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The Love Scam

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A sweet and sassy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson. Rake Tarbell is in trouble. When the fabulously wealthy and carefree bachelor wakes up horribly hungover in Venice, it’s not something that would normally be a problem...except he has no idea how he got there from California. Or who stole his wallet. Or who emptied his bank ac A sweet and sassy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson. Rake Tarbell is in trouble. When the fabulously wealthy and carefree bachelor wakes up horribly hungover in Venice, it’s not something that would normally be a problem...except he has no idea how he got there from California. Or who stole his wallet. Or who emptied his bank account of millions. Or who in the world is Lillith, the charming little girl claiming to be his long lost daughter. For the first time in his life, Rake is on his own and throwing Benjamins around aren’t going to solve his problem. Now if only the gorgeous, fun, and free-spirited woman who brought Lillith into his life was willing to help the situation… Claire Delaney finds Rake’s problems hilarious and is not in the least bit sorry of adding to them by bringing Lillith into the mix. A pretty Midwestern girl with a streak for mischief, Rake is not the kind of man Claire hangs around with. Even if he is drop-dead handsome and charming as all get-out. Even if he needs help and she has all the answers. But if this helps Lillith, she will go out of her way. And with a guy like Rake, she’s willing to bend her rules a bit for some fun. But when adventure-filled days turn to romantic nights as they search for answers, and someone starts following them through the streets of Venice, Claire realizes she's playing more than just a game. And maybe, just maybe, she isn't willing to let go of Rake or Lillith just yet.


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A sweet and sassy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson. Rake Tarbell is in trouble. When the fabulously wealthy and carefree bachelor wakes up horribly hungover in Venice, it’s not something that would normally be a problem...except he has no idea how he got there from California. Or who stole his wallet. Or who emptied his bank ac A sweet and sassy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson. Rake Tarbell is in trouble. When the fabulously wealthy and carefree bachelor wakes up horribly hungover in Venice, it’s not something that would normally be a problem...except he has no idea how he got there from California. Or who stole his wallet. Or who emptied his bank account of millions. Or who in the world is Lillith, the charming little girl claiming to be his long lost daughter. For the first time in his life, Rake is on his own and throwing Benjamins around aren’t going to solve his problem. Now if only the gorgeous, fun, and free-spirited woman who brought Lillith into his life was willing to help the situation… Claire Delaney finds Rake’s problems hilarious and is not in the least bit sorry of adding to them by bringing Lillith into the mix. A pretty Midwestern girl with a streak for mischief, Rake is not the kind of man Claire hangs around with. Even if he is drop-dead handsome and charming as all get-out. Even if he needs help and she has all the answers. But if this helps Lillith, she will go out of her way. And with a guy like Rake, she’s willing to bend her rules a bit for some fun. But when adventure-filled days turn to romantic nights as they search for answers, and someone starts following them through the streets of Venice, Claire realizes she's playing more than just a game. And maybe, just maybe, she isn't willing to let go of Rake or Lillith just yet.

30 review for The Love Scam

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    A playboy bachelor who is suffering from one of the worst hangover of his life finds himself in Venice penniless and he meets with her daughter. Wait a minute, how can he be father and who has no idea about it? If there were four men, one of them is missing, one of them is singing “In the shallow shaaaalloww!”, other ones are crazy red head and dentist and if we also add a little baby, tiger into the equation at Caesar Place, an ex-boxer singing “In the Air Tonight”, I would say: Yay! I know this A playboy bachelor who is suffering from one of the worst hangover of his life finds himself in Venice penniless and he meets with her daughter. Wait a minute, how can he be father and who has no idea about it? If there were four men, one of them is missing, one of them is singing “In the shallow shaaaalloww!”, other ones are crazy red head and dentist and if we also add a little baby, tiger into the equation at Caesar Place, an ex-boxer singing “In the Air Tonight”, I would say: Yay! I know this plot very well! Nope, we have another plot with a good start and we only one Bradley Cooper kind of notorious bachelor (wow, Rake Tarbell and Bradley have something in common. They had both cutest daughters) as I mentioned his name at parenthesis found himself robbed, drunk at Venice, had short term amnesia about how the hell he flew there from California and yes, the sweetest kid Lillith (wrong choice of name) and Claire Delaney (why her name reminded me of Claire Daines and now I started to visualize our heroine as Homeland’s obsessed agent Carrie! Oh my goodness! The author might have chosen better names!) introduce themselves. Rake is a breathing example of train wreck, dumbfounded because somebody stole his ID, drained his millions from his bank account and now he has a sweet daughter and badass investigator Claire might know more than she tells about the mystery of him. So he has to know the truth and afterwards he has to show his true self to gain Claire’s heart! Let the games begin! Even though the book has a promising start, it failed from romance parts. I didn’t get how those characters start to fall for each other because from the beginning Claire is so sure how she hates everything about Rake and Rake still thinks she has big feet! Then suddenly Claire starts to giggle like a half-witted teenager who recently bumped into Justin Bieber and fell in love with his yummy pink hair! I also detested the reasonable, polar opposite twin brother of Rake, too. Only character I could truly attach was Lillith, even though she is named wrongly. The story telling reminded me of a bumpy road. I just have to stop several times to take a break and force myself to read more. There were tooooo much inner monologues which could be edited just a little bit because sometimes I wasn’t sure they’ve been said aloud. Overall: there are so many entertaining parts and idea of the story seems like a great plot of romantic comedy. I couldn’t connect with the characters and I still believe that their romantic story is a little unreliable maybe Claire’s sarcastic tone was way too much louder and brought so much awkwardness to couple’s relationship dynamics and I still didn’t believe in their attraction. So it’s not a bad book and author’s previous “Undead” series were really entertaining books so it’s a big proof she is hell of a great writer. But I think the story progression and some inner monologues need more edits and characters need more chemistry. So I gave 2.5 stars and rounded up to 3. Another in the middle, let’s stay in Switzerland, I didn’t hate it but I also didn’t enjoy it stars! And yes this is my 200th review for NetGalley! I got my badge! Yay! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for sharing this romantic ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review. blog instagram facebook twitter

