Sweat Equity-review


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)

Jack 5/5
Sara 1.5/5
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. 

16 thoughts on “Sweat Equity-review

  1. lol Hey Marikita!! I agree with most of the review. It was a hot story and had me feeling so many different emotions at once also…But I feel Sara was misunderstood. Yes, She was stubborn and and frustrating at times, but, the series is a reality romance and not a fantasy romance. So, I had to look at it through (The real worlds eyes). If it were me, and I was in love with a man like Jack (actually I am! Haha) Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah…If I was in Sara's shoes, and loved Jack like She did, or any man for that matter, who wouldnt commit or cheated on me just once, I would never trust him again. It seems to me that everytime Sara got close again, Jack would screw it up Royally! So I get it. She had to go through so much with him in Floor Time, that by the time Sweat Equity's book arrived, She was damaged and fighting back. The series to me, is like a full circle…Book 1 they fall in love and he hurts her deeply…Book 2…He hurts her again and She loses her trust for quite a while, which is what any Woman I know personally would do. We all began pulling for Jack, because we could see into his heart and his thoughts, but Sara couldnt…Then there is book 3….Where they come full circle. It was so close to so many relationships that I have seen in my life..and even resembled one or two of my own 🙂 Ok, I'm rambling! I meant to say Good afternoon and I disagree…not write a novel lol hugs!!

  2. I think it was a really good review – you pointed out what worked for you and what didn't work for you and still gave the series an overall recommend. I don't think anyone could ask for more in an honest review.

  3. I don't have a problem with the h/h having sex with others before they've hooked up, after they're together…yes. Personal preference. Interesting review, and honest. I like how you still rate it as a must read. Nice job.

  4. Good review, Marika! I have the same hang up about H/H having sex with others in their stories. Not sure why though. I suppose everyone has their own personal preferences. 🙂

  5. These are my thoughts on heroines and I know they will probably crucify me – I don't give a crap about the heroine. One is just as good as another. Seriously. One of my all-time favorite romances Outlander – I hated Claire. I thought her the TSTL variety but Jamie is so great it made ablsolutely no difference. I don't read romance for the heroines. They are just additional overhead. The hero is the most important thing. So if the hero is really this good I think I'd like Sweat Equity.

    1. I feel that I need to clarify my first post. I still feel like the review was good and that I agreed that Sara drove me nuts in the book. However, my frustration was the fact that she and Jack needed to BOTH grow up. They both made mistakes but the reader knows that they love each other. And as for Craig, I just wanted him to stay away from Sara. I didn't feel sorry for him. The fact that this book has evoked such strong and different emotions from different readers, shows that the author is talented and very smart. I thought it deserved a higher rating.

  6. Hi Marika,
    Great review!!!

    I really enjoyed your insight on the book. I have them on my list to read and now I want to move them up to see if I have the same feelings or not.

    I love that everyone feels so different about the twists and turns in the book

    Thank you for sharing.

  7. thank you for your time reading it Marika
    not sure if Closing Costs will suit you, but hope you get a chance to read it too.

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