Sweeten the Deal

Katie Shepard

Berkley, 2023

Agent: Jessica Watterson

She's lonely, rich, and ten years too young for him—but she’s also his "sugar daddy," and they couldn't have less in common. Opposites attract in this charming new romance by Katie Shepard.
MBA student Caroline Sedlacek knows her personal balance sheet is a little lopsided. On the asset side, at twenty-two she’s got an NCAA trophy, a great education...and the two million dollars she unexpectedly inherited. Liabilities? She's never had friends, a boyfriend, or any life experiences away from the tennis court or the classroom. She'd love to invest herself in everything else, but "everything else" never came easily for her.
In the ten years since he left art school as a vaunted prodigy, Adrian Landry has won shows and major prizes—and done his best to shed his reputation as a pretty man who makes pretty paintings. Though currently broke and sleeping off a bad break-up on his college roommate’s couch, he knows this is the chance to get his life back on track at thirty-three—he just needs the money to find a new gallery. 

When Adrian’s roommate lists him on a thinly veiled escort site, Caroline is not the patron he expected. She’s way too young, way too naive, and loudly uninterested in having sex with him. Instead, they’re both going to get exactly what they want: a little culture on her side, and a lot of cash on his. Aside from their sugar baby arrangement, they’ve got nothing in common. But as they reel from the symphony to the Haymarket, they learn that what they want and what they need might be two very different things.

"Katie Shepard’s writing is the perfect mix of gut-punching emotion, wit, vulnerability, and smut! Her sophomore effort is a delightfully sexy twist on the Sugar Daddy trope, perfect for fans of The Kiss Quotient and opposites attract books. A delicious, satisfying treat!" —Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of Love, Theoretically

"I lived inside this book. Tall, awkward Caroline with her bright-colored athletic wear; frustrated artist Adrian with his secret particularity for painting flowers (and for Caroline) . . . I could not get enough of it. Shepard's Sweeten the Deal shows how money can complicate everything—yes, even love—but the best things in life remain free." —Alicia Thompson, bestselling author of Love in the Time of Serial Killers

"Devastatingly tender and utterly sexy, Sweeten the Deal is a refreshingly unique romance about two flawed people finding love in the most unlikely of circumstances. Shepard plays with classic tropes in the new way that brings freshness and excitement to a stunning love story that had me turning the pages way past my bedtime to see what would happen next." —Mazey Eddings, author of The Plus One

“Readers will have no trouble rooting for this unexpected pair.” —Publishers Weekly

"Fans of Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient will be charmed by neurodivergent Caroline and worldly, handsome Adrian in Shepard’s (Bear with Me Now) latest.” —Library Journal