  2. 5 out of 5

    Madison Warner Fairbanks

    The Love Scam by MaryJanice Davidson Contemporary romantic comedy. Danger series, book 2. Best read in order. I didn’t read book 1 and for the most part was ok, but I got the feeling, especially towards the end that I was missing a connection. The writing style is humorous and very sarcastic. Every page, and every paragraph is heavily laced with internal character commentary or witty and snarky banter. At least through the first half of the book. Around 60%, POV began altering between Rake and Del The Love Scam by MaryJanice Davidson Contemporary romantic comedy. Danger series, book 2. Best read in order. I didn’t read book 1 and for the most part was ok, but I got the feeling, especially towards the end that I was missing a connection. The writing style is humorous and very sarcastic. Every page, and every paragraph is heavily laced with internal character commentary or witty and snarky banter. At least through the first half of the book. Around 60%, POV began altering between Rake and Delaney. Prior was from Rake’s POV. Italian phrases or events or places were sometimes starred with an asterisk. The connecting definition was at the end of that specific chapter. A couple times it was to reference book 1. While nice to provide the translation or info, by the time I got to the end of the chapter, I had to figure out why I needed to know whatever it was. Overall, a complicated and amusing situational romantic comedy. Often humor filled and silly. Sentimental in the end with family connections made all around. Excerpt sample of writing style: “Are you yelling at your inner voice again?” “No,” he grumped. “Your pants are on fire, you liar liar.” And God, it sounded affectionate. Like when a normal woman would say “You’re so cute!” Wait, did he want a normal woman? No, he wanted Delaney. Wait, what? Wait. What?“ Excerpt from The Love Scam by MaryJanice Davidson I received a copy of this from NetGalley.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    What is it about love and sex that can make people so completely, dangerously irrational? To take risks they’d never, ever take in their right mind? So The Love Scam was a trope-y comedy heavy romcom. I think that the romance in this book sort of gets lost amongst the tropes (con-artist, drunken memory loss, surprise child) and the stream of consciousness writing style. I think that this story would be considered funny to anyone who can follow the style of writing. Even though I personally didn’t What is it about love and sex that can make people so completely, dangerously irrational? To take risks they’d never, ever take in their right mind? So The Love Scam was a trope-y comedy heavy romcom. I think that the romance in this book sort of gets lost amongst the tropes (con-artist, drunken memory loss, surprise child) and the stream of consciousness writing style. I think that this story would be considered funny to anyone who can follow the style of writing. Even though I personally didn’t laugh very much because I was busy keeping up with Rake, Delaney, Lilith, and co. and all of their antics. With a few of the characters having heavy back stories it kept things interesting, but once again the writing style also made it hard for me to deeply connect with any of them. All in all this is a decent read with an interesting and unique plot. Now that I know this authors writing style, I’m not sure I’d pick up another, but I can say The Love Scam was definitely a unique reading experience! AVAILABLE AUGUST 4th! *ARC

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    Full review to come. No offense but why does this have the lowest ratings ever???? I get how some people DNF because the writing was too zany in the beginning but it improved so much and it's so good. And so funny.

