love with Tracey Garvis-Graves after reading On the Island which is now one of my all time favorite books. So after reading an arc of Tracey’s latest book Heart –shaped –Hack (Loved it) I just had to go back and read the other books of hers that are just sitting on my Kindle.

I have to say I’m quite cross with myself that it took me so long because I loved Covet was a beautiful, moving and thought-provoking read. Once I started, I became absorbed it the story, and I didn’t want to put it down. I loved all the characters, and I want to find fault with them, but I couldn’t.

"Maybe love is like a pendulum. It swings back and forth, slowly, steadily, and sometimes you don’t know where it will come to rest.

I’m sure that many married couples could relate to the situation that Claire and Chris go through. Marriage is hard work, Sometimes life gets tough, you can forget the little things, and it’s the little things that mean the most. I think it ended the way it should have, and it was right for all the characters.

With Covet Tracey did an amazing job with her beautiful writing to tell a story about real life; and the struggles of married life, that wasn’t embellished for the sake of it. I will say that if I had read the book when it first came out, I would worried about one character and would have needed to know what was going to happen to him as I have so many questions. But as Cherish (Covet, #1.5) is sitting on my Kindle I'm going to read it next and hopefully going to have my question answered.
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My two favourite books of 2012 where Me Before you by Jojo Moyes and On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves who was actually a new author to me. I loved On The Island so much I actually read it twice which is something I very rarely do so when I saw that the author had a new book titled Covet coming out I knew I had to have this one and couldn't wait to get started.

Claire and Chris find their marriage under strain after the recession hits and means them having to make cutbacks and when Chris takes a new job it means he has to work all hours God sends, meaning that his presence at the family home is very rare and what time he is there is usually spent with the children.
Claire has never felt so alone and all she wants is for Chris to be around more and just to hold her. When she meets Daniel who is a police officer he fills that hole of loneliness and becomes a great friend but can her feelings stop there and what will this mean for her marriage?

I had really high hopes for this book which I think may have had some repercussions on my enjoyment of this book. Like I said before I LOVED On The Island but with Covet I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either it was an O.K book that I would be happy to pick up from my local library and read once but unfortunately it will not leave a lasting impression on me.

The storyline is quite a realistic storyline it shows the pressures that the recession can have on relationships and family life which did interest me. What I also liked about the storyline is that it wasn't predictable, don't get me wrong there were no dramatic twists or turns as it was quite a gentle read but what I was expecting to happen didn't actually happen.

I actually liked all of the characters they were all very genuine with no bad characters who you could love to hate or who you could blame for the situation. I was expecting to not like Chris because of being away so much but at the end of the day he was only trying to provide for his family. I loved Daniel he was my favourite character, he was very gentle and caring. We get to know Claire more than Daniel and Chris because the storyline is mostly told from her point of view although there are chapters every so often from both of the male characters.

The book has a very slow pace and continues in this way all through the book. At a couple of points in the book I was unsure if to carry on or not but I was hoping for something to suddenly change in this book to get me gripped but I think you just have to take this book as a very gentle but meaningful read.

I will still be picking up another book by this author, I just hope her next read has a little edge to it again.
This is a 3 and a half star for me.
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on 23 September 2013
Tracey Garvis-Graves's second novel Covet tells a tale we've all read many times over. A wife with a workaholic husband turns elsewhere for companionship, resulting in a story that can only end in heartbreak. The difference in Covet and other books of its ilk is the palpable tension that Garvis-Graves crafts from page one, hooking the reader and captivating until the very end.

Surprisingly, I didn't find myself with any animosity towards Claire despite her subterfuge and omission of details from her husband. I genuinely felt sorry for her, for her situation and I liked her. She seemed like the type of person I could be friends with.

If you're after a book that chooses sides, makes you root for Claire's husband or for her lover, you won't find it here. As is often the case in life, Claire's situation isn't black and white. I found myself completely conflicted the whole way through, wishing at different stages for different outcomes. Part of me really wanted Claire's affair with Daniel to ignite in passion and for her to leave her husband for him. Then again, with each of the chapters from Chris's point of view, I couldn't help but want their marriage to work out. In the end, Garvis-Graves wrote an ending that I was wholly satisfied and pleased with.

Brilliantly written and sensual, Covet is a smouldering novel that I won't soon forget.
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