Review: Sugar Sweet (Book #1: Sugar Series) by Christine d’Abo

Sugar SweetMarissa Roy never thought she would do it. Until she finds herself overwhelmed by debt, college costs—and a vengeful ex-boyfriend determined to ruin her financially. But once she meets multi-millionaire Vince Taylor, the thought of sleeping with her hot benefactor is a major turn-on. Except Vince has one condition to their dating contract: he wants her by his side, but not in his bed. Finding sex was easy, he said, finding someone he could trust was not. Still, his hungry gaze tells Marissa otherwise . . .   She’s the perfect escort—a natural beauty with the kind of savvy discretion that will keep his personal life out of the tabloids. Only Vince doesn’t expect his body to pulse every time Marissa steps into the room, every time she stands close. Too close.  He doesn’t expect to find himself pulling her into his arms, night after night after night. Suddenly he can’t get enough of her intoxicating body. And once he’s broken that rule, it’s only a matter of time until he violates his vow to never, ever fall in love . . .

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley          My Rating: 4/5 stars

I have such a soft spot for Christine D’Abo and feel like she is really one of my go-to authors when I’m craving a bit of naughty with a real plot and real characters enveloping that naughty.  Once again, I was rewarded with Sugar Sweet, the first book in d’Abo’s new Sugar series. 

Marissa Roy never saw her life becoming the hot mess that it has become.  Thanks to a kind and trusting heart, Marissa has found herself in a level of debt that is both overwhelming and not hers!  As it happens, the bank and the various other lenders don’t care that Marissa was a co-signer and not the original recipient of the money.  Between trying to get through school, the mailed notices, and the phone calls, Marissa is desperate to find a solution to her life.

Then, Marissa finds a website . . . .

As it turns out, men like Vince Taylor (or his skeevy dad) have a ton of money and no significant other because they work all the time (or are totally skeevy!).  For many of these men (except Vince’s skeevy dad), companionship in return for funds and/or gifts is a perfect business arrangement.  Though Vince doesn’t think he needs this type of arrangement, meeting Marissa changes his perspective and his plans.  Marissa doesn’t want to be a part of this type of arrangement at all, but her situation is desperate, and she is clear about that from the very beginning.  Vince is also very clear about their arrangement, he will expect Marissa to be available for a variety of social/work events, she will be expected to intelligently converse with colleagues and their spouses, and there will be no physical component to their arrangement. 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA . . . . . . . .

Yeah, it takes both Marissa and Vince a hot minute to figure out there is an inevitable and undeniable attraction between them.  Their physical relationship is a matter of when, not if, and with each passing encounter, when gets ever closer.  What increases the attraction is the behavior Marissa and Vince exhibit towards one another.  Vince, though he wasn’t seeking a connection, feels strongly about Marissa and wants to not only help her, but protect her as well.  Marissa quickly discovers the skeevy and deceitful nature of Vince’s father, and steps up to run interference so Vince can further his business endeavors.  It is clear to all who meet the new “couple,” they are a strong partnership and work well together. 

Unfortunately, not all good partnerships are meant to last long-term, and due to circumstances beyond her control, Marissa’s life implodes even further.  Her crappy apartment floods, her ex comes back into her life and threatens both she and Vince, and Vince’s father is practicing dirty deeds behind the scenes that only Marissa has worked out.  Though they knew their arrangement was meant to be temporary, both Marissa and Vince had both been pondering the what if of long-term.  That is, before all awful showed up and some very hard decisions had to be made.

The Bottom Line:  I truly don’t feel like Christine d’Abo has ever let me down with her books.  I always know I am going to get solid characters, a good plot, and some seriously good naughty bits that enhance the read rather than overtake it.  I love naughty bits as much as the next girl, but I need them to be a logical part of a read and not just gratuitous sex.  That’s what I always get with these books.  One of the best aspects of this read for me is the twist of the Sugar Daddy website.  I like this as it’s a bit unconventional, completely interesting, and like nothing else I’m reading these days.  Using a fictional (I’m assuming) site like this allows for a whole host of characters and stories that can carry this series into multiple reads.  Onward and upward . . . .

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