Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Can't Buy Me Love by Molly O'Keefe

Title: Can't Buy Me Love
Author: Molly O'Keefe
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: #1
Main Characters: Tara and Luc
Release Date: June 2012
Publisher: Bantam
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Story Overview:
In Molly O’Keefe’s captivating new contemporary romance, a woman with a past and a man without a future struggle to find a place where they belong.

A girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Tara Jean Sweet knows that opportunity will never knock; she’ll have to seize it. Elderly Texas rancher Lyle Baker has a dying request: He will give Tara Jean a stake in his leather business in exchange for a little family subterfuge. All Tara Jean has to do is play the part of a gold-digging fiancée to lure Lyle’s estranged children home. The mission is soon accomplished. 

Now Lyle’s gone—and his ridiculously handsome son, Luc, an ice hockey superstar sidelined by injuries, is the new owner of Crooked Creek ranch. He’s also Tara Jean’s boss. But being so close to sinfully sweet Tara Jean does crazy things to Luc’s priorities, like make him want to pry her deepest secrets from those irresistible lips. But when Tara Jean’s past demands a dirty showdown, will Luc stay and fight?

My Review:

This book had everything I love in a contemporary romance...a ranch in Texas, a super-hot and sexy NHL player with a big vulnerability, and one tough heroine. 

When I started reading this book, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to like Tara. She' s acting like a vapid, money-digging tramp and there are little hints that she isn't entirely acting. She absolutely has a past which she's not proud of, but I really am impressed with the way that Molly O'Keefe wrote this book. She managed to keep the heroine likable even while skirting very close to the edge of a really awful character. In the end, you love her more because she's overcome this awful past which truly could have turned her into the caricature of herself that she sometimes acts like.

Then there's Luc. *sigh* From the very start you know that his hockey career means everything to him even though it's slowly killing him. He's having a really hard time facing the reality that it's over and he really doesn't want the distraction that his family and Tara provide. He wants to focus on hockey and getting better. He is a strong guy and fully believes that his will alone will overcome everything else. An alpha with a huge vulnerability...yeah, I liked it. And I really loved the glimpses of life in the NHL that we got to see.

This is a book about family, which is kind of ironic since the whole story is brought together by the extreme dysfunction that this family has dealt with their entire lives. But there is a whole cast of characters that make up this family. I loved Celeste, Luc's mom, and Rosa, the housekeeper, and was intrigued by Ian, the ranch foreman and Tara's friend. I loved Billy, Luc's hockey teammate and really hope we get to see a book about him sometime soon...especially since he was just traded to Dallas in this book. I'm not so sold on Victoria, Luc's half-sister and heroine of the next book, but I have a feeling that Molly O'Keefe will work her writing magic with her too.

Overall this was a fun and entertaining book. There's a lot to the book and I waffled alot about how I was going to rate it (both lower and higher), but overall I loved the book, these two characters, and the way the story evolved to them finding their Happily Ever After.

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