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Degrees of Love

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In this powerful debut, a successful businesswoman embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will shake her to the core.

Like the shiny new BMW parked in the driveway of the Silicon Valley home she shares with her husband, Matt, and their two boys, Susan Sinclair exudes confidence and style. Newly promoted to a prestigious Senior Vice President position at her firm, Susan is the picture of personal and professional success.

Yet appearances are deceiving. With each advance in Susan’s career, Matt has grown more distant. But he refuses to admit there is a problem, and Susan, determined to give her boys the close-knit family life she never had, forces herself to play along.

Then she meets her new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick. She and Reese become a crackerjack team, but little by little, pleasure mixes with business. For the first time in a long time, Susan feels seen and appreciated for who she is.

In a moment of weakness, friendship becomes something more. 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.

344 pages, Paperback

Published December 1, 2017

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About the author

Lisa Slabach

2 books73 followers
Ten Thousand I Love Yous is Lisa Slabach’s second 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 is a Fintech Relationship Executive for a Fortune 500 Company. She is a long-time resident of Northern California and lives with her husband, one-hundred-forty-pound puppy and numerous goldfish. In her free time, she enjoys wine tasting, shopping with her daughters, and cooking in her pink kitchen.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 52 reviews
Profile Image for Debbie.
978 reviews99 followers
January 15, 2018
"Degrees of Love" is Lisa's first novel but I never would guessed that by the writing style or the way the story flowed so seamlessly together. Lisa had me hooked from page one and I couldn't stop reading till the end. I read this book in one night. Yes 344 pages in one night. I just couldn't wait to see what would happen next.

Susan is 36 and from the outside it appears she has it all but she doesn't think so. Even when she gets the promotion she's been waiting for, it isn't enough to make her completely happy. She feels as if something is missing. Her life is simply mundane. The same things happen day in and day out.

It wasn't a conscience decision but it begins to happen anyway. Susan takes steps to make her life more enticing and before she knows it her marriage is in trouble and her life is out of control.

I'm not one for cheating and I usually don't like books that have it in them but this one was different somehow. I found myself understanding Susan's point of view on life even though I didn't condone what she did.

I think as a reader our job is to give each book a chance to tell the story it is meant to and then we decide if the author makes us fall or not. I know I fell for this book hard and I hope others do too.
Profile Image for Gina Jones.
Author 20 books104 followers
November 13, 2018
Every so often, I come across a book that becomes part of my soul. Degrees of Love by Lisa Slabach is at the top. It was one of those books I couldn’t wait to get up, have my coffee and return to the life of Susan Sinclair.

Susan is a woman of many means. Smart, beautiful, successful, yet knows her place as a wife and mother of two sons. After receiving a promotion that requires her to travel to New York from California, she begins to question her happiness with Matt, her husband, when Reese Kirkpatrick, her boss shows her the attention she’s been craving. Matt is a good husband. Good father. But he’s no Reese.

Despite Susan’s efforts to sustain Reese’s advances, she finds herself swept up in a world of love that only comes at a cost. But is it worth it? The more Reese pressures her, the more she fights with Matt to become the husband she needs. Matt is reserved and considers Susan to be melodramatic. The one thing they have in common, is the love for their sons, Micah and Jason.

In a desperate attempt to save her marriage, she presses Matt to be honest about his feelings. With no shock, he confesses he no longer loves her the way he used to. But this will not stop Susan to make it work with Matt and keep her family together.

Reese is madly in love with Susan and gives her all the love she’s ever wanted. But when pressured to make the commitment, between him or her husband, she must make a choice to live unhappily and hurt Reese. Or live happily ever after with Reese and lose her family.

This novel will in no doubt make you question your own values as a wife and mother. The struggle many of us fight to be desired and wanted, instead of needed. Slabach portrays a plausible story, tearing your heart in every direction and the sacrifice one woman will make to shine through her imperfections and make the right choice. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Gayathri.
231 reviews56 followers
January 11, 2018
Read the full review at Elgee Writes

Susan, a devoted mother of two, is smart, successful and creative and just been promoted to the senior vice president. She doesn’t regret that she had to give up her acting career and her dreams to live in New York for the family. The price she had paid for that doesn’t seem too high when Matt, her husband offers the stability her life had been missing before she met him.

