August 29, 2012

Book Review: Can't Buy Me Love by Molly O'Keefe

At First Sight: Tara Jean Sweet has clawed her way out of the gutter and for the last four years has been living a life she can be proud of - even if it does involve designing leather clothing that's right at home at a hooker's wardrobe. 

But then she agreed to play Lyle Baker's fiancĂ©e just so he could annoy his children into coming back to the ranch they swore they would never set foot in again. 

And, if it were up to him, Luc Baker would have kept it that way. As a successful hockey player, he has no need for the old man's money or anything he has to offer. And he doesn't want to reconcile with him. But his younger sister Victoria is another story. 

Recently widowed and with no money, Victoria wants her inheritance - for herself and her son - but she has never been able to face her father alone so Luc - who's still reeling from a possibly career ending injury - finds himself back in Texas. 

And, as life takes it's course, Luc finds himself working with Tara Jean, and discovering she's not exactly the Bimbo Barbie gold-digger he had her pegged for. But Tara Jean has a past that might just be coming back to bite her behind. 

Second Glance: At the beginning, I wasn't sure I was going to finish Can't Buy Me Love. It wasn't really because of the book itself but because it kind of reminded me of Rachel Gibson's hockey books. In the end, though, it was mostly a passing resemblance, probably because Luc is a hockey player. 

I have to say that I really enjoyed Tara Jean and Luc. Tara Jean has done pretty questionable stuff in the past but she's trying to keep her life at a place where she's okay where she is, she's very resilient and I admire that. Luc was a really good brother and uncle, and he was fun to read about even though he has a lot of anger toward his father and he doesn't really understand Tara Jean's affection for the old man.

Together, they had pretty strong chemistry and I like that. 

Also liked Luc's mother Celeste - a former model who came of as bitchy half the time she was being nice, which made me smile. And Eli, the ranch's foreman. 

I didn't like Victoria, though, she annoyed me a lot - I mean, I understand she wasn't at a great place mentally or emotionally after what happened with her husband but she wore her desperation without  any dignity and that made it that much harder to like her.  

I wasn't crazy about Tara Jean's ex either but he served his purpose as a plot point. 

Bottom Line: Can't Buy Me Love is a pretty good contemporary romance, with likable characters and a nice set-up. Some parts worked better than others with me, but over all it was an enjoyable read. 

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