Read Can't Buy Me Love by Molly O'Keefe Online


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 bIn 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?...

Title : Can't Buy Me Love
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345525604
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 280 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Can't Buy Me Love Reviews

  • ♡Karlyn P♡
    2019-04-26 07:08

    This book started off pretty good and I saw some great potential, but it went downhill. I couldn't wait to get to the end just to call this one 'done'. I realize this is a debut, but I really don't think the author had this story well plotted out before she wrote it. Much of its potential was left undeveloped and meandered. The characters were also sporadic, I never knew what mood they were going to be in -- nice, mean, horny or wallowing. I never felt the romance, understood their attraction, nor cared when their self-inflicted point-of-conflicts tore them apart. Which is too bad, as the core story really had potential. Tara pretends to be engaged to Luc's 89 y/o filthy rich father, a game meant to bring Luc and his sister Victoria to heal and back to Texas. Luc and Victoria rightfully disowned their abusive asshat father many years ago, but somehow (which I never understood) the news of a gold digger getting their inheritance becomes too much. In one chapter Luc swears he doesn't care, and in the next chapter he is in Texas with his sister trying to help her out so she can win her part of the inheritance. That was just one of many actions these guys make that left me both confused and underwhelmed. When they get their chance at a reunion with their dad, neither Luc nor Victoria make any effort what so ever. I didn't understand all the drama that led us to this point, only to have nothing really happen. I guess they believed their mere presence would be enough for the dying old man to reverse his will? And if they really did care about the money (cause they certainly didn't care about the old man), you think they would have tried harder to stop the fake wedding. (Unless you count their snotty remarks lobbed at Tara -- repeatedly.)I also assumed the old man would redeem himself and be a good guy. But no, he was just an ass. Then he dies. The rest of the book is about Luc trying to live out a crazy stipulation in the will, one that would ensure Victoria gets a sizable inheritance and he control of the ranch. Meanwhile, Luc's professional hockey playing career is on skids. He has had so many concussions that doctors don't want him to play anymore. Of course, he doesn't listen to any of that.Then there is a bad guy from Tara's past. Again, I didn't get where the story was going and this character just pops in and out with threats. He makes for a climactic ending, but otherwise I never fully understood just why Tara felt compelled to capitulate to his demands.I really wanted to like both Luc and Tara, and at times I felt I really could. But then suddenly they would say something awful or do something mean, and it kept me from really connecting with them. There were also a bunch of unlikable and undeveloped secondary characters. There is Luc's sister Victoria who was a snotty, spineless, spoiled bitch. Eli the ranch hand who shows up from time to time but otherwise seems pointless in the story. Celeste, Luc's mother who also makes odd appearances and had little purpose to the story. In the end, I was underwhelmed and not particularly feeling the romance. However, since this is a debut and I did see some great story potential, I would be compelled to read more by this author to see how her style develops. But it will not be Victoria and Eli's story, which is next. I didn't like them in this book, and I don't see why that would be any different if they had their own story.

  • Anne OK
    2019-04-25 03:29

    (2/21/12--Received an ARC today from [email protected])A remarkably well-written contemporary by a new-to-me-author. It is definitely not just a piece of fluff. There are some difficult and heartbreaking issues presented along with a complex yet wonderful romance. Full review will follow closer to the release of this book. Book Two (Tori and Eli's story) will be released in July 2012.

  • Saly
    2019-05-09 06:18

    A pretty impressive start to a new series & Molly's single title debut. I really felt for Tara Jean Sweet, she was so messed up by her past and the life she had led, that she was her own worst enemy. Luc was such a great guy, who was facing the potential end of his hockey career as well as having to face memories of his father he had tried to forget. I loved their romance and the real sexual pull between them even before thy hit the sheets or car in their case ;)For Luc his struggling with his ageing body and refusing to admit he was done with a sport he loved was tied to his father who was a horrible abusive man but who had been a saviour to Tara Jean. This conflict was portrayed wonderfully. Luc just wanted out and since Tara Jean had been cast in the role of a gold-digger he wanted her gone as well. How these two go from being enemies to more is a great journey filled with growth for both of them.His sister Victoria, god I disliked her sometimes, since she was so beaten down by life, sometimes I felt bad for her, but at the end I wanted to say Bravo to her, since it seemed she had realized her self-worth. I am looking forward to her book.Victoria's husband committed suicide after being found guilty of running a Ponzi scheme, leaving her broke, having to pay of his debts and with a son to raise. She was ill-equipped to handle it all because first she grew up with a hateful & to escape that became a wife, so in essence she wasn't such a strong character so she again manages to get into a tangle with Tara Jean's criminal ex who uses her as a tool to get some money. The inheritance matters to her, not so much to Luc, it is her security blanket. I do wish I come to like her more in her book.Thanks so much Molly for the ARC!!!!!!!!!!*ARC provided by the author.

