Title: Son of Money
Author: Brandon Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 284 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance
At a Glance: This book is full of romance, secrets, sex, humor, love, soap opera level drama … I absolutely recommend it.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: 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.
Review: Let me start by saying I love Brandon Witt’s books and his writing style. This book is an aberration from his norm in that there is low angst and no fantasy, but it is pure romantic Brandon Witt anyway. Before reading this book, I read several of his blog posts on it, knowing that this one was a break from the norm for him. I am so glad I did because knowing his state of mind, what he was trying to accomplish with the book, allowed me to look at the novel through his eyes and enjoy it for what it is—a book about a man who comes from incredible wealth, dealing with the control, drama and expectations that kind of wealth comes with (in the author own words, think Falcon Crest or The Young and the Restless).
Drama, so much drama. Oh heavens, let me say it again: the drama and the secrets! This is a really great novel. Is it my favorite by Brandon Witt? No, but I appreciate that sometimes authors need to stretch their wings and try something new, and I applaud him for doing so. I have to say, what I didn’t like about the book had more to do with my own prejudices and preconceived notions on how people need to act than with the storyline or style of writing. I think I may not be as forgiving as the author since I would not have accepted some of the behaviors that the characters portray, or the machinations they ultimately get away with, but hey, this is a soap opera world, so of course people get away with outlandish behavior! About the only soap opera type behavior that didn’t happen was that no one was raised from the dead. Haha!
Randall Morgan is the youngest son of an incredibly powerful family. He has always been taught the Morgan name is to be upheld at all cost. That cost has often been his soul. Cutting himself off from his family’s money is just the tip of the iceberg for Randall, as the emotional hold they have on him keeps him in bondage to their whims as surely as the money ever did. That emotional hold comes in the form of his niece, who Randall holds onto as the only source of sunlight in his sometimes (often) dark world. Randall has always dreamed of being a photographer but dreams don’t pay bills when you are on your own, so he starts an erotic massage business on the side. If he enjoys sex with his clients, who’s to get hurt? They are all consenting adults, after all. And his clients only pay for the massages or the pictures; the sex is something that Randall does for free. No harm, no foul… right?
Noah Carroll works for the Seattle Humane Society. When Randall comes in to adopt a dog after he promises his niece he will, Noah comes face to face with his first love, Randall Morgan. Randall and Noah had their first kiss at thirteen years old, and that was it for both of them, a standard they have judged each successive relationship against. Noah’s parents were missionaries to Haiti, so the boys lost touch when Noah’s family moved back overseas.
“A small gasp escaped me as he slipped his tongue inside my mouth. Not forcibly, just a tentative test, the only aspect of the kiss that sought permission.”
“I opened my eyes. Just for a moment. Just to make sure it was real. That he was real after all these years. That it wasn’t simply the magic of the lake.”
“Though I’d held all the other sexual experiences and men up to the standard of that kiss at the beginning of my teenage years, Noah’s kiss was not the same as the one from that long-ago night. This was the kiss of a man. A man who knew what he wanted. Who had no fear of repercussions. The kiss of a man who held nothing back in an effort to protect himself, while stripping away every one of my defenses. This was a kiss that told me I’d never been kissed before. I sank into it, joining with him as surely as if he moved inside me.”
Noah is now a self-made man. He has fought his demons and won, and his confidence is as sexy as his body is. In Noah’s opinion, he has waited his entire life for Randall to come back into his life, and he is not about to give him up now, not for anything. His unwavering love and compassion for all that Randall has to go through is amazing and makes you love his character even more. Noah becomes a source of strength for Randall when Randall’s life falls apart, thanks to his family’s actions and interference. Because yeah, Randall’s life heads downhill in a big way and just when you think he has hit bottom, nope he’s got a little farther to go.
This is where I am not as forgiving as the author obviously is, because frankly will all the blackmail, slander, culpability and downright ugliness of the Morgan family, I don’t think anyone really pays for what they do to Randall. Hey, I didn’t realize myself I was so bloodthirsty, but it says something about the characters the author creates that I would want to reach inside the novel and avenge the main character… Needless to say Randall and Noah reach their HEA, and the ultimate moral of the story is that you can break free of the ties that bind you to the family you are born with, if those ties are toxic to you, and embrace a family of your own making—one of goodness affirmation and love.
This book is full of romance, secrets, sex, humor, love, soap opera level drama, a cute little girl who loves playing a fairy princess, and a really ugly/adorable dog! I absolutely recommend it.
You can buy Son of Money here: