Degrees of Love

Degrees of Love

A Novel

Fiction - Womens
344 Pages
Reviewed on 09/25/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

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.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Samantha March for Readers' Favorite

Degrees of Love by Lisa Slabach is her debut novel, but I would have never guessed that. I was immediately hooked by the story, and I couldn’t stop swiping frantically at my Kindle to see how the story unfolded. We follow Susan Sinclair, a wife, mother, and also career-driven businesswoman who is determined to bring her kids up right, fit in with her Silicon Valley neighbors, and climb the corporate ladder. While I do not have children yet, I immediately could relate to Susan. Through the entire story in each choice Susan makes, I was right there with her, understanding, feeling hurt for her, wanting her to succeed in the end. There are, of course, moments where I felt she was making the wrong decision, but I never felt judgmental towards her, often times more sad or heartbroken for her.

The ending actually made me sit back and think. I couldn’t just move on to the next book. I went back through my Kindle to reread some of the passages. This is a novel that had me talking to my girlfriends about it, going through the scenarios of Susan’s life, asking each other what we would do. The ending physically hurt me to read how Susan’s story had played out, and how much I truly wanted happiness for her. I highly recommend this women’s fiction novel and I encourage readers to order this book in anticipation of the release date. Degrees of Love by Lisa Slabach is going to be quite the 'buzzed about' novel going into 2018, I can feel it.

Grant Leishman

What happens when a seemingly happy family woman and “soccer mum” in suburban California receives a promotion and finds herself inexorably drawn to her new boss in New York, where she is now required to travel for business on a regular basis? Fireworks happen! Susan Sinclair, her husband Matt and their two boys seemingly have it all – they are living the American dream. Dad, Matt, is a scientist; Mum, Susan, a high-flying corporate executive who still manages to be there for her boys, attend their soccer games and be the “perfect” mum for them. In Degrees of Love, by Lisa Slabach, when Susan attends her first meeting in New York and meets her dreamy new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick, sparks definitely fly between the two. Despite outward appearances, Susan is desperately lonely and unhappy in her marriage to Matt, but will this dalliance with Reese prove to be the undoing of her marriage, or will it just be a harmless fling?

What I liked most about Degrees of Love was the time Lisa Slabach took to draw her characters. We delved deep into Susan’s mind at times and were able to understand the moral and emotional toll this relationship with Reese was taking on her. She knew what she was doing was wrong, but she also knew it was the only thing keeping her alive and sane. Similarly, Reese was far from your average alpha male with looks, wealth, drive, and personality to win over any woman. There was a depth to him that Slabach brought out extremely well. This is pure chick-lit and although probably not the author’s intended audience, I absolutely found myself drawn into the tangled web she had created. I raced through this book because it is so readable. The characters are flawed and very real. I have to compliment Slabach on this excellent novel. I enjoyed it immensely and can highly recommend it to anyone who likes romance with plenty of moral dilemmas and questions thrown into the mix. A great job by this author.

Rabia Tanveer

Degrees of Love: A Novel by Lisa Slabach is a powerful story of a woman who has it all on the surface, but digging deeper, her life is not what it seems to be. The story follows Susan, who apparently has the best of everything; she has a loving husband, two very good kids, a great house and a successful career. However, once you look deeper into her life, it is filled with nothing but dissatisfaction. The higher she climbs the ladder of success, the more distant her husband, Matt, becomes. Determined to give her boys the perfect family, she stays quiet while her husband pretends that nothing is wrong.

The change in her life happens when she is promoted to Senior Vice President and she meets her new boss. Reese Kirkpatrick is everything she wished for in a husband and partner. While they are working, they are a force to be reckoned with, and when they are not, the sparks fly. She tries to resist the ever charming Reese, but she can’t. What can Susan do? Should she think of her own happiness for once, or should she think of her family? Will choosing Reese mean that she loses her boys?

Profound, heart wrenching and very emotional, it is hard to believe that Degrees of Love is a debut novel by Lisa Slabach. She has a command over the language, she can take you places with just her words and you will be lost in her story. Susan is such a relatable character. You cannot help but sympathize with her and acknowledge her pain. You can feel her pain and her indecision. This is one of the best novels I have read this year (and it didn’t take me that long because I didn’t want to put it down!). Superbly crafted!

Gisela Dixon

Degrees of Love: A Novel by Lisa Slabach is a realistic fiction story about a woman caught between two choices. Degrees of Love is written in first person by the main protagonist, Susan Sinclair, a modern woman with a highly successful career, married with two kids, and living in California. On the surface, her life looks perfect with a successful marriage, children, career, and wealth. Things change when Susan meets her new boss, Reese, and the two hit it off immediately. Slowly, their initial attraction and friendship develops into something more. As Lisa goes back and forth between Matt, her husband, and Reese, her lover, Susan has to make some excruciating decisions about what she wants in life and how far she is willing to go to pursue and get it.

I found this contemporary fiction novel very engaging and was eagerly turning the pages to try to find out how Susan resolves her dilemma. The concept of an established, stable relationship or marriage that has long since dwindled down to plain routine is probably familiar to many people. Yet, understandably, not many people take the chance of breaking up a solid, if mediocre, relationship - in which they are not totally happy - for something that brings great happiness but also great risk of losing everything. The writing is fluid and the plot and the chief characters are very well portrayed and developed. I could certainly empathize with all of them. Overall, this is a fun read with some interesting insights into marriage and love.

Arya Fomonyuy

Degrees of Love by Lisa Slabach is a well-crafted, balanced story of a woman’s pursuit of success, love, and her undying desire to keep her family intact. Two things are of top priority in Susan Sinclair’s life, her family and her business. A confident and highly gifted woman, she quickly climbs the corporate ladder, and now she’s just been promoted to the coveted position of Senior Vice President of one of her firms. While she becomes absorbed in her career and her determination to give the best to her family, Susan has ignored that her husband, Matt, is slowly drifting further and further away from her. Things escalate very quickly when her wonderful business relationship with her boss, Reese Kirkpatrick, crosses the line into something more. Now, Susan has to choose between being loyal to her family and taking the exciting road with Reese.

Lisa Slabach’s novel is powerful and it is written in a friendly style of writing, featuring excellent prose with compelling descriptions and exciting dialogues. This is a novel written in a universal language, one that explores the contours of the heart and the anatomy of desire. The story and the characters feel real, thanks to the author’s skill in the craft of storytelling. The writing is balanced, and the conflict moves the plot in surprising ways. Degrees of Love is spellbinding, the kind of book you won’t put down easily. From the moment she is introduced into the story, I knew I’d follow Susan till the last page. This is, indeed, a delightful read.