Jack Gordon thought he’d finally made it. He had a wildly successful career, money in the bank and even returned to his life as Dom, putting an end to a string of unfulfilling sexual encounters. Now that he’s made the ultimate commitment to Sara Thornton, he believes all is right in their world. However, a series of misunderstandings and a dose of self-fulfilling prophesy bring his perfectly crafted house of cards tumbling down around him, forcing him to confront lingering misgivings about marriage and trust. Could those be the only two things he can never achieve?
Sara struggles with her intense need for Jack and her desire for less volatility in her busy life, two goals which appear to be mutually exclusive. Although willing to put in the time and emotional effort to make their relationship work, she finds it futile and frustrating, littered with clashes thanks to near-identical personalities and temperaments. Given Sara’s history, easing back into the comfortable status quo becomes easier than fighting a war with the one person who should be her safe haven. But will the easier choice satisfy her the way only Jack can? Is her “war” one that comes from without or within?
Buffeted by circumstance, temptation and distraction, Jack and Sara’s tenuous relationship crumbles, sparking a continuous quest for the ever elusive: trust, love and acceptance. By the time they rebuild a foundation for renewal, fate has other plans. This leaves them both reeling, once again questioning their destiny.
Okay, I'll be honest with everyone. I read this book when the ARC's came out and it actually took me a week to read it. I threw my Nook a couple of times, I slammed it down, ignored my Nook and basically had fits finishing Sweat Equity. I knew going into the book that this is the "Break Up" book and that I might have problems with it but kept reading. The final book will make up for it. I was promised this and I'm holding everyone involved to it. On with my thoughts...
Going into this book, I knew that Jack and Sara would have some major problems. When I read a series and H/H break it off at some point, I pray that they find a way back to each other. At least a HFN or least an understanding so they when the next book comes out they will find them back together. That said, during their time without each other, they find other people to satisfy their needs. Here's where it's tricky for me...I completely understood Jack motivation to be with Suzanne. He needed the validation of himself, his sexuality, and ultimately his love for Sara. He grew up in this book. He got past his selfish ways, sorta. He knew that he loved and needed Sara in his life. As someone who doesn't like a H/H having sex with someone else while cheering for them to get back together, Jack made me understand WHY he did it. *sigh* I really do love him.
Here's the major problem that I have with Sweat Equity...its Sara. She came off to me as selfish, spoiled, bratty and ultimately a bitch. The person that she used to satisfy her was someone that did not deserve it. I'm Team Jack but Craig did not deserve the treatment from Sara. I felt like that Sara slid back even further than when I first met her in Floor Time. I'm sorry Liz but I ended up skimming some of Sara's parts because it was either that or I would have to buy a new Nook. Yes, I felt that strongly about Sara in this book. She just didn't work for me in this book. I'm hoping that she has a light bulb moment in the next book or I will reach through my Nook and slap her upside her head.
Overall, I really loved the book, just not as much as everyone else. While the sex was off the charts, I just don't like that the H/H weren't "together" in this one. Having sex doesn't count for me. I want to see the characters at least try to connect with each other and unfortunately they didn't in this installment. Of course, I understand this particular book was the breakup book but I only saw growth in the hero and the heroine I wanted to throttle. Again, I'm really sorry Liz. Please don't hate me.
The secondary characters literally jumped off the pages in Sweat Equity. Rob, Blake, Craig and Suzanne hold a special place in my heart and I hear that Rob & Blake get their own story.
Liz writes characters and stories with so much emotional depth. They are richly layered and you are glued to the pages, gasping, sighing, laughing and crying sometimes all at the same time. She stirs emotions and passions from readers that when you are done reading, you have to step back and breathe. I held my breath in Sweat Equity and I don't think I've really got it back. Overall the story had passion, hot sex, and the motivations behind some of the characters were very realistic and well portrayed.
Here are my ratings: (yes, this different than what I normally do)
Secondary Characters 4/5 (they really enhance this book and come more alive for me)
Overall Plot 4/5
Series so far: 4/5
Overall score is 3.7 Harlie's and a highly recommended read. Yes, highly recommended. Just because Sara didn't work for me in Sweat, doesn't mean I didn't love or recommend that you read it.