Author: Rebekah Weatherspoon
Series: Sugar Babies #1
Published: September 29, 2015
Desperate times call for desperate measures...
And desperate is the only way to describe Kayla Davis's current situation. Out of work and almost out of money to cover her bills, Kayla finally caves to her roommate's nagging and follows her to Arrangements, an online dating site that matches pretty young women with older men of a certain tax bracket.
Convinced this "make-rent-quick" scheme will surely fail—or saddle her with an 80 year old boyfriend—Kayla is shocked when Michael Bradbury, Internet billionaire and stone-cold salt and pepper fox, offers her a solution to all her financial troubles. It's hard enough for Kayla to accept his generosity, but what's a girl to do when the wealthiest man she's ever met is a dream in and outside of the bedroom?
20 more pages and this would be a five star novella.
Kayla Davis is about to be evicted. She and her roommate are both out of work. The job hunt is going no where. Neither of their parents can float them. Adler, who had previous luck as a sugar baby in college, suggests that they both sign up for Arrangements, the dating site version of Megan Wants a Millionaire. Kayla's not particularly interested, but after a few days agrees to check out a mixer - just in case.
I immediately loved Kayla. She's not what I think of when I think "billionaire romance". It's not just that she's a curvy woman or that she's black, though hallelujah. She's an adult. She's had sex and knows what she likes. She's not opposed to sex-work and supports Adler's decision, but knows it's not a good gig for her because she "catches feelings". There's no wringing of hands and worrying, "oh does he like me, like me?" She's upfront with Michael about what she wants and makes no apologies for it, which is of course what draws him to her.
Michael is a babe. He's the CEO of the company that owns Arrangements, with irons in a lot of fires. After chatting at the mixer, his idea of a first date is to take Kayla on his plane to NYC to see him work, to see if she can deal with meetings from 6a to 11p. And she does. This isn't a book where the girl is jealous of the guy's work schedule. Micheal talks to Kayla every step of the way. He's not condescending, but he checks in. He asks if it's ok to take her hand. He never pushes for sex. He's not controlling. (He does over-step on the rent payment, but never again after Kay tells him off.)
The sex scenes are amazing, and a little more risque than usual, incorporating toys and anal as the relationship progresses and the characters become more comfortable. The writing isn't super graphic, fitting with the story's relatively fluffy tone, but it's nice to see variety in every encounter. More so than the sex is the connection the characters share from the word go. They're crazy about each other.
As I said, I do wish the book was a hair longer. The antagonist's motives come through ok, but I wish there had been even one more scene to flesh out the reasoning and the consequences. Highlight for spoilers: When Daniella says Kayla's always excusing Adler's behavior, I felt surprised. She hadn't acted great at the party, but this seemed to indicate a pattern that we didn't know about and might have explained more. Was she always jealous of Kayla in school? Does she always try to take people's boyfriends? I wasn't even sure Daniella and Adler knew each other before the party. I also thought it was a little clumsy the way Kay, Daniella, and Gordo's sexualities were mentioned. I found the line, "We always joked that we made up three sides of the perfect rainbow triangle; me being black and bisexual, Gordo being Mexican and gay, and Daniella being Afro-Cuban and transgender," clunky. Daniella's beta romance was nice though and I'd like to see more of Duke in the future.
In all, this novella was exactly what I wanted after a bad day. It's cute, sexy, and funny. Kayla is a dream and Michael is amazing and Holger is a mohawked, tattooed, German butler. That last part isn't really relevant, but yes it is, because it proves this book is the best. Romance readers, I command you to buy this one.