TRACEY GARVIS GRAVES

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Covet (2013)

Claire Canton seems to have the ideal life. She's got the perfect husband, two gorgeous children and a beautiful house in an affluent suburb of Kansas City. On the outside, everything looks perfect, but it's not. Ever since Claire's husband, Chris, lost his job, things have been difficult. He retreated to a dark place where he couldn't be reached and even when he finally found a new job, things weren't the same. Their marriage became nothing more than two people living together but not communicating. Then, one fateful day Claire is pulled over by a stunning policeman. She can't stop thinking about him and when they meet again at a July 4th parade, she and Daniel strike up a friendship. At first, their bond seems platonic and fun. They spend time together doing innocent things like going for motorcycle rides or meeting up for lunch, but things change as Claire spends more and more time with Daniel and less working on her crumbling marriage. What will it take for Claire and Chris to get back to how they were? More importantly, is it even possible? This is a compelling story that could happen to anyone. All it takes is one person to become complacent in a marriage and things start to fall apart. Claire is very likeable and you'll surely be rooting for her to choose which man she really loves before someone gets hurt. (AS)


On The Island (2012)

This novel has been getting a lot of hype online recently and though it sounded fabulous, I'll admit, I was very doubtful that it would be as good as everyone said. I was wrong. The story is about a 30-year-old tutor named Anna who takes a summer job tutoring a 16-year-old boy named TJ who is in remission from cancer. TJ's family wants him to study at their vacation home in the Maldives. However, during their flight, disaster strikes and their plane goes down in the middle of nowhere. When they make it to a deserted island with nothing but the clothes on their backs, they hold out hope that they will be rescued. However, days go by, then weeks and months, with only two plane sightings. Both Anna and TJ soon realise they'll have to learn how to survive on the island if they want any chance of getting home to their loved ones alive. Luckily, some of their belongings wash up on shore over time, giving them a little bit of leeway in terms of supplies. With the faint hope of being rescued always in the back of their minds, they carry on and learn to hunt, build a fire, construct a house and even beat unknown illnesses. Since they are the only two people on the island, it's obvious they will form a bond and over time their bond becomes physical. While the age difference may turn some people off - Anna is 30 when they crash and TJ is only 16 - there's nothing crude about it. The physical relationship doesn't start for a long time and at that point it is expected. To me, the best part of the novel was how the author weaved in real life events - like the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and 9/11 - into the story, making it seem all the more believable. Overall, this is a heartbreakingly romantic story that, though filled with disaster and trauma, will leave you wanting more. It is definitely one not to be missed as it's one of those stories that will stay with you for a long time after you've finished and make you think about the everyday things we all take for granted. (AS)


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