Review: Sweat Equity by Liz Crowe
Genre: Erotic Romance
Rating: [rating=5] Title: Sweat Equity Author: Liz Crowe Series: Stewart Realty, #2 Publisher: Tri Destiny Publishing ISBN: 9780956966957 Release Date: February 22, 2012 ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review [box style="rounded" border="full"]Jack Gordon thought he’d finally made it. He had a wildly successful career, money in the bank and even returned to [...]
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review
[box style="rounded" border="full"]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.
Sweat Equity is, hands down, one of my favorite reads of 2012 and has earned a much deserved 5 stars! I finished this book over a week ago and yet I still cannot find the words to accurately convey how much I loved it. Will the fact that I can’t find another book to grab my attention because I’m still thinking about it, suffice? Or how about this, I’ve read Chapter 17, 18, the Epilogue and the sneak peek of Closing Costs – no less than 10 times since my original read. I can’t get these characters out of my head! For me, that speaks volumes about how totally captivating and well written the story is.
In Sweat Equity, Jack and Sara’s heart-wrenching story continues & picks up a few months after the ending of Floor Time (here’s my review). We get a small glimpse of them together on a trip where they are happy and have let go of their fears & insecurities, but only for a short time. As soon as they return home, they are overcome with the tidal wave that is their doubt, love, fear, insecurity, hope & yes, even hate. They drown in these emotions and cannot seem to get their head above water for a breath, let alone to reach for the life preserve that is their love for each other. They panic and defense mechanisms kick in. In an effort to save themselves, they push the other underneath with words and actions that will cause the most pain. They know it’s wrong, but just can’t stop.
The more that I read Jack’s character, the more I love him. His feelings for Sara are so intense, visceral and evoke such depth, they make you want to climb into the book and become Sara just so you can feel them. Then he makes a magnificent ass of himself and all you want to do is smack him and scream “No!!!! WTH are you doing?” His self-hatred is so great and his fear is so strong he just can’t let go to love completely, it is heart-wrenching to read. My favorite Jack quote in the book:
“Like what, baby? Like that you miss me?” She started to protest but he cut her off. “Do not say a word. Just listen a minute, if you can. I miss you too, like a fucking phantom limb, do you understand? You are a crucial, functioning part of me, always will be. But I get it. I’m a shit. I won’t deny. But I’ll never, ever be happy or complete without you.”
Sara is scared. She doesn’t trust and she refuses to see or accept Jack for more than what she thinks he is. That’s partially Jack’s fault because he has never let her see anything past that but, she hasn’t tried or pushed him to show her more. She wants his love, but only on her terms. I think that she is almost scared to get all of him because that will mean she’ll have no excuse but to trust. That completely terrifies her. Don’t get me wrong, Jack is a complete and total shit to her and does some pretty nasty things. I just wish that she would realize & see the underlying cause of them, Jack’s fear. However, that would mean admitting her own, and she isn’t ready.
This series, and especially Sweat Equity, is so realistic, raw, emotional, mouth-watering hot & totally fucked up – but I absolutely LOVE it! I recommend it with complete certainty that you’ll fall in love and, be just as hooked as I am.
After reading, and becoming obsessed with this book, I found a parallel for the story with every song that I listened to. Here are the ones that I think fit the best.