  5. 5 out of 5

    TeriLyn

    **The Love Scam generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.** 3 "No more secrets" Stars I so wanted to love this but ended up only liking. Both the premise of the story and the on-going plot were unique and totally engrossing. The Love Scam is an entertaining, caper-esque story full of wit, self realization, a zany plot, and hilarious events that effect all the motley characters. It was a fun book to read and I enjoyed the characters greatly, I just wasn't **The Love Scam generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.** 3 "No more secrets" Stars I so wanted to love this but ended up only liking. Both the premise of the story and the on-going plot were unique and totally engrossing. The Love Scam is an entertaining, caper-esque story full of wit, self realization, a zany plot, and hilarious events that effect all the motley characters. It was a fun book to read and I enjoyed the characters greatly, I just wasn't totally invested because of the style of story telling. The execution of the plot was a little off for me and it took me longer to get through this one - certain action was hard to follow and it felt like there were things missing that I didn't get because I didn't read book one. However, I didn't realize there was a book one until partially into this book and by then I didn't want to stop. Things happen sort of willy-nilly for the main characters. It's full of hilarious twists and sometimes you don't fully get how they even arrived at that place. The romance was very light but an underlying tension from the two main characters keep you tethered to it. The charm of the male protagonist equals the wit of the female protagonist and makes for certain chemistry. The highlight was the clever child character and her part in the entire plot. Fans of light and funny, low angst women's fiction I think will really enjoy this story. It's definitely entertaining and a lot of parts are laugh out loud funny.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review. Quirky, real quirky. But I stayed with it and it is a very different romance than what I usually read. Rake is adorable as the carefree millionaire who suddenly finds all his millions gone. Delaney is harder to pin down through most of the book. Her motives are mercenary, for sure, but there is a lot more to her than that. Lillith is scary smart for a seven year old and wise wa Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review. Quirky, real quirky. But I stayed with it and it is a very different romance than what I usually read. Rake is adorable as the carefree millionaire who suddenly finds all his millions gone. Delaney is harder to pin down through most of the book. Her motives are mercenary, for sure, but there is a lot more to her than that. Lillith is scary smart for a seven year old and wise way beyond her years. I enjoyed the book, but it was hard to piece it all together. I love a romance with a touch of mystery and "Love Scam" was all that and more. Rake Tarbell knew something was wrong, very wrong, when he woke up, didn't know where he was and was having trouble remembering even who he was and he was sick as a dog with the hangover from hell. Stumbling from his room she makes his way down the street and fell, jumped into the Grand Canal in Venice in the throes of that hangover from hell. When he was dragged out he barfs over a very nice woman and the little girl with her. Not a good way to make a first impression on someone trying to help you. Rake, who is notorious for living up to his name, just needs to make a few phone calls to solve all his problems, except his phone is at the bottom of the Grand Canal. The nice woman, Claire Delaney, is just making his head hurt more when she tells him the little girl, Lillith, could be his daughter. WHAT!!! Now that she has his attention she tells him that the reason he doesn't have any money with him is because he lost his ID and money when he tried to skip his wallet over Lake Como last night because he was ass over tea kettle drunk. This guy has some real problems and they are only just beginning. Delaney is a woman on a mission, well, more than one actually. Rake is just part of her job and she needs to keep an eye on him. When she puts him to work stuffing Easter baskets for the charity, she had more than one motive behind this task. But as she gets to know him, she is more than a little surprised at what she finds and that she finds herself coming to care for him a great deal.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    Need a light and fluffy comedic romance to just sit back and escape into? Not looking for major depth, just a fun read that sometimes leaves you thinking, “What just happened?” or “Are you kidding me?’ MaryJanice Davidson’s THE LOVE SCAM should fit the bill, perfectly! More entertainment than substance, yet still with some serious twists, a high-flying playboy with more inherited money than sense finds himself floating in a Venice canal, broke, with no phone and a quirky and mysterious woman givi Need a light and fluffy comedic romance to just sit back and escape into? Not looking for major depth, just a fun read that sometimes leaves you thinking, “What just happened?” or “Are you kidding me?’ MaryJanice Davidson’s THE LOVE SCAM should fit the bill, perfectly! More entertainment than substance, yet still with some serious twists, a high-flying playboy with more inherited money than sense finds himself floating in a Venice canal, broke, with no phone and a quirky and mysterious woman giving him a both life altering and terrifying revelations. I smirked, chuckled and even had a chance to gasp a time or two in this fast-paced, quirky tale that only an author having fun with every page could create. Peter Pan meets his match in two females on a mission to discover if there is more to him than his irresponsible charm. It’s okay to read something just for fun! Perfect beach or poolside reading! I received a complimentary ARC edition from St. Martin's Griffin! This is my honest and voluntary review. Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (August 4, 2020) Publication Date: August 4, 2020 Genre: Romantic Comedy Page Count: 320 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    4.5-----> I am going to say this twice in this review since it seems that people are going to need reminding: "I have to say though, that this book is full of cliches and tropes and it has been done on purpose---please read the author's notes at the beginning of the book." I will update to a 'true' review just as soon as I read Danger, Sweetheart and then re-read The Love Scam. You really don't need to read Danger, Sweetheart first but I want to see if that will change my opinion of this book. I h 4.5-----> I am going to say this twice in this review since it seems that people are going to need reminding: "I have to say though, that this book is full of cliches and tropes and it has been done on purpose---please read the author's notes at the beginning of the book." I will update to a 'true' review just as soon as I read Danger, Sweetheart and then re-read The Love Scam. You really don't need to read Danger, Sweetheart first but I want to see if that will change my opinion of this book. I have to say though, that this book is full of cliches and tropes and it has been done on purpose---please read the author's notes at the beginning of the book. It was a bit of a mess at first until I got into the rhythm and remembered about the trope/cliche issue of the book but it ended up being an excellent mystery with (what was to me) a shocking conclusion. I really hope that this is turned into a small series. Oh, wait I don't have to write a "real" review LOL! Oh, wait-I already did -but I reserved the right to add to this if my re-read change anything!!! *ARC supplied by the publisher.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    2.5* Chapter 2 of The Love Scam starts out Ten confusing minutes later… and if that wasn’t a fitting reflection of how I felt pretty much the entire time I was reading… Even though it’s been quite a few years since I’ve read a MaryJanice Davidson book, I was pretty surprised when I went to GR to mark this as “currently reading” to see it had such a low rating. I remember really enjoying the books I had read, I even own some in paperback. Sadly, after finishing The Love Scam, I can understand the l 2.5* Chapter 2 of The Love Scam starts out Ten confusing minutes later… and if that wasn’t a fitting reflection of how I felt pretty much the entire time I was reading… Even though it’s been quite a few years since I’ve read a MaryJanice Davidson book, I was pretty surprised when I went to GR to mark this as “currently reading” to see it had such a low rating. I remember really enjoying the books I had read, I even own some in paperback. Sadly, after finishing The Love Scam, I can understand the low rating and less than stellar reviews. While I did end up enjoying the story, at least the ending when things kind of came together, it took a little getting there and I’m still confused about some things. I feel like chapters 1 and 2 should have been the prologue because I’m not sure how they fit, even after going back this morning and reading them again. I don’t know if they would have worked if I read the first book, but they just didn’t make sense to me and I’m still at a loss as to what’s going on with Rake and Blake’s mother. The whole point of them needing to get together to call her the next day- where did that fit in? It was weird to have the prologue take place in current time, jump to the past for a couple of chapters, and then right back to where the prologue left off. The Love Scam had the potential to be a fun, escapism type read, but ultimately failed a bit short. There were bits and pieces that I liked (Lillith) and found entertaining (some of Rake’s inner ramblings), but overall there were just too many things that didn’t add up or come together. Apparently this book and Danger, Sweetheart, the first book, run concurrently, so maybe if I had read that first I wouldn’t have been as lost as I was, but when I requested the book on NetGalley there was no mention of it being a part of a series so I figured The Love Scam was safe to read on its own, and that's on me. *Side note- Ms. Davidson says in her Author’s Note that she wanted to write a love letter about love and tropes, and she included an index of “tropes” at the end of the book. Are “Hero is handsome” and “Heroine is beautiful” really tropes, especially in contemporary romance?!? And what was the reasoning for the 000 after each item?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    This book had me laughing in many places as I watched Rake stumble through the book not knowing what was going on...or did he?  Maybe he was smarter than we give him credit.  The rest of the characters are multifaceted and show you want they want you to see.  Delaney is a tough cookie but has a softer side that she lets very few people see.  Lillith is very precocious and smarter than anyone can even imagine.  There is a slew of other characters that help round out the story and bring in some in This book had me laughing in many places as I watched Rake stumble through the book not knowing what was going on...or did he?  Maybe he was smarter than we give him credit.  The rest of the characters are multifaceted and show you want they want you to see.  Delaney is a tough cookie but has a softer side that she lets very few people see.  Lillith is very precocious and smarter than anyone can even imagine.  There is a slew of other characters that help round out the story and bring in some interesting aspects. Besides the romance and comedy, there is a little bit of mystery.  Who are these men that keep following Rake and Delaney?  Why are they following them?  What do they think that Rake and Delaney know and are keeping a secret?  The answer is intriguing and the ensuing events are somewhat comical. There are references to another book, Danger Sweethart.  I have not read this book so was a bit lost on those references, but since I have read the synopsis of that book, I realize it is Blake's story that we discover a smidgeon of in this book.  Let's just say, Nonna Tarbell is sticking her nose into their business. It is very important that if you read this book to read the author's notes at the beginning.  Otherwise, you might be confused while reading this book.  There is a lot of sub-dialogue (inner thoughts) and it can be a little confusing until you realize to read the part in parentheses after the sentence is finished.  It is this inner dialogue that cracked me up the most. I enjoyed this book and now want to go back and read Danger Sweethart to discover Blake's story. We give this book 4 paws up!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Rake wakes up severely hung-over with no idea where he is or how he got there. Claire Delaney finds the situation funny and also has a person who might be his illegitimate daughter. She also has all of the answers. So begins the story. I believe most people will enjoy this read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I loved the idea and concept of this book. I really thought I was going to love it. I honestly did. That was not thecae. I struggled with the writing and the plot. I tried, I did. I didn't end up finishing it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Leone-campbell

