CAN’T BUY ME LOVE… Carson Adair’s father ruined Georgia Mason’s stepmother’s life and Georgia is not about to give Carson the same opportunity with her. She’s determined to resist his charms – however tempting it is to allow the smouldering sexy ex-marine to seduce her! But it’s hard to hate him when he’s trying to track down the traitor behind his botched mission. And, when a gunman from Carson’s dark past tracks him down and puts Georgia in the line of fire, Carson protects her, igniting a scorching passion. Maybe Carson’s someone for Georgia to trust, respect… and love.
I’m always looking for new romantic suspense series, so I was hopeful that this book would introduce me to something worthwhile. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it.
Carson Adair is a former Marine, discharged after being wounded in action. He’s come back home to figure out what to do with his life and help his family deal with the murder of their dad, Reginald Adair, and the disappearance of their mom, Patsy, who is the main suspect. The family recently found out that Reginald had a son from an earlier marriage, a son who was kidnapped. Georgia Mason is the stepdaughter of Ruby, Reginald’s first wife. When Carson offers to continue the search for the missing son that Reginald started before his death, he and Georgia team up, despite her reluctance. She hates Carson because…he’s rich? (Or something. Her reasoning is a bit weak.) When someone starts targeting Carson and Georgia, they have to figure out why. Is it related to Carson’s last mission in the Marines, or something closer to home?
This book is painfully light on world building, explanation, and character development. I was somewhat interested in the larger plot of the kidnapped son, the murdered father, the missing mother, etc., but that investigation doesn’t go very far in this book. Instead, the story spends a lot of time on Carson’s last mission in the Marine’s. Honestly, I’m sitting here trying to recap and can’t even muster up the energy to care. None of it makes sense–why would this villain Carson tangled with in Myanmar be living in San Diego now? Why would his former Commander get him involved in their work when he’s no longer in the Marines? There’s some manufactured angst involving Carson’s best friend who was killed in the last mission and Carson taking over his dad’s company, but neither issue is explored in depth.
Georgia is a frustrating, unlikable character. She hates rich people and thinks nothing good comes from associating with them. Carson sets out to change that by…buying her things? Why would he want to spend money on her? Why would she let him if she doesn’t like money? For a woman who doesn’t care about money, Georgia sure adores fancy clothes and admits she regularly buys designer items. She huffs but accepts nearly everything Carson offers her. She constantly whines about how she can’t “fit in” with Carson’s family even though they are all perfectly lovely and kind to her. But we’re supposed to side with Georgia because she has Trauma, y’all. Throughout the book it’s hinted that Something Big happened with her ex, and that’s why she’s reluctant to get involved with Carson. Something sexual (*gasp*)! I figured whatever it was would at least add a little variety to the book, but Georgia can’t even bring herself to say what it was her ex wanted her to do! We just know it’s something “dark”. At one point she references “S-M”, but that’s as detailed as she gets. At this point it turned humorous for me. Listen, sexual trauma can come in all forms and I wouldn’t want to make light of it, but this was just silly. The book goes out of the way to assure us it wasn’t rape, and the vagueness just made it ridiculous (and lazy). She says “I was willing. But not for the…you know…things he did.” At this point I actually cackled with laughter. (I can only assume the “things” involved trying to pull the stick out of her ass.) Of course, Georgia attributes her ex’s behavior to “something wrong with him,” because naturally any kink must be a result of a bad childhood. Unfortunately, the ex ends up being a psychopathic murderer, which is regrettable because I thought the misunderstood ex totally deserved his own future erotic romance.
There just wasn’t much of anything in this book to interest me or make me want to read more.
Grade: 1.5 out of 5