Tuesday, August 4, 2015

God Bless the Broken Road

"Most men don't seem to get that telling a pissed-off woman to calm down is like throwing gunpowder on a fire."
--Lisa Kleypas, Sugar Daddy

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 371
Publication Date: May 6th, 2007
Source: Bought 
Previous Books in Series: First book in series of companions
Goodreads Description

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.
The Story
Oh wow. I had zero expectations going into Sugar Daddy because first, that title, I can barely take it seriously if we're being honest and if I'm still being honest it's misleading. Also, because I really didn't know what to expect with this one as a strict contemporary romance author and my first Lisa Kleypas, so I went in pretty blind only knowing Alexa LOVES this book as does Raquel and these bitches are legit when it comes to romance. So here I go...and I didn't stop until I finished. It was one of those, well I already read half the book I might as well stay up to finish. It was so engaging from the get-go I couldn't stop. Liberty, our main character, demands to be heard. She is a quiet force of nature. We meet her first when she is 14 and just moved with her mother to a trailer park in Welcome, Texas with her newly widowed mother. There she meets Hardy Cates who she will be in love with the greater part of her young life.

Liberty was my favorite part of this whole story. We spend a lot of time with her in Welcome, growing up, pining of Hardy, meeting the people of the trailer park, and interacting with her mother. While her mother had her flaws later in the story, I loved that she had a positive relationship with her mother and her mother was a good role model for her. I know life is messy and isn't perfect but I really miss reading about positive parental relationships in books. It is a rarity to find and I loved seeing Liberty's mother do it on her own, make mistakes but do the best job she can. When her mother gets pregnant by her boyfriend, Liberty is there 110% and I cannot tell you enough how much I enjoyed this. Liberty is mature, well-organized, thoughtful, smart, and a thousand other things. She takes care of her baby sister like she's the parent and there is something so beautiful about this kind of love that I was tearing up at multiple points. And when tragedy strikes and Liberty is left to take care of her sister all by herself, her colors continue to shine. She is a fierce protector of her sister and my chest felt full with all the emotions I had while reading her story.

But a caregiver is not all Liberty is. Before tragedy happens she is a normal teenager. In love with the boy next door, trying to find his replacement in a sea of incompetent boys, and trying to figure out who she is. While I had some frustrations spending so much time with teenage Liberty, it all makes sense in the end. Hardy is...swoon. Kind, handsome, out of reach, the perfect crush for every adolescent girl but Hardy's true love is his dream of leaving Welcome. While their connection is real and deep and pure, he knows he has to leave and refuses to have a reason to stay. Hurtful, honest, but understandable. However, Liberty never really gets over Hardy and her heart has yet to find a man that makes it race like Hardy did. Liberty's struggle to find a man who makes her heart race and questioning if the problem is something I really identified with. Dating is so hard and there are so many variables that have to fit in order to click with somebody intellecutally and then to be physically attracted to them too, gosh how does anybody find anybody?! Ha, but I digress. End point, I love this aspect of Liberty's personality and her struggle to find her Prince Charming.

Fast forward to Liberty being a stylist in Houston and a friendship with an older man who comes into the salon...no, the title may be misleading but it's nothing like that. Their friendship is adorable and true and through him we get a little bit of a mystery we didn't know was there about Liberty's past and Liberty's hero...*sigh*. Gage Travis is...a fortress with a steel wall built around him. Closed-off, not very nice, gruff. He's a hard man to get to know and I loved this about him. Liberty and Gage had a very hate to love relationship and those are the best kind!

I love these stories because the sexual tension is so tight until it snaps and HELLO sexy times! The dynamic between Gage and Liberty steamed off the pages. When Hardy comes back into the picture and decisions need to be made...well I won't tell you what happens but how the conflict plays out is just perfection. I don't want to be too spoilery but I just LOVE LOVE LOVE Gage and Liberty and want ALL the happiness for her.
The Pacing
In hindsight this is not a 'Beast' but I was confused and not at all expecting a story to spend so much time on Liberty as a teenager growing up. If we're looking at this as a contemporary romance, she doesn't meet her hero until probably 65% into the book...that's a lot of build up and I really wish we had more time with Liberty and Gage because...wow, is he a hot piece of Texas hide. Seriously. Like I said above, I loved their relationship and the hate to love so I would have really liked more of their interactions and a little less of her upbringing...but just a little
If you love complex character development, swoony romance, and sisterly love of the most epic proportions...this book's for you.

1 comment:

  1. You've basically made me want to read Sugar Daddy all over again! I was already planning to, but I basically just feel like setting down my current read in favor of that one. I love everything about the Travis clan, I love Liberty and I can't wait to fall in love with her and Gage all over again!


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