I actually got to read this week!
First up – Lisa Kleypas’ Sugar Daddy – I totally loved this book in a big way. Not super crazy about the title or the blurb, which I don’t think does justice to what a great story this is – but it’s hard to encapsulate a book that takes you over a young girl’s lifetime and into her adulthood.
We meet Liberty when she’s 14 and has moved to a trailerpark with her mother and her mother’s latest loser boyfriend. The loser boyfriend isn’t trying to touch her in bad places and he doesn’t hit her mother so that’s a welcome change from some of the storylines like this. But he is a loser, no doubt. Anyway, we also meet the grand love of Liberty’s life – Hardy.
I think the time, the way we’re drawn into Liberty’s life is done so well and I’m glad Kleypas chose to start out the way she did. Liberty is not a whiner when she’s confronted by some seriously unfair stuff in her life. She does what she needs to to survive and she takes care of people who need it.
Later, as Liberty is raising her little sister, we meet Churchill – an older man, a billionaire and someone Liberty ends up having a deep friendship with. He is not her sugar daddy though (just a peeve, LOL). They grow closer and he asks her to leave her job as a stylist and to come be his personal assistant.
She meets the sons, of course they think she’s a ho but then figure out she’s not, etc. What’s nice is that she’s not an idiot about it. I thought the situation was handled realistically (of course his children are going to be suspicious of a young woman who is moving in to their father’s mansion!). And a relationship begins with Churchill’s oldest son, Gage.
You can tell from the blurb that Hardy comes back and there is a triangle but not for very long and truly, while this is a romance, Liberty is the star of this book and it works.
The chemistry between Gage and Liberty is fabulously done, her reactions are wonderful and the way she pines for Hardy fleshes out the love she has for him as something real and not just what a girl feels for her first crush. You know pretty quickly that Churchill has ulterior motives, you know it has something to do with Liberty’s dead mother and you’re pretty sure they’re not related because he’s not alarmed by Liberty’s relationship with his son. That part wasn’t so suspenseful although I did find myself wondering why it took Liberty so long to figure it out.
Anyway, I can’t wait to follow up with Hardy’s story, Blue Eyed Devil. Sugar Daddy was a very promising trip into contemporary from one of my favorite historical authors. I loved the unique spin she put on the genre.
I also read and really enjoyed, Colby Hodge’s, Twist – this is a shomi book, paranormal, time travel, spec fic – all kinds of things rolled into one and I thought Hodge put a great twist (no pun intended) on the vampire story with this one. Great world building, great characters – just really well done!
And Noelle Mack’s Wild – Again, this was a nice, steady patch for me because I really liked this one. Historical paranormal, VERY steamy (in fact, this could have easily been an aphrodisia, IMO). Mack does sex very well so that part was of course, enjoyable but it was the fun meta story about the Russian wolf pack living in regency England that really made this book stand out.
Totally fun. Nice and suspenseful where it should have been. Good world building. I’ll defintely be checking out the rest in the series.