Review Post: Instigation by Tessa Teevan


Instigation, Book 1 in The Clandestine Affairs Trilogy

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense—Full Length Novel

Author: Tessa Teevan

Release Day: April 20, 2015

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Breaking up is hard to do.

Three years after her life changed forever, Gabriella Latham finally has it all. Killer job [if working for her boyfriend counts]. Killer closet [even if she doesn’t technically own any of it]. Killer boyfriend [who refuses to let her leave him, even when she tries]. Unfortunately for her, the last part isn’t hyperbole. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Adrian Morningstar was a dream come true. No one had ever loved her more, and for the first time, in longer than she could remember, she was no longer alone. He was the Prince Charming to her Cinderella, until suddenly he became the Beast from whom she could not escape.

Until him.

When Rafe Matthews is hired to oversee the guest home construction of one of the most powerful businessmen in the country, he finally has his in. Nothing will get in the way of what he sets out to do.

Until her.

Watching from the shadows, he’s drawn to the beautiful, isolated woman of the house. His curiosity is piqued and he has to have her. She may be taken by the boss, but that’s not enough to stop him. Or her.

Nothing is quite as it seems, and this is only the beginning.

Passions ignite. Tempers flare. Secrets kill.


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My Review

*****5 AMAZING Stars*****

When I started reading this book, I knew just from the synopsis that it was going to be something different than I had read before. I was ready for that because I love me something different. I also knew it was going to be something very different than anything I’d ever read from Tessa Teevan before. That had me very curious, as I’ve LOVED all of her other books, and I was curious how this one would be.

I knew all of that going into Instigation, but I did not realize how wholly enrapturing this story and its phenomenal characters would be. From the instant I started the prologue, I was hooked. Once I started I couldn’t stop until I reached the end, and when I reached the end of this remarkable book, I was practically dying for more.

When you read Instigation, when you experience the immense pull of this book you will hit the ground running and you will not stop until the very end. Literally.

That is only part of what made this book an exceptional read. The story that Tessa Teevan thoughtfully wrote was unique, enthralling, and pushed the boundaries just enough to make me love every single word of it.

What I loved about Instigation:

  • Mystery and suspense galore! Instigation has a ton of mystery and suspense weaving its way through the story. Each chapter gives you one more piece to the puzzle, and in the end of this book you will still be trying to figure out some of those pieces, but that’s what made this book so phenomenal to read. Wanting to figure out more to the intricate puzzle that is this story and its dynamic characters just pulled me right into the thick of this book because I had to know what was going on. This book has suspense by the bucket load, and that adds another wonderful layer to what you’re reading.
  • The edge in this book. This book is a tad darker, a little edgier, and it pushes the limits in the right amount of ways. I loved that I got this from one of my favorite authors, as it was something very different than I’ve ever read from her before. The edge that this book allows you to experience helps bring the story to life as you read it, and you are going to love how that edge pushes these characters, and in turn pushes you as the reader as you take it all in.
  • The real Gabriella. Gabriella’s character was magnificent. Over the course of Instigation you will get to see many different sides to her. You see her in the beginning before she met Adrian, you see what she became after meeting him, and then you get to see her as she slowly but surely finds her real self again. As this story unfolds so does Gabriella’s character, and getting to know the real Gabriella was outstanding. She has such a realness to her, and you really understand and feel everything that she does because of how this author writes her character. The real side to her is breathtaking and fantastically written, and it just exemplified the true strength and tenacity of her character.
  • Rafe to the rescue. Rafe’s character completely enraptured me throughout this entire book. Not only did he melt my heart repeatedly and bring a certain kind of blush to my cheeks, there were so many dynamic layers to him. You don’t fully understand his motives or what’s really going on with him, but you do know he’s drawn to Gabriella like a moth to a flame. He cannot stay away from her, and you will feel how much care, and passion, and desire he has for her on practically every page. Even though there is a serious amount of mystery surrounding his intentions, there is a goodness to him that shines through in the way that he is towards Gabriella. His protectiveness, his desire to push her to find herself, and his want to take away the darkness in her life just exemplified a lot about his character.
  • Adrian is one intriguing SOB. Adrian’s character was one that I was very intrigued by. I didn’t necessarily love him or even like him at all. I was so fascinated by his character because of all the stages you see his character go through in Instigation. It was so enjoyable while reading this book to try to figure out what in the world was going on with him, what he was up to, and how that all connected into the story. Adrian is most definitely no Boy Scout, and there’s a serious level of eccentricity, crazy, and darkness to him, but I could not get enough of trying to figure him out in this story.
  • All the passion and heat. Let me tell you that you will get tons and tons of passion and heat in this book. The instant Rafe and Gabriella are together it fires off the page and it just pulls you into their story more because of the depth and shear passion behind what they feel for one another. You will feel the connection between them in your bones, and that will just amplify everything they are feeling and doing and thinking. The passion and heat that Gabriella and Rafe share brings the significance of their relationship to an extraordinary level.
  • How it all comes to be. You really do hit the ground running when reading this book, and I can’t say enough how much that works for the story being told between these fantastic pages. When you read Instigation your pulse will race, your breath will catch, and your heart will be pounding like crazy at times as you experience the twisting and turning events of the book. How this book comes to be through all of those seamlessly placed and created events just makes this book the outstanding thing that it is.
  • The past and all the questions. This is the first book in the series, so it gives you plenty of questions, a few answers, and plenty of more questions, but that’s what made this book. That leaves you more than ready for more from these characters, and this author sets up this series exceptionally. It was fantastic to learn parts of the past and to see how things came to be, but it was even more invigorating to have more questions come up as I read this book. Instigation is the foundation of what’s to come, and you get the right amount of the past and present of these characters. This author could not have done a better job creating a solid beginning to what is sure to be an epic story.
  • I love me some POV. I really enjoyed that Instigation was told mostly in Gabriella’s point of view as that solidified my love of her character, but I also loved that Rafe’s point of view was added in at some very specific points that illuminated a lot. This author clearly put a lot of thought into when we got to step into his handsome head. Both of their points of views were distinctive and worked superbly together as they weaved their way through the story. You learn so much from them both and get to experience so much, and that was just the best.

