Review: Can’t Buy Me Love by Molly O’Keefe

Can't Buy Me Love

Can’t Buy Me Love by Molly O’Keffe

  • ISBN-13: 9780440423072
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/26/2012
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • Source: Netgalley


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 Thoughts:

I was very surprise at how much I really enjoyed Can’t Buy Me Love.  At first, I excepted that it was going to be one of those books that just kind of happens and would end in a perfect way where everyone is just on cloud nine.  What I found was a lot of pain and struggle along the way to something that ended happily.  There were many times that I was not sure that there would be a really happy ending, how could there be?  

The painful histories of all of these characters was raw and deep.  Luc has the painful background with his father and the reason why he left Texas and have never looked back.  Tara Jean has a rough past and one that she had run from.  There is a lot of plot that twists and turns but finally comes together in a place where you can see where the story is going. 

It was an enjoyable read, just not what I was expecting.  Can’t Buy Me Love was the first Molly O’Keefe book I have read and found her character development well done and thought out.  The plot sometimes felt like it crash but then would pick up pretty quickly again.

My Rating:




3 Penguins – decent story

Review: Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Where I BelongWhere I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley


  • ISBN-13: 9780061978845
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/8/2011
  • Pages: 291
  • Source: Purchased


Meet Corrinne. She’s living every girl’s dream in New York City—shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . .

When Corrinne’s father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she’s stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she’s supposed to be living. She doesn’t care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.—before the recession—was as perfect as it seemed.

My Thoughts:

Where I Belong started pretty slowly for me because I had a very difficult time connecting with Corrinne, the main character. She lives in New York City and meets all of the stereotypes that I have about very affluent city girls.  Corrienne spends money like there is no tomorrow and breaks all the rules because she just doesn’t think they should apply to her.  Really in the beginning she was just a rotten brat in my mind and that made it very difficult to connect with her.  Now, once Corrienne’s father loses his job and she is forced to moved to Broken Spoke, Texas, in other words, the middle of nowhere Texas and started to get a real taste of life it was easier to connect with her and I really began to enjoy her transformation.   At first, she hates everything about this small town but it really starts to grow on her without her even realizing it is happening.   Corrienne is faced with getting a job that pays $7.50 a hour cleaning stalls at a local barn, something her parent’s paid someone to do with her own horse back in New York.  My favorite part of Where I Belong is when her best friend from New York visits during the big rodeo, that Corrienne has put together a silent auction and t-Shirt sale together for.  It is a disaster everything that could go wrong does, that is not what I really enjoyed but rather this is the first time that Corrienne realizes how much she has changed and grown.

Now the ending of this story was a little too perfect for me.  I just can’t imagine in just 5 months that things would turn around as much as the appear too.  I would have liked for the story to go on a bit longer because it just felt like there was a lot of build up for a very quick and perfect ending.  Lots of build up for nothing.  

I enjoyed the vastly different personalities that the characters of Where I Belong have and how they all interact with each other.  I also enjoyed watching Corienne grow up during this story and really start to define who she really is.

My Rating:




3 Penguins, a decent quick read.

Author Guest Post and Review: Nothing Special by Geoff Herbach


I am always woefully unprepared when I hit the road.  Generally I gain a lot of weight from eating truck stop crap and also have to buy supplies along the way, because I’m not a good planner.  So, if I were to think about it ahead of time, rather than taking off half-cocked, these are the ten items I would make sure I had: 

  1. A cooler for my beer.  Just kidding.  I’d bring a cooler for yogurt and health drinks and for lettuce.  I’d also bring some almonds for heart health and some delicious fruit to tide me over until I can hit the next organic co-op along the way.
  2. Stretchy pants.  After agonizing over how much I don’t like vegetables, I will need to have stretchy pants, because I will likely freak out after a day, and then I’ll eat pizza and sub sandwiches and many bacon cheeseburgers.  If I’m in the south, I will eat cheese grits.  My jeans will burst and I’ll need stretchy pants.
  3. A harmonica.  I’ll use this when I’m singing the fat man blues.
  4. Several phone chargers.  I spill coffee on everything electronic when I’m road tripping.  Phone chargers fizzle fast.  I’ll likely need a new phone or two, but that’s a risk I’ll take (won’t buy in advance, due to expense).
  5. A paper map.  Electronics die when you spill coffee.  Paper just looks gross.  You can still read a map through coffee stains.
  6. A Frisbee.  My muscles get all knotted up.  Nothing feels better than chasing a Frisbee through the winds of some foreign place (if my heart can take it after all the bacon).
  7. Mad libs.  These are funny for three minutes.  The best three minutes of your trip will be spent creating a dirty mad lib.
  8. A friend or two.  My friend Sam and I went on a two-month book tour a few years ago.  We took lots of hilarious pictures in crazy places – like at crazy Niagra Falls – which made the trip seem fun! 
  9. Underpants.  Remember, you will want a change of underpants at some point.
  10.  A notebook.  The truth about road trips is that much time is spent suffering, confused, wishing you were home.  I love that.  I would rather suffer than be bored.  You get to know yourself when you’re uncomfortable.  Bring a notebook so you can keep track of your beautiful monkey thoughts.


That sounds about right.


Nothing SpecialNothing Special by Geoff Herbach

  • ISBN-13: 9781402265075
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 304


Hey Aleah,
I miss you. Because there’s some serious donkey crap going on right now. I’m supposed to be at football camp, but noooo … Andrew had to go missing! So because of my stupid little brother, I’ll probably lose my chance at a scholarship and end up being nothing special.

I’m pretty sure Andrew ran away to Florida, and now Gus and I have to drive cross-country to get him. Did you know Gus used to think Miss Piggy was hot? Anyway, Andrew once told me I needed to get my head out of my butt. So that’s what I’m trying to do. How about a kiss for luck?

My thoughts:

Geoff Herbach brings another very uniquely written book to the table with Nothing Special.  I have never read a book written in the manner that this is.  Written in letter style reflecting on both current events and looking back further to explain the background of what is currently happening.  Nothing Special starts at the beginning of Felton’s second football season the following year from Stupid Fast.  Felton is being scouted by colleges and his younger brother is acting very odd.  That is if odd is the right word.  There were many changes in life for all of the family and it has affected all of the relationships even down to Felton’s relationship with his best friend.  Felton’s younger brother, Andrew, makes a pitch to Jerri, their mom, to attend an orchestra camp and leaves for the summer. Gus, Felton’s ex-best friend,  finds out that Andrew did not go to this camp but ran away.  At the same time, Felton has been getting very odd emails and think that it is Gus being a jerk.  Anyhow, Gus knows that something is wrong and wants to help Felton find his brother and sort things out.  The boys start out on a massive road trip, lying to both parents that they are headed to the University of Michigan for college visits.  What Felton finds in Florida, is a family he never really knew about and this Grandfather who is very angry with his dead father.  This whole experience is very eye opening for Felton and he learns a lot about himself along the way.

It took me a while to get used to the style of writing in this book.  A letter form was very different, kind of like a journal but not really.  I did find that this was easier to read that Stupid Fast mostly because I knew what to expect of the language and attitudes of the characters.  I still enjoyed the male point of view but did feel that Nothing Special was a much more mature book that handled topics that seemed much more real and important.  It was not as full of fluff but more about dealing with feelings both expected and unexpected.  I also felt that the language used was more mature and better written.  

While not my favorite read, I did enjoy the story and believe that most young male readers would be drawn to the story.  I am pleased to see a second book in this series since there are so few books that have male main characters that teen boys would pick up and read.  I hope that that these books encourage more books to be written from this perspective.

My Rating: