Title: Sugar Daddies
Stand Alone
Author: Jade West
Released: July 12, 2016
Favorite quote: n/a

I’m going to start off by saying that as a happily-engaged twenty-two year old, I don’t normally read romance novels. In fact, this is probably only the third that I’ve ever read in all twenty-two years of my life (though I guess the first twelve or so shouldn’t count since not many kids read romance novels…). By putting that out there, I’d like to say that I have very little to compare this novel to. Because of that, I didn’t particularly want to write a reaction to this novel. I feel ill-qualified, for one thing; for another, I’m slightly embarrassed that I read a romance novel. This reaction will probably mostly be about me freaking out over the fact that I read (and am now writing about) a romance novel. I’m not ashamed of that fact! Don’t get me wrong: I do have a great respect for anyone who successfully publishes and sells their writing, no matter the genre. But smutty novels just aren’t usually my thing… except, apparently, when I’m sick with the flu and tired.

So! Did I like it?

Yes and no.

Why yes? If I look at this as purely smut, it was great. It was different, open-minded, and included a decent amount of background and connections for each and between each of the characters. It was a well-written story idea.

Why no? It fell flat in just about every other regard. The characters felt very much the same on paper as all the others. They spoke the same. Some were extremely stereotypical (Verity). Although I appreciate that it wasn’t just a simple story about sex, the familial issues that West explores in Sugar Daddies seemed too…

Okay. An entire paragraph on the family issues is necessary. I’ll give West credit: Katie’s situation with her father is believable. It’s so believable, in fact, that I have several friends who grew up in similar situations (though I’m unaware of whether or not their fathers ever found out about them – I don’t mean to seem unfeeling, I’m just trying to be direct). But Katie’s childhood is what made me question her motivations for seeking the companionship of two men. This may be upsetting to read, so I apologize in advance to those who may be offended by what I write next. Katie’s character, from the first page to the last, felt like she was compensating for her fatherless childhood by seeking a polygamous relationship with two men. Her need to be enough for a man, as well as her need to keep a man in her life, overshadowed any actual interest her character may have felt for both Rick and Carl. I’m not writing this because it simply came across the way to me. No.

“Couldn’t I be the one they wanted?”

I’m sorry, but no. Just no. From Katie’s fights as a child and adult with her half-sister, Verity, to her desire to be the one for Carl and Rick, I didn’t believe she loved them. At all. I really wanted to! I wanted to see more than a young girl talking dirty to older men and putting herself in a position where she felt loved, but I didn’t. Instead, I saw a dry main character that was incapable of making me feel the love that she supposedly felt for them. If anything, Rick was the only good character, and even he had his flaws. But still, Rick was the best. AND THE NOVEL WASN’T REALLY ABOUT RICK! It focused much more on Katie and Carl. Ugh…

I’m trying to be open-minded. In fact, by the end, I supported the polygamous relationship – even though I thought that Katie was in it for the wrong reasons – just because Carl and Rick were happy. Still, I can’t get over Katie. She started off as a character that I could like: adventurous, slightly shy and modest, and quirky. By the start of the actual plot, though, I realized that I couldn’t really like Katie. She meant well, I firmly believe that, but Katie clearly let her insecurities that lingered from her childhood control her choices. In other words, I didn’t like the characters. At all. Well, besides Rick.

Maybe I’m reading too much into this. That’s why I wasn’t keen to write a reaction to this novel, especially since I forgot to write a few others before this. However, I told myself that the next novel I finished would get a reaction, no matter what it was. So here I am, writing a review on a romance novel that I’m not sure I’m adequately prepared to write on. Do I recommend it? No.


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