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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

'Sugar Daddy' by Lisa KLEYPAS


Lisa Kleypas is best known for her regency romance’s – she’s had plenty of success with series such as ‘Bow Street Runners’, ‘Wallflowers’ and ‘Hathaways’. In 2007 Kleypas released her first contemporary romance; ‘Sugar Daddy’, the first book in the ‘Travis’ trilogy that was concluded this year with ‘Smooth Talking Stranger’.

‘Sugar Daddy’ BLURB:

Liberty Jones fell in love with Hardy Cates when she was fourteen and three quarters and he was seventeen. However, Hardy wasn't going to let even love stand in the way of his ambition to escape the poverty of his childhood. He had left town - and Liberty broken hearted. But Liberty is also a survivor - and determined to make a better life for herself and her baby sister. Moving to the big city, she finds a job and an unlikely friend in billionaire tycoon Churchill Travis. But though Churchill's son is convinced she's nothing but a gold digger looking for a Sugar Daddy, their relationship goes deeper than most people think. But just as Liberty and her sister begin to feel settled in their new life, Hardy comes back into their lives...

I love, love, LOVE the Travis trilogy, but ‘Sugar Daddy’ is my favourite in the series. Liberty is an incredible female protagonist. We meet Liberty when she is on the cusp of womanhood and as reader’s we are there to witness the pivotal moments in her life – when she first falls in love, gets her heart broken – and the lowest point in her life, when her mother dies. Liberty suffers a lot in this book, but she also manages to retain an incredible resiliency that is inspiring and incredible. Liberty makes a lot of sacrifices in her life in order to adopt her half-sister, Carrington, after their mother’s death. The second half of the book explores Liberty’s struggles with being a single parent, and with each fresh defeat you love Liberty a little more and root for her a little harder.

Liberty is one of the best female lead’s I have read in a long time.

The other reason this novel works so well is the romance. Gage Travis is eldest son to Texan millionaire, Churchill Travis. At first Gage takes Liberty for a gold-digger, but as they get to know each other, sparks begin to fly. Kleypas is in her element with this romance. The first half of the book explores the sweet, first love between Hardy and Liberty. But it’s in the second half when focus shifts to Liberty and Gage that things really heat up. Gage is a wonderful leading man – he’s from the Mr. Darcy school of romance; a bit too uptight and confrontational in the beginning, but when he warms up he really warms up. The romance is kicked up a notch when Hardy reappears in Liberty’s life to shake things up, and both he and Gage start vying for Liberty’s affections.

“It was enough. You’re mine now. And I want you more than he ever did or ever will. You remember that while you’re getting your head straight. While he’s telling you whatever the hell it is you want to hear from him, you remember –“ Gage stopped abruptly. He wasn’t breathing well. His eyes were so hot you could have lit kindling off them. “Remember this,” he said in a guttural voice, and reached for me.

Kleypas did a fantastic job at modernizing her tried and true techniques. Kleypas often writes male characters who are reformed rakes and dashing rogues – to adapt such characters to modern times Kleypas made the wise choice of setting the ‘Travis’ trilogy in Texas – where men are still thoroughly rugged, masculine and a little bit cowboy. Her men aren’t chauvinistic, but they definitely have ideas about what it is to be a man and woman, and more importantly rules regarding ‘their’ women.

I adore this series, and I re-read all three books whenever I get an urge to read good romance. I think that’s why I love Kleypas’s books so much – they are utterly romantic. Happy-endings, sexy love scenes, dashing men… Kleypas knows her stuff and delivers every time.

This is Kleypas’s first contemporary romance, but she has promised it won’t be her last. She currently has an idea for a new series that will come out in the next couple of years.

5/5

3 comments:

  1. Alright - you have to stop recommending books I'd like to read! My poor wallet is gasping for breath...As you know I've been looking for a non-paranormal contemporary and I've seen this on the shelves but not picked it up. I like her Hathaway series, looks like I'll be giving this one a try!

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  2. Hi Danielle!
    I came here via your comment on Patti's blog regarding contemporary romances. When you praised Kleypas' contemps, I knew I had to 'make friends' with you! LOL

    I LOVE Lisa's Travis series, too. Sugar Daddy is amazing... Liberty is an amazing character. I loved reading her story and the romance is just perfect. Blue Eyed Devil is also amazing and resonated deeply with me. Smooth Talking Stranger was downright sexy. I just re-read parts of it last week. *sigh*

    I wish she would write a story for Joe . . . .

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  3. Christine - Hi. I know what you mean about Joe! Especially after events in 'Smooth Talking Stranger' I think all of her readers were expecting a Joe book. It's a real shame she has no intentions to do so.....

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