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 is the picture of personal and professional success. Yet with each advance in her career, Matt has grown more distant. When Susan meets her new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick, their working relationship slowly turns into 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.
A woman craves happiness and balance in Slabach's piercing debut. Susan Sinclair, 36, lives a predictable, mundane life in a San Francisco suburb and is in a passionless marriage with her husband, Matt. Susan accepts a promotion to v-p in her financial services firm, despite Matt's reservations he's uncomfortable with the job's demands, which require more time away from him and their two boys. When Susan meets her new boss, charismatic, New York City based Reese Kirkpatrick, there is both steamy chemistry and mutual respect, and they begin an affair. That summer, Susan leads a double life with equal parts satisfaction, joy, and guilt. She wants to excel at her career and indulge in the stimulating and comforting life Reese offers, but she adores her sons. Slabach's depictions of longing, yearning, and love are palpable at times ("Before long, my tears kept pace with the rain. The pain in my chest was so crushing I could barely breathe. I couldn't let go of the pain, so I embraced it."), though there are a few false moments in which Susan implausibly manages to balance everything perfectly. Susan's personal decisions and consequences feel familiar and real in this smart and sensual novel. (Self-published)