  • Jonetta
    2019-05-04 04:27

    Tara Jean Sweet made a deal with 90-year old Lyle Baker to help lure his estranged son Luc and daughter Victoria back to his ranch in Texas. Lyle is dying and wants to see his children before his demise as he hasn't had contact with them for years. Luc is facing the possibility of the end of his professional hockey career because of a head injury and Victoria has been living a nightmare the past year because of her husband’s Ponzi scheme that left many financially shattered. The ruse worked as they bought the act, believing Tara Jean to be a gold digger ready to marry their father and abscond with their inheritance. I was pleased to discover that this was not the light fare the description first led me to believe. These are complicated relationships and the characters have really serious issues to contend with. Tara Jean has a troubled, nasty past and her deal with Lyle provided the opportunity to reinvent herself. On the surface, she seems tough and a bit on the cheap side but it’s just a veneer she's created to protect herself. When Luc gets a glimpse of the real Tara, he becomes captivated and wants more. Their relationship is a tough one and, at times, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to root for them but Tara’s recovery from her self-loathing and Luc’s patience will win you over.This isn't a story for the faint of heart as these aren't easy people and they have many flaws. The first half of the book was typical of a new relationship, with witty repartee and humorous moments. The second half is grittier as the characters have to contend with hard issues that surface once you’re expected to trust one another. I loved the complexity of the story and how the characters weren’t predictable. Tara and Luc's road to a relationship is unconventional and she's pretty damaged from a sordid past and a prior bad relationship. Luc and Victoria both have a lot of baggage as their father would never come close to winning father of the year awards. They all have redeemable qualities, although Victoria will challenge your sympathies. There were times when the writing was a bit heavy handed with Southern/Western metaphors, especially when describing Tara's physical reactions to Luc. They sometimes got in the way of the emotional aspects, which was the more compelling part of the story. Otherwise, this is was an intriguing story, complete with humor, tragedy, romance and a bit of suspense. I wasn’t always happy with the journey but I loved its realism, edginess and honesty to the characters who were all well developed. I am looking forward to continuing the series.(I received an ARC from the publisher)

  • Crista
    2019-05-03 03:26

    What a nice surprise Can't Buy Me Love turned out to be! I was laughing out loud for the first couple of chapters thinking that this was going to be a light, fluffy, romantic comedy, and then things changed quickly! Can't Buy Me Love was an incredibly deep, emotional journey that had the power to elicit strong feelings throughout. Luc BakerProfessional hockey player, ripped body, handsome as all get out, protective of family, tormented, and disciplined...what more could a girl ask for? However, there was definitely more to Luc than what the eye could see. It's hard to imagine what professional athletes must go through as their bodies begin to break down and they are unable to continue to play the sport that has defined them and given them their identity. Luc struggles with this throughout this book and it is a heartbreaking thing to watch.Tara Jean SweetKnockout blond with a big chest and seductive ways. She has set her sights on Luc's elderly father, and intends on marrying him (for his money), but again...things are not always as they appear. Tara Jean was a truly tragic character. Raised by a horrifically abusive and neglectful mother, Tara learns early that her only resource is to use her beauty (and her body) to survive. Her past is littered with poor decisions and a horrific ex-boyfriend who exploited her. She struggles with deep shame and does not like herself.Although the attraction is immediate, Luc and Tara begin as adversaries. Luc's negative impression and beliefs about Tara cause him to treat her cruelly at the beginning of this story, but as they come to understand one another an unlikely friendship develops that was believable and very sweet. Both Luc and Tara begin personal journey's towards acceptance, healing, and the hope for a new tomorrow. I loved this romance and had a very hard time putting it down. The writing is excellent, witty, and clever. The characters are three dimensional and real, and the plot is very engaging. What more could a reader ask for? Victoria BakerLuc's sister and the heroine for O'Keefe's next book Can't Hurry Love. Honestly, I did not like this character at all for most of the book, but towards the end, this spoiled, weak, insecure woman starts to change her life. I can't wait to see what's next for this character and the tall, sexy, silent cowboy that oozes sex appeal!I highly recommend this book, and can not wait for the sequel which is out in July!I received this book via Amazon's Vine Program

  • Dinjolina
    2019-05-16 04:26

    Why did people like this en mass?Sure, the blub sound catchy, and cool…I pretty much panted from the utterly consuming need to read this book. It was supposed to be so good!Lies, all lies!Joking. It is not a really bad book. It is just not interesting. On the other hand, it does have a very dark and gloomy setting, with lots of drama.I could have been happy with that if not for the overall pretentiousness of the writing stile.I know authors think they should be the next literary wonder by using long sentences, lots of fancy wording, and the overall dramatic flare in their adjective choosing -but let me clue you in- most of you are in the slums of average with the rest of us. So, writing like this? Makes you sound snobby.The only author I came across that can really pull this off is Steven King. And I’m not even a big fan of his. I just respect the way he writes.Now, back to this read. All in all, the author strived to deliver mysterious and deep characters. But she threw so much at them they all seemed like cardboard cutouts that had avant-garde written over them in black marker. Not a pretty sight.Also, I found myself drifting away from the story because nobody was likable. There was nobody I could relate to.The heroine was on top of the list, and almost making me care- but not enough.I remeber nothing of the hero - he was that much of a ex hokey player cliche.The heroe's sister is so washed out and horrible I am stunned by the fact that she gets her own book! It seems the author is on a roll when it comes to poor plot choices that revolve around bad heroes and heroines. So, the bottom line? Don’t let the perky cover deceive you. :)Run , Forest, run!!

  • Manda Collins
    2019-05-13 01:05

    Molly O'Keefe's first foray into the land of single-title romance is a book I won't soon forget. Can't Buy Me Love is a complex, nuanced and emotionally powerful story of two people who if not for an old man's dying wish would never even have met. I loved the way that O'Keefe revealed, layer by layer, the reasons behind Tara's position in the Baker household--not all of them particularly nice--and her unflinching portrayal of Tara, flaws and all. Readers aren't always kind to problematic heroines, but I don't think this story would have been nearly as moving or emotionally satisfying if O'Keefe had taken the easy way out. I also loved the choices the author made when it came to Luc's character arc. In a lot of ways, he and Tara were two sides of the same coin--neither of them capable of valuing themselves outside the external trappings of their respective worlds. Luc's struggle to come to terms with the possible end of his twenty plus years in professional hockey struck me as very realistic, and the way that O'Keefe resolved the issue also rang true. The HEA, when it came, was utterly satisfying, in part because it was so hard won.Overall, I am thrilled to see one of my favorite category authors to venture into longer, more complex stories. And I can't wait to read the next installment in this series.

