Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennett (Sugar Bowl #1)
Released: May 24, 2016
Reviewed by Mandi
Few things to note upfront: First, the heroine was raped when she was younger, and relives some of it through flashbacks during the book. She tries to exact revenge against her rapist throughout the book. Second, this has a cliffhanger, with the HEA coming in book three.
Sela Halstead was drugged and raped at the age of sixteen. She doesn’t remember everything, but she remembers the tattoo on her attacker’s arm. Years later, when she is twenty-six and almost done college, she sees the creator of an online dating site called Sugar Daddy on television. His name is JT and his site which pairs young women (Sugar Babies) with older men (Sugar Daddies), has made him millions of dollars. She also sees his tattoo and realizes he is the one that raped her. After getting violently sick, she decides she is going to exact revenge. She wants him dead – and she is willing to murder him to make that happen. She decides to infiltrate Sugar Daddy as a Sugar Baby and try to get close to him.
Beck is JT’s business partner – he runs the design side of the site. JT and Beck went to school together and are best friends – or at least they were, but recently JT has been spiraling out of control. Beck caught him doing cocaine in his office, and he has found out he has been treating some of his Sugar Baby dates very poorly. Beck is sick of his antics. When Beck spots Sela at a Sugar Daddy mixer one night, he is intrigued by her. JT brushes Sela off, but Beck walks over and they start a conversation. They end up back at his place for a one night stand, because Beck only does one night stands. But after one night, he wants more of her.
He proposes this:
“You want me to move into your house for one month and just be your date to various functions?”
Beck gives a dark laugh, pulls a pen from his breast pocket, and hands it to me. “No, Sela. I expect you to also be in my bed each night, which is why I don’t want you working at some diner, and that you’ll let me fuck you in any way that I want. But of course that can’t be put into the agreement.”
She has found her Prince Charming! (Not).
Sela decides to go for it since Beck is best friends with JT, this should give her a good opportunity to set forth her murder plans.
I didn’t love this book, but I will say the second half was better than the first. I was really off-put by Beck to start. He is so full of himself and the way he thinks and talks to Sela rubbed me the wrong way.
That first night I came home, I half expected her to meet e at the door with some sexy lingerie on and a casserole in the oven. I expected her to drop to her knees and give me the best fucking blow job ever.
You know…so she she could show me that she deserved to be here longer than a month.
Instead, I found her on the couch studying, her forehead scrunched while she chewed on the eraser of a pencil. She raised her head, gave me a half smiles, and said, “Hey,” before returning to her textbook.
And that was it.
I’ll admit…a small part of me was disappointed, because who wouldn’t want a blow job as soon as you walked in the door? But most of me respected her for it, because she was clearly showing me that she was more than just a fuck.
Yes, this just screams respect. No – it screams smug, arrogant asshole which isn’t really hero material. I get that he hired her for a month and is paying her money to live with him. But come on – to me this is “big jerk” not “ooooh sexy hero.” I didn’t vibe with the whole Sugar Daddy culture. He felt a little slimy to me. His feelings towards Sela grow more genuine in the second half, as he started to respect her more. Still can’t say I like him, but he grew on me a teeny tiny bit.
I liked Sela. Her rape is presented painfully and you can really feel how it has affected her life. Her relationship with men have evoked zero emotion. She has sex with them, but is never really into it. Beck cares for her sexually, and she has an awakening. I was happy to see that. (although, her never having orgasmed with a man to having like five the first night with him – especially when I didn’t like him all that much – ).
I really wanted her to shoot JT between the eyes by page five. I’m holding out hope that she does. Although I may just have someone tell me, I think I’ll skip the next two books. Left me feeling – cold.