Thursday, February 26, 2009

Review: Sugar Daddy

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
3 stars

Reasons for reading: I read a very positive review of it on someone's blog; first Sister novel for the Themed Reading Challenge

First line: "When I was four, my father died in an oil-rig accident."

From the back cover: "... 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 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 is 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."

My thoughts: This was a good, rather soapy book (appropriate, since young Liberty and her mother watch them and her sister's name comes from one). From the day she was born, Liberty was more like Carrington's mother than their own mom, and 18-year-old Liberty finds herself fully in that role when their mother dies suddenly when Carrington is a toddler. Liberty is an amazingly strong young woman who refuses to allow Carrington to be taken away from her and even manages to move them out of the trailer park by becoming a hairdresser.

I have to say, the title is rather misleading, because Liberty works very hard not to become a "sugar baby," though her hairdressing pals all think she should. That doesn't mean she doesn't get involved with the mega-rich Travis family, when their patriarch, Churchill, starts asking for her, a humble manicure girl, when he comes into the swanky salon where she works. She eventually moves into their home as Churchill's personal assistant.

I don't want to give too much away, but Churchill has a gorgeous son named Gage and, as in any good romance novel, the initial dislike between Liberty and Gage soon gives way to passion. There are quite a few nicely steamy scenes in the book, without getting too far into bodice-ripping territory.

Of course, Hardy comes back (you knew he would!) and Liberty has to choose between her past and current loves. And there are secrets!

I enjoyed the sisters' relationship in this book. Liberty manages to act as both mother and sister to Carrington and the two are bonded from the moment Liberty finds out her mom is pregnant, which is really lovely. I did find that Carrington seemed a bit too old at 3 and a bit too young at 8, but she was still a pretty well-written child character.

The verdict: Liberty and Carrington are a great sister act! (And the two hunky guys don't hurt, either.)


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