Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Publication Date: March 6th, 2007
St. Martin’s Press
FORMAT: Kindle Edition
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
Liberty Jones has dreams and determination that will take her far away from Welcome, Texas—if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger than Welcome, and Liberty Jones is a complication he doesn’t need. But something magical and potent draws them to each other, in a dangerous attraction that is stronger than both of them.

When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty finds herself alone with a young sister to raise. Soon Liberty finds herself under the spell of a billionaire tycoon—a Sugar Daddy, one might say. But the relationship goes deeper than people think, and Liberty begins to discover secrets about her own family’s past.

Two men. One woman. A choice that can make her or break her. A woman you’ll root for every step of the way. A love story you’ll never forget.

Trust me when I say, I cringed a whole lot when I saw the title of this book. It just sound so…dirty. And hell, the synopsis has connotations of a love triangle and I somehow missed it completely. I’m slippin’.

The story begins when Liberty was but a mere awkward teenager. Hardy Cates at the time was also a  teenager himself with a hero-complex, massive chip on his shoulders and a world to conquer. Liberty didn’t have a prayer to save herself from Hardy’s charms. And as the story goes, Hardy was determined to leave Welcome, Texas in search of greener pastures or in Hardy’s case, blacker oil fields. He refused to be tied down to a town with no future in sight and a girl holding him back. So he pushed Liberty away and got out of Welcome like a bat out of hell.

Liberty’s life hasn’t been easy and very lonely for the most part. And although her sometimes present, mostly absent mother loved her, she’d had to make do for herself. But when her mother got pregnant, her outlook in life grew a bit brighter. With a baby sibling on the way, she figured she’ll never be lonely again. Post-partum depression isolated her baby sister from their mom, which left her no choice but to pick up the slack. At seventeen years old, she’d had to go to school sleepless and tired from night feedings and diaper changing. Fate has a way of kicking a person when they’re already down. So when their mother got killed in a car accident, it left Liberty a very young mother at eighteen. Faced with the possibility of giving up her sister, Liberty persevered to give them a better life. She went to beauty school under a scholarship, worked hard and found employment at an upscale salon in Houston where she met a very rich, enigmatic billionaire tycoon.

The story doesn’t end there of course, but at this rate, I’m running a risk of giving you a review that contained the entire summarization of the book. So, I’ll stop right there and give you what I thought of this book.

This book was full of history. It felt like it was going to go on forever. Don’t get me wrong, even with its size, the book was still a fun and fast read. Lisa Kleypas didn’t leave any stone unturned, for sure. There were twists but it wasn’t like you can’t smell it from a mile away.

Characters’ wise, I couldn’t ask for anything more but at the same time, I wasn’t really expecting much going in. Lisa Kleypas went deeper than the norm so it felt like I got to know the characters well. Liberty’s a pretty rad, strong-willed heroine. She didn’t back down from Hardy and she sure didn’t give Gage the liberty to walk all over her even when he accused her of being a gold-digger and sleeping with the Travis patriarch.

I loved Hardy and Liberty’s unfulfilled love story in the beginning; it was heart-clenching and at the same time maddening. When Gage entered in the scene, I was a bit worried that I might have to abandon the book because of the dreaded love triangle, but that element didn’t really play into factor, so I was glad. Liberty’s relationship with Gage was far from lukewarm; but I wasn’t wholly vested in them. I’m not sure what was lacking – chemistry? or my emotional connection with the pairing? In the end, it might’ve been both.

VERDICT: All in all, I think my June Addiction choice reads is off to a good start. I like the book but it wasn’t that earth shattering. This has all the foundation for a good romance and in true Texas tradition, a family scandal to boot. Girl from the wrong side of the tracks, rich boy… how could I resist this story? 🙂