Review: Son of Money by Brandon Witt

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.

This is my first Brandon Witt book and it’s like nothing I expected it to be.

But I loved it nonetheless.

It wasn’t the typical love story. Suffice it to say, the romance is “solved” during the first 40% (or less). No, it’s not that the following 60% is there for nothing, just to reach the length of an average novel.

The reason why is that Noah and Randall knew each other when they were teens. They had their first kiss at 13 and have never forgotten each other ever since.

“It’s just that it’s you, you know?” He shrugged, and I thought he was going to look away, but he didn’t. “I’ve always known you were the one. I wasn’t sure if you’d ever come back into my life or not, but that didn’t change anything. And then you did. Out of the blue. With no forcing the situation on either of our parts.”

Randall decides to buy a dog. Not because he longs for some canine company, but to satisfy his niece’s wishes. She’s not allowed to have a dog at home, so Randall decides to make her happy adopting it himself. And so he goes to the animal refuge his mother is holding a benefit for.

And there he meets Noah.

A grown-up Noah.

Was there an application to take him home?

As if.

He comes home with a rather ugly dog called Harper. I fell in love with the dog, too.

I must say Randall sense of humor amused me since the very beginning. He’s a witty man indeed.

Promise me to call him if I had problems? Call Noah Carroll. Yeah. I had no issue with that. Hell, sign me up for ten dogs – that would guarantee a problem and a phone call. “Sure. I promise”.

So, as I mentioned above, the romance develops very quickly. Insta-love? For some reason, I didn’t really care here. It’s not just the “old” flame of love they experienced in their early youth, but I really could feel their attraction and their chemistry. I could feel them complementing each other and that “destiny” awaiting them.

And I was enchanted with Noah since the very first page he enters the scene.

“You ask that after you kiss me.”

“Like I said, it didn’t look like you two were together to me.”

“And if we are?”

He shrugged. “You won’t be anymore.”

Another bark of laughter. “Wow. Not sure if that’s arrogance or supreme confidence.”

“Oh, sorry. I don’t mean it that way.” Noah looked abashed. “So are you? Are you together?”

I shook my head. “No. Definitely not.”


Noah and Randall don’t waste the time with big misunderstandings or with holding their feelings back just because. They are honest with themselves and with the other one, naked emotions on the surface. There is no sense in hiding when they both know what they are looking for. It was that way the whole while and I really appreciate the author didn’t beat around the bush just for the sake of it.

“Sorry, I’ll cut it out. I’m just nervous and really happy. Did I mention nervous?”

“Why are you nervous if you’re so sure about everything?”

“We’re human. We can fuck up what’s meant to be.”

The words made my heart hurt, which seemed ridiculous. “And we’re meant to be?”

He simply nodded. No other assurance or clever quip.

One thing is true: there are not many sex scenes, or at least, explicit sex scenes. I must say I was a little disappointed with this because there clearly are sparks between them two and I really wanted to see more than a glimpse of this. What a pity. Still, there is no time to get bored so I didn’t miss it too much.

I liked the photographer’s aura in the book. How the sessions are. How casual photos can be exactly what oneself is looking for. How that person feels something in the air and foresees a life-changing moment close to come for his camera to capture. How the following process is displayed in order to emphasize the best aspects of the photo. And Randall himself in that role.

Noah drives his proverbial ark: an animal refuge. It can be kind of forced but I could really picture him taking care of abandoned dogs and finding them a home. I really liked the method to find the perfect match for every person. Or, better said, the perfect match for every dog.

Religion takes an important place here. It’s not that we find bigoted people left and right, but it was what drove Noah and Randall apart when they were teens. Noah’s family is devoted to charity and helps people from socially disavantaged environments, which leads them to travel very far away when their sabbatical year ends. I liked this aspect of the story and how it shapes Noah’s character throughout the years.

Noah’s gaze sharpened, seeing me again. “And God took you. I couldn’t have you.”

So, which is the real “conflict” there? A myriad of things that are indeed the same: crappy people. Randall is a professional photographer but to make ends meet he combines his dream job with massage and erotic photograph sessions. Randall loves sex, so he had no problem in indulging himself if the occasion arises and he was attracted enough to the men who paid for his services. That earns him a “slutty” reputation when one of his clients decides to cause a big scene out of it, just out of spite.

And Randall’s family is not supporting at all. In fact it’s one of those with whom you wish not to find enemies in your life because you already have your family for that. The Morgans are portrayed as a disgustingly rich and powerful family with a few skeletons in the closet. Translation: they were truly fucked up.

The father is a manipulating bastard who manhandles his other son Dustin at his will. The mother was a social climber who is all the time looking down her nose at anyone who doesn’t meet her standards. She doesn’t exactly make an effort to include Dustin’s wife, Kayla, in the family. Kayla is the so-called “trophy wife” but she still struggles with that definition and with giving her daughter Bailey some kind of good example, but can’t avoid Bailey from being expected to behave as an adult in this constrained environment. Her uncle Randall is the only one who lets her be a child.

So when the shit really hits the fan, lots of conflicts appear and Noah and Randall have to find it in themselves to overcome all these obstacles and difficulties in order to build a new life together. I liked seeing how their relationship is put to test and how they manage to solve things and go on with their life. Noah puts lots on faith on them, whereas Randall is a bit more insecure. Despite reading his feelings well, he’s scared of “fucking up what’s meant to me”.

This is my first experience with Brandon Witt and I must say it was a good beginning.

Check out on:

Dreamspinner Press

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