But with every hike in her salary and her career, Matt has been growing distant and indifferent. Of late she has started to suspect that Matt has been keeping her boys away from her and putting her down whenever possible. She craves for the feeling of being needed and appreciated by them. Her increased load at work and work-related travels are the only things that keep her sanity.

And that changes when she meets her new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick. With the fiery chemistry and whirlwind romance, Susan cannot stay away from Reese and her feelings are reciprocated manifold. Ridden with the guilt she is forced to take a decision that might change not only her life with Matt but also that of her young children. Find out what ensues by reading Degrees of Love.Degrees of Love

Degrees of Love is a realistic and poignant novel that follows the life of Susan Sinclair and the difficulties in marriage. Lisa Slabach’s down-to-earth portrayal of its characters will be relatable to all women. Despite the book being 340+ pages I finished it in two days, (nights, rather) mainly due to the engaging narration and the writing style.

Though it would be easier to blame Matt and Susan, I was able to understand the circumstances and try to be not judgmental of them. There were times when I wanted to strangle Susan’s choices but that is how real life is, confusing and chaotic.

I will recommend Degrees of Love to anyone who likes reading women fiction about strong women. I just want to warn off those who strongly react to books about cheating.

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Profile Image for Payal Sinha.
Author 6 books20 followers
September 17, 2018
Degrees of Love is a totally believable adult love story. The heroine, Susan is in her late thirties, married with two kids, and a successful career woman. Her job takes her many miles away and she manages both work and family by weekly commuting to and fro between different cities. The problem with Susan is that she is very much alone despite being in a crowd. Her husband Matt does not provide her any emotional or mental support and in fact looks down upon her work (even though she earns more) and thinks his own academic work to be more important. Susan was a lonely child with a father who went away with another woman, and a mother who was more interested in other men. Susan grew up play acting and became a theater actress only to give up the profession when she got married at an early age. Now her weekend at home passes away in doing all the lowly jobs and it is her current profession that provides any respite and entertainment in life. Matt is unable to provide her emotional or sexual fulfillment so that Susan finds herself fantasizing about other men. However, she puts in all effort to make her marriage a success and make Matt more open to her. But, fate had something else in store for her and she has to face many trials and hardships before grasping at happiness.

Degrees of Love is a highly believable story and while it is highly interesting to read, it is also a lesson for married people. People should always treasure their love at each phase of their lives and not take their partners for granted. Economic success is superficial without someone special to celebrate it with. Instead of being petty and punishing our partners for small reasons, we should be magnanimous, loving and giving. This would be the path to true happiness and an everlasting love.
Profile Image for Jessica.
2,181 reviews15 followers
August 31, 2018
Reality and romance collide in this great novel about love. In todays world of dog eat dog and the only type of success is painted by confidence, dedication to work that borders on obsessive, this book brings us back to the realities of humanity. Setbacks that are normal are considered character flaws now and we as a society are suffering the consequences. I think that the author did a brilliant job in this story since it was very easy to appreciate each of the characters. It was also easy to imagine this being one of your close friends, or even you. Who hasn’t tried to be supermom and career woman at the same time? Who hasn’t felt that the co-workers might ne more appreciative of you and your emotional wellbeing than your partner at home? Taking that one step that turns a co-worker into something else is an extremely easy step to take, no matter what anyone says.
128 reviews15 followers
August 29, 2018
A tale of romance, emotional struggle, and hard decisions, I was gripping my iPad pretty hard as I read through this book.

The suspense and the need to know what Susan would choose to do made it almost impossible to stop reading once I’d started.

Having such a strong headed female lead is also quite refreshing compared to the amount of male-centric books that I normally come across.

The tale itself isn’t too extraordinary or extreme but this is almost what makes it such a great read. It’s a life I’m sure many people have lived through and although I know it’s fictional I couldn’t help but feel like Susan was real.
Profile Image for Julie Rivera.
156 reviews
February 15, 2019
This book is so hard to write a review on. I was hoping this would be an enlightening book about marriage struggles and temptations. I had hoped the book was going to be more of an understanding of where things went wrong, which then turned into making efforts to find your way back to love. Instead, I found it to be more of a book about justifying a marital affair. I found it frustrating and heartbreaking. I occasionally found myself sympathetic to Susan, but in the end I didn’t like her at all and the ending had wrapped up everything in a nice “happily ever after” bow, which I felt was unrealistic.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Grady.
Author 51 books1,890 followers
August 29, 2018
“He slapped me once. I swear he has never laid a hand on me before, and I had it coming.’