  • Mandi Schreiner
    2019-05-20 06:22

    I read 120 pages and am DNF'ing. I don't like the set up with the father making Luc stay at the ranch and work for 5 months so his sister can have a million dollars. And I'm not feeling why Luc wants to kiss Tara, when in every other scene he doesn't like her.Just don't like the set-up or the characters in this one.

  • Pamela(AllHoney)
    2019-05-23 06:35

    A light contemporary romance. Tara Jean is a woman who makes a deal with her elderly, dying, wealthy boss. She will pretend to be his fiance to lure the man's children back to the ranch. Luc is the man's estranged son. Angry and resentful, he only returns at his sister's requests. But the old man dies and leaves the ranch and the majority of the leather business to Luc. I didn't always like the route this story took but it came together nicely. It didn't lag too much and had a satisfying ending.

  • Melanie♥
    2019-04-25 08:06

    Goodreads Giveaway WinLooking forward to receiving it in the mail.Just finished Can't Buy Me Love and am feeling a bit ambivalent about it. I wanted to feel a real connection to the characters and I like a book with a lot of angsty emotion, but this one just missed the mark for me. I did not feel a depth of character development and the story meandered. But despite that, I did finish it in two days and that encourages me to continue with the series.

  • Tina
    2019-04-30 03:27

    3.5 starsCan’t Buy Me Love is the first book in the Crooked Creek Ranch series by Molly O’Keefe. I discovered Molly when I read an anthology that contained a couple I fell in love with. I later found out that couple is highlighted in book 3 of this series. So, I couldn’t wait to get started. This was a very nice read and I’m glad I got the opportunity to give it a chance. Tara Jean Sweet has royally messed up her life. She had a tough start, but it’s no excuse in her mind. Meeting Lyle Baker was her chance to live an honorable life. He gave her a job designing leather goods for his company and upon his death she would get a stake in his company. All she has to do is pose as the money grubbing, floozy fiancé to Lyle. This should bring his long, lost children running home in a huff. She expects anger and hatred from the spoiled brat, rich kids. But, she doesn’t expect the undeniable attraction she feels when Lyle’s son is near. He has no idea the person she is and the things she has done. He wouldn’t, couldn’t ever be interested in her if he knew. She doesn’t even like herself.“It’s about me. It’s about wanting something and taking it. It’s about being tired of being alone and cold and untouched. It’s about feeling something good after a long, long time of feeling nothing.”Luc Baker doesn’t need his father and never will. He got out of the years before and was saved by a career in hockey. Now, it seems like everything is falling down around his ears. He’s had one too many concussions and could very well be on his way out of the only life he knows and wants. That’s why when his sister shows him the wedding invitation for his father and bimbo Barbie he could care less. He has his own problems. But, his sister is livid and plans to talk some sense into the evil man that fathered them. Always the protector, he can’t let her go alone. Seeing his father, brings back so many demons that he thought he had buried. To make it even worse, the man is so frail and dieing Luc can’t even yell and have his say. Lucky for him, he has a target for his anger, Miss Tara Jean. Nothing is working out the way he wants to. Instead of hating Tara, he finds himself wanting to protect her. He is drawn to her sweet nature, even though she tries so hard to hide it and the attraction is electric. Once he’s accepted the inevitable he’s ready to jump in with both feet. Now, he just has to find a way to convince Tara she can’t continue to be punished for her past and to move on to a future with him.“I love you, Tara. But the problem is you don’t even see the woman you are and until you do, I don’t have a chance of convincing you.”I enjoyed this story. It was a nice read, but a little wordy. It drug on in a few places, but I imagine that was inevitable. There was a lot of background to cover in this book to set up for the next stories in the series. Overall, I would say give this series a chance. You can find this review and others at

  • Janga
    2019-04-27 07:08

    Can’t Buy Me Love sounds like a cute, clever contemporary romance. The deceptiveness of that impression seems appropriate since deceptive appearances is one of the novel’s motifs. The title seems to be amusing pop culture word play, but it is far more. Tara seems to be engaged to Lyle Baker, but she isn’t. Luc thinks she’s a shallow slut out for all she can get, but she isn’t. Tara thinks he’s a spoiled celebrity who can’t be bothered with his aging father, but he isn’t. There is humor in the book, but there is no froth. Tara and Luc are characters shaped by their abusive pasts that have left them damaged in ways that adulthood and success have not healed. Strong chemistry and captive hearts cannot make them whole and healthy enough to accept themselves as people of value who deserve to be loved. The damage is not limited to the principal characters. Luc’s sister Victoria is filled with self-hatred and unable to define herself apart from a man. Eli Turnbull, the ranch foreman, is consumed with bitterness that the land that belonged to his family for generations is now Baker land. Near the end of the novel, Victoria voices a truth all the characters must learn: “We’re more than our mistakes. . . . More than our pasts. We can be more than the things we let define us.” Once Tara and Luc accept this truth, they can accept their flawed selves and open their hearts to receive the love that is waiting for them. These sentences are thematic not only for Can’t Buy Me Love but also for Molly O’Keefe’s work generally. It is a theme that was present, if less directly articulated, in The Temptation of Savannah O’Neill, the first O’Keefe book I read, a theme I found throughout the backlist I then glommed, and one that resonates in her newest work of category fiction, Unexpected Family. Can’t Buy Me Love is a single-title debut worth celebrating. Molly O’Keefe tells a great story that evokes laughter and tears, and she does something more. She reminds her readers of a truth we all need to learn. I highly recommend this book. See full review at The Romance Dish:

