Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves

Covet

byTracey Garvis Graves

Hardcover | September 22, 2014

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Tracey Garvis Graves, the New York Times bestselling author of On the Island, returns.

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.
TRACEY GARVIS GRAVES is the author of the New York Times bestseller On the Island. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her family. She loves hearing from her fans and can be found on Twitter @tgarvisgraves and at facebook.com/tgarvisgraves.
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Title:CovetFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:320 pages, 9.34 X 6.35 X 1.13 inShipping dimensions:320 pages, 9.34 X 6.35 X 1.13 inPublished:September 22, 2014Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0525954074

ISBN - 13:9780525954071

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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Read from the Book

Chapter 1ClaireI’m on my way home from dropping off the kids at school when he pulls me over. I see the lights in my rearview mirror seconds before he hits the siren, giving it two short bursts. I’m not speeding, or in violation of any traffic laws that I know of, but I pull to the shoulder and the police car slows to a stop behind my bumper. When the officer walks up to the driver’s-side window, I hit the button to lower it. “Did you know you have a taillight out, ma’am?” he asks. “Really?” I crane my neck to look behind me—as if I could possibly see it from inside the car— and immediately feel foolish. “Yes,” he says. “Passenger side. Can I see your license and registration and proof of insurance?” I nod. “Sure.” He doesn’t look like any cop I’ve ever seen. He looks like a model pretending to be a police officer for a photo shoot. Or maybe one of those cops who shows up at a bachelorette party and then strips down to his underwear. Suddenly, I can’t remember where anything is. He waits patiently while I locate the necessary documents in the console and pry my license out of my wallet. I hand everything to him and he takes it to his car, and when he returns he leans down by my window and hands it all back. Up close, I notice that his eyes are green, the exact shade of a piece of sea glass I found on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico two years ago when Chris and I took the kids to South Padre Island. He must be six two or three, and he’s lean but broad shouldered. He doesn’t look older than mid to late thirties, but there are a few flecks of gray in his dark hair, which only enhance his good looks. So unfair. He rips a piece of paper off the pad he’s holding, glances down at the name he’s written on it, and looks back up. “Claire?” “Yes.” He hands me the ticket. “It’s just a warning,” he says, reading my expression and smiling to dispel my worry that I’m about to get slapped with a fine. His teeth are white and perfectly straight. “Have it taken care of as soon as possible, okay? It isn’t safe.” “I will,” I say, looking down at the ticket. It’s been signed by Officer Daniel Rush. “Thank you.” He nods. “Have a nice day.” When I return home, my husband, Chris, is standing in the kitchen, a cup of coffee in his hand. He’s wearing jeans and a polo shirt in accordance with casual Friday, and he smells like the cologne I gave him for his birthday. “Have you seen my watch?” he asks, in lieu of a proper greeting. I unearth it under a stack of mail on the counter, and he straps it on. “Did you drive the kids to school?” “Yes,” I say, setting down my purse on the island. “Last day,” I add, because even though I mentioned it, there’s a fairly good chance Chris forgot; he’s got other things, important things, to focus on right now. “I wanted to hand deliver the gifts for their teachers. I wasn’t sure they’d arrive in one piece if they took them on the bus.” The kids are a safe topic, and politely exchanging information regarding their whereabouts and well-being has become our fallback method of communication. Neither of us raises our voice. I once read an article in a women’s magazine that said it’s a really bad sign when you and your spouse stop arguing. It means that you’ve given up and no longer care about saving your marriage. I hope that’s not true, but I worry that it probably is. I walk to the dishwasher and start unloading it, not bothering to tell Chris about the taillight; I’ll take care of it myself. He opens the cupboard, grabs the pill bottle, and shakes a capsule into his hand, swallowing it with water. He’s probably wondering if I’ll say something about the pills, but I won’t. I never do. He’s whistling and seems eager to head out the door this morning; I should just be grateful he has a job to go to, because the twelve months we spent at home together when he was out of work were almost our undoing. Still might be. He grabs his laptop and car keys, says good-bye, and walks out the door without kissing me. I finish unloading the dishwasher. Tucker scratches and whines at the sliding glass door, and I open it. “Go, Tuck,” I say, watching as he takes off in hot pursuit of a squirrel. He never catches them because the squirrel will scamper to safety on top of our fence long before he reaches it, but that seldom stops him from trying. It’s quiet now. I pour a cup of coffee and gaze out the window as summer beckons. I open the door to seven-year-old Jordan’s room, my arms full of clean laundry. She’s made her bed without being asked, and her stuffed animals are lined up neatly on her pillow. There’s nothing on the floor, not a stray sock, not her pajamas, not one of the hundreds of crayons and markers she’s always drawing with. Nothing. It used to bother me until my mom pointed out that I did the same thing when I was her age. “Don’t go looking for trouble where there is none, Claire. She relishes order the same way you do.” I never did grow out of it either, this need to have everything organized, my life segmented neatly into tidy little boxes. How karma must have had a field day with me last year. I open nine-year-old Josh’s door next and immediately trip over a pile of Matchbox cars; it appears there’s been a pileup. Josh likes to crash things. He does not, however, share his sister’s fondness for neatness and order. I step around the cars and navigate my way across the room, dodging piles of clothes, sports equipment, shoes, and his guitar. His navy blue comforter hangs halfway off the bed, but the sheets are pulled up and both pillows are in the right spot. I’ll give him an A for effort. After I put away the clean clothes I pick up the dirty ones and reverse my steps. In our bedroom only one side of the bed has been slept in. When he’s home, which from now on will be rare, Chris often sleeps on the couch in the family room, a habit he started when his insomnia was at its worst and he didn’t want to disturb me with his tossing and turning. In hindsight, I should have insisted that he stay because now I doubt he’ll ever return. I scoop up his boxer shorts and damp towel from the bathroom floor and add them to the pile in my arms, wondering if there will ever be more to life than laundry and sleeping alone in a king-size bed. My neighbor Elisa walks into my kitchen later that morning, her yoga mat in one hand and a giant bottle of water in the other. Her light brown hair is in a perfect ballerina bun, not a messy one like mine, and her gray yoga pants coordinate nicely with her pink tank top. “I almost got run over crossing the street,” she says. “What the hell is wrong with people? Do they not realize how many kids are in this neighborhood?” Elisa is a born and bred Texas girl whose husband, Skip, brought her back to his home state of Kansas after college, and when she’s riled up you can really hear the twang in her speech. Elisa and I live in Rockland Hills, an exclusive neighborhood in a suburb of Kansas City. We’re on the Kansas side, and the single-family homes are large and stately, with a median price of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The architecture is a mix of styles, designed to lend a unique feel and keep the houses from looking too similar. Chris and I purchased our Tuscany-inspired four-bedroom home five years ago after we fell in love with the warm, earthy hues, expansive terra-cotta tile floors, and wrought-iron sconces. Our furniture is soft and oversize, chosen solely for comfort. We’ve been happy with this neighborhood except for the fact that the winding, tree-lined streets aren’t heavily patrolled and not everyone watches their speed the way they should; the most frequent offenders are the newly licensed offspring of the affluent residents. I grab my own bottle of water from the fridge. “Maybe we can check into getting one of those speed limit signs. You know, the ones that blink?” I ask. “We need something. I can’t believe how fast that car was going.” I drive us to yoga. When we walk in the front door I feel instantly calmer, the way I always do when I hear the New Age music and smell the lingering scent of incense. A potted aloe vera plant sits on a low table and paintings from local artists adorn the sage-green walls. It’s all very soothing. After we stow our gear in the locker room we stake out a spot in the back row of the studio, sitting cross-legged on our mats while we wait for the class to start. “I’ve got a taillight out. Can you pick me up after I drop off my car?” I ask. “Sure,” she says, stretching her arms over her head. “When?” I take a sip from my water bottle. “I don’t know. I’ll call and make an appointment when I get home. I need to take care of it as soon as possible.” “Did you get pulled over?” she asks. “Yes, this morning. By the most ridiculously good-looking cop I’ve ever seen.” She raises an eyebrow and grins. “Do tell.” “There’s not much to it,” I say, chuckling. “I was so flustered I couldn’t remember where I kept my registration. It was like my brain left the building. He was