California author Lisa Slabach makes her writing debut with DEGREES OF LOVE. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Dramatic Art from Whitman College and Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Western Illinois University she worked as an actress, costume designer and director before transitioning to corporate life. She now works for a Fortune 500 Company, leading a sales team in the financial industry in Northern California.

In a world where the institution of marriage is undergoing alternative variations – more working wives creating a dichotomy of home obligations with husbands, same gender choices as marriage partners, an increase in testing the boundaries of fidelity both within the marriage as well as outside the marriage – the variations of love stories grows. Lisa has captured some of those variations in this story of conflict of feelings versus vows and in ding so she offers a vantage from which her readers can evaluate their own marital status.

In order for a novel about choices it is imperative that the character experiencing those choices be credible and comfortably identifiable with readers. Lisa has accomplished this feat in creating Susan Sinclair – whom we first meet as her book opens – ‘I fired up the engine of my BMW, and listened to it purr while I inhaled the leathery new car scent. Last week, I’d come home in love with my handsome ride, but ever since I’d felt guilty about the indulgence. Not so much anymore. I wanted one minute, a mere sixty seconds, simply to sit and savor my success, but I had to go. I’d promised my boys I’d cook dinner. I also had to break the news of my promotion to my husband, and hoped he wouldn’t object. Putting the car in gear, I drove out of the San Francisco International Airport parking lot and wedged my way into the stream of commuters nudging south. It took about an hour to drive the paltry thirteen miles to my home in San Carlos. After a long day of travel and meetings, I was too tired for any kind of TGIF joie de vivre. I stepped out of the car just as Micah ran out the front door. “Mom’s home!” Jason followed close on his heels. “Mommy!” I hugged them close. The boys were getting so big, and I wondered how much longer they would race to meet me or call me Mommy.’

Lisa’s synopsis offers the plot well – ‘A successful businesswoman embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will shake her to the core. Like the shiny new BMW parked in the driveway of the Silicon Valley home she shares with her husband, Matt, and their two boys, Susan Sinclair exudes confidence and style. Newly promoted to a prestigious Senior Vice President position at her firm, Susan is the picture of personal and professional success. Yet appearances are deceiving. With each advance in Susan’s career, Matt has grown more distant. But he refuses to admit there is a problem, and Susan, determined to give her boys the close-knit family life she never had, forces herself to play along. Then she meets her new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick. She and Reese become a crackerjack team, but little by little, pleasure mixes with business. For the first time in a long time, Susan feels seen and appreciated for who she is. In a moment of weakness, friendship becomes something more. 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.’

Strong writing from a new author with great potential, Lisa Slabach demonstrates not only strong writing skills, but also offers a very closely examined study of contemporary challenges to the changing family unit.
Profile Image for Camille.
75 reviews3 followers
January 21, 2018
Degrees of Love tells the story of Susan Sinclair, a Silicon Valley soccer mom whos life could best be described by nice. Nice husband, nice children, nice friends, nice car, yet she still can’t help but yearning for something more in life. Not only has the niceness been wearing her thin, but since she has been married, she has been unable to show and be her true self. So, when her new promotion introduces her to a handsome new boss that she struggles to resist, Susan must decide whether her own happiness is worth more than her family’s well-being.
I really enjoyed this book, though I didn’t always think that way. When it first began, I found it to be boring an uneventful but I was quickly proven wrong. Perfectly timed jokes and romantic gestures littered this tale as the author expertly wrote a story of love and marital hardship. Despite this being Slabach’s first novel, it felt like she was an expert at her craft. One reason for this was the research the author had done. Making sure to make everything feel as real as possible, it was clear that the author put a lot of time and effort into each chapter. Examples of this were seen in the bits of Shakespeare that the characters quoted at each other along with the deep insight the author gave into the feelings of each character; which leads me to the next aspect of this book that I enjoyed: the characters.
Slabach truly succeeded in writing in-depth and fully thought out characters. Throughout the book, I felt moved by Susan’s decisions and motivations as she struggled to find happiness and love. Each of Susan’s moves felt thought out and genuine as I constantly wondered what she would do this. Not only that, but Slabach made me feel invested in Susan and made me wish that I was there in the story to help her. At the same time, Slabach withheld no expense with crafting Susan’s boss, Reese, into a fully thought out character. I really respected her ability to do this as Slabach provided great character development for her full cast of characters, including those that might have seemed unimportant.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Throughout its twists and turns that constantly leave you questioning whose side you are really on, Slabach painted a realistic and fully picture of the pains of modern day women. Even with the setting of a plain corporate job, Slabach still found a way to make every word one that you would not want to miss. I recommend this book to romance loves looking for a new take on the genre as this is a book that you do not want to miss.
Profile Image for Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews.
2,434 reviews126 followers
January 20, 2018
While the concept behind marriages has not changed, the role of each individual in that marriage is in a state of flux. No longer are roles defined by gender and marriages have become a true partnership. But what happens when one of the individuals wants something different? Or what if one is not happy with the other? Or finds what they are looking for from another? That is what this book brings to the table.

