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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Review: Essence of Time by Liz Crowe

Essence of Time is the fourth book in the Stewart Realty series by Liz Crowe. I had not read any of the other books in the series before reading this book and I read this one easily as a standalone. I will say that because of that I really had no idea what to expect with this book and I didn't have a clue the emotional wringer that this book would run me through. This book was really good don't get me wrong, but it was absolutely heartbreaking at times. Prepare yourself ahead of time and have the tissues on hand with this one. 

Rob Frietag has lived his life making no commitments, and making as few emotional connections as possible. He tends to run when things get close to that, and there are very few people who know the reason behind that. His best friend Jack Gordon is one of the few that knows everything, and they spent their college years enjoying life to the fullest. Rob throws everything into making a successful career as a chef and is finally realizing his dream in his late thirties. Blake Thornton is trying to drown his sorrows after the end of his emotional relationship with Suzanne Baxter when he attends a beer festival in Chicago when he meets Rob. Rob helps take care of him after he ends up drunk and alone. Rob and Blake instantly hit it off and find a connection with one another that they both didn't expect or want.Through their ups and downs Blake and Rob finally accept everything between them and are ready to spend their lives together. Rob will stop at nothing to make Blake happy, and will do everything he can to find a way to give Blake the one thing he can't. When they talk to Blake's sister Sara, she tells them of a single mother looking to make some money after a terrible divorce. Lila Warren has a young daughter and will get pregnant for them in order to care for her child. But when Lila doesn't get pregnant right away, they all begin to realize that they are growing attached to each other. Lila finds a relationship with Blake and Rob to be everything that she has been missing and they grow to love her as much as they love each other. But with Rob's secret hanging over their heads, time quickly becomes the one thing they don't have.

I really loved Rob and Blake. They were both so great in completely different ways. But their relationship worked so well because they were the perfect compliment to one another. Their road wasn't easy, but it showed just how strong their connection was once they finally came together. Rob and Blake were able to share their passion for cooking and brewing together, and I loved that they opened up a place together. I liked seeing them share so much passion outside of the bedroom as well as inside. They were so hot together and had off the charts chemistry. But the beauty of their relationship was in the emotional bond that they shared. I will admit that I didn't like Lila right off. I honestly didn't want anyone to come in between the guys, and at first she did. I thought that she was not needed in their relationship and that they could have found someone else to give them what they wanted without causing problems between them. But she did grow on me, and I saw that they were both falling for her as she was for them. It was a struggle at times to merge their relationship from being two to being three, especially with her daughter involved as well. But I think it was worth it and that it was what was right for all of them in the end. It was great that they had such a support system and that they all had one another to lean on.

I knew this book was going to break my heart from the moment I found out what Rob's secret was. I honestly didn't know exactly how things would go, but I knew something had to happen and it wasn't going to be good. I can honestly say I was surprised with what happened, and yes it broke my heart but not in the way I had expected. I am still heartbroken about what happened, and I think that this is one of those that will always stay with me because I absolutely loved these characters so much. It was so hard to get through this one at times, especially the last 30% or so. It was so worth the read, but it was just emotionally draining to say the least. I will say that the reason this book is a 4 star for me rather than a 5 star is because of how this book was done. It was divided into portions based on the characters, and that felt disjointed and choppy to me. It took me a really long time to get into this book because I felt like it was slow to get to the relationship. Yes we got a lot of back-story, and it was great to see what each of the guys had been through, but I just struggled with the format. I have to say that this book was still a really great read though, and it made me want to instantly go back and read all the rest of the books in the series. I highly recommend this story, and I think that it was beautiful even as it was breaking my heart. I can't wait to read the rest in this series, and I look forward to reading more from Liz Crowe in the future. Next time I will be better prepared and have tissues at the ready though.

**Review Copy Provided by Book Enthusiast Promotions**

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