  • Stephanie Collins
    2019-05-06 08:12

    This is sort of a hard review to write...I liked the book ... Some sections I adored... I liked Tara Jean and Luc but something fell flat with them together. Not that I think they aren't a good pair but something just wasn't 100% there with the pairing.The good: 1. Tara Jean - You want to not like her at the beginning just from the fact she was willing to participate in the farce used to get the kids home. You also want to dislike the fact that she is judging people she has never met and just heard about from a man that she knows others have major issues with. Now how can this be good??? She just is a truly good person under all the pretense and history. I personally was rooting for her to get an HEA as she so rightly deserved. 2. Luc - All I can say is HOT HOT HOT HOT. He has a lot of issues and once again he is one that you want an HEA for since he is just a truly good man.The annoying: 1. Victoria - The sister just worked my nerves in this book... She has the next book but the whole woe is me angle just wore me out.2. Eli - He had one redeeming feature in this - He stood up for Tara Jean.... but I'm not sure if I will like him in the next one as he always seemed to be pissed at the world. Brooding heroes I like but...Ok... While I liked the story I'm not sure if I 100% bought that Luc and Tara Jean really were the perfect match... I'm hoping we get some views of them in the next book that makes me more comfortable with the pair and I really hope that the main pair (see annoying above) make up for their appearances in this one. Special thanks to and Bantam for providing me the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest review.

  • Samantha
    2019-05-10 01:26

    Ok... I ride the fence with a 2 or a 2.5. I started off thinking this book was decent. Sure, from the start, it wasn't the best but I figured it was going to get better. The main problem with this book is that it has a few plot holes. I'm not sure if the author knew how to tie things together. Luc and Victoria both end up back home when they learn that their father was marrying a younger woman that they assumed was a bimbo. I could definitely understand Victoria showing up because she wanted the inheritance but Luc was so adamant about not going. Why should he? He's a famous hockey player with money. Needless to say, he goes with Victoria to get what is due to them. I honestly felt that in those first few pages they could have done a better job explaining why they held so much resentment towards their father. It was lightly brushed over. Shortly after they arrive, the father dies and the story begins.I did like the chemistry between Tara and Luc but at times their moods was a bit scattered. The emotions bounced around a bit too much. He was mad. She was in lust. She hated him. He was over the moon with her. I needed some consistency. The secondary characters did little to hold my interest. This could have been a better story but it just wasn't well thought out.

  • Maureen McGowan
    2019-05-13 05:34

    Full disclosure, I know Molly, but I absolutely loved this book! Right from the opening lines, which made me laugh out loud and embarrass myself in public. I love how each one of the characters in this book has layers and isn't who they first seem to be. Molly O'Keefe writes characters who become so real for me, so alive. They talk and argue like real people, unlike the characters in many contemporary romance novels. Sure, sometimes they're mean to each other, lash out and say things they later regret. Just like we all do in real life.One pet peeve I have about the romance genre as a whole is how generic the heroines can be. In an effort to make them likeable, some authors make the heroines so sweet and bland and perfect that, while they won't offend anyone, neither are they very interesting. O'Keefe's characters seem real to me. Fully formed. Human.Can't Buy Me Love is funny, sexy and heartbreaking.I can't recommend this book highly enough. Especially for those of you who don't necessarily read a lot of romance. This book will surprise you with it's humor, it's pathos, it's depth.

  • Lisa Hutson
    2019-05-22 05:25

    Do not be fooled by the cover on this book. It is a sexy lovely fun cover. It is nothing like this story. This story is hard and human. It is rare to find someone that can write a story this way. The h/h disliked each other to begin with, they fought, insulted each other. Usually, when someone tries writing this story, I find myself screaming, Oh for crying out loud, just get into the bed already!But not this story. The characters were human, real, not all mean, not all good. The whole group of them were. Not just the stars. The feelings and moods, the sex and the needs, the look of the places, people, clothes, jewelry, the cows for goodness sake. All so well written, I could feel it all. I wanted to keep reading. I did not want to sit this book down. It is not typical in any way.They are messed up. The whole lot of them. And they manage to keep trying and find their way.The characters do grow and change thru the story. Tara & Luc. I am so happy for them. I wonder if I will get an invitation to the wedding? Loved this story.

  • Maggie
    2019-04-30 01:11

    In Search of New Smut... the search continues.

