Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Can't Buy Me Love by Molly O'Keefe

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 fiancee 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?


Can’t Buy Me Love is the first book in Molly O’Keefe’s Crooked Creek Series.  The book centers on Tara Jean Sweet and Luc Baker.

The overview describes Tara Jean as being from the wrong side of the tracks. She actually grew up with a single mother in random, less than desirable trailer parks.  Her mother was one of those mothers who cared more about herself and the multiple men coming in and out of her life, than she did her own daughter.  This makes Tara Jean into the woman she is today.

Luc Baker is known as “The Ice Man” on the hockey stage. Since he was a teen, hockey has been his thing.  It is what defines who he is. Sidelined with a head injury, which could be career and life ending, his main goal is to work hard to get back to what he loves, which is hockey.  With his teammates, he’s known as “Grandpa”.  Not because of his age, he’s thirty seven, but because, “It has everything to do with how you worry, about everyone. Whether they want it or not.”

The story starts out with Lyle Baker, Luc’s father and owner of Baker Leather and Crooked Creek Ranch, dying and wanting to see his children before he dies.  Lyle was known to have jerk tendencias and be a little difficult to get along with by everyone.  To his children, Luc and Victoria, he was an abuser.  This is why he and his children are estranged.  I found Victoria to be a pathetic, needy woman.  Because she never stands up for herself or shows any interest in being her own person, Lyle picks on her.  Victoria's story is told in the second book of the series, Can’t Hurry Love.

Tara Jean plays the part of the gold-digging fiancee/dim-witted Barbie doll very well.  But she’s more than that.  Surprisingly, Luc is the one who gives her a chance by getting to know her.  He even tries to make her see that she’s more than what she thinks she is.

As with many romance novels, Luc and Tara Jean do their best to fight the attraction they feel towards one another.  I like this book because you are able to see the characters grow and evolve.  There is also a little unexpected surprise.  I’m not going to call it suspenseful.  But I will say it added a little twist to the story that I wasn’t expecting.

I’m starting to become a big Molly O’Keefe fan.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

I received this book through a contest win.

Rating: 4

This book can be purchased from Amazon.  To find the full list, please visit Molly’s website.

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