Editorial Reviews

Praise for COVET"When Claire Canton’s husband, Chris, loses his job, he becomes distant and frustrated. It only gets worse when he lands a new job that feeds his workaholic tendencies and requires a lot of travel. Their two kids have a hard time adjusting, but Claire finds companionship in her graphic-design work, her neighborhood friends, and handsome police officer Daniel. What starts out as a Kansas City–set Desperate Housewives (rich neighbors living beyond their means, catty observations about an alcoholic mom) turns into a fullblown and emotional page-turner. Claire’s type 1 diabetes is deftly woven into the plot, and the kids are cute without being moppets. The fact that the novel reads like a very normal suburban story makes it highly accessible. Although it is Claire’s story, occasional chapters about Chris and Daniel make Claire’s dilemma more poignant. Chris is no villain, and you hope the couple can save their marriage. But Daniel is so handsome and so good for Claire. Graves also wrote the breakout hit, On the Island (2012)."— Susan Maguire, Booklist“Powerful stuff, honest and brutal.” – New York Journal of Books"With a clear hand Graves purposefully takes us through the full range of emotions and misunderstandings that often destroy many families." - Florida Times Union"Graves writes dialogue the way people really talk and seems to have mastered writing sexual frisson scenes." - Omaha World Herald"Tracey has a magical way with words and this book was just written so beautifully." – Shh Moms Reading“This book should also come with a box of tissues.” – Jenuine Cupcakes“A satisfying read.” – Kirkus Reviews Praise for Tracey Garvis Graves:"Tracey Garvis Graves has one of those dream-come-true stories that make other authors simultaneously delirious with joy on her behalf and jealous as all-get-out."—USA Today