Title: Son of Money
Author: Brandon Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 11, 2016
Page Count: 284
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Randall Morgan, youngest son of one of Seattle’s wealthiest families, rejected his family’s money to live free of their control and pursue his career as a photographer. To make ends meet, Randall does erotic photography and massage—a secret he keeps from his family so he can remain a part of his young niece’s life. But the price of that relationship is high, and Randall is once more slipping under his family’s thumb.
Noah Carroll is the spokesperson for the Seattle Humane Society, and the city holds a special place in his heart. When fate intervenes during a pet adoption, Noah finds himself face-to-face with his first love—Randall.
While Noah and Randall are not the teenagers they once were, the flame of a first kiss long ago draws them together. Their romance is beginning to grow, but someone is out to destroy Randall and expose all he keeps hidden.
When secrets and rumors thrust Randall into the public eye, his relationship with Noah isn’t the only thing that comes under threat
I have very mixed thoughts about this book and my review is going to reflect that. I’ll get the critical comments out of the way first:
I felt that this could have been about 50 pages shorter. Yes. That much. About half way/two-thirds of the way through, when Randall is getting hit yet again with negative publicity and is watching his fledgling photography and book career get flushed down the toilet, I started skimming. I hate to admit to skimming, but I was honestly just tired of the emotional drama. I got the point. Let’s move the story forward.
Which tied into Randall’s emotional drama. Okay, so someone is slandering and defaming you, as the reader I can understand the emotional toll. I can relate to Randall choosing to curl up under the blankets and sob on the couch. But after a while, even I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and say fight back already! It became a bit much for me.
Randall’s push/pull with Noah. Ditto above. Though I did like how the Sister-in-law said basically the same thing.
And, I thought this book should have been named “First Kiss”, because Randall kept coming back again and again to that stolen kiss with Noah at the tender age of thirteen and how nothing since compared to it.
So, yes, it sounds as if I didn’t care for the book. But I DID. I loved Randall’s defiance to his family’s attempt at control, how much he enjoyed his photography and setting up the scenes, how he owned up and admitted he was straddling a very fine line between massage and “massage”. I greatly enjoyed his interaction with Harper the ugly dog and Bailey his niece. I liked how Noah was patient and kind but knew what he wanted and was willing to stand up and wait to get it.
I do enjoy Witt’s writing style and the images the words create are just so vivid. Best scene in the book – Bailey at the park with the dogs, everyone is in costume, and she’s talking to the homeless woman. So well written it was as if I was there.
Even though I struggled with the emotional push/pull in Randall’s relationship with Noah, I had to appreciate it as well because it made the romance a bit more real. Without the angst, it would have been too much like “insta-love” rather than a long held mutual feelings.
The plot twists at the end were very much appreciated. Kudo’s!
Ultimately, yes, I have very mixed feelings about this book, but when it comes down to this review, I did enjoy reading it, but would have liked it more if it had been shorter.