Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1) by Lisa Kleypas
Published: March 6, 2007 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Purchased ebook from B&N
Lisa Kleypas has enthralled millions of readers with her powerfully seductive novels. Now she delivers a story featuring her most unforgettable characters yet....
SHE'S FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS
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.
HE'S THE ONE MAN SHE CAN'T HAVE
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.
WILL THEY FIND THEIR HEARTS' DESIRES OR WILL HEARTBREAK TEAR THEM APART?
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. [goodreads]
If you, or someone you know, reads a lot of YA and is was wanting to dabble a bit more in adult contemporary fiction, then THIS is the book to bridge that gap for you. This story begins with a fourteen year old girl, who's navigating the small town life with her single mother, complete with adolescent insecurities and a crush on a boy who's completely off limits. I've read other novels by Lisa Kleypas before, but none have grabbed me and pulled me in as this story has. It spans a period of growing up, and moving on, but not in an easy way. There are tremendous hardships that each of these characters endure, and I found them to be so captivating that I could not put this novel down.
Liberty Jones lives with her single mother in Welcome, Texas -- a small town just east of Houston. It is here in their little trailer park community that Liberty meets a boy who will forever own her heart, even if he never asks permission to take it. It's hard to describe the first few years of Liberty's life in the trailer park. She begins to find her place among friends, realizing that her mother who's always taught her to rely on no one, is constantly in a dance of her own with a revolving door of boyfriends. Liberty sees a lot, and takes in a lot more. The foundation for a very young, strong woman is beginning to take root in this trailer park, and it is here that she learns the awful truth of how difficult a hand life can deal you.
The story moves at a steady, even pace. I never felt like it dragged in one particular area, while skipping ahead in another. A very significant turning point occurs in Liberty's life just as she's graduating high school. She's left with a huge responsibility, while her heart breaks for two very separate, and very soul crushing reasons. This is when the strong woman we began to see in Liberty really shines through, and I couldn't help but find myself cheering her on. I wanted nothing more than for this girl to find peace and happiness for herself. She deserved that and so much more.
After a series of life changing decisions, Liberty finds herself living in Houston, working for an upscale salon, all while mothering her baby sister. As she attempts to move forward and make the best with what she has, her heart continues to linger toward Hardy Cates -- the boy from the trailer park who set the bar so high that no man can live up to those expectations. She finds herself involved with a very powerful and rich family in Houston, who ends up becoming a second family to her. It is among this family that she discovers secrets from her past, and ultimately she must face the questions in her heart, and truly decide what is best for her and her future.
I was so wrapped up in Liberty's life, following her as she grew older and endured so much, that I found myself laughing and crying right along side her. The attention to detail within her character really intrigued me. But as always, it was the other half of her story that kept me coming back for more. Even though Hardy is absent for a majority of the novel, I still felt as though I knew him. He remained a constant in Liberty's thoughts and memories that flooded the novel. In the later half we meet another man, Gage, who devilishly stole my attention as well. He proposed questions for Liberty, but he also surprised me in the end. It's refreshing to read a contemporary novel that is not always the predictable fairy tale.
I could go on for several more paragraphs professing my adoration for this novel... It's a story that's been recommended to me by so many, and I am so thankful I finally gave it a chance. The second novel, Blue-Eyed Devil, follows Hardy's story (my, oh my!) and the third novel, Smooth Talking Stranger, follows another Travis boy. I have a feeling, no I KNOW, this series will be highly recommended from me for those seeking more adult contemporary romance in the future. There's an easiness in Lisa Kleypas's writing that urges you forward, with breathtaking moments to capture your heart, followed up with passionate scenes to send you over the edge.