    When super wealthy Rake Tarbell wakes up in a very bad state in Venice...Italy, not California, unable to remember how on earth he got there and missing his wallet and cell phone he thinks perhaps he may have a problem. Thus begins The Love Scam where love is all in the family! And so is hilarity! Rake wakes up only to meet a mysterious woman named Claire Delaney who immediately introduces him to his (gulp) young daughter Lillith, whose mother he does not really remember! And in true comedic flair When super wealthy Rake Tarbell wakes up in a very bad state in Venice...Italy, not California, unable to remember how on earth he got there and missing his wallet and cell phone he thinks perhaps he may have a problem. Thus begins The Love Scam where love is all in the family! And so is hilarity! Rake wakes up only to meet a mysterious woman named Claire Delaney who immediately introduces him to his (gulp) young daughter Lillith, whose mother he does not really remember! And in true comedic flair we begin to learn Claire has secrets she does not want Rake to know and Rake has secrets he does not want Claire to know and both have secrets they don't want Lillith to know and Lillith is keeping her own set of secrets, while all rooming together in a shabby, not up to Rake's standard, hotel room. Rake, whose accounts seem to have no money in them anymore must work for Claire by putting together Easter Baskets in order to make enough money to buy a cell phone in order to call his twin brother Blake to find out what is actually going on. When he finally reaches Blake and finds him without any money, Rake decides to use the never used before "nuclear option" which Rake and Blake have saved for a major crisis. Unfortunately for the reader, we must wait to find out exactly was this option is and when we do the fun continues! In the meantime, Blake and Claire seem to be getting along a little too well, Lillith has pulled on Rake's heart and oh, there are men who are trying to kidnap them! This is a fast-paced clever, witty story about love and family and nuclear options worth triggering! It is the second book of a series, the first being Danger Sweetheart, but no fears, I had no idea there was a first book and it made absolutely no difference to how much I enjoyed The Love Scam! Thank you #NetGalley #St.Martin'sPress #MaryJaniceDavidson #TheLoveScam for the advanced copy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janae

    Perhaps I will pick this up later and give it another try but for now my brain doesnt have the capacity to figure out what is actually happening in this book. The premise sounds great but the execution does not work for me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lana (Bibliomedico)

    Unfortunately , I couldn't finish this book . I couldn't connect with the characters or the story . But the writing style was good .

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie (Jewlsbookblog)

    I struggled to get in to this story! The premise sounded interesting...shenanigans, mystery, potential romantic interest, surprise daughter...but the execution was a mangled mess. I had difficulty relating to the characters and the story line was crazy scattered. Thank you to St. Martin and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this title. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicole (FearYourEx)

    Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the early review copy. I had high hopes for this one but the story felt very clunky and confusing to me. There were several times I had to re-read paragraphs or even full pages because there weren't enough context clues as to who exactly was speaking. And I just wasn't at all interested in the romance as a result.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sammy Allen

