Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Book Review: Sugar Daddy

I liked Lisa Kleypas's debut in contemporary novels more than the reviews over at Dear Author did, but at the same time I didn't enjoy it near as much as I enjoy her historicals.

Now, Kleypas's is a gifted writer, regardless of whether she's writing contemporaries or historicals. In fact, this book (which was set in Texas and heavily influenced by Texan culture) reminded me a bit of Sandra Brown's earlier work. And I also enjoyed the way the book eventually set itself up - with the heroine, Liberty, torn between two men, one from her past and one from her present. But I wasn't particularly fond of Liberty, which not surprisingly held me back from really enjoying the book. I have a few theories on why this was:

As they point out at Dear Author, Liberty was kind of like a Young Adult book heroine. I personally think this is because Kleypas spent a lot of time with her character as a child and teenager. Basically, we grew up with Liberty, and I've never been fond of books that do that (Susan Elizabeth Phillips's Hot Shot and Honey Moon come to mind as examples of books with that plot device that didn't sit well with me). I don't know what that is. Maybe it just makes it hard to separate the child from the women, especially when there is little time given to showing us how Liberty matured and grew up.

Also, this book was written in first person, and that's a little difficult for me to enjoy in a romance novel. It worked for Jude Deveraux in the contemporary novella from The Invitation, but that's pretty rare. Oddly enough, I felt like the first person ploy actually made me know Liberty less than I would have had it been in third person.

Long story short, I was unsatisfied with this book.

Lindsey's Grade: B-


Jane said...

especially when there is little time given to showing us how Liberty matured and grew up.

Ultimately this was my biggest problem. Maybe the book needed to be longer or less time spent with Liberty when she was younger or bigger jumps from young to old. It's hard to say but I never felt the maturation of the character either.

Rosie said...

I'm the opposite, I like seeing a character grow up. I do wish there had been more about her life once she was 24. I think that part took big leaps and chunks and then wound everything nice and neat and tidy.

Lindsey Lou said...

I've done more thinking about this book and decided that I like historicals better than contemporaries (for the most part) because with historicals I give the author the benefit of the doubt much more than I do in contemporaries. With Sugar Daddy, it really came down to my being skeptical about why these men were so madly in love with Liberty. Okay, so she could cook and she raised her baby sister. Other than that, she never really gave us much evidence of intelligence, interests, hobbies, anything that would make her a person you'd want to get to know.