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Wow, what a great read! Dark and dirty yet still sweetly romantic, and oh-so-freaking hot!!! Sela and Beck are sensational. I loved it!
Sela Halstead is a woman intent on vengeance. When she was only 16 years old she was brutally attacked in a way that left her permanently marked. When she sees one of her (previously anonymous) attackers on television, she hatches a plan to finally get payback. Her intended victim is Jonathan Townsend, a wealthy businessman who is co-founder and co-owner of the Sugar Bowl – an online dating site where gorgeous young women are hooked up with wealthy older men. Jonathan is the face of the company, known for his playboy ways, and Sela’s goal is clear.
Rage sparks, froths, and bubbles low in my gut as I think about it.
Signing up as a ‘Sugar Baby’, Sela is at one of the Bowl’s social events when she catches the eye of Jonathan’s business partner, Beckett North. Beck is the brains behind the Sugar Bowl, and the best friend of Jonathan. He runs the empire from the background while Beck takes the stage, but his best friend has been pushing the limits of acceptable behaviour lately, and Beck is getting sick of it. He watches Sela attempt to engage Jonathan and get dismissed, and he immediately approaches her, knowing that she is definitely his type, and not that of his business partner who prefers simple and easy. He knows that Sela is so much more than that.
Beck is a man who knows what he wants, and he instantly wants Sela. She sees him as a potential way to get to Jonathan, so when he propositions her, she accepts – of course it doesn’t hurt that she’s wildly attracted to him as well.
They get straight into the down and dirty, and hot damn! Beck knows that one night with Sela will never be enough so he asks her to enter in to a ‘Sugarship’ with him (yes, that is a stupid word). Seeing it as her way in, she accepts, and from there it’s all on, and wow, this book is all kinds of hot!
Beck is a dirty talker who likes control in bed. He soon learns that Sela isn’t as experienced as most of his partners, and he takes it upon himself to introduce her to anything and everything sexual, but he does it in a way that is respectful of Sela, ensuring that she is comfortable and that she gets just as much out of it as he does. The sex is hot, descriptive, and there’s lots of it, and it slowly leads into something more as Beck and Sela start to develop real feelings and fall hard for each other.
These are two fantastic characters, and I completely fell for Beck and his hot-yet-sweet vibe. I loved the progression of their relationship which is intense yet realistic, and such an easy transition for them, and really nicely done. I would have liked a bit more dialogue between them, but with the dual POV I could feel the emotion between them as it developed, and I loved seeing them so happily smitten. But Sela still hasn’t shared her past with Beck, or her initial intentions upon meeting him. Of course their feelings for each other change throughout the book, but Beck has been hurt in the past and his inner monologue is a big hint of the drama to come.
I don’t abide my liars. I hate dishonesty and secrets and ulterior motives. I have reason to, and it’s probably the only thing that could tear me away from her.
I loved this book! It wasn’t as dark as I was expecting, but there are some dark themes which may be sensitive to some readers……but it takes a backseat to the incredible chemistry and the beautiful developing love story between Sela and Beck. I was completely swept up in their romance – even forgetting about all of the bad stuff there for a while – but there is no way a drama that big can remain hidden forever.
The book ends on a hideous cliffhanger that I was expecting, but I was shocked at the way it impacted me. I’m usually not a fan of reading books with cliffies and usually avoid them until I can get my hands on the whole story, but I’m really glad I read this one! Having said that, I’m also glad that the next book will be releasing in a few months, and I can’t wait to see what direction the story is going to take from here.
I loved it, and am hungry for more – 4.5 stars.
An Advanced Reader Copy was generouly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.