    This novel was definitely not my favorite. Although i greatly appreciate receieving a free arc of this novel, i just couldnt seem to get through it. I found it to be confusing, and i just did not mesh with the writing style at all.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    Rake Tarbell has memory of how he ended up in Venice - all the way from California. No wallet so no money, as even his bank account has apparently been emptied. Then he is in the presence of an adorable little girl claiming that he is her father. He also meets Lillith's guardian, Claire Delaney. So, it is apparently a hangover of massive proportions for Rake. How in the world is he a father? And, why is he is Venice? What a great start to a funny book by MaryJanice Davidson. Imagine being woken Rake Tarbell has memory of how he ended up in Venice - all the way from California. No wallet so no money, as even his bank account has apparently been emptied. Then he is in the presence of an adorable little girl claiming that he is her father. He also meets Lillith's guardian, Claire Delaney. So, it is apparently a hangover of massive proportions for Rake. How in the world is he a father? And, why is he is Venice? What a great start to a funny book by MaryJanice Davidson. Imagine being woken up and someone saying, 'hey, this is your daughter'. Apparently, Claire holds all of the cards. Will she provide proof to Rake that he is indeed Lillith's father? What is really going on in this story? Then, considering that our three major players - Rake, Claire and Lillith - all have secrets, the book slips between humorous and serious. Then add the layer of sexiness when it soon becomes apparent that Claire and Rake most definitely have a connection. Oh, one more layer, and that is an air of mystery in the story. So, for a fun read, one where you can spend a few hours with an enjoyable book, be sure to pick up a copy of The Love Scam. I hadn't read the first book in the series, Danger Sweetheart, but I didn't feel I was missing anything at all with reading the second book. I would love to read another book in this series if it continues. Many thanks to St. Martin's Griffin and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    I love Ms. Davidson, but I'm not a fan of this series. I'm just not getting "the spoof of romance tropes" that it's meant to be. Of course, it doesn't dissuade me from continuing to read you. That said, here's the review. positive: The humor was there. I most enjoy that about this writer as i do get the jokes/sarcasm. Rake & Claire did have chemistry as well as w/all of the other characters. negative: it was so confusing. Rake wakes up hung over, confused & somehow broke & in Venice w/ a mystery woman I love Ms. Davidson, but I'm not a fan of this series. I'm just not getting "the spoof of romance tropes" that it's meant to be. Of course, it doesn't dissuade me from continuing to read you. That said, here's the review. positive: The humor was there. I most enjoy that about this writer as i do get the jokes/sarcasm. Rake & Claire did have chemistry as well as w/all of the other characters. negative: it was so confusing. Rake wakes up hung over, confused & somehow broke & in Venice w/ a mystery woman (Claire) and a little girl whos may be his child. (unknown to him) it felt like you were already in the middle of a story that started previously. and then the narrative goes b/w the present & the past. more confusion! and then there was the constant referencing to actions occurring in the first book (this is book 2, #1 is Danger, Sweetheart) which was annoying. apparently, events in the 2 stories were occurring concurrently. ugh!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amber’s reading

    A fun rom-com with a little mystery and a lot of witty dialogue. Rake Tarbell wakes up hungover with no idea how he ended up on the other side of the world in Venice, Italy. Having lost his wallet, phone, and millions, he gets help from a beautiful American woman and tenacious 9-year-old girl. While earning his keep helping with charity and at the same time, running from a couple of mysterious goons, the confirmed bachelor falls in love. Cleverly written with wonderfully dry wit, The Love Scam w A fun rom-com with a little mystery and a lot of witty dialogue. Rake Tarbell wakes up hungover with no idea how he ended up on the other side of the world in Venice, Italy. Having lost his wallet, phone, and millions, he gets help from a beautiful American woman and tenacious 9-year-old girl. While earning his keep helping with charity and at the same time, running from a couple of mysterious goons, the confirmed bachelor falls in love. Cleverly written with wonderfully dry wit, The Love Scam will have readers laughing and swooning at the same time. The writing style takes some getting used to and seems to be the biggest complaint by other reviewers. In order to get the most out of the dialogue, I think the audiobook version is the best way to go.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cali Jewel

    Highly entertaining, fun and emotionally thrilling journey filled with interesting and engaging charters, witty dialog, heartwarming twists and sweet passion. Was a great read from beginning to end and so hard to put down.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This book worked for me, and here's what I liked: 1. The cover is cute and drew me in. 2. Funny dialogue, funny inner monologues, and lots of comedy. I was often smiling. 3. A theme of taking care of the underdog and being helpful. 4. The idea and importance of family. 5. The three main characters (Lillith, Delaney, and Rake). Here are some considerations: 1. I would consider this a funny story (almost a caper) before a love story. It reminded me a bit of P.G. Wodehouse stories. The romance is there, This book worked for me, and here's what I liked: 1. The cover is cute and drew me in. 2. Funny dialogue, funny inner monologues, and lots of comedy. I was often smiling. 3. A theme of taking care of the underdog and being helpful. 4. The idea and importance of family. 5. The three main characters (Lillith, Delaney, and Rake). Here are some considerations: 1. I would consider this a funny story (almost a caper) before a love story. It reminded me a bit of P.G. Wodehouse stories. The romance is there, but didn't seem like the main plot line. Very quirky characters and writing style. 2. Lots of inner monologue that might be hard to follow- I enjoyed it, but it's probably not for everyone. 3. This is an over-the-top story and not reality based at all; I am totally fine with that- this was a silly, sweet escape read for me. If you are looking for something that feels real-life, this is not it. IF you are looking for a feel-good laugh and a smile, this will fit the bill. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Griffin for an advance digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    June

