Be sure to comment every day, one commenter on the Stewart Realty reviews will receive a copy of books 1-3.
For years, Rob Frietag has resisted anything resembling a true emotional connection, preferring instead to explore life, and his own desires, without committing to anyone for very long. The reason remains known only to a few, among them Jack Gordon, his college cohort in female conquests, and life-long friend. At thirty-seven, while he is close to achieving his career goal, head chef at a five-star restaurant in Chicago, he is still very much alone.
After an intensely emotional relationship with Suzanne Baxter in Ann Arbor, Blake's heart is left shattered. Completely broken by what he believes was his one true love, he arrives at a Chicago food and beer festival, prepared to drink his sorrow away. When the two men meet, their lives change forever. But time is of the essence. When Rob acknowledges his true feelings, he will stop at nothing to keep them together, including finding a surrogate mother for the child Blake so desperately wants.
Lila Warren is recovering from a nasty divorce, needs cash and believes carrying their baby will fulfill her in ways marriage never did. None of them could suspect that the connection they share would provide the final emotional key to their life-long puzzle.
When Rob s secret is revealed, time becomes the one luxury they don't have, setting in motion a chain of events that destroys the fragile illusion of happiness for them, and everyone who loves them.
We meet both Rob and Blake in the first three Stewart Reality books as background characters. In Essence of Time we get to know the story behind these two and how they come to be a couple and what is driving them.
Our first introduction is to Rob we go back with him to when he is a Freshman in college. The first person Rob becomes friends with is Jack. We get to know Rob and start to get a better picture of what shaped him into the man we have met in the Stewart Reality books to date. As we go on the wild ride of Rob's 20's we are there when he discovers and explores his bi-sexuality, his love of cooking and his first real heartbreak.
Blake's background is also followed and explored, Blake like Rob comes to grips with his bi-sexual nature and we also follow his love and heartbreak with Suzanne. Blake has a need to protect and to fix things for the people he loves and in Essence of Time we learn more about where that comes from and realize it isn't just his sister he does this to.
Blake and Rob meet shortly after Suzanne has broken Blake's heart and the attraction and chemistry is strong and instantaneous. That doesn't mean that everything is immediately perfect for them, Ms Crowe writes more real to life and that means we follow the struggle and the ups and downs the men face in building a loving long term relationship.
This catches us up to the present tying in bits from them in the first three books along the way. Now we are introduced to Lila who is to be a the surrogate mother for Rob and Blake to have a baby of their own, Will the secret Rob has been keeping throw that into jeopardy? Don't be surprised at the plot twists and turns and be prepared that by the end of the book you are going to need a few tissues.
As I said Liz Crowe bring an element of real life to her romance (hence her own romance sub-genre "Romance for Real Life") These are written in a way that it is so easy to feel like you are part of the story, part of the lives of the characters and experience the emotions as they happen. When you read Ms. Crowe's books you almost need a break between to process the emotions that the stories create. This is book 4 in the series and while it could be read as a stand alone it is so much a part of the first 3 books that I would really read them in order. Once again I have a ton of praise for this book and give it my highest rating, of 5 flowers
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.