Monday, August 18, 2014

Essence of Time by Liz Crowe: Review

Essence of Time
by Liz Crowe

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Adult Fiction, Ménage, Erotica

A “take life by the throat” philosophy has always served Rob well. It keeps him focused, forcing emotions and potential relationships to take a back seat to his aspirations. But once every obstacle has been conquered and he’s achieved his goal—executive chef at a famous Chicago restaurant—he must acknowledge that he has reached his mid-thirties very much alone.

Blake has just jettisoned his dream job—head of a fast-growing craft microbrewery—to escape from the woman who shattered his soul. Arriving at a Chicago beer festival prepared to drown his sorrows before moving on he is miserable and numb.

Fate throws the men together altering their respective worlds forever.

Once Rob reveals the personal demon that has haunted him for years, Blake allows himself to fully trust again, and admits he wants a child. But a mutual attraction evolves out of a business arrangement with the woman hired as their surrogate, which has the potential to destroy an already delicate status quo.

But time is of the essence, and becomes the one luxury they don't have.

An honest depiction of a modern relationship mosaic reminding us to treasure every single moment we are allowed to love and be loved.

"Up and at 'em asshole!" Rob flicked the blanket back, revealing his roommate curled around an attractive blonde female. "We have a schedule, remember?"

Jack groaned and groped for the cover. His bedmate squealed as lights flooded the early morning gloom. "Dude. Go the fuck away." He tugged the t-shirt-clad woman towards him. Rob smirked at the girl, who smiled at the sight of him.

She stretched, and Rob couldn't help but admire the long line of her tanned legs and the sight of that sweet, pink...he shook his head. The girl made a pouty face and turned over to draper one of her legs over Jack's. "Where did you go last night?"

"Rob doesn't do sleepovers sweetheart." He kissed her hair and made a pleased sound as her hand disappeared under the sheet.

Rob frowned. "Nope. Sorry doll. Mr. Gordon and I have to get the fuck out of dodge. We have reservations and I refuse to miss a second on the slopes. Vayamonos. Time for the walk of shame." He smacked the smooth skin of her ass, biting back the urge to dive into the bed and sandwich her like they'd done not too many hours before.

But the humming energy in his ears kept him standing. Despite the distinct sounds of unhappiness coming from his friend's side of the bed. He clutched the paper tucked in his pocket, the one that spurred him once again to jump into live's fray. At that moment he required something more than a place for his dick. He needed action and forward motion, immediately.

"Sorry my love." Jack sat and shot Rob an angry glance. "But my friend here is right. We gotta hit the road." The girl slid off the bed, wrapped the sheet around her and flounced into the bathroom without another word. Rob shrugged and headed into the hall.

"You fucking owe me for that," jack grumbled, as he tugged on shorts and stretched before stumbling behind him to the tiny kitchen for coffee. He handed Rob a cup, then sipped, leaning against the counter as they watched the woman emerge, re-dressed, her long hair scraped back into a ponytail.

She sauntered over to Rob and put a hand over his zipper. He grinned and leaned in to kiss her, temptation mounting as she trust her tongue into his mouth and molded her body to his, keeping the pressure on him until his body responded in kind. "Mmm..." The sound of the girl's throaty voice made the room darken. The adrenaline rush pounding through him took on a life of its own, making him sant to fuck something so bad it hurt.

He gripped her arms. "Okay, you convinced me." She smiled, unzipped him, and slipped to her knees. "Nope." Rob pulled her back up and turned her around to his roommate, friend and partner in female defilement. Jack raised an eyebrow over his coffee at the sight. Rob whispered in her ear, cupping a firm breast at the same time. "Jack says I owe him. So I want you to suck his cock. Like you mean it." She grinned over her shoulder at him.

"You guys are so bad," she declared, now focusing on the dark-haired man grinning like an idiot from across the room.

My Review
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Rob Frietag has spent his life avoiding emotional attachment. Every time he begins to feel a connection beyond physical with a lover he walks away, choosing sexual gratification instead. Rob believes that his love 'em and leave 'em attitude is justified, but after years of hiding his heart behind a wall of indifference he begins to question the wisdom of the choices he made in the past.

When Rob meets Blake, he finally opens himself up enough to share a loving relationship with his partner. Unfortunately, love without trust is a broken circle, and Rob still harbors secrets from his past that threaten to tear them apart.

I really wanted to like this story more than I did. The erotic scenes and were sensually written, and I enjoyed the passionately descriptive wordplay. The initial character development is well developed but I was frustrated by the disjointed timeline, as it frequently jumped forward and then backtracked to fill readers in on what they had missed. There were a few intensely written scenes that captured my attention, but the overall presentation was very factual, which I made it difficult for me to emotionally connect with the characters. What drew me in initially was the promise of a unique storyline, but I was disappointed once again as the plot slowly progressed towards its rather predictable ending.

Recommended for readers 18+: Content includes substance use, physical abuse and sexual assault that may be disturbing to some readers.
View all my reviews
Author Profile
Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town. She has decades of experience in sales and fundraising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse. While working as a successful Realtor, Liz made the leap into writing novels about the same time she agreed to take on marketing and sales for the Wolverine State Brewing Company.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction sub genre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

If you are ever in the Ann Arbor area, be sure and stop into the Wolverine State Brewing Co. Tap Room—but don’t ask her for anything “like” a Bud Light, or risk serious injury.

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