Cover Image: The Love Scam

The Love Scam

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I was familiar with MaryJanice Davidson from her "Undead" series, so I suspected I would like "The Love Scam", which I did.  It was a somewhat odd, but also highly amusing book.  Rake Tarbell, millionaire playboy, awakens in a strange hotel room with a bad hangover, neither of which is especially unusual, but I also no real recollection of how he got there or where exactly he was.  He stumbles out of the hotel and ends up falling into a canal; a thoroughly unpleasant experience, but at least it answers the question of where he is -- Venice.  After getting out of the canal, he is approached by a vaguely familiar woman with a nine-year-old girl and the woman tells him that the girl, Lillith, might be his daughter; which comes as quite a shock.  She introduces herself as Claire Delaney, but provides little additional information before disappearing.  Rake's phone is in the bottom of the canal, his wallet has somehow been lost, he is wet and in desperate need of a bath, and he has been left with this strange girl.  When he finds someone willing to let him borrow a phone, he discovers his bank account is empty, leaving him a penniless American tourist with no real means to help himself or obtain assistance (visiting the U.S. Consulate or the Venice police are not options, for reasons explained in the book). He and Lillith head to the hotel where Delaney said she was staying and Rake finds Delaney and a group of women doing charitable work.  He finds the whole situation strange and Delaney is not exactly forthcoming with information, but he has no choice but to stay with her and Lillith until he can find a way to contact his twin brother, Blake, and borrow so money so he can leave Venice and return to his home in Vegas.  He soon learns that Lillith might be in danger and that Delaney is involved in something rather strange.  As they try to sort things out, and as Rake begins assisting with some of the charity work, a number of amusing situations arise, which further complicates the situation.

The author has created interesting and amusing characters and a somewhat silly, somewhat serious, but rather amusing plot.  As they spend more time together, Rake starts putting some of the pieces together regarding Delaney and the situation he finds himself in, but keeps these revelations to himself.  He also begins to bond with Lillith, who is one of the most fun characters in the book, still retaining her childishness, but also wise beyond her years.  Delaney begins to question her role in Rake's situation, although ultimately her role will earn her enough money to pursue her childhood dream, so she cannot come clean and tell him the truth.

I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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I liked this book. The premise is okay but I expected more a little more romance than I got from a book titled The Love Scam. This book has a lot of comedy which I appreciated. There's a lot going on in this book. Part of that could be attributed to Davidson's writing style which seems zany and hyperactive -- this took some getting used to and I feel like there's a lot of things I missed because of it.  The characters are likable, some more than others,  but are very funny and heartwarming. Overall, if you're a fan of feel-good women's fiction with a splash of romance, you'll enjoy this one!
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I enjoyed this book cause it takes you on quite voyage with an unique cast of characters. This story had me laughing and kept me guessing what would happen next cause it wasn’t like the normal romance story I had read before and I enjoyed it. Rake is a bachelor to the extreme and he wakes up hungover and finds himself in Venice with a woman named Claire. He has no idea how he got there, Rake is a complete hot mess and the woman leaves. He tries to chase after and finds himself falling into the Venetian Channel and throwing his wallet in there. It’s a huge scene and he gets into trouble and now he stinks upon other things. Rake is also hearing the voice of his twin brother in his head constantly criticizing his every move. Claire eventually finds Rake and advises him about how he has a daughter and he is the father that is why she was there this morning and not why he thought. The book is a whirlwind of Rake and how he must try to get Claire to help him and get to know a potential daughter and fix his crazy life. I enjoyed this book cause it was nothing like I thought it would be and I thoroughly enjoy a good change. Excellent writing and the characters will keep you laughing. I can’t wait to read more from this author.
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This book was a fun read at times with some humor and quirky characters. I did get bogged down in places and felt like I had missed part of the story. All in all, the plot was good.  
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Enjoyed this book.  It might not be the most original take, but it was still an enjoyable read. Looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.
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I’m giving this book a 3 star because it didn’t knock it out of the park for me. I chose this book based off of the photo. It looked cute and Whitty. The writing style wasn’t one I enjoyed. Thanks for letting me read this book. Sorry I couldn’t get in to it.
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Thanks NetGalley and St Martins Press for the ARC.
I request books based of the covers and the small description given of the book and --and from those 2 things I was really looking forward to a fun read.  
This one fell flat for me.  Trying to get into this one was difficult but I pushed through and ended up liking this novel.  The characters were a for the most part unbelievable and the story outlandish.
I did find the ending fun..
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Received in exchange for a honest review.

