Title: Sugar Daddy
Series: Sugar Bowl #1
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Publication Date: 24 May 2016
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
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!
Dear God I swear Sawyer Bennett is trying to kill me, I knew there was a cliffhanger coming as the synopsis includes a very kind warning. In fact I was so concerned how I was going to cope with the cliffhanger I put off finishing the book to the last-minute so I had less time to freak out waiting to find out what happens next. I have deducted half a point from the score for making me suffer until the beginning of August to reconnect with Sela and Beck.
Sugar Daddy is a tough one to review without giving away the plot, but I will endeavour to do my best. I will probably jump on white horse and join Sela in her quest for revenge. Revenge is a tricky concept to deal with because you already know justice hasn’t been served with regard to the incident that triggered the need for revenge in the first place. In Sela’s case the event ripped away her innocence, self-esteem and value in herself. She was inhumanly brutalised following being drugged. Without full mental capacity and the only evidence being the trauma to her body, Sela is plagued by vague memories and nightmares of her abuse making her a shell of the person she was. For years Sela has carried the self-loathing as a result of the incident leading her to make decisions that ultimately would create more regret. Losing the person she could have been if her future hadn’t been ripped away from her. The outstanding memory Sela carries with her is that of a very specific tattoo, one she has not seen since that night. That is until it appears in front of her eyes on night on TV. Blindsiding her, Sela now has a name to go along with the tattoo – Jonathon Townsend (JT) – rich, successful and co-owner of Sugar Bowl – a dating site matching young women with wealthy, older men.
With so many conflicting emotions running through her, Sela comes to the stark conclusion that she cannot carry to live the way she has been. Clarity brings the ned for revenge even if it means she loses her freedom or her life in the process – nothing else matters but destroying the people who destroyed her, starting with JT. Redefining herself and her looks, Sela crafts a plan to unearth the others involved in the incident and take them out one by one.
I adored Sela, I even backed her need for revenge, some people seem to have a knack of getting away with the most heinous of deeds and presenting a different face to the public. I despised JT from the moment I met him, he reminded me of the profiles I have read about narcissistic sociopaths, and I wanted him to suffer painfully for every horrible thing he has ever done not only to Sela but to the others you know have suffered at his hands. This may make me a terrible person but I honestly don’t care 😛
With her plan firmly in place and the wheels set in motion, Sela doesn’t take into account Beckett North, JT’s friend and co-founder of Sugar Bowl. When the sparks fly between Sela and Beck, it provides Sela the perfect opening to carry out her main goal, bringing JT down. What neither expects is the escalating connection and deep feelings they bring out in each other, making Sela very conflicted about her original plans.
The dual narrative is delivered ingeniously, while I felt we got to know Sela well and without artifice, I don’t think we have scratched the surface of Beck’s identity. There are hints at events in Beck’s past that have shaped him as a person, from the rift between Beck and his parents to the bond Beck references where JT is concerned. I have a bad feeling about the secrets Beck is keeping and desperately need to uncover what they are so I can put my mind at ease. Thereis a constant sense of foreboding that overshadows the narrative at every turn. Sugar Daddy is an emotional read with the need for justice and revenge warring with growing emotional happiness.
As the plot progresses you can see the transformation within Sela, growing into the person she should be. Re-evaluating who she can be and not letting herself be defined by her negative experiences. Sela learns the value of self-confidence and self-esteem.
Unfortunately, nothing is easy and the weight of secrets along with the unrelenting need for justice to prevail creates a situation easy to misconstrue and a rift that appears insurmountable.
What will happen next? Will JT get what he deserves? What is Beck hiding? Will Sela get the justice she deserves?
Seriously I NEED Sugar Rush and Sugar Free NOW