Adultery is not a new concept, it has been around since the beginning, but why do some people seek out something more than what they already have at home? In this debut novel by author Lisa Slabach, she allows us inside the marriage of Matt and Susan. They met in graduate school and couldn't have been more different. Susan is artistic and Matt is scientific, but something still sparked between the two. Time has gone on, there are children, but things are the not same as they were all those years ago. The picture that is painted of Matt is not a pretty one. He wants her home more and to be the more traditional wife and mother. His words and actions did not sit well with me as the reader. I saw it as being narrow-minded and selfish to expect Susan to give up everything for him and the children. Susan, while a strong and fiercely independent woman, is torn between what she wants from life and doing what others expect. Enter Reese. He is Susan's new boss and he is bewitched by Susan and wants her all to himself with no regard for her marriage.

I'm sure as you can imagine, this story is not going to end well for anyone. It is hard to have an affair and expect to get away with it long term. But what I found as the story progressed is that love comes in many forms and fashions and who is anyone to say what is right or wrong other than those involved?

There are various points in the book where Matt, Susan, and Reese are all cast in positive and negative lights. No one character is right or wrong at all times...they all share the blame for how the relationships evolve and I did feel differently for each character at different points in the book.

The book moved along at a pretty steady pace but really picked up near the end when the affair between Susan and Reese is uncovered by Matt. Emotions are running high and I wondered how the author was going to resolve this issue. I enjoyed the epilogue because it really brought the story full circle and answered any unanswered questions in my mind.
Profile Image for Grant Leishman.
Author 15 books145 followers
September 13, 2017
Reviewed for Readers' Favorite by 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 happens! 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 pair. Despite the 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.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 1 book125 followers
February 26, 2018
Degrees of Love is an emotionally gripping story of one woman's life as she gets caught up in an affair of the heart that turns into infidelity and changes her whole life. Slabach's character development and psychological portrayal of a career woman and mother who is emotionally starved caught my attention and didn't let go until the last page was turned. I read this book in almost one sitting. It was like sitting in a train that picks up speed to the point where you wonder how bad the crash is going to be and how unscathed you'll be from the ride.

Although I strongly believe that loyalty in marriage is sacred and I don't condone adultery, I can certainly understand that when it happens it is a signal that there is something wrong with a marriage. From a psychological perspective, I could empathize with the main character, even as I disagreed with her actions. I could still feel compassion for her emotional pain. And as a woman, my own emotions were all over the place as I became invested in the story.

It's been awhile since a book did that to me. Got me so carried away into a woman's life as she got caught into a love affair so intense that it overrode everything else even as she struggled with protecting her children and not hurting her husband. It emphasized to me the truth of how important it is for married couples to fulfil each other's physical and emotional needs.

Regarding content, this book explores the theme of infidelity, not as a light fun topic for a romance story, but as a sign of a broken marriage and the consequences that avoiding the painful process of fixing it can bring. And, oh yes, there are passionate sex scenes, not too explicit but "hot" nonetheless!

It's hard to believe this is Lisa Slabach's debut novel. To be able to build such tension, so much emotional upheaval and bring it to a realistic ending takes writing talent. This is an author to watch out for and I will eagerly be waiting for her next novel. Degrees of Love will be added to my best of 2018 list!
Profile Image for Teresa.
233 reviews1 follower
January 23, 2018
I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for a review but all opinions are my own.
This story, seemed to me, to accurately portray the conundrum a lot of modern women face. We want to do it all and have perfection in everything. The idea that you can do anything but you can't do everything is integral to the story. And when you try for the everything life bites back and teaches some hard lessons.