I liked and didn’t like. There were aspects that I just couldn’t wrap my head around. For instance the little scheme Claire has cooked up and yet she has her friends there miraculously to do some volunteer work and some of it seems shady (the kitchen scene). Rake not having a clue about anything that occurred? Not even remembering how outrageous he was. Although entertaining, I didn’t quite get that whole thing. 

Rake seems to come off to others as over the top and not caring. As a party guy only. Little does anyone know he is smart and kind as well. He pushes his brothers buttons because he can. He is a partier but not as much as many believe. So when he ends up in Italy with no memory of how he got there you wonder where the story is going. Then Claire and Lillith show up and things begin to take a turn for the interesting. Lillith is to adorable for words. She knows more than people realize and is in trouble even if she doesn’t understand why. It has to do with her mom. A mom that Claire grew up with and has made a unspoken vow to. All the while Rake is learning that he has no money and is learning to survive without it. He sees the value of a dollar again. Learns that money isn’t the root to happiness. He shows who he truly is. He grows up more. And he falls in love with Lillith (who may be his) and Claire. 

Claire learns that not everything is as it seems. She sees that with Rake especially as she gets to know him. He started out as just a job to help get her dream off the ground and turns into more. Claire is driven and stubborn. She also caring. Seeing her guilt over what she has done to Rake is interesting over time. 

The romance starts as two strangers-one who thinks the other deserves the spot they are in and the other making the most out of the situation. Over time they learn about one another and fall for each other. I love the twist at the end and how Rake truly steps up and shows how much he has grown and what is truly in his heart and soul. He shows who he really is at the end and it warms the heart. The story is full of adventure and fun with a bit of romance and family growth as well.
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3.5 Stars. I really liked the characters in this books which is why I rounded up to 4 stars. All the characters in the book were highly flawed except for Lillith, but likable all the same. When characters have a good sense of humor and go back and forth with each other, it adds to the story in my opinion. I did have problems with the plot but never found myself wanting to stop reading, I enjoyed the book. I think it was a little convoluted at times and seemed far from reality concerning Delaney's secret "job". It also took me awhile to get used to her style of writing where she would start a sentence then put in parenthesis what the character was thinking then finished the sentence. Took me out of the story for a second until I got used to it but that was a personal issue.
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Fun and light hearted romance. Sarcastic banter and word play that is very entertaining.  A riches to rags and back again to riches romance. It was a very enjoyable light read. Hacks and hits abound all in the pursuit of the big pipe dream. There is love, growing up and working for your keep. This is not a mushy gushy romance where they are falling all over each other. This romance is mixed with sarcasm, wit, humor and the nuclear option.
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I received this book complimentary from NetGalley but all opinions are my own. 
I didn’t mind this but I wouldn’t reread or read another by this author. I didn’t like the extemporaneous “thought bubble” parentheses - it was mostly in Rake’s voice to start with so why bother? Plus there was a lot of stereotyping and then how you gonna make a ho a husband in under two weeks timeframe? I get the idea but it was way too short to implement. I also didn’t see a ton of Rake Lillith interaction so I didn’t see how he jumped from no one to dad so damn quickly. This just wasn’t for me. The plot was interesting. I liked the polyglot idea and Lillith is a great character but just didn’t even out for me in actuality. Also, the footnotes being at the end of the chapter is annoying. Bottom of the page or not at all.
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I was so excited to get this book.  It seemed like something that would be right up my alley. I struggled with the writing through parts, but it ended up being pretty cute.
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As sad as I am to say this, I now remember the reason why I stopped reading MaryJanice Davidson so many years ago. I think back in the day, i hated the fact that she wrote one page chapters in mostly all of her Betsey Taylor (the vampire) books. Ohhh those days are so far away. And I recall asking myself why she considered herself a pnr writer if her books were trying more for comedy rather than paranormal.

