Thursday, June 20, 2013

|Review| Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

More Sizzle & Swoon! Head over to Alexa's to see our favorite heroes while I kick off the Travis family galore. All three of us love The Travis Family series beyond comprehensible words and we decided Sizzle & Swoon is the perfect opportunity to share that love by reviewing this series. Since there are three books and three of us, this works out perfectly! I'm reviewing Sugar Daddy, the first book in the series and while I love this book and it's in my top ten all time favorite books, it comes in third place in my favorites from the Travis Family series which is why I'm reviewing it. I really don't have words to articulate my love for Blue-Eyed Devil and Smooth Talking Stranger.

Title: Sugar Daddy
Series: Travis Family #1
Published March 1st 2007 by St. Martin's Press
Genre: women's fiction, contemporary romance
Rating: A
Goodreads summary: 
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.
Sugar Daddy is about Liberty Jones and it begins when she's "fourteen and three quarters" and had just moved to a new town. 
"Welcome is where I lost everything, and gained everything."
Which is pretty accurate. This set up means Sugar Daddy is half women's fiction, half contemporary romance which is important to mention because I don't want anyone to be surprised. The book spans 10 years of Liberty's life, and covers first kiss, first love and a lot of really important things that shape up Liberty and the outcome of her life but I won't mention any of that for spoiler reasons.

When I read this book 3 years, I didn't quite read anything like it and today, after about 7 rereads of Sugar Daddy and reading a whole bunch of other romance books, I can still say I haven't read anything like it and that's not a negative thing. Lisa Kleypas manages to balance Liberty's journey and the romance (the primary, HEA romance comes in the second half) really well so this book doesn't just fall into women's fiction section and calling it contemporary romance wouldn't be inaccurate. I didn't appreciate this so much when I first read it because I was shocked and surprised but here we are 3 years later, and I'm constantly rereading this book and falling more and more in love with it. The narrative of this story is just really wonderful, and it's told from first person POV unlike most contemporary romance which is great because this story couldn't have been told any other way.

Because the book does span a long time, there was a lot of telling and not showing but Lisa Kleypas makes it work and I was never ever bored in all the times I've read this book. I've always reread it in mere hours. It's just really wonderful to meet Liberty at 14 years old and follow her through everything, whether its tragic, good or rough. It's so easy to root for this down to earth woman, who didn't quite have the best of it in her teen years but always made the best of everything.

The summary says "Two men. One woman." and while this is accurate, I never thought this book was a love triangle. It was always first love vs. finding a new love. Liberty needs to learn to move on from her first love and learn to adjust without him and Lisa Kleypas shows that transition really well.

The mix of this book being Liberty's journey, first person narritve and Lisa Kleypas's fab writing makes Sugar Daddy a great book to recommend to people who want to dabble in contemporary romance and while this book is NOT YA, I think it has crossover appeal because it does start with Liberty when she's 14 but I repeat, it's not YA!

As for all the secondary characters, they were all so very real. We're introduced to the Travis family and Churchill Travis, the father who also plays a role in Blue-Eyed Devil. We also have Gage Travis who's the oldest Travis son, a hot, hot man (he's taken though. My best friend claims him!) and the hero. He was so wonderful with his gray eyes and committmentphobia (ha!) and there is Hardy Cates (only my favorite character in the history of characters in the history of books in the history of the world in the history of the universe in the history of the galaxies. Just saying.) a hero and even antihero of Sugar Daddy. What I like about Lisa Kleypas's heroes, and we see this in Gage and the heroes of the rest of the Travis series, is that while they're 100% alpha, they're not assholes and I'm a frequent user of the term alpha-hole so that's saying something!

This is book and this series is one of my all time favorites. The writing is beautiful but that's no surprise, it was written by Lisa Kleypas who's my all time favorite author. It's so easy to love and root for Liberty and all the other characters were also complex. I loved following Liberty through the tough and good times in her life and I will love following for many more years because I'll never tire from rereading this book. I cannot recommend Sugar Daddy enough but I also cannot recommend the rest of the series enough. Blue-Eyed Devil is my all time favorite book EVER. Like EVER EVER EVER and Smooth Talking Stranger might be my second favorite book. So this series gets *even* better after Sugar Daddy because I think the next two books reach new levels of wonderful. I recommend reading the series in order because even though it's a companion series, there is character development that span Sugar Daddy and Blue-Eyed Devil and I don't want anyone to miss out on that! 

Rating: [A] A beautiful, well written masterpiece. 

When I was four, my father died in an oil-rig accident.
"Because I'm an unrepentant sinner."
"So am I." It wasn't true, of course, but if this boy was an unrepentant sinner, I wanted to be one too.
"but he and Miss Marva had broken up a month earlier on suspicion of infidelity. She said he could come back when he figured out which shed to put his tools in.

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