At different times I felt sympathy for all three main characters and at times I wanted to give each of them a good shake and tell them to get over themselves.

The two male characters seemed like opposite sides of the same coin. Matt is reserved and undemonstrative but that doesn't mean he is unfeeling or lacks empathy, just that he is uncomfortable displaying his emotions.

Reese, on the other hand, is much more comfortable letting people know exactly what he wants. To the point where he does not always respect when someone says no to him. This might be an excellent business quality but not so good in relationships.

Susan, the narrator of the story, has reached a point in her life where she realises that what she has no longer gives her the emotional satisfaction that she craves.

For her to be happy someone else has to be hurt. Struggling to decide whether to work on saving her marriage or to start a new relationship with her boss makes her re-examine her whole life and leads to emotional growth and a reevaluation of herself as a person.

Do any of the characters come out of this well? All three are flawed, which reflects reality. All three are, at their core, good people doing their best in difficult circumstances.

The very end of the book moves the story forward by several years and we see that all three do come out well. Each has a happy ending but perhaps not the one they would have predicted.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very different from my normal choice of read but I'm pleased it came my way.
January 24, 2018
In ‘Degrees of Love’ we follow Susan a Silicon Valley, soccer mom who is dedicated to her two boys, her husband and her career. Susan just got a promotion as the vice president in her company and a hike in her salary. She has it all from a lovely family, to a promising career, but things that look perfect from outside really aren’t so perfect.

Her husband, Matt is not exactly what she needs in a husband. Over the years he has become indifferent and distant. She craves to connect with him at all levels. Matt had already made her quit acting which she loved, after they were married and now, he is unhappy with the time Susan has to dedicate to her job. There is unspoken discontent between the couple but they are determined to stick together for the boys, until Reese comes into the picture. Reese is Susan’s boss who soon becomes Susan’s friend and more. They have a spark and an understanding that Matt and Susan never had. Susan tries to distant herself from him as much as she can but all her efforts are down the drain. They are drawn to each other like a moth to fire.

This is the first time I have read a book where adultery is the key plot. I in no way support or accept cheating in a relationship, but the way Lisa has narrated the story and explained Susan’s plight in a way that I felt empathetic towards her. I could understand why she was doing what she did. The characters are as real as it gets. May it be Susan, Resee or Matt; each character’s actions were justified. There was no right no wrong everyone was right on their part.

The narration was seamless and was moving at a steady pace throughout. The story picked up towards the end since the three quarters of the book was plot and character building. I am glad that the book ended in the way that I was hoping for.
483 reviews10 followers
January 5, 2018

Degrees of Love is an excellent novel from start to finish. We have our main character, Susan, who seems to have it all - an amazing job, perfect family, excellent home and financial security. But as we all know too well, sometimes things are deceiving from the outside.

On the inside Susan is craving more. She desires and wants the love that she feels is lacking in her marriage. Matt goes out of her way to ignore her, plans family events that leave her out and seems generally dissatisfied with their marriage and life. Susan has coasted for many years in her marriage, her own childhood influencing this decision to stay with her husband regardless of how unhappy she is. She constantly puts her feelings and emotions last, never asking for more. My heart broke for her so many times!

Her new boss, Reese, unleashes a new lease on life for her. She discovers her own talent, creativity, fun and love of life again. She also discovers that she is hugely attracted to her new boss and him to her. She knows how dangerous this is and struggles so many times throughout the novel with her feelings and relationship. The greatest part being that he made her feel love and treasured, something her husband never made her feel.

Ultimately, Susan is forced to choose - a predictable and safe but lacking love marriage or the unknown but full of affection and love with her boss.

Degrees of Love is an incredible read from start to finish. It is real, raw and full of emotion. You are drawn into Susan's life from the start and are constantly left guessing as to what she will do. The ending was not what I was expecting but fit the book well. This is a definite must read novel.
Profile Image for Samantha March.
1,102 reviews286 followers
September 26, 2017
Degrees of Love by Lisa Slabach is her debut novel, but I would have never guessed that. I was immediately hooked into 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 business woman 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, 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 actually went back through my Kindle to re-read some of the passages. This is a novel that had me talking to my girlfriends about, 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 will be continuing to encourage readers to pre-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.