  • Lisarenee
    2019-05-14 01:26

    Lyle Baker had a plan to get his family to visit him. Tara Jean Sweet had agreed to go along with the scheme because he was offering her a portion of the Leather fashion design company she had helped to bring back from the brink of bankruptcy. Lyle was dying and he wanted to see his kids one last time. He couldn't claim to have been a good father, but in his own way he loved his kids. Perhaps he just wanted to make amends or maybe he just wanted the opportunity to control them one last time. One thing was for sure, he figured an invitation to his wedding, which included a picture of him and Tara, would send his family scrambling to his side to stop him. After all, millions of dollars were at stake and Lyle was a master manipulator. He knew how to push their buttons.Luc Baker didn't wish to go back. He'd put his past and his father behind him a long time ago. His childhood home did not hold any fond memories, and he didn't want the feelings his father had instilled in him as a child to awaken ever again. While he didn't need his father's money, for he had plenty of his own, his sister, Victoria, was another story. Too proud to take any of Luc's money, she was financially challenged and had felt, after the awful childhood she'd endured at her father's hands, she was owed her inheritance. She'd been counting on it to see her through. Lyle knew all this, and he knew his son would never let his sister down. So despite being handed the news by his physician that his career might be over, Luc escorted his sister home to his father. He was prepared to deal with his father. What he wasn't prepared for was Tara. She wasn't what he expected and wasn't like anyone he'd ever met before. While his father may have done a number on him, Tara might just be his undoing.___________________They say first impressions are important, and they are, especially those our parents have of us. They can lift us up or bring us down. They can emotionally scar us even if no one else can see the wounds. It's those scars, hidden deep within us, that can haunt us for life and, if we let them, allow the one person we shouldn't let control us to do so years after the physical or emotional abuse has ended. That is the one things Luc and Tara have in common.Luc had done all he could to stay away from his father. He'd built himself a career as one of the best hockey players and had hopes and aspirations of bringing the Cup to his team in Toronto. But what he hadn't realized was that he was still tormented by what had transpired all those years ago. While he no longer sought his father's approval, a portion of him still bought the BS his father had tried to sell him all those years ago, that he wasn't good enough. He'd thrown himself into his career and, other than his sister and mother, distanced himself from any serious relationships.Tara had been raised by a mom who really didn't have time for her and finally kicked her out at 16. That was when she'd fallen in with Dennis, a scam artist, and had paid for it dearly when she tried to get out. That is how she ended up in the same hospital as Lyle nearly five years ago. She's tormented by her past sins and Lyle managed to build up her self esteem by offering her an honest job as a designer of a leather clothing line with his company Baker Leather. Later, he'd offered her financial security by way of a percentage of Baker Leather in exchange for her going along with his plans to stage a fake engagement. While Lyle was compensating Tara for her help, he was also setting her up to be in a bad position when he passed. He left his kids thinking she was a gold digging tramp who had targeted their dad.My favorite quote:"We're more than our mistakes...More than our past. We can be more than the things we let define us."I truly enjoyed the book and gave it 4 out of 5 roses. I enjoyed the drama created when Tara's past came back to haunt her. I loved watching Luc and Tara come to terms with their pasts. I loved how Luc seemed to figure out Tara so quickly. It kind of tied in to they way he was with his teammates. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one scores a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

  • JoLee (Wickedly Delicious Book Blog)
    2019-05-10 03:16

    I was excited to buy Can’t Buy Me Love and look forward to reading it. But it was not what I expected. The cover is delicious and the synopsis sounded interesting but the writing does not flow and almost all the characters fell flat, are mean and not very likable. I was not feeling Luc. In the beginning I thought he was sweet to take care of his half sister Victoria by letting her and his nephew Jacob live with them. I liked how he is protective of her and Jacob especially when it comes to their abusive father Lyle. He is for sure the brooding hero who can not accept the fact that he is injured and might not be able to play hockey again and has serious issues about his past with his abusive father Lyle. The times he thinks of his past and his father are a bit sad but the writing did not pull me in where I wanted to weep for him. Just knowing the fact he was abused was sad. Tara Jean the heroine was too wishy washy for me. One minute she is falling for Luc and the next out of the blue she turns into a bitch. I get she is trying to protect everyone on the ranch from her psycho ex but in one chapter she is sweet to Luc and the next bang she is bitchy.Did not feel any chemistry with Luc and Tara Jean. Not when they were trying to make a go of their relationship. The sex scenes are boring and way too much talking and not the good “Dirty Talking”All the secondary characters do play a important roll in the book but Victoria was a spoiled brat. I get she had everything she wanted before her husbands betrayal and his suicide and was taken care of but really I would think mother instincts would kick in and she would do what ever it took to care of her son and not be like I need my inheritance and I do not know how to work, I do not have experience. Then she lets her son see his grandfather who also abused her as a kid. The only two characters I found interesting were Luc’s Mother Celeste who I adored. As soon as she found out Lyle was abusing Luc she made sure he never went back to the ranch to see him when he was younger. I loved how Luc is a grown man and still his mother has the upper hand. I giggled during Lyle’s funeral when Luc is talking to Victoria and Celeste pinched his arm and when he was going to make a call, she took the phone away and told him, he was being disrespectful. The other character I liked and want to know more about is Eli. He seems mysterious and I am curious about him. I enjoyed how is kind and protective of Tara Jean.Lyle was a mean character and even meaner in his will. That is when things start getting interesting. The story does take awhile to get to this part. Even though this book was just okay for me I am still interested to see how everything is played out with the land etc. from the will. Eli and Victoria story is next and even though she is not my favorite character I am still curious about Eli. I am going to read their story as I think this series does have potentialOriginally posted at Wickedly Delicious Book Blog

  • Shari
    2019-04-28 05:32

    This was one very interesting book. I knew what it was about before I started it, but I didn’t expect not to like the characters right off the bat. There just wasn’t a lovable part about Lyle Baker and nothing redeemable either. He was just a real sleaze bag. But he is the center of the story as the older man, plotting and planning on his death bed to get his son and daughter back on his ranch.Tara Jean Sweet is an interesting heroine. She’s from the wrong side of any track. She has changed her name and tried to make a new life for herself running Lyle’s leather design business. Lyle knew what she did and still gave her a chance to make something of herself. Now a few years later, the business is making money, but Lyle wants her to act like his young fiance to get his kids to come back.When Lyle sends an engagement announcement to his son, Luc just wants to ignore it. He has moved on with is life and wants no part of his father. But his half sister, Tori, needs the money after a scandal with her ex-husband leaves her broke. Luc only wants to forget his father and take care of his sister, but she is determined not to allow a floozy to take her inheritance even though she has been disinherited. Also, Lyle doesn’t know she has a son, his grandson.When all parties get together, it is an explosion of personalities. Luc is the big time hockey player at the end of his career. Tara Jean’s just trying to keep her head above water and on the good side of the law. The sister is weak, the ranch hand is dark and mean feeling, the housekeeper seems ditzy, Luc’s mom is just to stuck up and weird. Most of all, I couldn’t figure out why anyone liked Lyle.While I finished the book, I never felt like I connected with the characters. Tara Jean seemed to complain a lot. She doesn’t like anyone and says some of the, pardon me, bitchiness things in this book about motherhood and kids. While she doesn’t need to have kids of her own, she can damn well keep her opinion to herself. Ok, that is just how I felt when I kept hearing her complain about stains on a mother’s shirt.While I tended to like Luc better, it wasn’t by much. He has an injury that basically has ended his career but he refuses to accept it. Then there was something about a brain bacteria that never really got explained. We never knew if it was going to eat up his brain or he just needed some antibiotics. It just seemed a little silly.The sister, Tori, is a piece of work. One minute you like her and her devotion to her son. The next minute I wanted to smack her for thinking she was entitled to things. Go out and get a job, lady! It was just like she only felt she was good being a wife and I got tired of it.So overall, I just never connected with anyone in the book. It just seemed to be a lot of people unhappy with life and they never got happy with life. The love scenes were very one dimensional and never steamed up anything. It just wasn’t a book I liked nor could recommend.

