Book Title: Degrees of Love: A Novel by Lisa Slabach
Category: Adult Fiction, 344 pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release date: Dec 1, 2017
Tour dates: Jan 3 to 31, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Adult themes including infidelity, occasional F-word, non-explicit sex scenes)
At thirty-six, Susan Sinclair has it all. She’s just been promoted to Senior Vice President of Mobile Banking at her firm, a prestigious position bringing fresh creative challenges and a hefty salary increase. Like the shiny new BMW in the driveway of the Silicon Valley home she shares with her husband, Matt, and their two beautiful boys, Susan exudes confidence and style.
Yet despite her success in juggling the roles of wife, mother, and businesswoman, Susan struggles with a secret dissatisfaction. Matt’s work in cutting-edge computer research pays less than her job, and with each advance in her career, he has grown more distant. But Matt refuses to admit there is a problem, and Susan forces herself to play along, determined to give her boys the close-knit family life she never had.
Then she meets her new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick. Working and traveling together, she and Reese become a crackerjack team, but little by little, pleasure mixes with business. For the first time in a long time—maybe ever—Susan feels seen and appreciated for who she is. Certain she would never allow their friendship to cross the line, Susan lets herself stray dangerously close to the edge.
A moment of weakness changes everything. Now, unable to stomach the façade her marriage has become yet unwilling to decimate her family by moving forward with Reese, Susan faces a choice that could cost her everything—including her children . . . but possibly bring her more than she can dream.
As someone who has been married for almost twenty years, I’m always interested to read another perspective on how a couple deals with the issues that arise from being in a long-term committed relationship. Although the story is told from Susan’s perspective, there was a lot that I could recognize in the feelings and actions of both Susan and her husband, Matt. I think most marriages go through stages in which one or both partners feel discontented and wonder if they should have taken another path, but children and practical concerns as well as the weight of their shared history keep them together.
In that respect, the story was immediately familiar, and Slabach’s writing drew me in and kept me reading. Other aspects of the story were less relatable, and I had a hard time with some of the actions taken by Susan and Reese that turned me off to their characters. Susan comes off as a bit of a snob, and Reese is definitely a creepy boss who crosses the line many times as he seemingly falls in love at first sight with a married woman who works for him. (If I were his employee, I would have reported him for sexual harassment before the first back rub.)
All in all, I enjoyed ‘Degrees of Love’. It was a quick, engaging read with a satisfying ending.
To read more reviews, please visit Lisa Slabach’s page on iRead Book Tours.
Degrees of Love is Lisa Slabach’s debut novel. She is currently working on her third full-length manuscript and a collection of short stories inspired by her experiences growing up in a small farm community in Washington’s Yakima Valley. In addition to writing, Lisa works for a Fortune 500 Company, leading a sales team in the financial industry. She currently resides in Northern California with her husband and has two daughters, who are both pursuing careers in film. In her free time, she enjoys drinking wine with friends and cooking in her pink kitchen.