Author: Mickey J. Corrigan
Reviewed by: Aggie
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: M/F Contemporary
ISBN 13: 9781771550260
Summary: Young, beautiful, and hungry, Esme, Maire, and Niki want what every woman wants: love, work, safe shelter, the bills paid off, a diamond-studded Rolex and a two-bedroom condo with an ocean view. Working as sugar babies seems to be the only way to make this happen. But the sugar life is more dangerous than they thought.
Review: Woooaaaaah there. What did I just read? I am use to Ms. Corrigan’s books being fun and light entertainment. I did not expect this bit of nastiness out of her. And believe me, ” Sugar Babies” , her latest, is a nasty piece of work. Dear reader, don’t expect any knee-slapping, belly-aching, levels of hilarity here. ” Sugar Babies ” is a serious novel about the totally chaotic lives of three women who become tangled in the “professional girlfriend ” a.k.a. “sugar baby” lifestyle and how it ultimately changes (for the better and worse), their lives.
The women are in their 20s and are desperate for cash. Esme, a southern gal, needs income to help her jackass of a boyfriend, Jake buy a sports bar so they can settle down and live the American dream. (woo hoo……not). Maire, the most shrewed, needs dough to pay off student loans and to keep her dating website, Arranged Relations , financed. So, she carries on a fairly stable long term relationship with 73 year old codger, Ted. Yes, it includes sex and just don’t get me started on the ick factor here. I shudder imagining it. And the third sugar gal, Niki , is a college student and struggling poet/artist who can’t even pay her rent. She resorts to sleeping with her landlord, Len, just to keep a roof over her head.
Their questionable choices lead the three of them to older, filthy rich, megalomaniacs who use them as nothing but sexual objects and arm decorations to parade around to shindigs, galas, important community events, blah…..blah….blah. They are in a nutshell, fancy prostitutes.
Maire, herself, is an exploiter. She runs the Arranged Relations website that hooks up young and dumb, needy women with predatory old coots, coots, who probably need five or six doses of boner pills just to get a healthy half-woody. These old goats basically supply these vulnerable lambs with their every financial and material needs.
I must admit, I was prepared to not like this book. I am a very picky reader (and a feminist) and this isn’t the type of read I would normally sink my greedy little fingers on at a bookstore, or download in a hurry on my Nook. I don’t like to read about the exploitation of women by men OR other women, for that matter, but I must admit, ” Sugar Babies ” held my attention. And it is probably one of Ms. Corrigan’s best.
However, I didn’t like any of the characters. I couldn’t really warm up to any of them. But I have learned many times in the many books that I have read over the years that unsympathetic and unlikeable characters does not a bad book make. And ” Sugar Babies ” is an example of that. Wait… I take that back!! I loved Iguana Dude and the hippie guy who flashes Maire the peace sign from his VW bus. Oh, and the bartender/waiter man who Maire tries to talk into becoming a man-ho for some old sugar mama. They seemed like generally nice guys. The rest of the males in the book are piggy poos.
” Sugar Babies” opens up with an entry from an unnamed sugar daddy’s diary. He goes on to vent his anger and his loathesome misogynistic views about women in this brief macho manifesto before the novel switches gears and slips into the third person accounts of Maire, Niki, and Esme.
Things take a particular turn. One of them goes missing. And at this point I was hooked and couldn’t stop reading because now, the book is reading more like a mystery than a romance, which I loved, since I like mysteries. I just had to know how it ended.
I am NOT giving any spoilers away. I am not even going to say who goes missing. But I do think, Ms. Corrigan could easily slip into the crime novel genre and darker fare, if she wanted too. This was a very, very good read. She has a knack for creating greedy, arrogant characters…….and victims. All the women in ” Sugar Babies ” were victims at one point in their lives, and the men, of course,privileged predators who gain, gain, gain, and exploit, exploit, exploit! I say kill a bunch of these bastards in another book and call the crime, “beneficial serial killing,” in which no one will miss these a-holes and society as a whole will be better (woo hoo!).
Equal parts fascinating and equal parts sigh inducing (because of these ladies choices and circumstances), and with a twisty ending that I didn’t see coming, I highly recommend “Sugar Babies” to anyone who likes a bit of darkness and mystery in a tropical location (Coconut City, baby!) The name even sounds yummy!