Title: Can’t Hurry Love by Molly O’Keefe
Crooked Creek Ranch Book Two
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
From award-winning author Molly O’Keefe comes a wonderfully written contemporary romance about second chances at life and at love.
Victoria Baker, the penniless widow of a disgraced financier, is ready to stand up, be counted, and make a new life for herself and her beloved son in Texas. She’s taking over Crooked Creek ranch, her birthright, and turning it into something special. All that stands in her way is Eli Turnbull, a rugged, too-handsome cowboy who wants the land just as badly.
If Victoria wants a fight, Eli will give her one. He’s devoted his life to Crooked Creek, and he’s not about to let some pampered city girl-even one as brave and beautiful as Victoria-turn it into some silly spa. But Victoria’s and Eli’s burning anger and frustration only fuel heat of another kind: uncontrollable passion. And soon they each realize that the person standing in their way is the one they can never do without.
Molly O’Keefe’s Can’t Hurry Love is a wonderfully messy and incredibly passionate love story between two emotionally wounded people. Victoria Baker and Eli Turnbull will have to make peace with their pasts and each other if they have any chance of a future together.
For part of Can’t Hurry Love, Victoria and Eli are difficult characters to like. They are both hurting and terribly wounded by their pasts. They are each trying their hardest to hurt one another as they fight over the Crooked Creek ranch. Their behavior is appalling and deliberately destructive. It is just a matter of time before the situation between them explodes and when it finally does, neither will emerge unscathed. Their antagonism ends in a shocking display of passion that forces Victoria to take drastic measures.
And that is finally the turning point for both Victoria and Eli. Victoria finally finds her backbone, gets off her butt and makes some decisions about what to do with her life. It is a slow process and she occasionally stumbles. But she is finally making progress dealing with her guilt and shame over her husband’s misdeeds and she is slowly regaining her sense of self and her confidence.
While Eli is starting over, all of his secrets are revealed. He is emotionally stunted and up until now, incapable of having a normal relationship. He is finally leaving the bitterness of his past behind and concentrating on the future. And in embracing his future, he is relieved of the burdens of his past. We begin to see the warm and caring man that is hidden beneath all the anger he feels toward the Baker family.
Eli and Victoria’s relationship is an emotional landmine, but the passion between them is explosive. Their sex scenes are raw, gritty and intense. But underneath all the hurt feelings and anger, are two people who are perfect for one another if they would just have the courage to give love a chance.
The one person that everyone has a healthy relationship with is Victoria’s son Jacob. Jacob is a typical little boy. He loves horses and he has a serious case of hero worship for Eli. Eli is wonderful with Jacob, and it is through this relationship that readers see the gentler and caring side of Eli. Victoria is a mother bear and a bit on the overprotective side, but she is a good mom. For all the uncertainty and turmoil going on in her life, she is on solid ground with her son.
One of the most enjoyable storylines revolves around Celeste Baker. Celeste is the ex-wife of Victoria’s father and an aging supermodel. Her relationship with Victoria is complicated and they tend to tiptoe around one another. It is nice to see them finally resolve their issues and work toward a common goal. Celeste eventually provides Victoria unwavering support and dispenses some pretty sound (and much needed) advice.
One of the most interesting story arcs is the older woman/younger man romance between Celeste and one of the contractors helping with the ranch renovations. It provides a great deal of insight into Celeste and explains a lot about her character. It is fascinating watching the sparks fly and passion simmer between these two unlikely lovers.
In Can’t Hurry Love Molly O’Keefe delivers a powerful story about redemption, forgiveness and love. It is full of heartache and it is almost painful watching the damage that Eli and Victoria inflict on one another. But watching them emerge from their darkest days stronger than they ever imagined makes the sometimes difficult but incredibly emotional journey worthwhile.
Read my review of Can’t Buy Me Love HERE.