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First published March 6, 2007
Sometimes life has a cruel sense of humor, giving you the thing you always wanted at the worst time possible.
The span of three or four minutes is pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. People lose hundreds of minutes every day, squandering them on trivial things. But sometimes in those fragments of time, something can happen you’ll remember the rest of your life.
I initially gave this 3-stars but revised it to 4-Stars on second read.
Thoughts on first read (in 2009):
I am a huge fan of Kleypas’ historical romances and was somewhat disappointed in this contemporary story. It read like the life story of Liberty Jones as opposed to a contemporary romance. I did really love Liberty and really felt for her through her hardships, but felt a lot of the things that happened in the first half of the book could have been shorter. Based on the blurb at the back of the book I expected a love triangle type of story, and that didn’t come into play until…well…quite late in the book. I would have liked more interaction between Liberty and the men she loved - Hardy Cates and Gage Travis. Perhaps if I had different expectations going in, I might have enjoyed it more? *shrugs* Also, it was very different reading a Kleypas book that is written in the first person, but I really enjoyed it.
Subsequent to writing this "review", I've read interviews done with Lisa Kleypas about this novel. Sugar Daddy is Lisa Kleypas' first contemporary and she was searching for an authentic "contemporary voice" in this, and hence, her decision of a first person narrative. She also wanted to explore a cinderella-like life journey of a woman from a trailer park, and thus, I've come to understand why it reads like the memoirs of Liberty Jones. I think if one manages their expectations before reading this to NOT expect a contemporary romance, as one has come to know and experience, or to compare it to other CRs, then one would enjoy this more. I think that this book needs to be viewed as a story of a woman's journey, with the romance only being an aspect of that.
I also wanted to say how much I LOVED the characters of Liberty, Hardy, Gage and Carrington. There are so many of Lisa Kleypas' characters who have stolen pieces of my hearts.
For those who may have skipped this book due to mixed reviews but loved Blue-Eyed Devil, this book gives the history of the relationship between Liberty and Hardy and how Liberty met the Travises.
It's just that the book dragged in parts, for me, after Hardy left and before Liberty met the Travises. I would have liked less time spent on that time so we could have gotten more Hardy, and definitely more Gage, which I felt this story really needed. *sighs* Those men are just yummilicious!
There are some beautifully written passages in this book. These are just some of my favourite quotes:
"Many times in life I've regretted the things I've said without thinking. But I've never regretted the things I said nearly as much as the words I left unspoken."
"Poor people have few choices in life, and most of the time you don't think too much about it. You get the best you can and do without when necessary, and hope to God you won't be wiped out by something you can't control. But there are moments it hurts, where there is something you want in the very marrow of your bones and you know there is no way you can have it."
(This scene made me cry.)
"As we talked, I had a sense of uncovering something precious and long-buried, fully formed. Our conversation was a process of removing layers, some of them easily dusted away. Other layers, requiring chisels or axes, were left alone for now."
“The span of three or four minutes is pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. People lose hundreds of minutes everyday, squandering them on trivial things. But sometimes in those fragments of time, something can happen you'll remember the rest of your life.”
“Our gazes met. It seemed an entire conversation took place in that one glance. Each of us saw what we needed to know."
“And I wonder how Gage knew this is what my soul has craved. He turns me to face him, his eyes searching. He turns me to face him, his eyes searching. It occurs to me that no one in my life has ever concerned himself so thoroughly with my happiness."
My images of the characters...
Liberty Jones (Odette Yustman)
Gage Travis (Rob Estes)
Young Hardy Cates
(Great find by Karla of an unknown cowboy of her image of Hardy. Niiiicceee!!! As great a Hardy as I've seen. I've yet to find my perfect Hardy, but it's super hard to fill such sizzling shoes. ^_^ )
"I'm thinking how thankful I am for everything even the bad stuff. Every sleepless night, every second of being lonely, every time the car broke down, every wad of gum on my shoe, every late bill and losing lottery ticket and bruise and broken dish and piece of burnt toast.
BECAUSE IT ALL LED ME HERE TO YOU."