  • Mskychick
    2019-05-07 06:28

    I won this ARC book in the First Reads contest/giveaways. I have never read anything by this author before. Wow, what a great book! I loved it. I already have the next book on my list of books to get, when it is released in July. Almost all of the characters in this book has some deep-rooted emotional issues. There is a lot of angst in this book. The amount of emotional scaring got a little much a few times, but it really gives depth to the book. This is not some fluff feel-good book. This is a book about redemption and growth, as well as a romance. Tara Jean Sweet agrees to pretend to be the fiance of an elderly man, who will inherit everything when he dies. Lyle asks her to do this to lure his estranged children back to his Texas ranch for him to see before he dies. Lyle's son, Luc, does not want to see his father or forgive Lyle for his behavior toward him and his half sister. Luc shows up with preconcived hatred for Tara and an old grudge against his father. As he gets to know Tara, however, he comes to realize that all is not as it seems, and he falls in love with her against his better judgment.Tara Jean Sweet used to be a sort of small time con artist. Not really running cons, but charming money out of elderly naive men in hospitals. She's been running from her past, but it comes back to bite her (and others on the ranch) in the butt. She has a hard time believing in love because of her past, with her mother and her many boyfriends, as well as her past involvement with the con man who convinces her to fleece the elderly men in hospitals. Because of her body and face, she has been objectified her whole life, and her feelings of self worth are generated by how men perceive her. She acts and dresses like a hooker as a defense mechanism, and I enjoyed her more when she started to allow herself to realx instead of being a caricature of a sexpot (her nickname by her "fiance's" family is Blonde Bimbo")Luc is an NHL hockey player. I thought that there was going to be more hockey in the book when I started reading it, but he is at the end of his career due to health issues. Luc has his own personal issues of self worth to deal with, along with dealing with the end of his career. I thought the author did a good job at the beginning of the book making the hockey parts feel realistic. My main beef with sports romances is that the sports part is typically wildly unrealistic. Later in the book, the sports realism slips somewhat, but I didn't find myself rolling my eyes at those parts because they were not as egregious as most sports romance-writing errors by other authors.I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I would definitely recommend it enthusiastically to others!

  • Mandapanda
    2019-04-29 01:28

    I bought this book because of a great review on Dear Author and because I love the enemies to lovers theme. It's the story of Tara Jean Sweet, a beautiful woman from the wrong side of the tracks, who has done some bad things in her life but is now trying to turn things around. Her elderly employer is trying to reunite with the children he wronged so long ago. To entice them to visit him at his ranch he persuades Tara to pretend to be engaged to him, thus threatening their inheritance.There are flashes of excellence in this story. The creation of Tara's character, her Southern trailer trash demeanour, her burning need to improve herself. Same with Luc's character. It's easy to sympathise with his denial of his sports injuries and the end of his hockey career. They have a fair amount of chemistry together too. But, God, they are all over the place emotionally. One minute aggressive, saying unforgivable things, the next minute all caring. The whole tone of their relationship and the plot is uneven and annoying and just doesn't make sense. I really disliked Luc's sister Victoria, who is such a professional 'victim'. The fact the the ranch falls into her hands at the end of the novel, taking it away from Eli the hardworking ranch-hand, was extremely annoying to me. There's no way I could read their book. The other characters were ok, not overly developed but no doubt they will get more growth in the next novel. It reminded me a little of Susan Elizabeth Phillips novels, but a lot grittier, lacking her perfect technique, and having less appealing characters. It was fun to read at the start but I got more annoyed as the book went on. It seems to polarise readers who either love it or hate it. I'm still on the fence with this one.

  • Sue Grimshaw
    2019-05-19 04:33

    Just finished the first book in Molly's new series with Bantam, CAN'T BUY ME LOVE. The Crooked Creek series looks to be delightfully fun as Molly's writing is full of wit! The story is perfectly paced as I just flew thru the book. This is actually the first I've ever read of Molly's books & I now know that I will be combing her backlist to see what else is available -- Story recap:Heroine Tara Jean Sweet grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and does not turn down a good opportunity when she sees it; rich rancher and dying father with estranged children, Lyle, wants her to become his fiance with the sole intention to lure his kids back home. Luc & his sister return for the funeral and sadly enough, so the fun begins. Luc thinks Tara is a gold-digger only to find out that was not the case at all and that she is no more interested in the family money than the man in the moon. Soon her unfortunate past comes to haunt her and with Luc's help things work out in the end ---- oh, did I mention, Luc is a professional hockey player???? YUM!Fun, Fun, Fun! Readers who like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susan Mallery and Rachel Gibson will enjoy this story.More from readers:“Molly O'Keefe delivers addictive and sexy romance at its best: irresistible and satisfying . . . a terrific read.”—New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery“Molly O’Keefe is a unique, not-to-be-missed voice in romantic fiction . . . an automatic must-read!”—New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen

  • Ac
    2019-05-18 08:07

    I am so loving this book. I just finished it last night. I am not a professional reviewer just to let you know, I'm more of a professional romance book reader who loves happy endings. I won this book in the First Reads contest/giveaways. My version is ARC- advanced reader copy. Fist off I love this book. The dialogue is smart, witty and full of snark. I totally see a lot of the conversations really taking place. The book flowed pretty smoothly except for a few places. I did like how easy it was to get into the story. The conflict was real and painful for both the Hero/Heroine. I do like the that one of the main themes of this book is fresh starts are possible.Cannot wait for the second book in this series. I think that everyone will enjoy this book when it comes out in June 2012.