Instigation was another extraordinary read by Tessa Teevan. I absolutely love this author’s style of writing, and this book just reiterated that tenfold. I loved every phenomenal word she gave me, what it allowed me to experience with these very unique characters, and what it let me feel and think and experience as I dove into all the mystery and suspense that is Instigation.

This book will make you think and wonder and question like crazy, and that’s what makes it so good because it allows you to become fully enraptured into the world of this book with these characters. You will not be able to stop thinking about any of it, you’ll be wondering where it’s all going to go, and you’ll be racking your brain trying to put it all together. Getting to experience all of that during and after reading this book is nothing short of exceptional, and it gives you a truly unforgettable read with the perfect amount of romance, passion, mystery, darkness, and edge.

I loved every single distinctive and wondrous piece Instigation, and I cannot freaking wait to get my hands on the next piece of this thrilling series.



A devilish, almost villainous grin graced his lips as his eyes filled with amusement. “Oh, Gabriella, you’ve no idea,” he said. “I shouldn’t do this. I shouldn’t be here, but I can’t seem to help myself.”

His words caught me off guard as his hands gripped my hips and he pushed me backwards until the brick of the wall bit into the skin of my lower back. He leaned down until his lips were dangerously close to mine. My insides quivered, and my heart leaped into my throat. For an entire week, I’d been waiting for his hands to be on me again, and now that he was right there, I knew I’d die if he didn’t touch me. Kiss me. Take me home and ravish me like he had that first night.

“Adrian,” I whispered, surprised at the breathy, sultry tone of my voice. God, it’d only been a week and I was already dangerously addicted to him.

His eyes gleamed as if he could read my mind, and I wondered if this has been his plan all along. To give me a taste, a perfect sneak peek at what being his would be like, and then take it away, only to keep showing up to tease me. To dangle the proverbial carrot on the string that was too high for me to get a taste or even the slightest nibble. It would suffice only for a moment, but it would be just enough to keep me from going insane. He was a deranged Pavlov and I was his little dog, salivating and panting, wanting him, that torturous bell ringing over and over again, but instead of giving me what I wanted, he kept it too far out of reach.


Author Bio

Tessa Teevan_Author Photo

I’m a twenty something book junkie who is also obsessed with sports. Bengals, Buckeyes, Reds are my teams! I work for the government during the day, hang out with Air National Guard on the weekends, and have been married to my own book boyfriend for over seven years. We currently live right outside of Dayton, OH with our two cats.

If I’m not writing or looking through tons of photos of hot men, all in the name of research, then you can probably find me curled up with my Kindle, ignoring the rest of the world. I love my sports almost as much as I love my books. My other obsessions include red wine, hot men, country music, and all things Grace Potter.

Connect with the Author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email | Goodreads



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