A Guest Review by Andrea
Review Summary: Unbelievable and unlikable characters ruined what could have been a great book.
Everyone needs a little help now and then. For gay Muslim Sayen Homet, that help first came from his understanding mother, who brought him to America from the Middle East. Now that he’s working his way through Stanford Medical School, his help comes from a secret sugar daddy. But Sayen might be able to end their arrangement soon now that he has a boyfriend he can depend on, A student Campbell Reardon. Campbell is more than willing to support Sayen, even if it means coming out to his conservative family.
But when Campbell takes Sayen home to meet his parents, everything falls apart. Campbell doesn’t realize how his boyfriend pays for school… and neither of them knows Sayen’s sugar daddy is Campbell’s father, Blake.
While everyone involved struggles to overcome their shock, it becomes obvious Blake will do anything to keep Sayen. Campbell and Sayen love each other, but in the face of so much hurt and betrayal, love might not be enough to hold them together.
A father and son discovering they love the same man sounded like a book I would love. If a book has complicated or inappropriate relationships I’ll be drawn to it. Daddy’s Money sounded like it had that going on so of course I wanted to read it. Even though I rated it only 1.5 stars, I actually did like certain parts of the book. The storyline was great. I loved that it wasn’t just a romance. The romance was important, but the bigger part was how the secret relationship between Sayen and Blake affected each member of Campbell’s family. I also liked how all the characters developed over time and the journey of self-discovery they each had.
The problem I had while reading this book was that I didn’t find any of the characters likable or believable. I was OK with them when they were alone and I got to experience them through their own thoughts. The big issue for me was that every time two or more of them got together they got weird. The interactions among the characters in this book really bothered me. For example, I would expect most people to be a little reserved when first meeting their son’s/brother’s new boyfriend or vice versa. Not these people, they were making soul revealing declarations within the first five minutes of meeting each other. That threw me off. Sayen also had a lot of interactions with young kids and that was a key part of his development. The kids never seemed genuine. I’m around young kids constantly and I’ve never met any who act like the ones in this book. These were some weird kids and they threw me off every single time.
Another big problem was that I couldn’t stand Sayen. I thought he was self-serving, self-centered and obnoxious. I have absolutely no idea why Blake or Campbell would love him and there was no way I was ever going to believe Sayen loved them in return. I still doubt Sayen would even be capable of loving another person. I could understand him keeping them around as long as they provided him some benefit and maybe he would even have some affection for them, but I was never convinced he could love them.
Although I liked how the characters developed and the basics of the story, the writing simply didn’t work for me and I was never able to connect with this book. I’ve tried to come up with a good explanation of how I felt when reading it and the only thing I can say is that I felt like I was trying to understand a piece of obscure art. No matter how much I tried to figure it out, I just never got it. Reading this book wasn’t a good experience for me at all.