  • Karina Bliss
    2019-05-16 02:11

    I've been saving this as a reward for writing pages and it was worth waiting for. Loved the conflict between the hero/heroine and the masterly descriptions like this one. "She hitched a curvy hip (onto his father's sickbed) and curled her body around the old man's. A vine suffocating the life it climbed all over except Lyle smiled at her, running a frail hand over her thigh and leaving it there. Luc's fingers twitched."

  • Jess
    2019-05-13 03:31

    I had a hard time with this story. I never connected with the characters, from the leads to the supporting characters (with the expecting of a young boy, Jacob) everyone is so hard, and yes, they're all dealing with the crap life is throwing at them, but they're just not likable people. Full review to come...

  • Norma
    2019-05-18 01:20

    Goodness this was not good. I kind of liked the story, unfortunately it was written about awful, unlikable characters. It was like the author set out to write about a-holes, but she forgot to redeem them! The next book will be about a supporting character, Victoria. I cannot imagine anyone who read this book would even consider reading her book. Really disappointing book.

  • Stef
    2019-04-26 06:29

    Fast read. Must read series in order. The characters carry through. 1st book was very good, action packed, suspense, comedy, very little sex scenes but great story.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-21 04:13

    {This review originally appeared on Clear Eyes, Full Shelves.}… she realized she wanted more. Not a husband or a bunch of kids burping on her clothes … but a life. A real one. A chance to figure out who she was...When I read that Molly O'Keefe's main character in Can't Buy Me Love was inspired by Tyra Collette from Friday Night Lights ("Tyra times 10" is how she referred to her), I immediately set aside my deeply-held philosophical objection to images of creepy waxed man chests* to check out her take on one of my favorite fictional characters. What I found in Can't Buy Me Love was surprising.You know I'm not a voracious romance reader, nor an expert on the subject like Rebeca is, so I probably have a lot of preconceived notions about what a Big R Romance is. Most of those notions went straight out the window with Can't Buy Me Love.Tara Jean Sweet is a prototypical woman from the wrong side of the tracks. She's spent much of her life scrapping and fighting for every little thing she has. When she's offered a stake in a Texas rancher's leather business (she already designs items for the company) in exchange for a pretending to be his fiance in hopes of luring the rancher's estranged children back to the ranch, she jumps at the chance. This is her opportunity to have something that's hers, that's legit--even if the means to that end are sketchy.That rancher's son is Luc, aging professional hockey player who's literally suffered too many blows to the head as his team's enforcer, and is facing a potentially career-threatening, if not life-threatening, brain injury if he doesn't stop playing. His father soon dies after Luc and his sister (who's a main character in O'Keefe's novel, Can't Hurry Love) descend on the ranch, leaving him obligated to fulfill a series of conditions of his father's will--and making him Tara Jean's boss.More than anything, I was stuck by the character development of both Luc and Tara Jean.The arms she held across her chest were clutched tight as if she were just barely holding herself together. Unwanted empathy twisted through Tara, who knew all too well what it felt like to have only yourself to protect you from the forces that wanted to tear you apart. Empathy. What garbage.Tara Jean is hard. She's determined. She wants something different from her future, and so even though I didn't like her early on, I respected her and I rooted for her. Particularly heartbreaking to read--and quite emotional, which I didn't expect--was Tara Jean's disconnect from a physical and emotional connection to both herself and others.She leaned over slightly and arranged things to optimum advantage, her fingers cold on her skin. Impersonal. Considering how disconnected she felt from her body, she might as well be arranging fruit.She's a very attractive woman, one that turns heads in a big-haired Texas way, but she's completely detached from herself.A million years ago, men and the way they could make her feel were her favorite candy. The best kind of sweetness. But no longer. That woman was gone. Never to be seen again. She was stronger than desire. Tougher than want. She wouldn’t be brought down by a man again. Never. Again.Obviously, this is a romance, so that detachment changes when she meets Luc, but it's not a wham-bam sudden transformation (which would have been a deal-breaker for me, since it would have been incongruous with Tara Jean's character). Rather, while they are most certainly attracted to one another (again, this is a Big R Romance), Tara Jean keeps forcing her walls up, as she's determined to put all of her energy toward making something of the leather business.Luc shares this same sort of focus, but his is directed wholly toward hockey, and getting back on the ice so he can do the thing that defines him. The scenes from his point-of-view were as heart-wrenching as those from Tara Jean's, because he literally does not know how to be without hockey.His job on the ice was so clear. The expectations were simple. Puck in net. Manipulate the forces against him. Stay three steps ahead of everyone. Out here—in the real world—things were too damn messy.Y'all probably know that I'm a huge sports fan, and because of that, I often find portrayals of athletes in novels--especially those aimed at a female audience--incredibly frustrating and unrealistic (some of the lowest ratings I've given to books have been because of the ridiculous depiction of athletes). This was not a problem in Can't Buy Me Love, with the exception of the Dallas Mavericks being a hockey team and a reference to hockey quarters (as opposed to periods).Luc's single-minded in a way that's very typical, and his intense grief--yes, grief--over the potential loss of hockey in his life is absolutely palpable. He's willing to literally risk his life to play hockey (the condition Luc has is very common in high level sports), and I totally got why, which made this a particularly dark read at times. Luc took a swig of beer, as if challenging