Thursday, June 14, 2012

Early Review of Can't Buy Me Love by Molly O'Keefe

  • Title: Can't Buy Me Love
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Format:  Paperback, 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (June 26, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0440423074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440423072
  • Author's Website

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.

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