Let see, I was looking for something to read last week-end. I opened one of my boxes and this was at the top of it. I simply picked it up and started reading :D
This Can't Be Love by Kasey Michaels
published by Zebra Kensington in March 2004
One Crazy Summer...
If Molly Applegate marches to the beat of a different drummer, it's probably a naked bongo player. Gorgeous and free-spirited, Molly's set for life – provided she stays employed ten months out of the year as stipulated in her parents' will. To keep the inheritance flowing, she works as a lingerie model, a mansion-sitter, a singing-slash-roller-skating carhop... you name it, Molly's done it. But a weekend gig babysitting her cousin Jane's daycare business might just lead to something permanent with would-be client Dom Longstreet. He's a Broadway producer who could make all her dreams come true... if only she'd let him...
Dom's idea of "summer vacation" is hosting a working retreat for the cast of his upcoming musical spectacular. Sure, he's also promised to babysit his niece and nephew for two weeks, but that's what the local daycare center is for, right? Unfortunately, the place will be closed just when he needs it, according to the beautiful – and exasperating – woman he finds in charge. In exchange for room and board on his estate, Molly Applegate agrees to watch the kids. But Dom can't stop watching Molly, who's fast becoming the unlikeliest of muses... and maybe – just maybe – his perfect leading lady...
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Sequel to This Must Be Love
The Story: Dominic Longstreet is a successful Broadway shows producer who works hard and plays hard. While his brother (the lyricist) is on his second honeymoon, Dominic is supposed to enjoy himself and take a break. Instead, he's scheduled practices and rehearsals and therefore, needs someone to keep an eye on his niece and nephew and out of his way... which is why he enrolled them in Preston Kiddy Kare. However, Preston Kiddy Kare is closing for its annual two weeks vacation and as a result, Dominic has a little problem on his hand.
Molly Applegate was helping out her cousin taking care of Preston Kiddy Kare. She's intrigued and interested by Dominic and therefore decides to play nanny for the next two weeks. Molly is an heiress and her parents will stipulates that she has to work 10 out of 12 months in order to access her trust fund. Being a nanny qualifies, so all is good :)
Quickly, Molly's joie de vivre becomes contagious and Dom realizes that he indeed really needs to relax... and also works on his relationships with his niece and nephew. Then, there's this wild attraction between Molly and Dom, but he's put out as Molly keeps warning him that she'll be gone as soon as the two weeks are over... Unfortunately, Dom cannot solely focus on winning Molly over as he has to deal with his diva stars.
My Opinion: This Can't Be Love was a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I really liked the characters and the storyline, but the romance was a bit so-so.
I was really surprised at how quickly I was engaged by this book. I really liked Molly's character. Her joie-de-vivre really reached me; she was simply so fun and everyone around her had fun. All the other characters were quite interesting as well. I liked our hero, Dom Longstreet. Dom works hard, is a bit arrogant and temperamental. All the characteristics you would find in a good and successful producer. He's not a stuff shirt, so it's not exactly the "happy-go-lucky heroine thaws stuff-shirt hero" trope, but close enough :) I thought the kids, Lizzie and Little Tony, were fun. Poor kids though, named after their own parents ^_^; They weren't too cutesy and they were really part of the storyline, so that I really enjoyed :) As for the rest of the cast, they were fun albeit a bit stereotypical :)
The story is pretty simple but it works :) I liked the fact that Molly's identity as an heiress wasn't the big secret, the big conflict. Even Molly's issues were okay with me, because they were believable. What I didn't like was that they mess the romance. Molly and Dom kept going back and forth - get together or not get together. Have sex, but does it mean more or not? I thought it made the whole book draggy in the middle. The romance was also very fast, so it was hard to keep track what Molly and Dom were feeling about the relationship :(
It's unfortunate, because I loved the rest of This Can't Be Love. There were some very fun scenes and I had a few LOL moments :) The proposal scene with the attorney as a witness was great LOL. However, I just feel that the romance was not up par with the rest of the book and it definitively dragged it down :(
My Grade: B. All in all, This Can't Be Love was a fun book with great characters :) It was very easy to get in, but the difficulty was staying in. It's really unfortunate the romance wasn't better. However, I'm very glad I read it, because it was a book focused on the characters and relationships and it reminded me of how much I enjoy Ms Michaels' contemporary romances :) I do have This Must Be Love somewhere in my TBR pile, so I'll try to dig that one out soon.