SUGAR BABY: Sweet Modern Romance from Crystal Green

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Title: Sugarbaby
Author: Crystal Green
Length: 265 Pages
Publisher: InterMix
Publication Date: May 2015

“It’s Aidan Falls, baby. We might as well be another planet.”

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Small towns are a microcosm unto themselves, singular little universes seemingly cut off from the rest of the world and abiding by a set of rules of their very own. In her new entry in the series, Crystal Green once again invites us in to Aidan Falls, Texas, and gives us a glimpse of a world where reputations rarely fade and football is king.

In all honesty, this is not the sort of book I often read. I was familiar with Crystal Green’s work – or, rather, as I better know her, Chris Marie Green, author of the Vampire Babylon and Ghost for Hire series – but this style of novel is not the usual of her work that I would be drawn to. Sugarbaby, though, was different – a different reading choice for me, and a something a little different for the genre.

The novel’s hero is Jadyn, a refreshingly frank young woman who has no problem admitting her flaws and mistakes. The novel opens to the heroine feeling the repercussions from a drunken mistake and getting the cold shoulder from her ex’s fan club, football fanatics who worship at the quarterback’s feet – the same quarterback that Jadyn cheated on.

“We all paid for the past in some way, except, with me, I’d made my own sins that’d dogged me for months, and, I’d wished I could right them.”

This in itself comes as a surprise in a genre where the heroine is usually some untouchable goddess with a Bella Swan-like immaculate reputation. The story only gets more intriguing from there.

If you’ve ever read any fan fiction, you might have encountered the trope where one soon-to-be star-crossed lover sends an inadvertent text or makes a phone call to a wrong number, bringing their new love interest into their life. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for that particular trope and when the wrong number text that Jadyn sends lands in the inbox of a sexy billionaire, I was admittedly hooked.

It’s not all roses and champagne, it’s real life with some fun fictional perks (a la the sexy billionaire) as Jadyn deals with the fallout from her own missteps, the loss of family, and the overall trials and tribulations of being a young woman in a small Texas town.

Trouble, said my smart side. That’s what you’re gonna get with him.

Jadyn, or Jade, is extremely likable as a narrator and the reader can easily understand the thoughts behind the actions she takes, all the while learning about the past that made her who she is. Her hero doesn’t trot in on a white horse to right all of her worries; rather, he slides in with a cadre of problems of his own traveling along with him, and the novel deals as much with the two of them righting their wrongs as with them finding each other.

All in all, it’s definitely worth a read. I do think I’ll be paying many visits to Aidan Falls in the future.

*In the spirit of full disclosure, I am reviewing this having received a digital ARC of the novel.*

CHECK PLUS:  Cute story, if a little bit predictable (though that’s really a hallmark of the genre)
CHECK MINUS:  First person perspective (personally not a favorite)
OVERALL RATING: B

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