BOOK REVIEW: Stealing Her (Covet #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: Stealing Her (Covet #1) by Rachel Van DykenStealing Her (Covet #1)
by Rachel Van Dyken
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Synopsis:

My estranged twin brother, Julian, was always the wonder boy—and was groomed to become CEO of our ruthless father’s corporation. My mother and me? Left behind. Now, years after tearing our family apart, my father dares to ask me for a favor? Pretend to be Julian while he fights to survive a tragic accident. It can save the company. Nobody will be the wiser. It’ll be our secret.

I can play Dad’s favorite. I’ll do it for Julian. And for my mother, who’ll want for nothing.

But this double life comes with a beauty of a hitch: my very real feelings for Julian’s fiancée, Isobel. Not only am I betraying Julian, I’m deceiving a woman I love. She doesn’t suspect a thing. As lies compound, lines are crossed and loyalties tested, all I can ask myself is…What have I done?

Because sooner or later something’s got to give. There’s no way I’m giving up Isobel. But once the truth is exposed, it might not be my choice at all.

Review:

It felt so foreign, his skin. My eyes traced down his insanely built body.
And in my soul, I knew there was something I was missing.

Stealing Her was a passionate story about love, betrayal, hope and sacrifice.  Like all of Rachel Van Dyken’s books, I was swept away from that first page.  The prologue was in the past and set the stage perfectly.  We saw the family dynamics that shocked me and instantly made me feel sympathy and compassion towards Bridge.  From there we got taken on a ride that was emotional, morally grey, and completely twisted.

I’d traded heaven for hell.
For them.
And I would do it every damn time. – Bridge

I liked Bridge right away. He was strong, tenacious and loved deeply.  My heart broke for him as I learned about his mom’s medical condition and watched all of the sacrifices he made for her.  She was his life.  His heart.  Bridge was such a generous man that was good to the core.  But with medical bills and caring for his mom becoming overwhelming at times, Bridge made a deal with the devil.  His estranged father.  If he played the part of his twin brother, who he hadn’t seen since he was a child, his mom would be taken care of.  So he accepted the deal, while his brother was in a coma.

I made a vow to her, even though she didn’t know it. I would give her the best few weeks of her life, days that would be filled with smiles, not control.
And then do the cruelest thing a man could do.
Turn her back over to the real Julian the minute he woke up.

We alternated between Bridge and Isobel, who was his twin brother’s fiance.  I liked Isobel but it pained me to see how she was being mentally abused by Julian Tennyson, Bridge’s twin. He cheated, lied and treated her like something he could easily discard. By the time she was finally finding her voice and standing up for herself, Julian was in a horrific accident.

I was being incredibly creepy.
She wasn’t mine to stare at or to want.
And yet a tiny voice in my head said she was.
That she was more mine than she was his.
Because at least when I looked at her, I saw her.

When Bridge and Isobel met, I didn’t know what to expect.  He was pretending to be Julian, so I thought she should know right away.  Right?  But her and Julian had fallen apart in the previous months, they were strangers to each other.  So the fact that Isobel noticed differences with “Julian” just made her realize how distant they had actually grown.  It played out beautifully, but I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Because the truth always seems to come out.

“I swear to you that the man standing here, in front of you, will never cheat on you. Ever.”
I looked up into his eyes, for the first time noticing that his lashes looked slightly longer. My body screamed it was right, my mind told me that I was hallucinating, because people’s eyelashes didn’t just change, did they?

I loved watching Bridge fumble his way into acting like Julian.  Especially when it came to Isobel.  But I was always nervous because when they were together, they felt right yet also forbidden.  There was an instant connection and spark between them and I knew that if they were truly together, they would be magnificent.  But Isobel was with Julian.  And if he woke up from his coma, the facade would end.  At times it felt like I was rooting for the wrong brother, hoping that Bridge would win Isobel over.  But when is love ever rational?

She turned around and made her way into the living room, she didn’t see the face I made after she called me by his name.
Or the helpless feeling in my soul when I realized that I was making headway for a man who hated me, and I was falling for a woman who was and would always be his.

The story flew by quickly and I loved how I didn’t even see some events coming.  One of them was dark and I just stared at the page in disbelief.  Another made me gasp.  And while there wasn’t a ton of side characters, two were the perfect villains.  The twin’s dad was wicked, smart, ruthless and had no heart.  He was a deadly combination.  And his new wife Marla was someone who I wanted to disappear.  Forever.  Thankfully the twin’s mom was a bright light of kindness, love and patience.  I loved her.

I’d always thought I was a good person— solid, loyal, dependable.
And now?
I felt like an unapologetic thief.
I leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.

When you want a forbidden love story that has depth and emotions leaping from the pages, definitely pick up Stealing Her!  This book was extremely emotional and deep. It wasn’t like Rachel Van Dyken’s other books where I found myself constantly laughing and smiling.  There was a heaviness to this story that was not lightened by laughter.  It worked out perfectly for me, since I had just finished a cute and fluffy book.  So yes of course I recommend this book!

PS Here’s a quote I loved so, so, so much!

My jaw dropped. “Are you telling me you read romance novels?”
“No.” He pointed his finger at me and laughed. “I’m telling you I skip to the good parts, do the necessary strategizing in my head, you know, like wondering if you could actually do that sort of thing at that angle, and then I store it in my head for future use. That’s not reading, sweetheart, that’s fucking research.”

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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1 Comment

  1. Great review, Jen! This looks like a emotional read filled with sweet forbidden romance! The whole concept sounds interesting! I might give it a shot! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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