Reviewed for Readers Favorite
20 reviews
December 29, 2017
Deep down, at the root of it all, we seek love and acceptance. We each yearn to find someone who understands us, who admires us, and ultimately who yearns to be with us. We want passion and excitement. We want to feel butterflies in our stomach when we think about the one we love and we want them to feel the same desire for us.

So what if you've been married for over a decade and don't feel that burning sensation for your spouse? There can certainly be love without passion. There can also be passion without love. But what happens when you lay next to someone and realize they can't give you that soul crushing passion you need? What happens when your sex life becomes boring and routine? What happens when you aren't satisfied in all of the ways you wish to be?

Sometimes a moment in time can change the course of personal history and in this story Susan's marriage tinkers on the edge as she begins to develop strong feelings for someone who isn't her husband. Can she reignite the love she used to feel for her husband? Can she resist the temptations of a boss who seems to listen to her every word?

In a relationship between two people it might be easy to leave, but what happens when children are involved? While her heart pulls her toward one man, it will pull her away not only from her husband but also from her two children. Can she follow her desire for someone else, even if that means breaking up her marriage and family?

Once I picked up this book I couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen to Susan and who she would choose.
Profile Image for LAWonder10.
953 reviews736 followers
January 14, 2018
Susan and Matt Sinclair and their two sons appeared to be the ideal family. They did things as a family, attended Church, were involved in their children's school and participated in fund raisers. Matt was content with their intimacy but Susan felt discontented. Although Susan had decided to go to work, build her career so the family could enjoy the extras, Matt, felt threatened and resentful. He wanted the prestige but was not happy with Susan being gone so much... Neither voiced their feelings.

​Susan received a hard earned promotion and would meet her new boss in a few days when she would be in New York on assignment. At that time her promotion would, also, be announced.

Expecting her new boss to be like most - over weight and balding - she was unprepared to meet a young, sexy, well-built new boss. This could get awkward.

This is a familiar tale of many marriages, where there is a lack of communication, threat of other co-worker attraction, and the many "degrees of love" each of us experience. Who is to blame when the degree of love fades and steps are not taken to increase the degree of love.

The characters were very realistic and well-developed. The scenes were easy to "get caught up into". The author was able to emotionally connect with the reader.

The story was very predictable and slightly dragged out, yet very well connected to the reader.
**Beware: There is some profanity and a few explicit sexual situations, although tactfully portrayed.
I have to give a strong Four stars rating for literary skills.
Profile Image for Amie's Book Reviews.
1,544 reviews168 followers
January 31, 2018
Lisa Slabach has written a story in which it is easy to see yourself in the main characters. Anyone who has been married for a number of years can understand that sometimes daily life gets in the way of passion.  Temptation to feel that excitement of new love can happen to anyone.

The author has deftly captured the imagination of the reader. This is classified as "Women's Fiction." There is a very good reason for this. Women can read a book about adultery and not have that translate to their real lives. I am not sure the same can be said about men.

I have to admit that I was utterly absorbed by this book and even though I am 100% against cheating in real life, I couldn't help but wonder what way the main character would go.

Would she cheat? Would she resist temptation? If she did cheat, would she end up giving up her husband and children?

This book raises other interesting questions, such as:

* How important is your own happiness in relation to the happiness of your children?

* Do you have the right to do something simply to make yourself happy even when you know other people will be hurt by your actions?

I loved the ending of the book and I admit that I was certainly surprised by it.

I rate DEGREES OF LOVE by Lisa Slabach as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* Thank you to iRead Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of this book.

See the full review as well as enter the Blog Tour Giveaway on my blog at http://Amiesbookreviews.wordpress.com

Follow me on Instagram at @Amiesbookreviews
Profile Image for Elisha.
332 reviews21 followers
January 31, 2018
I knew I would be reading a story about a marriage that gets impacted by an indiscretion. But I was so interested in how the author would work the heartbreak of cheating into a non cliche story.

This story deals with the complexities of marriage; the good and bad. She loves her husband, adores her kids, and is happy with their life. However, she has been dealing with the fact that her and her husband don't connect on an intimate or emotional level anymore. The passion seems deflated and the relationship seems mundane. As her career goes up the ladder, her husband seems more distant, not including her in plans, giving her minimal and passionless one-on-one time. She doesn't start looking elsewhere for an affair, which is the huge misconception within the story. That doesn't make her choice right or justified. However, this story shows the poignant, realistic, bitter, and heartbreaking side of what people do not like to consider.