Billy’s assessment. As if to say fuck you and fuck Tara. Fuck everyone else I need to need me. He resisted as long as he could, his hands gripping the counter as if there were one of those cartoon gale-force winds working against him, threatening to suck him right back out to Tara. “Damnit.” He pushed the beer over to Billy and followed Tara out the door.He and Tara Jean are an unlikely match. O'Keefe created fantastic tension between these two, as they really are all wrong for each other on paper. Neither is really in a place to open themselves up to another person, since they don't really have their respective acts together at all. And, yet, it works.Ruby patted Tara’s hand and Tara looked down at Ruby’s dark fingers, her blunt nails. She barely felt it. It was as if her skin was dead and had been for years. She heard fire victims were like that. They couldn’t feel anything through the scar tissue. Her past had built up enough scar tissue to keep every sensation at bay. Except for Luc. She felt him. Which was disturbing.I think what struck me most is that even though Can't Buy Me Love has a happy ending, I never felt like all of Tara Jean and Luc's problems would be solved because they've found OMIGOD TRUE LOVE. I knew that their relationship would take work moving forward, but I also knew that they had the beginnings of something that would give them the support they needed to make a future for themselves, both as individuals and together.My biggest frustration was the introduction of a sub-plot related to Tara Jean's past. For me, I didn't need that conflict. Yes, I know in Big R Romance there needs to be a Very Difficult Conflict, but there was enough internal conflict for both characters, as well as the very real threat to Luc's physical well-being, that there was sufficient conflict for both of these characters to have work quite hard for their happy ending. Yes, this made for a dramatic ending, but a softer, more gentle ending would have sufficed for these two.My other big issue with Can't Buy Me Love has nothing to do with the actual book--it's the aforementioned packaging and marketing of the novel. The cover, the blurb and even the trailer would lead an unsuspecting reader to think this is a light, cute romance, and it's quite far from that. I really thought it was an excellent example of the broad possibilities of what romance writing can be, and was excited about that, because I haven't read a traditionally-structured romance that challenged me like Can't Buy Me Love did. But, if I'd been hoping for what was the presentation promised, I would have been quite frustrated, because there's a lot of darkness in Tara Jean and Luc's story.In a lot of ways, I can envision Can't Buy Me Love easily repackaged with a different cover (and maybe a notso** happy ending, natch) and being appealing as "Edgy Women's Fiction." (No, I am not really sure what that is, but I've seen that verbiage a lot lately.) There are a lot of layers to this gritty love story, and it's as much about each character's personal journey toward defining a new future for themselves as it is about the path toward sharing a future together.I know I've made this sound like a downer of a Big R Romance, and that wouldn't be at all fair to this unique novel. While it's definitely got a lot of edginess to it, and the characters are difficult, frustrating, human people, there's also endearing humor peppered throughout to soften this emotional story.“I can’t say I like the man,” Ruby whispered, as if Luc might hear her from a hundred yards away, “but I love watching him run away.”“You dirty bird,” Tara laughed, and Ruby smiled.“I’m old, not dead. Here.” She handed Tara the mail. FNL Character Rating: I know Tara Jean Sweet was inspired by Tyra, but I sure see a lot of her sister, Mindi Riggins, in this character.  *A girl's got to have priciples.**TMJessica DarlingDisclosure: Received for review from the publisher via NetGalley.Initial Reaction 07/03/2012: I read this because the author is a massive FNL fan and the main character was inspired by Tyra Collette. It's a really really risky story and while it's not perfect (there's a storyline about Tara Jean's ex I could've done without), I'm impressed. Give this book a different cover and get rid of the happy ending and this would be lauded as edgy "women's fiction."

  • Jenn Scranton
    2019-05-16 06:23

    Do you like hockey players? You know, all big, muscly, ill-tempered and yet full of steely control. Do you like a big protector and owner of a huge cattle ranch? Oh yea, you just described our man Luc. [image error]He may be 37 and his hockey career barreling towards its end, but he is no old man. He is one big hunk of intense protective muscle... mmm, excuse me while I drool a little.Though the book is also in the view of Miss Tara Jean Sweet, (yes it is a made up name), it really seems that Can't Buy My Love is about the blossoming of a man between all of the hot suspense.It really all seemed to change after that kiss. You know the one. That kiss in the barn, around the hay. After watching him throw hay bales... SEXY!!! After that we watched the Ice Man start to melt into a sweet tender man.For me, the heart melting moments lie in the coaching of Pee Wee Hockey. So cute!!! I suppose I should mention some things about Tara Jean. She did make me laugh. She was tough-ish. Not overly stubborn and not a flake. The constant mentions of candy did make me chuckle because we have all been there, right ladies?? You act big and bad to the world and turn and stuff your face with sweet goodness like a kid. Ok, let's address the elephant in the room.... The demon... I realize that was just her "creative mojo", or something like that, but there were times where I just thought she was a little nuts. I really could have done without it. Its pretty distracting when you think your heroine is a schizo. Leather. Leather. Leather and more leather. It has to smell fabulous in that shop! I was almost expecting the "Prostitute line", as some called it, to have some whips and such with that Baker leather. *sigh* Oh well. But what I wonder is how could that woman wear so much leather in Texas in JUNE??? Its 100 degrees, literally. And then when they mentioned the leather thong, hahahahaha. I have one word... ow. If you were wondering if Tara Jean ultimately got that deal with Nordstrom....Yes, I'm nerdy, I looked up pink cowgirl boots at Nordstrom. pink boots for little girls, hahah!!