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Can't Buy Me Love (Crooked Creek Ranch #1)

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,206 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
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 bu
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Bantam
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,794)
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♡Karlyn P♡
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, n
Anne OK
Mar 12, 2012 Anne OK rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads
(2/21/12--Received an ARC today from Romance@Random)

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.
Mar 21, 2012 Saly rated it really liked it
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 h
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 t ...more
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 Baker
Professional hockey player, ripped body, handsome as all get out, protective of family, tormented, and disciplined...what more could a girl ask for? However,
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
Manda Collins
Jun 01, 2012 Manda Collins rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Toni Blake, Lisa Kleypas
Recommended to Manda by: NetGalley
Shelves: contemporary
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 heroine
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.
Goodreads Giveaway Win
Looking 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.
Mandi Schreiner
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.
Jun 26, 2012 Janga rated it it was amazing
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 bo ...more
Lisa Hutson
Jul 03, 2012 Lisa Hutson rated it it was amazing
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
Tina "coffee and books"
3.5 stars

Can’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
Jul 26, 2012 Samantha rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Maureen McGowan
Jul 15, 2012 Maureen McGowan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
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 ...more
Stephanie Collins
Jun 21, 2012 Stephanie Collins rated it liked it
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 he
Mar 21, 2013 Maggie marked it as shelved
In Search of New Smut... the search continues.
Jun 20, 2012 Shari rated it it was ok
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
Jun 28, 2012 Mandapanda rated it liked it
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 f
Feb 25, 2012 Mskychick rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sue Grimshaw
Mar 01, 2012 Sue Grimshaw rated it really liked it
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 s
JoLee (Wickedly Delicious Book Blog)
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
Jun 14, 2012 Lisarenee rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Feb 24, 2012 Ac rated it really liked it
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
Feb 10, 2016 Gamruk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: güncel
Sen bilmesen de okundu bitti :D Sevgili Aysecigime cok teşekkür ederim bu güzel öneri icin. Keyifle okunan, akıp giden yormayan bir roman. Diğer #nemesiskitap lar gibi.

Nemesis'in bu ozelligini seviyorum zaten. Seni zorlamayan buhranlara suruklemeyen, çıtır cerez okunan kitaplar basiyorlar hep. Tesekkur ederiz efenim^^

Kitabin kisaca konusu ise sıkıntılı gecmisinden kurtulmaya çalışan Tara Jean ile yine hatırlamak istemedigi gecmisi (lahnet olasica Lyle Baker @_@) ve de kaybetmek istemedigi gele
Karina Bliss
Aug 15, 2012 Karina Bliss rated it it was amazing
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."
Jul 12, 2012 Norma rated it it was ok
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.
Jun 07, 2012 Jess rated it it was ok
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...
Jun 22, 2012 Misty rated it really liked it
Molly O’Keefe’s Can’t Buy Me Love is one fantastic debut. Can’t Buy Me Love has all the elements that I love in a contemporary romance, a pair of strong leads, with a good set of supporting characters. 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 ...more
Jul 26, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
{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 h
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Sneek Peek CAN'T BUY ME LOVE 5 17 Jul 24, 2012 04:15AM  
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Molly O'Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn't looked back. She loves exploring every character's road towards happily ever
More about Molly O'Keefe...

Other Books in the Series

Crooked Creek Ranch (3 books)
  • Can't Hurry Love (Crooked Creek Ranch, #2)
  • Crazy Thing Called Love (Crooked Creek Ranch, #3)

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