“Do not covet thy neighbor’s spouse”.
My mother shared this wisdom nugget as I grew to teach that what one covet may seem sparkly on the outside by rusty and tarnished in the dark. Ah, Mommy’s lessons come in handy, especially when they play out on the page.
Amber wants a better life. She befriends Daphne, whom appears to have everything she wants: a great husband, lots of cash, two beautiful children, and a lovely, sprawling home. The former decides to upgrade her life by getting close to the Parrishes, and even closer to Daphne’s husband, Jackson. Twists and turns follow as Liv Constantine implores her readers to understand the notion of all that glitters isn’t gold.
The plot’s pretty standard.
Don’t touch what isn’t yours and no drama will happen. Amber wants to be the next Mrs. Parrish and she seduces Jackson, while becoming his mistress. Also, don’t think you’re outsmarting the gullible as they shine a light on your own gullibility.
The character list offers shockers and interesting. No one’s useless or trite. No one’s annoying (Okay, Amber and Daphne at times, but their annoying ways don’t hinder their characterization or the plot). Hell, even I found Jackson enticing (Must see further therapy for that last one, though). No one’s what you expect, and when you think you know everything, you find yourself wondering why you thought you knew more than the authors (Liv Constantine is a sister duo, not one writer).
As I mentioned before, don’t touch what isn’t yours. You might get spoiled in the process, and I don’t mean whisked off to Paris on a whim either.
1. Fast paced. Once the action starts, boom, you’re in.
2. Good characters. Okay, they’re not good as in angelic. Good as in “I’m worried about this person” and “Can my size 8 fit this person’s derriere?”Jackson. I could see the shine he resonated, but check please. This dinner’s poisonous, waiter. Daphne. Strong. Unwavering. She deserved her bittersweet ending. Bella’s redeemed. She’s one of Daphne’s and Jackson’s daughter painted as a brat at first. But, I felt terribly for her as the story progressed, understanding why her behavior manifested. Amber’s comeuppance is sweeter than any vintage wine.
3. Seriously, my mother’s lesson permeates this book. I found myself whispering it to myself as I read.
4. Good writing. Every character gets a satisfying arc and the plot’s believable. Yeah. Don’t lie. This story could happen.
Mild spoilers ahead…
1. Some aspects will need overlooking, like how fast Amber’s welcomed in the home and why she’s there all the time. But, given Daphne’s desperation for emotional connection, you won’t eye roll as much.
2. What mother doesn’t welfare check her adult daughter when her personality, after marriage, changes? My mother would have been to my house in a heartbeat. Husband be damned.
Verdict: 4/5 glass turtle pendants. This story’s highly recommended for chills, thrills, and drama behind the scenes of a wealthy marriage.
For the love of God, don’t covet your neighbor’s goods, people.