I have been given the distinct honor of reviewing the entire Stewart Realty Series by Liz Crowe. Today I will be reviewing books 1,2 and 3 as they comprise Sara and Jack's story and while each is a individual novel they are best when read together to get the whole story.
Tomorrow I will be reviewing Book 4 Essence of Time, Wednesday I will review book 5 Conditional Offer and Thursday I will have the review of the latest in the Stewart Reality Series book 6 Escalation Clause.
Liz has offered an e-copy of books 1-3 to a random commenter during the next 4 day that I am spotlighting Stewart Reality!!!
Jack Gordon is Ann Arbor's most delectable bachelor. At age thirty-five, he's made millions as a top-selling Ann Arbor real estate broker and has the right connections to close a deal by any means necessary. With his rugged good looks and compelling personality, he has a virtual black book most men would kill for and he uses it often, never settling for one woman for very long. While his D/s past remains buried, exactly where he wants it, an undercurrent of boredom and dissatisfaction runs through his life now. A disastrous experience years earlier made him swear off the whole scene, but the more Jack suppresses his natural Dom, the more his frustration grows. Sara Thornton, a rookie in the real estate game, has fast-tracked herself to the top of the Ann Arbor market. Her life reflects a disciplined and focused routine, exactly the way she wants it. However, as her career takes off, the fulfillment she seeks remains inexplicably out of reach. The one thing she knows for sure, she will not join the Jack Gordon groupies in her company, no matter how tempting that might seem. A chance encounter, then a difficult transaction, throw Jack and Sara together and the sparks fly high and hot and often. Forced to confront the compulsions that gain momentum with each sizzling encounter, their relationship seems to spiral out of control until Jack finally admits what he needs, and shows Sara what she's been missing.Book 2
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.Book 3
Love conquers all? Not likely, according to Sara Thornton. She's spent eight years coming to terms with the new parameters of her life while resigning herself to the idea that "happily ever afters" are best left to fairytales. Sales manager for her successful real estate office and juggling an added element of responsibility she never thought she'd face, Sara continues to struggle with the men in her life. Love, for her, has only meant hurt, broken trust and anger; all of which she's completely banished from her life, so she claims. Jack Gordon has come a long way since his early days of obsession with Sara. As the general manager of Stewart Realty, his own level of responsibility for the well-being of others has ramped up. He's even honed his caretaking skills, now that he has someone who loves him unconditionally. Continuing to invest effort and rebuild their relationship, he and Sara grow close as friends. Despite this, his ultimate question remains unanswered; the one he keeps asking, no matter how many times she says no. Sara isn't prepared for the keen focus of his need--to have her back, once and for all. Her stubborn resistance nearly rips both lives apart The third installment to the Stewart Realty series, Closing Costs brings Jack and Sara truly full circle. Proving that the heat of lust and obsession; the need for control and to be mastered in many areas of life can lead to love -surprising you when you least expect it - if you will only allow it.
As I said I am reviewing books 1-3 as a whole and each individual book could and would be rated the same as I did the whole. They are fantastic individually but together they make up one amazing story that covers the ups and downs of Jack and Sara over the course of several years.
In Floor Time we have the foundation of the relationship between Jack and Sara, we learn about who they are and what made them that way We learn that Jack is pretty much a man whore and Sara is more concerned about building her career than relationships. Sounds like a volatile coupling and is sure is, the chemistry and the sparks fly.
We also meet the other characters that will play an important roll in the relationship as well, from the new Realtor who looks like a surf god to Sara's brother and his lover the people in Jack and Sara's life sure take tempestuous situations and just makes them worse.
In Sweat Equity we find that old trust issues haven't gone away but just laid low for a while and things aren't looking like there is a happy ever after in sight for Jack and Sara. With similar personality traits and tempers the on again, off again relationship that they share continues and both are to stubborn to make the first move to repair whats wrong. We also get to see more of the supporting characters in this book and hear more of their stories. These secondary characters stories are intertwined with Sara and Jack and compel the story line in surprising ways.
Finally in Closing Costs the years have flown by and both Jack and Sara have moved on with their careers but can seem to move on from or to each other. Sara's family continues to cause friction even when they are just trying to help. The friction caused by Sara's family rubs everyone not just Sara effecting everyone's relationships. Over the course of the years covered in these books Jack has done a lot of growing up and so has Sara but both of them remain stubborn through and through. With the hope of their happily ever after on the line can Sara and Jack compromise enough to come together into the relationship they both want and need?
Liz Crowe writes "romance for real life" in her books people are messed up and nothing just magically fixes that, you get to see the struggle and the hard work that her characters go through to fix themselves and to fix their relationships. Ms Crowe also has very realistic depictions of the steamy hot moments between the lovers in her books and all of that combined makes for fantastic reading that reaches in and grabs your heart (and your hormones) and takes them captive on a wild roller coaster ride of lust, love, deception, redemption and I need a cold shower moments.
These are books that you finish in one sitting because you can't put it down. It is a series that as soon as you finish one you want the other sitting right there so you know what happens next.
I am giving the Stewart Reality Series books 1-3 my highest rating, these are staying on my keeper shelf.
About the Author:
When she isn't sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.
Her groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)
Her beer blog a2beerwench.com is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high-powered real estate offices. Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.