Author Brandon Witt offers up slightly different fare in his latest release, Son of Money. When taken at surface value, this novel could be interpreted as a trite fairy tale about a poor rich boy who finally wins his freedom and ends up with the love of his life. However, to write this one off as an implausible romance would be to shortchange the story. Instead, I’d like to think of this novel as a kind of David versus Goliath tale, where finding faith in oneself is sometimes the hardest thing to do.
Randall had turned his back on his parents’ immense wealth and his ability to inherit a few years back. Instead of pursuing the corporate dream, which his father had laid out for him, he chose instead to pursue his love for photography. On the side, he became a certified masseuse and quickly grew a client base in both areas. While fantasy shots of children were his first love, he also branched out into erotic photography. As a side job of being a masseuse morphed into easy sex with chosen clients, Randall’s love for unattached, consensual sexual grew. Before long, even he had to admit he was a bit of a slut, but he made sure that he never crossed the line by exchanging money for sex.
When one of his clients decided that he wanted more and Randall rebuffed him, the man did the unthinkable and exposed Randall’s business to the world. While Randall may have been okay with giving up everything the family money would avail him of, the one thing he could not turn his back on was his young niece. With scandal dogging his every move, his father delivered an ultimatum that left Randall in shambles. Coupled with this turn of events was the reappearance of a childhood crush and the boy who had remained in the background of both his heart and mind for years. Now, with the return of Noah, the boy who was his first love at the tender age of 13 and their newfound relationship and the ability to put be part of his niece’s life hanging in the balance, Randall must either choose to go back under the thumb of his domineering parents or lose everything that he loves.
To avoid the fact that there are some clichés and soap opera-like elements in this story would be unfair. However, I found that none of those took away from what was a very entertaining story with three-dimensional characters who I felt had real depth to them. Each time I thought Randall was bordering on being just too whiny, too close to having his own pity party, the author pulled the character back from the edge and allowed us to see the very real struggle he had when faced with a choice of either giving up the man who had quickly become the love of his life or the little bit of family that he had managed to hold onto in his sister-in-law and niece.
For Randall, it wasn’t just the money or saving his family’s reputation, but the real sense that he would never be free if he allowed himself to be ruled by his domineering father. Son of Money was in every way a magical romance, but with a deeper vein running beneath it. This novel was about much more than a fairytale happy ever after. It was one man’s fight to live a life he chose rather than a life that others chose for him. I think this novel won me over when Randall admitted to himself that he wasn’t the best of men, that he had made mistakes and choices that would return to haunt him. Had the author not giving him this added depth of character, this review would have been very different indeed.
In the end, Son of Money by Brandon Witt was in many ways a delightfully sweet romance that, like Randall’s little dog, had a real bite to it. I enjoyed watching this author stretch himself a bit with this novel.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.