Well now I ask myself why keep attempting to comedy... *sighs*

I had a vague 'The Hangover' flashback, combined with What Happens in Vegas only set in Venice Italy. Rake was not that much of a strong character if you ask. I failed to see him mature, and that whole daughter plot, its just not truly believable, funny in parts but I wanted more ROMANCE than this whole ordeal. In my humble opinion it lacked that spark, that sweet, sassy and, HELLO: VENICE. And Claire Delaney does not depict any style of midwestern girl I know at least, but that's just my opinion. 

Sadly this book fell flat and I had great expectations, thinking that after so many years MJD could come back stronger and better, but, I'm highly dissapointed
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A rich playboy wakes up in Venice with the worst hangover of his life! And all of a sudden he has a daughter too.

This one had a lot of inconsistencies and I was confused and not amused during the entire book.

This one just needed a lot of pulling together of facts and plots.

NetGalley/August 4th, 2020 by St. Martin's Griffin
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DNF. This was so difficult to read. I wanted to get into this story because I enjoyed the premise. There were so many questions to be answered. But at 30% I wasn’t hooked. The writing was too confusing and things jumped all over the place.
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While there were definitely witty parts to this novel, I was a little underwhelmed with the execution of things. I couldn't get past the dialect of the characters--it was distracting--and there were times when I found myself wandering off in the reading rather than focused on the goings on. I know that this writer has a loyal following who rave about her novels so I'll definitely be on the lookout for a novel that better suits my reading interests.

Thank you for the opportunity to read.
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The premise of this book sounds really good and got me intrigued. So when I got approved for it, I was looking forward to read it. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me. I was frustrated that I couldn't get into it - I had to DNF it after the first chapter. The writing is so frustrating and I really did not like it. It felt fragmented and I really don't know what was going on in the story. I felt that the way it was written was like trying to be hip and trendy which was a turn off for me. I'd rather it to be clear so it will hold my interest. So, in the end, I just was not able to read on. It did not work for me. 

***I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from St.Martin's Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed in this review are my own and was not influenced by the author, publisher or any third party.***
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This book starts out rough and is hard to stick with. Although It does get better as you go. A grandmother wants her grandson to straighten up and live life better. So she hires someone to change his circumstances. Rake has to go through a lot of stuff to get his happy ever after.
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OH MY GOD what the heck did I just read ... it was a struggle reading the book. It’s got a cute plot and storyline , but oh my God who talks like the characters talk in the book. I cringed with every fiber being in me.   I thought I was going to like it with the story’s concept. Usually I do not really care for e copies. However this is one book I am glad I got in electronic form. The more ai read , and try to follow along with their cringe conversations. I felt my Iq dropped ,and a headache starting up.  My advice definitely read it once , but don’t go into the story with high hopes and expectations
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Rake Tarbell hasn't had to grow up. He went from poverty to riches in his teens and still acts like a teenager. His twin brother is also immature, but not as blatant about it.
   Enter Claire Delaney, whose childhood was a living hell in  foster care and she has made it her mission to save others from the same fate, as many as possible. She also accompanies a precocious girl who may or may not be his.
   Stuck in Venice due to a series of stupid actions on his part, Rake is saved by Claire, meets her 'family' of strays and ultimately joins the pack.
   Secrets abound and someone is pulling strings.
   There are mysterious characters and much to address, including the strong pull between Claire and Rake, and the feelings the young Lilith evokes in Rake.
   This combo of romance, mystery and humor is interesting and fun. I didn't get into it right off the bat, but it did grab me and I needed to see where it led.
   I requested and received a NetGalley ARC to peruse and offer my opinion gratis.
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