REVIEW: Can’t Buy Me Love by Jane Lovering
Is it all too good to be true?
When Willow runs into her old university crush, Luke, she’s a new woman with a new look – not to mention a little bit more cash after a rather substantial inheritance. Could she be lucky enough to score a fortune and her dream man at the same time?
Then Willow meets Cal; a computer geek with a slightly odd sense of humour. They get on like a house on fire — although she soon realises that there is far more to her unassuming new friend than meets the eye …
But money doesn’t always bring happiness, and Willow finds herself struggling to know who to trust. Are the new people in her life there because they care – or is there another reason?
Dear Ms. Lovering,
It’s been a while since I read one of your books so when I saw this offered at netgalley, I decided to rectify that. It’s a first person book with a lovable heroine, her dysfunctional family and the perfect hero for her. In uni, Willow used to long for handsome band singer Luke who never appeared to know Willow existed. Now it’s ten years later and seeing him still takes her breath away and triggers the unusual reaction which strikes when she’s around a man she fancies. After literally running into Luke in a pub, soon Willow is living her dream. Luke seems more than interested in her, calls her frequently, takes her out almost every night and tells her he secretly fancied her back at uni but was too shy to act on it. Her friends, while happy for her, are openly skeptical of the speed at which this relationship is blazing along. Frankly, I am too.
And then there’s the man her Gay twin brother was so eager for Willow to meet. As a potential boyfriend, maybe but if so, for whom? Her or brother Ash? Cal is interesting, easy to talk to but frankly has his overly intense moments when Willow doesn’t quite know what to make of him. The hints of Something in His Past Life are just that – hinted at yet not elaborated on yet he’s obviously got some angst going for some reason.
Willow’s BFFs question things about Luke even more. Why won’t he meet them, or take her to meet his father or show her his business site now being renovated with her money? Luke has answers for all this and Willow finds herself getting frustrated and angry at having to defend this man who has popped the question, made a down payment on buying a flat, gives her great sex and treats her well. Why can’t people just be happy for her? Especially the unknown someone slipping vaguely threatening notes under her front door.
What’s actually going on isn’t too hard to figure out. Willow’s initial reaction to the truth also makes sense given her personality and the Reliable One role in her family’s dynamics. The last third of the story when Willow stands up for what she wants and for what’s right is the best. This is when Willow faces how she has settled for safe and sensible in her life rather than take chances. Then she goes for what she wants and deserves. There is safety in numbers but also power – as several people find out due to Willow’s brilliant and bold plan to get justice.
Where I have a slight bit of reservation is in the ultimate relationship Willow enters. His attraction to her seems more love at first sight though he is willing to slow things down to be sure she’s not just on the rebound. Willow though does seem to move fairly quickly from acquaintances to friends to (incredible) f-buddies to romance. Given what she’s just got out of, it moved just a little fast for me. But as Willow says, they (hopefully) have years to learn everything about each other and fall more in love. B-