CAN'T HURRY LOVE – Molly O'Keefe
Crooked Creek Ranch, Texas – Present Day
After having her life shattered by the revelation that her late husband was a crook who swindled people out of their money, Victoria Shulman is just trying to get her life back together. Her half-brother, Luc, is letting her stay on the ranch that he inherited from their late father, and Victoria is determined to lick her wounds in hiding while raising her son, Jacob. Unfortunately, the ranch foreman, Eli Turnbull, is ticked off because he didn't get the chance to buy the ranch, since he was the one who stayed there despite the old man's despicable behavior that included stealing the ranch from Eli's father. Add in the fact that Victoria and Luc stayed away for years, well, Eli is determined to make life hell for Victoria. But all that comes crashing down when they kiss...
Victoria is like a wounded animal in pain as she suffers self-inflicted blame for her husband's misdeeds and is also caring for her son who fell ill shortly after her husband's death. Eli's derisive attitude towards her doesn't make her feel better, and add in the fact that Luc's mother, Celeste, thinks Victoria is lazy for not getting up off the couch and doing something with her life, and one can see why her self-esteem is low. Even as she fires Eli after their earth shattering kiss, it brings her out of her misery and makes her take stock of what she can do. But will turning the ranch into a spa just invite more wrath from Eli, or continue the spark that's been lit between them?
Readers will remember Victoria from CAN'T BUY ME LOVE (July 2012) as the sniffling sister of the hero who depended on her brother to rescue her from one mishap after another. Eli was also a minor character who let Luc know he thought the Crooked Creek Ranch was rightfully his and wanted it. But the will decreed it went to Luc, and he is letting Victoria stay on the ranch while he returns to Canada with his now girlfriend, Tara Jean. As CAN'T HURRY LOVE opens, Victoria hasn't done much except take care of Jacob and moan about being unable to find a job. Celeste has also decided to stay, but Victoria thinks it's because the woman wants to continue to make her life miserable. But the two women reach a shaky truce as Celeste encourages Victoria to move on with her life. Eli doesn't help matters when he starts selling off the ranch assets, with Victoria's approval, even as she's unaware of his motives. If they have no way to make money, then the ranch is basically worthless. After realizing the ranch would make a great location for a spa, Victoria and Celeste set about making it happen. Victoria now has something in her life that makes her happy and useful. The change in her demeanor is readily apparent to Eli, though he's not aware at first of the reason why…that's she going to open a spa. Neither of them can forget their kiss and soon they're tangling lips again, which leads to more than kisses. But how will Eli react when he realizes Victoria is going to turn the ranch into a spa? Just as Victoria thinks things are going good, both with the spa and with Eli, her past life comes back to haunt her again. How will she react? Can there be any future between a woman who prefers manicures and a man who smells like horses most of the time?
CAN'T HURRY LOVE is a funny, enjoyable tale with snappy dialogue that makes this tale sparkle. In between Eli and Victoria having ups and downs in their love life, readers will get a side romance for Celeste and a contractor working at the spa. Meanwhile, Eli's past—his mother—returns to his life and threatens to turn him inside out. A lot happens in CAN'T HURRY LOVE, and you won't want to miss any of this enjoyable romance.