Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sugar Daddy. What was I waiting for?!

I am so late to the party!! And I am ashamed to say I have finally just finished Sugar Daddy. I led myself to believe that with Lisa Kleypas’s first contemporary she would fall under the Julie Garwood or Elizabeth Lowell syndrome. The syndrome I am talking about is when a historical romance author, who writes outstanding books in that genre, moves onto another one with less than pleasing results. Oh, how wrong I was! If I had read Sugar Daddy last year, this book would have been in my top five with no argument. And if you are not a big fan of contemporaries or first person POV to begin with, I recommend you sit down and give Sugar Daddy a read. This is possibly the best contemporary I have read in the past decade and the character of Liberty is so real and insightful that I wouldn’t be surprised if she becomes most read favorites heroines of all time.

Yes, I am gushing, plain and simply. I am not a big fan of the like contemporary romance. I am more of a fantasy/paranormal or historical romance reader. When an author can “show me the light” with one of their books, I am sold. I have been a big fan of Lisa for over fifteen years and I can say she is one author you can always count on to deliver.

What I really enjoyed about Sugar Daddy is not necessarily the romance between the teenage Liberty and her first love Hardy and then her adult one with Gage. I really enjoyed Liberty’s various relationships throughout this story. Liberty’s relationship with her mother was a lovely one between a mother and daughter who don’t have much, but only have each other. Mrs. Jones is not perfect, but she loves Liberty. Lisa did not write the stereotypical cold or bitch of a mother. Mrs. Jones is a simple woman trying to find happiness in her life wherever she can. As we see Liberty age, her relationships change from simple friendship, such as her one with her quirky neighbor, Miss Marva to even that of her childhood crush Hardy. When Hardy walks away from Liberty, it is a turning point in her life. The girl must now become a woman.

Liberty does have a hard life but she doesn’t “boo-hoo” to the point where I wanted to smack her over the head. She takes the good with the bad, which unfortunately is the death of her mother and the responsibility of being the sole caretaker of her two-year old sister Carrington. The relationship between Liberty and Carrington is the one that matters most. Liberty’s decisions on who she should be with all depend on the well being of Carrington. Even when Liberty must choose between her employer’s son, Gage, (who gives her the best sex of her life and cares for her in ways no other man has) and that of Hardy who waltzes back into her life, thinking Liberty will drop everything to be with him, she still has to think of her little sister. In a way, Liberty has sacrificed herself for everyone around her, and her shot of true happiness is deciding between these two men who have given her so much at different points in her life.

I also enjoyed the relationship Liberty has with the older, rich gentleman Churchill who is Gage’s father and who helps Liberty in ways that are bit suspect. And if you were like me, you probably where thinking perhaps Carrington had a past with Liberty’s mother and could be more than just a simple father figure. Well, Lisa throws in some twists and turns that will not disappoint with that.

Sugar Daddy is a great novel, period. And if anyone tells you otherwise, they seriously need to check themselves. I urge you, if you have not read this book, go and read it. Lisa Kleypas has done it again and continues to prove she is one author that is not to be missed. Now I just need to read Hardy’s story - Blue Eyed Devil; which I will probably be gushing even more so than I did with Sugar Daddy.

Oh! And my absolutely favorite scene in Sugar Daddy? After Liberty’s mother has died, Liberty must become Carrington’s guardian. And when Liberty signs those guardianship papers and sees Carrington in her stroller with her friend Lucy, and Carrington is holding a cardboard sign that says: PROPERTY OF LIBERTY JONES.

A tear fell down my cheek and I knew this is one story that hit me hard in the heart and I won’t soon forget.

5 out of 5 stars!

Katiebabs (KB)


Julia said...

I agree with you on the Julie Garwood syndrome. I wish Julie will write more historical..her men areyummy in those hehehe

Hmm I debate to pick up "Suger Daddy" everytime I stop by bookstore or Walmart. I kept changing my mind and put it bck on shelf. Now reading your review...I may just pick this up again...

Who know...someone might need to stand behind me and shove the book into my hand and walk to check out cashier with it and purchase LOL

Katie(babs) said...

Julia, Go read this book!! I was like you and even had it in my hands when I was at the library and put it back on the shelf. What a big mistake!
Really great book and nice yummy men to boot.

Brie said...

Great review Katie.

I'm very reluctant to buy books written in first person. Your review does make me want to drop my pretenses and just do it though.

It sounds really well written and like an overall awesome story.

Decisions, decisions.

MaryKate said...

Yay! I'm SO glad you enjoyed it, Kate! It remains my favorite read of 2007, and Blue Eyed Devil is my favorite read of 2008, so far.

It also reinforced my opinion that Lisa Kleypas can always be counted on for an emotionally satisfying story.

Kristie (J) said...

I started Sugar Daddy quite a while ago and didn't get very far for some reason - I think it was my bias against first person.
Then with the eminent release of BED, I figured I should read Sugar Daddy. Like you, I was blown away and wondered how I ever could have doubted that Lisa Kleypas could pull it off. But she DID!! This is a really wonderful book and her characters are so well written. I loved Liberty too and her fortitude in dealing with everything life seemed to throw her way.
Julia - I'm with Katie - now that this is out in PB - you really should keep it in your hands next time you pick it up!! This one is a real winner!!

little alys said...

Stop tempting me! I had to stop buying to fund my NY trip and July Con! I'm gonna go into debt if I buy any more books! Ahhhh!!! So want to read it. I've been resisting until Hardy's book came out (I know I need to read them back to back) and now I cannot buy it...yet... Lisa Kleypas is my top five authors to stalk, I don't know how I even resisted these two books. She's awesome! Always a must buy for me.

Great review Kate. Hope you had fun at Comic Con with Christine ^_^.

Christine said...

I'm so glad you loved Sugar Daddy. It is definitely a story to tug at your emotions, lift your spirits, and remain in your heart for a long time. Just wait until you read Blue Eyed Devil. It is just as powerful.

Little_Alys: Maybe you can borrow Sugar Daddy from the library? And yesterday was fun... and interesting... and thoroughly exhausting. =)

Katie(babs) said...

Alice: Christine and I tookd picture and we have stories. Just need to decide if to blog tonight or tomorrow... just wait! *G*

Stacy~ said...

I was nervous about Lisa's transition to contemporary, but I needn't have worried. I think I like her contemps more than her historicals, and that is truly saying something. Anyone who hasn't read SD or BED NEEDS to. They are MUST reads.

Sarai said...

Oh My Lord I am really the only person left now who hasn't read Sugar Daddy. Damn it I need to go dig it out.

Katie(babs) said...

Sarai... your next assignment is to read Sugar Daddy and post a review!