The author did such a good job in writing a realistic and insightful story about the
intricacies that are within a marriage and relationship between a husband and wife. I completely enjoyed this book (and look forward to her next!) and would recommend this read.

For my full review, go to:
Profile Image for Vicki (MyArmchairAdventures).
392 reviews19 followers
March 3, 2018
Do you guys like to read and help promote self-published authors? Thank you to Author Lisa Slabach for hosting a giveaway of her debut novel, Degrees of Love because I won! And I do love to promote self-published authors when I can! Susan Sinclair is married with two sons and in her late thirties, has risen to an executive position at her firm. She’s doing the Mom thing while juggling a demanding career but meanwhile, the spark has left her marriage. Susan is attracted to her new boss, Reese, but is what she feels real or is she looking for a distraction? Susan feels like she’s being taken for granted at home and being listened to by another human who appreciates her is addictive. Can she and her husband Matt get back the closeness they had at the beginning of their marriage? These are the issues Slabach has Susan work through in her novel. I struggled a little with Susan’s moral compass which didn’t seem to be strong even though she went to church and debated spiritually, how she should handle her crisis. But I see the point of the protagonist’s actions and how easy it would be for anyone to be in a similar situation. I thought this was a well-written first novel and though there are limited ways that this story can end, I didn’t find it predictable.
Profile Image for Margaret Tidwell.
610 reviews7 followers
January 15, 2018
FTC: I received a free copy of this book from iRead Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Degrees of Love: A Novel by Lisa Slabach was very well written, but I struggled with reading it. I say that because since this book is a romance novel, I got bored because even though I don’t know what is going to happen, I do know what is going to happen if that makes any sense. I am sure that if you don’t read a ton of books like I do that statement won’t make any sense. I did enjoy the characters in this book, and I really enjoyed the authors writing, but in the end, I was bored. If you are a huge fan of romance novels than I am sure you will love this book. I am just starting to realize that I need to stick more to mystery type books because I tend to be bored with another genre of books. I am going to hang onto this book so that I can pick it up in the future and see if my thoughts and feelings change any about this type of book.
Profile Image for Jessica.
514 reviews1 follower
January 31, 2018
What a wide opening book to learn

This is my favorite book that I read this month and maybe for a very long time. I really loved reading this book so much.

I do not have a problem if a person commits adultery. It is their life and as long as it is not my husband they fool around and am good. This story blew my mind. I so loved what Reese did to this forbidden relationship. I wish that all men are liked him.

For me marriage will have ups and downs but the key to a successful marriage is communication. We have to communicate to one another and resolve any marital problems. Any partner will look somebody to love if they could not find that something they needed the most.

This book is a wide opening for married couple or lovers to read. I know this book is only fiction but deals with problems that typical couple will encounter sometime in their relationship. This book is a must read.

Communication, trust, and honesty is very important for any relationship. Temptation will occurs in our lives but as long as you can fight the urge. I think we will do fine.
Profile Image for Cale.
161 reviews
February 13, 2018
From the moment I picked up “Degrees of Love” and read the first chapter I was hooked, as the characters are so real and alive and the descriptions are so vivid and clear, it is impossible to put down. This is my favorite type of book – where real people are in real situations that can spiral out of control and change the course of their lives, for better or worse. Lisa Slabach has painted a picture of life which at times is very moving, sad, stressful but it is done with nuance and delicacy and authenticity throughout all the events that unfold in Susan and Matt’s marriage, and Susan’s job, and her relationship with Reese and how everything changes her on a fundamental level, and in unexpected ways. This whole story just felt like it was effortless and flowed smoothly with steady pacing for the most part. Slight proofing errors, but far better than many ebooks I’ve seen. It was a delight to read from start to finish, although I did not want it to end… a sign of a truly satisfying read. Recommended for adult readers of drama and romance
Profile Image for Elise Larson.
Author 8 books49 followers
June 14, 2018
I could not put this book down! Five breathless stars!

This powerful book speaks directly to the millions of women who stay in an unhappy, unfulfilling marriage out of habit, fear or obligation while longing for a true and lasting love. While living such a life, Susan begins an affair with Reese, her attractive new boss, and they fall deeply in love. The whole story revolves around the decision she must make: should she stay married to Matt for the sake of their marriage and children, or should she divorce Matt to find real happiness with Reese?