    This works for some COVID-19 escapism. The characters are likeable, especially the precocious polyglot child, and it moves fairly swiftly. I didn't like how long the initial state of confusion went on--a few chapters in the dark can be fun and cinematic, but too many and you might lose the reader. Also, the author does footnotes where she breaks the fourth wall to tell you that you can really buy the character's shirt on Etsy or that you should read her other books, which took me right out of th This works for some COVID-19 escapism. The characters are likeable, especially the precocious polyglot child, and it moves fairly swiftly. I didn't like how long the initial state of confusion went on--a few chapters in the dark can be fun and cinematic, but too many and you might lose the reader. Also, the author does footnotes where she breaks the fourth wall to tell you that you can really buy the character's shirt on Etsy or that you should read her other books, which took me right out of the story. But for a romantic caper in a country we won't be able to visit for so e time, it's worth checking out. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for a digital ARC for the purpose of an unbiased review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Living My Best Book Life

    The Love Scam is a contemporary romance about a playboy waking up in Venice not knowing how or why he is there. He also meets a woman and a young girl who claims to be his daughter. The premise sounded like it was going to be a great read, but it was hard to follow along. I really wanted to like this one more. Rake is a wealthy bachelor who is used to getting anything he wants. When he wakes up in Venice, he is confused and thrown for a loop when he meets Lillith and Claire. Claire is the woman w The Love Scam is a contemporary romance about a playboy waking up in Venice not knowing how or why he is there. He also meets a woman and a young girl who claims to be his daughter. The premise sounded like it was going to be a great read, but it was hard to follow along. I really wanted to like this one more. Rake is a wealthy bachelor who is used to getting anything he wants. When he wakes up in Venice, he is confused and thrown for a loop when he meets Lillith and Claire. Claire is the woman who tells him that Lillith is his possible daughter. After the shock wears off a little, they all start to spend more time together and working to figure out the truth. I admit it was hard to keep up with all the backstories and interactions. There was a time where I thought I couldn't finish it, but I continued to read on. I hoped it would get better, but it just fell flat for me. I give The Love Scam 3 stars. The plot had the potential to be great but again it fell flat. I didn't really feel a connection between the characters Rake and Claire until the very end. I liked Lillith and felt like she brought the innocence and cuteness factor. I was really excited to read it, but I wished I could have enjoyed it more.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Rake Tarbell is in trouble. When the fabulously wealthy and carefree bachelor wakes up horribly hungover in Venice, it's not something that would normally be a problem . . . except he has no idea how he got there from California. Or who stole his wallet. Or who emptied his bank account of millions. Or who in the world is Lillith, the charming little girl claiming to be his long lost daughter. Claire Delaney finds Rake's problems hilarious and is not in the least bit sorry of adding to them by br Rake Tarbell is in trouble. When the fabulously wealthy and carefree bachelor wakes up horribly hungover in Venice, it's not something that would normally be a problem . . . except he has no idea how he got there from California. Or who stole his wallet. Or who emptied his bank account of millions. Or who in the world is Lillith, the charming little girl claiming to be his long lost daughter. Claire Delaney finds Rake's problems hilarious and is not in the least bit sorry of adding to them by bringing Lillith into the mix. A pretty Midwestern girl with a streak for mischief, Rake is not the kind of man Claire hangs around with. When adventure-filled days turn to romantic nights as they search for answers, and someone starts following them through the streets of Venice. This is the first book I’ve read by the author & I found it to be a well written book which took me into a genre I don’t normally read but I must admit after I got passed the start of the book (I nearly gave up) I found it to be an enjoyable romp. The characters have depth & whilst I did like them I didn’t love them. For me it was an ideal beach read the could be dipped into over a few days & whilst I did eventually enjoy it it wasn't a captivating read for me My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

