Edited 8/24/13: Sugar Daddy is the book that initially made me a Lisa Kleypas fan, but I love everything she’s writ...more5++++ stars – Contemporary Romance
Edited 8/24/13: Sugar Daddy is the book that initially made me a Lisa Kleypas fan, but I love everything she’s written. I’ve reread this several times now and it’s still one of my top all-time favorite beloved romances. I can’t wait for Joe’s story!
I really wish this series would get made into a movie!
Original Review 4/24/09:
This is the first novel I have read by Lisa Kleypas, and I mainly read it in order to have the necessary background to read “Blue-Eyed Devil” and “Smooth Talking Stranger”, both of which had sparked my interest. I honestly didn’t have very high expectations of “Sugar Daddy” based on the mediocre book jacket description, after reading some of the mixed reviews referring to it as chick-lit rather than romance, and that it’s written solely in first person point of view, which isn’t my preference.
Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised and completely blown-away by this book. I read it on a plane and made an utter embarrassment of myself because I cried and laughed out loud through the entire book, often feeling both emotions on the same page! It’s extremely funny, touching, and emotionally moving.
I simply adored Liberty’s character and found myself rooting for her like a bubbly cheerleader. She goes through so much pain, turmoil, and hardship and yet maintains such a positive outlook on life. Witnessing her transition from an awkward, shy, self-conscious adolescent to a strong, independent, courageous, beautiful woman is heartwarming, especially since she always remains true to herself and her roots and puts her sister Carrington’s needs before her own. Liberty is funny, brave, selfless (almost too much so), caring, loyal, and innocent yet wise. She’s one of the most lovable heroines of any book I have ever read.
I agree that “Sugar Daddy” is perhaps more chick-lit than romance considering that the romance element doesn’t pick up pace until about a third of the way through the book, but I loved sharing Liberty’s life journey so much that I really didn’t mind it. Once the romance factor does heat up, it takes center stage in the story, and although it’s PG-13 and I usually prefer my romance to be a little (okay a lot) steamier, it’s absolutely engaging and beautifully written. There were moments when I would have liked for some of the narrative to come from Hardy's and Gage’s points of view, but the bottom line is that it’s Liberty’s tale and her life struggle and perspective are what drive the story.
As far as romantic interests for Liberty, there are two main hunks in the story, Hardy and Gage, and initially I thought I would be a Hardy fan, but I found myself being Team Gage all the way (at least as the best love interest for Liberty). Hardy might be sinfully sexy and devilishly charming, but I found myself rooting for steadfast Gage. He treats Liberty with so much respect and tenderness that it melted my heart like butter. He’s an absolute dreamboat once she manages to get past his tough exterior and defenses. The romance between Liberty and Gage is syrupy sweet...I couldn’t get enough of it!
Here are some random/favorite things that I loved and/or laughed about in “Sugar Daddy”: the emu story, Liberty giving her mom’s delivery nurse a folder with birthing instructions and preferences, the tender sister moments, references to how Texans love to deep fry everything (very true) and southern cooking and recipes (including my own sister’s favorite red velvet cake), accurate depictions of the differences between people from Dallas, Austin, and Houston, the sign “property of Liberty Jones” moment when Liberty gets custody of her sister (serious tears shed there), the relationship development between Liberty and Gage, and there are so many great life quotes and valuable life lessons in this book that it’s impossible to mention them all.
I grew up in Fort Worth/Dallas, have spent time in Houston for work, have lived in Austin for the past 8 years, and have family from/in various parts of Texas, and I can tell you that Kleypas’s portrayal of Texans and Texas culture in all three of her Travis’s series books (“Sugar Daddy”, “Blue-Eyed Devil”, and “Smooth Talking Stranger”) is quite fair and accurate.
Tammy’s review here on GR is great and includes a spot on story background, so I highly recommend checking it out.
“Sugar Daddy” is an utter delight, full of laughs and heartwarming moments, with characters to love and cheer for and terrific writing. I absolutely loooved it, and I would give it much more than 5 stars if I could...so big 5++ Texas stars!
The Travis’s series has turned me into a big Lisa Kleypas fan, and I plan on reading all of her historical romances now as well.
