Series: Sugar Bowl #1
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: May 24th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy Online: Amazon ♥ B&N ♥ Kobo
Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
Seduction has never been so sweet! The New York Timesbestselling author of the Cold Fury series—Alex, Garrett, Zack,and Ryker—returns with the first novel in a hot new trilogy.
Sela Halstead lost her innocence in a way that no sixteen-year-old should ever have to endure. She’s spent years trying to forget that night even while wondering about the identities of the monsters who brutalized her—until a telltale tattoo flashes across Sela’s TV screen. The incriminating ink belongs to Jonathon Townsend, the millionaire founder of The Sugar Bowl, a website that matches rich older men with impressionable young women. Obsessed with revenge, Sela infiltrates Townsend’s world, only to come face-to-face with a tantalizing complication: Beckett North, his charismatic business partner.
The tech mastermind behind The Sugar Bowl, Beck always gets what he wants, in business and in bed. And yet, for a man who’s done every dirty thing imaginable, there’s something about the naïve, fresh-faced Sela that sparks his hottest fantasies. Because with her, it’s not just about sex. Beck opens up to her in ways he never has with other girls. So why does he get the feeling that she’s hiding something? In a world of pleasure and power, the shocking truth could turn them against each other—or bind them forever.
Note: Sugar Daddy ends on a cliffhanger. Sela and Beck’s story continues in Sugar Rush and Sugar Free!
I have something of a love-hate relationship with Ms. Bennett’s books because I either completely love what I read or dislike it, so when I saw the cover of this book I expected it to be a frothy and sweet confection of romance and didn’t even bother to read the blurb. Imagine my shock when I started the first chapter and it was really dark and heavy, as far from the sweet romance I was expecting as can be, then add the cliff hanger ending and you know I was about to toss it to the DNF pile but I decided to hang in there, which is hard to do when you don’t like any of the characters. Sela came across as damaged and dangerously unhinged, Beck was a mini-douche and Jonathan was the father of all douches! Yes, it took me several tries to get past chapter one!
Sela Halstead has spent the last ten years of her life floating along with no real connection to anyone and anything, but her desire for vengeance is ignited by a short TV spot on a young entrepreneur whose tattoo she remembers from the night of her attack. Unfortunately for Sela, her target doesn’t take the bait, but his business partner and best friend is more than willing to sample what she has to offer and offers her an arrangement that gives her the in she needs to get to her target.
But Beckett North is not what she expects. While he shares the pedigreed background and privileged upbringing with his friend, their similarities end there. Beck prefers to operate from the background and is down to earth, but the biggest thing is that he makes Sela feel safe and excited about intimacy with a man for the first time. He breaks down all her walls and tempts her to believe that she can be more than just a victim.
But who is Sela? The broken, vengeful and secretive woman or the soft woman exploring her sexuality for the first time and enjoying her connection with Beck? And why can’t Beck see that his best friend is manipulating him?
By the time I read the final word, I was left with the urge to scream at the unfairness of waiting for the rest of their story and a huge desire to mete out vigilante justice. I need for the bad guy to get his as soon as possible, then we can get down to the business of a happy ending for those who deserve it.
I honestly can’t sort through my feelings and tell you if I loved, liked or hated this book, but I can tell you that Ms. Bennett is a genius. With a story that could have been ripped from the headlines, Ms. Bennett creates a dark, edgy, decadent and suspenseful thriller that will leave the reader stunned and clamoring for the next installment in the series.
I’m currently trying to decide if my heart can take the pressure of reading the next installment and waiting a few more months for the final installment or if I should wait until both books are out before continuing on this adventure but this is one book that I’ll urge you to read and decide for yourself how you feel about it.