Rating : 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Tessa’s young life has never been easy. After her mother’s death, she has no one anymore and is placed in foster care, but her life is miserable and she has lost her illusions.
When she ends up homeless at 17, Peter Lockwood, a colleague, offers to marry her to avoid the foster care. Peter and Tessa understand each other, they both have had less than ideal childhoods. For Tessa, it’s a relief to have a good friend she can rely on. But their relationship is anything but romantic. However, with a husband who is her best friend and a new job, Tessa has never been happier and, for the first time in her life, she has a feeling of security.
Peter wants to become a journalist and when he is offered a job in San Francisco, Tessa follows him. She is hired in the support team of Ian Gregson, the CEO of a leading hotel group. She is very intimidated by her charismatic, sophisticated and very formal boss. Ian is the scion of a prominent British family and his name is associated with wealth and class. Around him, Tessa feels shy, uncertain and gauche.
Ian Gregson, nicknamed “His Hotness” by his female employees, never mixes business with pleasure and has an ironclad policy against dating employees. He feels an overwhelming attraction for Tessa, but makes it a point to keep his distance and his feelings hidden. Ian is an intriguing character. He is controlling and standoffish, but at the same time he is such a romantic at heart! He has principles, though and knows that Tessa is married and thus off limits. Tessa is very loyal to her husband, even if they are seldom together. But Peter wants to get divorced, to give Tessa a chance at the happiness he feels he can’t give her.
I was invested in this timeless story, from page one until the end. It truly hit all my emotions buttons! The author describes in detail the characters’ feelings and desires, making it easy for me to connect with them. The story flow was well-developed. What stood out for me is this book’s romantic vibe, combined to the addictive and seductive author’s writing. Tessa and Ian yearn to be together, but it is not yet possible for them. Hopefully, this might change in the next book in the Splendor series. This trilogy is a re-writing of the original book, “Splendor”. Covet is the prequel to the original story, giving more insight in Tessa’s past. The next book in the series, “Crave” will be the bulk of the original story and, last but not least, “Claim” will be the continuation of Ian and Tessa’s love story.
ARC kindly provided by Book Enthusiast Promotions, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review