Jack’s recent meetings to secure commercial solar energy contracts have gone anything but to plan. The reason becomes apparent when he meets Viktor Balashov, who guarantees Jack that he will win the contracts that he bids on, but at a 20% cut. Jack knows that he has been courted by the Russian mob, and declining means bankruptcy. Jack isn’t surprised to discover that his father’s legacy was a business relationship with the Italian mob, which explains his current situation.
Jack is the Dom to two submissives, Rory and Spencer, who are soon to be married to one another. Although Rory’s parents are grudgingly accepting of her and Spencer’s relationship with Jack, Rory’s mother has decided to take control of the wedding guest list, much to Rory’s chagrin. Rory can’t seem to convince her mom that Jack is far from a flash in the pan.
Spencer is confident that their relationship, however beyond the norm, is solid. Rory too is confident until the subject of her married name crosses her mind, and then she is conflicted, not about the commitment, but rather the explanation of having two men’s names. The delays and Jack’s lack of attention in the bedroom cause Rory’s anxiety to resurface, making her feel like she isn’t good enough anymore.
Jack can’t bring himself to come clean about his failing business and its unlikely savior, and the strain, coupled with Jack’s distraction, begins to affect their relationship. As his association with Balashov gains strength, Jack loses more and more of himself to the lure of the money that he feels that he needs in order to keep his unconventional family financially secure.
I remember briefly meeting Rory, Jack, and Spencer at the end of Make Me, and although I found it awfully convenient for a new-to-the-area triad to meet another triad, I figured what the heck. I myself know a triad (for lack of a better word), and so in my mind, anything was possible.
I need to address the Russian mafia aspect of the book, since it was the catalyst for the relationship nightmare that the three experienced. I wish I could say that it was too much, but the reality, whether it be in the U.S. or even in Canada, the mafia is present, and exerts a surprising influence on government and business alike. What I felt made this different in Swept was that Jack didn’t want to go along with the corruption, with the virtual guarantee of making piles of money, but gives in because of pride. Jack is no one’s patsy, until his family is at risk. To be honest, Jack’s pride and stupid decision-making bugged me, but it was true to form for his character. I found one quote that just wrecked me and had to include it in my review, it is Rory speaking to Jack:
“You’re not! You’ve gone somewhere where we can’t reach you. I can’t pretend anymore.”
I don’t want to lump Rory and Spencer together because they are not critical, but rather because they formed a unified front. Whether by being patient, or by attempting to coax answers from Jack, they did it together. Rory was, by far, the character that I identified with on a psychological level, and was thrilled to watch her gain confidence in herself and grow, especially when it came to Jack’s neglect as a Dom, and in regards to her parents. Spencer, on the other hand, would be my physical ideal, but I didn’t get as much from his character as I did from Jack and Rory.
The end result of all of this drama (and believe me when I tell you that I have not included a fraction of the drama in this book), is a very fast-paced book, with some truly hot sex, as well as a number of truly engaging characters…well except for Rory’s parent, but you can read about them for yourself.