Eclipse is my very favorite book of the Twilight saga. It seemed much more 'adult' to me, and I loved how every...more5++ stars - Vampire Romance/Young Adult
Eclipse is my very favorite book of the Twilight saga. It seemed much more 'adult' to me, and I loved how everything came together with such thrilling tension, action, and romance. The derision between Edward and Jacob throughout the book, especially in the Fire and Ice chapter, and Bella's subsequent turmoil were palpable. Eclipse had me laughing out loud, shedding tears, and waiting anxiously for the saga's final conclusion.(less)
The book that started a phenomenon and opened my eyes to the wonderful, vast world of romance. I just can't say...more5++ stars - Vampire Romance/Young Adult
The book that started a phenomenon and opened my eyes to the wonderful, vast world of romance. I just can't say enough about it. Just simply that it's a beautiful and sweet against all odds love story. I love Edward and Bella's awkward, tentative, honest, sweet, and bold relationship. Meyer truly captured the innocence and excitement of young, first love and made the reader feel right alongside Bella. The book that made so many of us want our very own Edward! I just love it and love the entire Twilight Saga!(less)
I read this story in the BDB Insider's Guide and it is such a beautiful story of what happens after the HEA. I (like so man...more5++ stars - Vampire Romance
I read this story in the BDB Insider's Guide and it is such a beautiful story of what happens after the HEA. I (like so many other BDB series fans) love Zsadist and Bella and their against all odds love story. This is J.R. Ward at her best!(less)
Lover Awakened is my top favorite in the BDB series. Zsadist is my most beloved brother/warrior and Bella is a darling BDB...more5++ stars - Vampire Romance
Lover Awakened is my top favorite in the BDB series. Zsadist is my most beloved brother/warrior and Bella is a darling BDB heroine. The love story between Zsadist and Bella is touching and heart-wrenching. Zsadist is a tortured soul worthy of redemption, and Bella's fight for him and for their love is ultimately what saves them both. I LOVE this book! I'd give it much higher than a 5 star rating if I could! I wish J.R. Ward would give us more of Zsadist and Bella's story. The BDB series continues to mesmerize!(less)
A lot of Twilight series fans were disappointed with Breaking Dawn, but I liked it. I actually had more apprecia...more5+ stars - Vampire Romance/Young Adult
A lot of Twilight series fans were disappointed with Breaking Dawn, but I liked it. I actually had more appreciation for it on the second reading. It would have been impossible to wrap up the series in a way that would appease everyone. I was sad for the series to end and would definitely love at least one more book. (Ms. Meyers, pleeease finish and publish Midnight Sun!) Breaking Dawn might not be a perfect conclusion to the series, but I'm not sure that there is an ideal way to end such a beloved, fantastic romantic saga.(less)
I wanted to read “Blue-Eyed Devil” because Hardy Cates seemed like such a sexy and magnetic bad-boy character. I mainly...more5+ stars – Contemporary Romance
I wanted to read “Blue-Eyed Devil” because Hardy Cates seemed like such a sexy and magnetic bad-boy character. I mainly read “Sugar Daddy” in order to have the necessary background on him to read this, so color me surprised that I wound up not liking this as much as “Sugar Daddy”.
Don’t get me wrong, Hardy Cates is everything I thought he would be and then some, but to me, this book is seriously inhibited by not having his point of view. It’s told strictly from the first person point of view of heroine Haven Travis, and she’s just no Liberty Jones folks. I thought this was Hardy’s story (I mean the title refers to him after all), but it’s actually Haven’s, and I just couldn’t get over being somewhat disappointed about that.
I empathized with Haven’s painful ordeal: she endures domestic violence by her narcissistic husband, including a brutal rape (thank you Tammy and Kim for the warning), and I was moved by her struggle to survive the aftermath and to build a new life for herself. I just couldn’t relate to her, and the first part of the book was difficult for me to get through.
When Hardy finally enters the picture and the sparks fly between him and Haven, that’s when things get interesting. Hardy is the ultimate bad-boy hero and impossible to encapsulate: he’s sexy-as-sin, devilishly charming, crude, arrogant, self-built and self-reliant, bold, flirtatious, and volatile. He’s so complex, and unfortunately without having his point of view, we never get enough insight into his thoughts, emotions, motives, and struggles and are left to wonder what’s really lurking behind his haunting blue eyes.
Also, the story ended way too abruptly for me and when things were finally coming together, felt rushed and left me wanting more of Hardy and Haven, especially more Hardy!