This common dilemma is told in such a realistic way that my emotions got all tangled up with Susan's as she struggled to make the right decision for everyone involved, including herself. Although it seems trite to say so, I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN, and I was literally holding my breath until I reached the perfect, PERFECT ending! Congratulations to the author for a great debut novel and for speaking to the hearts of so many women. Please give us more!
Profile Image for Valery.
1,334 reviews50 followers
August 28, 2018
Degrees of Love: A Novel by Lisa Slabach explores the levels to which some will go or sink to, in order to find the so-called love of their life. Susan appears to have it all, a great career in sales, a steady husband, and two boys whom she adores. However, she feels a level of dissatisfaction with her life, small nuances that have changed between her husband Matt and herself. He seems more dismissive, less inclusive of her in everyday activities. When Susan meets her new boss Reese, romantic sparks fly and Susan is on the road to being unfaithful. Susan has a moment of weakness and from that point on, becomes an adulterer. She wants her marriage to Matt, but wants Reese as well. The author explores this conundrum with exactitude, creates interesting, albeit somewhat predictable characters, and writes an emotional story line. Overall a solid story that many will enjoy regardless of your opinions on infidelity. The author handles the subject with as much grace as possible, in a realistic manner. Strong recommendation.
Profile Image for Julius Blitzy.
476 reviews10 followers
August 31, 2018
You wouldn’t believe how many times this story has been told, in many ways of course, but it still holds up a certain degree of excitement.
An unhappy marriage, why us as humans deny ourselves the desire of happiness? Why if you marry a person, you don’t trust him/her enough to tell about how you really feels, if there is one thing that is broken on a daily basis that would be: feelings, yet people still move on, the recovery is not that easy but it’s still possible.
Having said that, this book definitely took that problem to a serious dilemma, and of course it doesn’t drag anything boring or exaggerated, this is a real drama, and the way the characters are portrayed it feel realistic, an organic way to showcase the downfall of a marriage, the gravity of choice, how much can happiness really cost, the way this drama unfolds completely is worth your attention, and I’m glad I read it.
Profile Image for Pegboard.
1,751 reviews9 followers
September 6, 2018
Degrees of Love is an emotional novel that will touch your heart about the affects an affair will have on a marriage. Lisa Slabach summed it up well when she stated the husband visualized his wife as a prized toy that he only wanted when others were interested, yet ignored her completely at other times. Susan couldn't live with the neglect and loneliness from her marriage and when attention that she so desperately craved was directed her way from her boss, she was drawn to it although she knew it was wrong. As she compares the love she has for her husband and lover she realizes the different degrees, shades, and depth of love there is between a man and woman.

In Degrees of Love I found myself rooting for Matt, the husband, to step up and claim his wife, but that isn't always the answer when they both have hurt each other. Lisa Slabach intergraded many lessons within this novel that couples can learn from, though it is an enjoyable book to read on its own.
Profile Image for Rachel Kester.
487 reviews6 followers
September 26, 2018
In this book by Lisa Slabach, you’ll read of Susan Sinclair, a businesswoman who has practically all she could want in life. She has the perfect job, car, and supposedly family. However, one day Susan finds that her husband has become very distant, and instead of working through their problems, only grows more so. Tired of the pain, Susan soon meets Reese Kirkpatrick, her new boss. With him, Susan feels alive and loved. She must end up making a choice: stay with her husband or risk everything and be with Reese.
This book is quite a gripping novel that will be hard to put down. Slabach writes with a great writing style that is not only fun to read, but makes the story even more engaging. At 344 pages, it might be a little long for some, but it’s certainly worth trying out. If you’re a romance fan or someone just looking for a new book to add to their reading list, definitely consider this one.
Profile Image for Mar.
340 reviews4 followers
August 28, 2018
Degrees of Love is the debut novel by Lisa Slabach but I would have never guessed it. The author does an amazing writing job, elevating a common dilemma that some couples have to face during their relationship and creating a great piece of storytelling.
The characters are strong and well presented. We are introduced into their worlds through their words, their thoughts, their actions and their feelings. It is a completely immersive experience and it really makes the story. We feel empathy for all of them and we can understand where they came and where they are heading. Even though it’s a romantic book, the way the story is written makes that each chapter brings something new, creating some good cliff-hangers and unexpected twists. As other reviewers pointed, the final chapter is particularly good. If this is her debut novel, I can’t wait to read what is coming.
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