Summary via Goodreads.com:
Lenora Stone used to say if she didn’t have bad luck, she wouldn’t have any luck at all. At age thirty-eight, instead of socializing with Baltimore’s A-list, she photographs them for Baltimore Scene, a glossy magazine filled with beautiful people who, unlike Lenora, never have to worry about car trouble and overdue bills. As much as she’d love to slam the door on her overbearing boss, quitting isn’t an option. She’s barely making her mortgage payments and, though her condo might not be a palace, it’s hers. Lately even things with her boyfriend Gerald haven’t been right. They’ve been together for three years but he can’t seem to ask the one question she’s been waiting for. But what Lenora doesn’t know is that her luck is about to change…
Just when she thinks things can’t get worse, Lenora wins the jackpot in the Maryland lottery. In a heartbeat, all her dreams become possible. She quits her job and indulges her every desire-starting with a shiny, silver BMW and a million-dollar mansion. Gerald is finally ready to put a ring on her finger and the city’s most exclusive women’s group is dying for her to join, officially moving Lenora from behind the lens, into the limelight. But in Lenora’s lavish new world, all that glitters definitely isn’t gold. Her old friend’s are concerned about her sudden changes, and Ray, a sexy, young landscaper Lenora covered for the magazine is looking for more than a purely professional relationship.
As her life starts to come together, the things Lenora holds dear begin to fall apart. Has her world really changed for the better, or does fortune come with a heavy price?
I’ve been thinking about this book for several days now, and I’m starting to think I’m missing something about it.
Books that pick up to read and don’t end up enjoying tend to fall a few categories:
- The book isn’t for me. I can see why others would like it, and I can appreciate aspects of it, but we’re not a good match. A recent example of this would be The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock.
- The book isn’t well written. Honestly, this doesn’t happen all that often with professionally published books– my minimum standards aren’t all that high, and a publisher doesn’t often release a book that’s bad enough to be an actual problem for me, and make me really not enjoy a book with an interesting concept.
- I just don’t get the book. I’m missing some vital thing about it that would explain why it was worth spending my time reading it. The Finkler Question fell in this category for me.
I think Money Can’t Buy Love falls into category 3, simply because it doesn’t seem to belong in either of the other two.
It isn’t badly written in any general sense. The words flow well, the characters behave consistently, their voices fit with their actions.
But even with that said, I’m missing why I’d want to read this book, other than the description sounding promising (which is why I asked to read it in the first place. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t have finished reading it if I didn’t commit to this tour).
On the one hand, what was missing for me in this book was the fun. I just didn’t want to spend any more time with the main character who made one bad decision after another, and not even in an entertaining sort of way. I admit,
I’d have given a character in her teens or early 20s a little more leeway, but by her late 30s, I’d expect a woman to be making better choices– making mistakes is fine, but Lenora isn’t doing well in her behavior with her job, her friends, her love life or her finances at the beginning of the book. After she wins the lottery, her decisions go even further downhill, and I didn’t enjoy watching it.
On the other hand, I didn’t feel that her mistakes were giving me any insight into myself or the world around me, so it didn’t even seem like something that I didn’t have to enjoy, because it was good for me.
So in the end, I’m sitting here thinking I missed something.
If you read and enjoyed this book, I’d love to hear why. Now that I’m done writing this, I’ll spend some time reading other reviews, to see if I can find what they appreciated about it..
I read Money Can’t Buy Love as part of a TLC Book Tour. Thank you to TLC Books and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a review copy and allowing me to participate. For other opinions on this book, check out the other tour stops:
- Monday, July 18th: Life in Review
- Wednesday, July 20th: Buckeye Girl Reads
- Thursday, July 21st: Colloquium – guest post
- Friday, July 22nd: Colloquium – review
- Monday, July 25th: Arms of a Sister
- Wednesday, July 27th: A Chick Who Reads
- Thursday, July 28th: Mocha Momma – author Q&A
- Friday, July 29th: Fiction State of Mind
- Monday, August 1st: Black Diamond’s Book Reviews
****this review also posted at Urban Image Magazine
- Wednesday, August 3rd: Reflections of a Bookaholic
- Thursday, August 4th: Living Outside the Stacks
- Tuesday, August 9th: I’m Booking It
- Thursday, August 11th: Drey’s Library
- Tuesday, August 16th: Joyfully Retired