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Can't Buy Me Love (Crooked Creek Ranch, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – June 26, 2012

76 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Crooked Creek Ranch Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

An Interview with the Authors
Contemporary Romance Authors Susan Andersen and Molly O'Keefe, took to social media to discover what fans really want to know about cover art, characters, and how they get the job done.

Do you get to choose the picture that goes on the cover of the books? And does it then match the idea YOU had in mind for your characters? -- Pamela Lowery
SA: I’m consulted on cover art—then I pretty much get what I get. I’ve had both horrid and great covers, but only on Bending The Rules did I look at a model and say, “Yes, that’s my hero!”

‘Course, when you end up with a model like Scotty Too Hotty (Burning Up) who cares if he’s not the image you had in your head? ;-D

MOK: The abs on the cover of Can't Buy Me Love, are exactly the abs I pictured on Luc Baker! Joking aside, I get my say in cover art, too. And I love my covers. Especially Can't Hurry Love, the details are so rich and I love his wrinkled shirt. Totally fits my hero.

I would love to know your routine. Is it structured? Different everyday? And how do you flesh out a story? -- Kristi's TeaRoom
SA: I outline just enough to sell on proposal. In truth, I don’t have a clue what will sputter from my fingertips until I plant my butt and start typing. I make deadlines by building books a day at a time. I sooo wish I wrote faster, but I have come to accept that this is my process. I also write largely by correction, laying down the bones, then fleshing ‘em out more with each new pass.

MOK: Routine? I'm unfamiliar with that word. I have two young kids at home (both will be in school full time next year!) so every day is pretty different for me. I do a lot of thinking and planning and brainstorming while playing Barbies or building Legos, and then, when I sit down, I write like someone is chasing me. I like Susan's answer so I'm going to steal it—I write by correction as well.

How do you keep the ideas coming for new characters/conflicts? -- Louise Groarke
SA: I’m character-driven: each book starts with a hero or heroine scratching at the back of my brain. In the case of That Thing Called Love, half-brothers Jake and Max Bradshaw—who grew up hating each other’s guts—were first to agitate for a story. Then my brainstorming partner and I tossed around ideas for Jake’s heroine and their conflict (Max had to wait, since he’s not primary until Book 2), and it went from there.

MOK: Can't Buy Me Love was totally inspired by NHL superstar Sidney Crosby and his concussion a few years back. I was fascinated by the idea of a man so physically fit, at the top of his game, having to walk away because of potential brain trauma. I had all these questions about the emotional impact that would have on someone, so I had to write the book to answer the questions!

SA: And trust me on this, Molly’s Can’t Buy Me Love will Knock. Your. Socks off!


“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

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Product Details

  • Series: Crooked Creek Ranch (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440423074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440423072
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,358,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Molly O'Keefe is an award-winning author of over 30 romance novels. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her family and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America. Sign up for her newsletter to get release day news, exclusive excerpts, sale announcements and in-depth author interviews!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Salvagin La Deetda Reads VINE VOICE on July 10, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I never got into the characters. I just couldn't find much to like about Tara who lamented her trashy background but continued to act trashy and Luc was in denial about everything for the entire book, made me just want to smack him. Vicki,Luc's sister, was screwed up and, just in case we didn't have enough melodrama, Vicki's sick son, Jacob, is there to have an asthma attack at dramatic moments. Eli was walking around with a pout on most of the book and I can't see him as a hero in the next book. I found the authors way of presenting dialog, without indicating the speaker, to be confusing and irritating. is safe to assume this book was not my cuppa tea, too much whining, too much drama, too little common sense and hard to believe a million dollar business came out of that greenhouse. This was a soap opera.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rabid Reader on July 10, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In order to like a book, I really need to like the characters. The leading man in this one was fine, but I never clicked with the female. She was not likeable. I understand she had a troubled past that was supposed to make her complicated, but she was just a bitch that wanted security in life. She was rude, even to children, and only gave vague warnings to fellow characters about the villain instead of the hard facts that would have armed them against him-- she did not say "I used to be his partner in crime and he had me beat up when I crossed him," but only "He is not what he seems."

Tara Jean's only asset seemed to be her looks- besides her appearance I never saw what drew Luc to her. They never seemed to bond on any level other than sex. I kept waiting for her to grow on me, but she never redeemed herself. She did get somewhat nicer, she still didn't inspire me to LIKE her. Her past "crimes" seemed inconsequential when compared to her current lack of redeeming character.

I did enjoy Luc's struggle with his career, and I liked the secondary character of Eli, who appears to be the protagonist in the next book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By whimsical1 VINE VOICE on September 24, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I gamely began this book with the understanding (based upon the back cover blurb) that the subterfuge would be quickly discovered between Tara Jean and Luc. It was- but by the time that mission was accomplished I was so disgusted by the plot that it was all I could do to keep reading. I sincerely tried but the "conflict" of the story of Tara Jean's ex's appearance was so contrived and nonsensical that I could not complete the book. Luc is a rich hockey player, Tara Jean maneuvers herself into a pretty sweet set-up (she's supposed to be independent, strong, taking control of her life) and she is still weak enough to get manipulated by her ex?! Frankly, I didn't like Tara Jean as a character and could not get past that; I didn't care what happened to her; with that established it made any actions by Luc appear to be silly as well. I have had a my fill of romances that include a "secret" that can destroy a new found love when the secret is idiotic to begin with. It wasn't enough to keep my attention at all and I felt cheated by the time I spent getting 3/4 of the way through the book. I would not recommend Can't Buy Me Love. Maybe if you are a fan of Molly O'Keefe this is just a bump in the road but for me, a new reader it was enough to let me know never to reach for one of her books again.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cherise Everhard VINE VOICE on June 3, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Tara Jean Sweet has a past she isn't proud of and has more than a few demons haunting her. Agreeing to be an aging and dying rancher's new fiancée is a scam she's not quite comfortable with, but she'd do just about anything for her friend. Lyle rescued her when she needed it, and now she's trying to get his estranged children riled up enough to make the trek back home.

Luc hasn't seen his father in years and there is no love lost there. He couldn't care less if he marries some young bimbo. He is a successful professional hockey player and doesn't need money and isn't worried about the will. His sister, Victoria, on the other hand feels differently. So she, her son Jacob and Luc head home to Texas.

Nothing turns out the way anyone plans. And when Lyle dies sooner than expected the complicated layers of these people get peeled away. What is revealed isn't always pretty, but tentative relationships are formed anyway.

I was a bad girl and after judging the book by the cover I was expecting a lighter fluffier read. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I ended up getting a whole lot more than I bargained for. I was really pleasantly surprised by this story. These characters have some ugly and dark pasts and some emotionally devastating presents. I was on an emotional roller coaster from page one.

Amidst the shadows that hover, there is plenty of light. Tara and Luc generate enough electricity to light up Texas, they make a fabulous couple. Tara makes me giggle and when she is being sassy you can't help but smile. All the characters make me want to know them more and as I read the last page I was thrilled to find out this is the first in the series. I will most definitely be buying the next book. I have to know what happens next!

Can't Hurry Love

Cherise Everhard, June 2012
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Krista Lyn VINE VOICE on June 4, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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, 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 Sweet:
Knockout 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.
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