When reading about Hardy, I couldn’t help but daydream and do some imaginary casting. I kept picturing actor Josh Lucas from the movie Sweet Home Alabama or actor Josh Holloway, Sawyer from LOST, because both of them have the cocky swagger and sexy blue eyes.
Overall, “Blue-Eyed Devil” is a great read and saved by Lisa Kleypas’s masterful writing. I just can’t help being a little disappointed because it had the potential to be even better with a beguiling character like Hardy Cates, but just doesn’t fully deliver without giving us his side of the story. We are left to ponder too much and he remains an elusive mystery, which is just a shame because damn, the boy is smoking H-O-T! Even so, it's a terrific story, and I can’t seem to rate it less than 5 stars.
******Revised after finishing the series and completing a reread******
After reading so many contemporary romances, this is still a favorite keeper and definitely worth a 5+ rating!
This is my second favorite book of the BDB series. I just love warrior, brother Rhage, aka Hollywood. He is flirtatious, ro...more5++ stars - Vampire Romance
This is my second favorite book of the BDB series. I just love warrior, brother Rhage, aka Hollywood. He is flirtatious, romantic, sweet, funny, vulnerable, adorably goofy, and deliciously sexy. Rhage and Mary’s relationship takes a bit to get started, but it’s a smokin’ hot, sweet, and touching romance that tugs the heartstrings. I LOVE the phenomenal BDB series, and it’s definitely the very best in the PNR genre!(less)
This was obviously the hardest one in the series to get through for us Team Edward fans. I (li...more**spoiler alert** 5+ stars - Vampire Romance/Young Adult
This was obviously the hardest one in the series to get through for us Team Edward fans. I (like so many others) had to cheat and check the back of the book to ensure our beloved Edward would indeed return before I could soldier on. I had a lot more appreciation for New Moon on my second reading through the series. I think NM actually contains some of Meyer's best writing of the Twilight saga. (less)
The best part of this book is the close relationship and unexpected, deep bond that is forged between warriors/brothers Butch...more5 stars - Vampire Romance
The best part of this book is the close relationship and unexpected, deep bond that is forged between warriors/brothers Butch and Vishous, not the contrived love story between Butch and Marissa. Although I didn't like it quite as much as the previous books in the series, it's still an awesome read. The BDB series is the best in vampire romance! (less)
This is the first book I’ve read by author Laurel McKee and I was very pleasantly surprised. I really liked he...more4 ½ stars – Victorian/Historical Romance
This is the first book I’ve read by author Laurel McKee and I was very pleasantly surprised. I really liked her writing style, the voice she gives to the characters, and the love scenes are fire alarm smokin’ hot! It’s very sensual, borderline erotic, and definitely steamier than most standard mass market historical romances. Let’s just say that Lily is a (view spoiler)[mistress of the riding crop and Aidan has no qualms about giving up dominance and control on a couple of occasions and being her whipping boy! (hide spoiler)]Yowza! One Naughty Night indeed!
Overall this is a great, satisfyingly scandalous historical romance, and I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series, Two Sinful Secrets.
In this latest installment of the Midnight Breed series, a killer is leaving a violent, bloodthirsty trail of carnage through...more5 stars – Vampire Romance
In this latest installment of the Midnight Breed series, a killer is leaving a violent, bloodthirsty trail of carnage through the Alaskan wilderness and it’s up to one of the Breed Order’s newest recruits, the volatile vampire warrior Kade, and a local bush pilot, Alexandra Maguire, to uncover the truth behind the brutal slayings and stop an ancient evil before it’s too late.
Kade, with his spiky raven, jet black hair, golden skin, penetrating, hypnotic, silver eyes, erotic, otherworldly dermaglyph tattoos of variegated hues across his arms, shoulders, torso, and thighs, and wildly passionate, intensely caring, and fiercely protective nature, is one of my favorite warriors of the series so far. Although the relationship between Kade and Alex was somewhat swiftly developed, their bond of friendship and sensual romance was convincing (and hot!), and I found it refreshing that Alex was open-minded once Kade revealed the truth, even though she had genuine reason to be afraid based on horrific events in her past.
With a harshly beautiful, wild Alaskan setting, a sexy, strong warrior hero, a likable, brave heroine, steamy romance, intense action and adventure, scary monster villains, and a loyal wolf dog named Luna helping to save the day, it’s another thrilling addition to the awesome Midnight Breed series. I’m looking forward to Brock’s story in Taken by Midnight, coming out in Sept’2010!