Read with: iBooks for iPad
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Hero: Parker Mackensie Evans
Heroine: Maris Matherly-Reed
Date of Publication: August 1, 2002
Started On: March 2, 2012
Finished On: March 2, 2012
This is the 2nd book that I have chosen to read because fellow book reviewer Brie seemed to recommend the book so highly. And I have got to believe the girl and take her recommendations to heart because for the world of me, I couldn’t seem to put down this book once I started to read. Envy makes for such a compelling read that I resented every single minute I had to be away from the story that unfolded, bringing home the fact that when it comes to thrillers of the romantic suspense variety, there is none like Sandra Brown who can deliver on every aspect of the story.
Parker Mackensie Evans is a man who has been biding his time, plotting and planning the perfect revenge for his best friend turned foe Noah Reed. Parker has got the bait that would draw Noah’s wife, Maris Matherly-Reed in, and use her in his plot for revenge and vengeance that he has been waiting for for the past 14 years. A man with enough scars on the inside and the outside to last him a lifetime, Parker’s story is one of pain, heartbreak and eventually one full of lessons for anyone willing to read between the lines.
Maris Matherly-Reed is the ultimate heir to Matherly Press, one of the most renowned publishing houses in the country. Maris’s marriage to Noah Reed is going on 22 months and though Maris feels those twinges of unease about her husband and his inattention towards her oft late, she manages to brush it aside and go on with her daily life. Maris adores her father, and rightfully so when Daniel Matherly had brought her up single-handedly, given her all the love and affection in the world, taught her how to be true to herself and all that she believes in. Maris though is the senior vice-president of Matherly Press, she craves for those days when she had been an editor involved in the nitty-gritty process involved in shaping up a good book and delivering it to readers. So when she comes across a manuscript entitled “Envy” that draws her in with the characters and the story that it hints at, Maris trusts her gut instincts and seeks out the author who lives in the remote island of St. Anne.
Little does Maris know that when it comes to Parker, nothing is as it seems and that Maris is merely a means to an end that Parker wants so badly, even if it means that he has to forgo the only chance he would ever have at love and maybe finally peace from all those nightmares that continues to haunt him night and day. Parker’s manuscript with two characters Todd and Roarke that span the years of the 80’s is a story of two best friends whose competitiveness to outdo each other as the first one to land a publishing contract goes horribly wrong when one of the characters involved continue to harbor a darkness deep within his soul, intent in going through any means to achieve fame and fortune which he believes to be rightfully his. It is up to Maris to dig deeper in order to unravel the truth behind the story, to find out whether the story is indeed fiction or a true story which could have dire consequences on her life and those whom she holds near and dear to her if left unheeded.
Envy is one of those stories that I seem to have missed during the days in which I positively devoured every Sandra Brown book that I could get my hands on. And as I mentioned at the beginning of my review, Envy turned out to be a story that I couldn’t get enough of, Parker’s multifaceted character reason enough to dig deeper into the story. Parker is the brooding, cynical, manipulative hero and all rightfully so based on all that he has gone through in life. His careful plotting and planning doesn’t get him far when he encounters Maris in flesh, the woman who in the end turns his life and best laid plans all around. Suddenly things don’t seem to be as clear cut as Parker wants them to be, but the fire of vengeance that burns and taints his soul is one that refuses to be denied, and Parker pays the price of letting go of the one woman who could have brought that much needed light into his otherwise dark and bleak existence.
Maris was a character that I simply adored. She is such a true romantic at heart that it is hard not to fall for her even as the story begins. Maris is a woman who cares, perhaps a bit too much, but a woman who nevertheless defines fairer sex as they should be. She is strong, patient and loving and has that innate kindness inside of her that reaches out to those around her. Her reaction towards Parker is an alien one, one that confounds her and makes her question her vows to a man who seems to have bedazzled her with his charm and wit beneath which lies cruelty and a will to hurt that surpasses anything that Maris has ever encountered before in her life. The one thing Maris learns is that nothing is as it seems and to trust no one but her instincts that have guided her until now.
The twists and turns the plot takes are endless, ones that leaves you reeling from one twist to the next. Sandra Brown is definitely a master at what she does and Envy is a testament to her ability to deliver a good mystery/thriller with elements of romance in the mix, recommended for fans of Sandra Brown and fans of the genre.
[Parker] “We know why I kissed you last night, Maris.”
“To frighten me off.”
He frowned. “That doesn’t even merit an argument. I kissed you because you braved Terry’s and showed up everybody in the place, including me. I kissed you because just looking at you made me ache. I kissed you because I’m a rotten son of a bitch and your mouth looked so goddamn kissable. Simply put, I kissed you because I wanted to. It’s something I admit and you damn well know. But there is one question that’s driving me fucking crazy.”
His eyes focused harder on hers and, by doing so, penetrated. “Why did you kiss me back?”
He gathered a handful of her hair, then wound it around his fist and drew her closer until their faces were inches apart. He hesitated for several heartbeats, then settled his lips against hers, tested the angle, readjusted. He was moderately controlled until he heard a small whimper from her. He backed off, looked down into her eyes, and recognized a desire that equaled his own.
Control was abandoned. He covered her face with wild, random, artless kisses and she was doing the same to him. Then mouths melded and tongues touched, and they kissed with carnal greed.