Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tempting Reading: SUGAR DADDY by Lisa Kleypas

It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I began reading Lisa Kleypas’ Sugar Daddy. You see, she’s one of my favorite romance writers in the historical genre while Sugar Daddy is her first contemporary romance. Not that I have a preference for one time period over the other (after all, I write contemporaries myself). It’s just that historical authors don’t always transition well to such a different period and tone.

I shouldn’t have worried. Sugar Daddy has everything I adore in Lisa’s novels: characters that leap off the page, emotion, warmth, charm, and an addictive story line. She adds something new in this novel: Texas, a place she knows and loves. The sense of place and how it affects the people who live there is a powerful addition to an already great story.

Sugar Daddy is not a romance in the classic definition of the word. It begins when the heroine Liberty Jones is barely a teenager. Her father’s dead and her mother has just moved the two of them to a dismal trailer park in Welcome, Texas. Here Liberty meets Hardy Cates, a troubled young man who becomes her idol. Hardy is smart enough to know that he needs to get out of Welcome or he’ll be sucked into the same downward spiral his father was. So despite his love for her, he leaves Liberty behind.

Liberty is a heroine you root for all the way out of the trailer park, through beauty school and on to her strange new life as assistant to billionaire Churchill Travis. Through it all, Liberty cares for her baby sister Carrington and never forgets Hardy. That is, until she meets Churchill’s eldest son Gage. Then her loyalties are divided to the breaking point.

Liberty’s voice carries the book: she’s smart, funny, spunky and a shrewd observer of her fellow human beings. Comments like “Hair is serious business in Houston” make you howl. Her down-to-earth common sense gets her through many a tricky situation. She’s someone you want to spend a lot of time with and yet you find yourself racing to the end of her story because it’s such a great ride.

So, fear not, Lisa Kleypas is as great in the 21st century as she is in the 19th!

What other great books are folks reading these days? Now that I've finished Sugar Daddy I need another good read.


Sally MacKenzie said...

Ack, Nancy! Read? I just move my tbr pile around my office--but I don't suppose that counts, does it?

Nancy Herkness said...

I'm laughing about your TBR pile; I just kept rearranging mine for several months. Then I decided I needed to read some of the books I'd borrowed because it was getting embarassing to keep them so long.

It helps that I belong to two book groups and so I HAVE to read books in order to discuss them.

Isn't odd that reading used to be a guilty pleasure and now it seems like an obligation sometimes? I envy my daugther who still feels free to hole up in her room and spend an entire Saturday just reading.

Marg said...

I just finished reading Sugar Daddy myself, and agree with lots of what you have written!

Laura Drewry said...

Thanks a lot, Nancy. Now I'm going to have to add this book to my own TBR pile - like it's not tall & wide enough as it is! LOL I just finished two Mary Balogh books (sigh). Have I mentioned lately how much I love her books? {bg}