Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review: Money Can't Buy Love & Giveaway

Money Can't Buy Love by Connie Briscoe
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, African-American
Pages: 287 (Hardback)
Source: TLC Book Tours and Publisher
Author's Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

Book Jacket:
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 and 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
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?

My Rating:

My Review & Giveaway:
Lenora has a decidedly imperfect life where she can't seem to make ends meet or make progress to many of her goals.  As noted on the jacket and other descriptions, Lenora wins the lottery and seemingly all her dreams can now come true.  Ms. Briscoe explores the elements of human nature and what truly brings happiness.  It is a quick read (I read it in a day) and entirely realistic.

To be honest, I really struggled with this rating.  I love that Ms. Briscoe didn't rush right into Lenora winning the lottery, but takes the time to establish a "before" that allows the reader to gain a real understanding of Lenora and her life.  She also takes the time to develop the characters so you really feel like you know all of them.  I also enjoyed that it was well-written.  My struggle came down to Lenora.  I really didn't like her.  I didn't like her before she won the lottery and I didn't like her after.  I didn't think she was that bright. While I understood that the author wanted to explore certain specific aspects of human nature, I  found myself frustrated again and again with Lenora and her inability to use common sense or listen to anyone.  I also wished that Ms. Briscoe would have explored Gerald a little bit more in the "after" phase.  I wanted some answers but I don't think that was the point.  I think the reader is allowed to make their own assumptions about some of the characters.

Overall, I felt like this was a good book because it really made me think.  I think this would be a great book club choice because there is tons to talk about.  While, I wasn't in love with Lenora, I was captivated by her story.  I would definitely read many more from Connie Briscoe.

About the Author:
Connie Briscoe has been a full-time published author for more than ten years.  Born with a hearing impairment, Connie never allowed that to stop her from pursuing her dreams...writing.  Since she left the world of editing to become a writer, Connie's books have hit bestseller lists in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly.  She has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award and was featured in the book Jewels: 50 phenomenal Black Women Over 50.  Connie lives with her family in Maryland.

Please follow the rest of the TLC Book Tour and take a lookie at other opinions:

Monday, July 18th:  Life in Review
Wednesday, July 20th:  Buckeye Girl Reads
Thursday, July 21st:  Colloquium - guest post
Monday, July 25th:  Arms of a Sister
Wednesday, July 27th:  A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, July 28th:  Mocha Momma
Friday, July 29th:  Fiction State of Mind
Monday, August 1st:  Black Diamond Book Reviews
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
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