  27. 5 out of 5

    human

    Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Griffin for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Love Scam was a funny rom-com that manages to utilize many romance tropes (as intended) while establishing a fairly interesting plot. Rake Tarbell - previously wealthy and childless - finds himself in Venice, with no money or memory of how he got there, but to make matters worse, he's presented with Lillith, his daughter, by the charming but mysterious Claire Delaney. Rake has a lot of que Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Griffin for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Love Scam was a funny rom-com that manages to utilize many romance tropes (as intended) while establishing a fairly interesting plot. Rake Tarbell - previously wealthy and childless - finds himself in Venice, with no money or memory of how he got there, but to make matters worse, he's presented with Lillith, his daughter, by the charming but mysterious Claire Delaney. Rake has a lot of questions, Delaney has many of the answers, but there's more to this story than it seems at first glance. The story was funny and romantic with a touch of mystery, and I could honestly say that it had a good plot. Lillith was definitely my favorite character. I enjoyed this book far more than Danger, Sweetheart, but that isn't to say that it doesn't have it's own problems. For one, the writing style was kind of weird, but more importantly, the romance wasn't very well built. It felt quite abrupt, especially on Delaney's side. Other than that, the story was quite funny, it had a nice plot, and I would recommend this book to others who want to read a fluffy romance.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. First time DNF-ing an ARC but, I could not force myself to keep reading this. I wanted to like this. It is set in Italy, sounds like a fun rom-com, the cover is super pretty, what’s not to like? Well, everything. For starters, I had no idea this was a sequel to another book. The writing is meant to be seen as “zany” but it’s all over the place, it repeats things you just read over and over as if the reader is too I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. First time DNF-ing an ARC but, I could not force myself to keep reading this. I wanted to like this. It is set in Italy, sounds like a fun rom-com, the cover is super pretty, what’s not to like? Well, everything. For starters, I had no idea this was a sequel to another book. The writing is meant to be seen as “zany” but it’s all over the place, it repeats things you just read over and over as if the reader is too dumb to follow along. I could not connect with any of the characters: Rake (that name!) was an immature man-baby, Blake spoke like a retired English professor and had a holier-than-thou attitude, Claire reacted like a happy robot and the child seems like decoration. Since Rake has the emotional depth of a doornail, I really couldn’t find it in me to worry about how he had ended up in Venice or where his wallet was or anything of the sort. And I guess he was supposed to be funny but it just came across as insufferable. This book is just not for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anna (The Bursting Bookshelf)

    Unfortunately, this is going to be a short review for me - The Love Scam was a DNF for me. Given I didn't finish this book, this will be a very personal review - my take after getting about 40% of the way in. Lets get down to brass tacks: why did I choose to "Do Not Finish" this book? The writing: This was something I really couldn't get into - I found it to be clunky and awkward and just plain hard to read. The awkwardness of the writing was easiest to see in the dialog: the characters didn't ta Unfortunately, this is going to be a short review for me - The Love Scam was a DNF for me. Given I didn't finish this book, this will be a very personal review - my take after getting about 40% of the way in. Lets get down to brass tacks: why did I choose to "Do Not Finish" this book? The writing: This was something I really couldn't get into - I found it to be clunky and awkward and just plain hard to read. The awkwardness of the writing was easiest to see in the dialog: the characters didn't talk like real people - it was unpleasant at times, and distasteful often.  The characters: They were off-putting for me. I struggled to relate or empathize with them, which made getting into the book even harder. The plot: For me, it was taking too long to get into the meat of the story. At times, the storytelling was also confusing - the tropes piled up and clarity was elusive. It was simply taking too long to get to the good bits, and the plot that I did read was not moving the story forward very well. If you're an existing MaryJanice Davidson fan, or are a fan of romance tropes, you might just enjoy this book more than I did. If you're looking for other trope filled romances, be sure to check out Smitten by the Brit, Once Upon a Bad Boy, and Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson all by Melonie Johnson. 1/5

  30. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Rake Tarbell is the fun twin. His brother Blake is the responsible one. It’s no surprise when Rake ends up hungover with no pants in Venice, Italy. But that is where the predictability ends in this romantic comedy. This story features an adorably intelligent little girl, a band of former foster girls doing the wrong things for the right reasons and nosy relatives. This is a fast paced romp that is part of a trilogy and while it can be read standalone it is better if you’ve read the first book Da Rake Tarbell is the fun twin. His brother Blake is the responsible one. It’s no surprise when Rake ends up hungover with no pants in Venice, Italy. But that is where the predictability ends in this romantic comedy. This story features an adorably intelligent little girl, a band of former foster girls doing the wrong things for the right reasons and nosy relatives. This is a fast paced romp that is part of a trilogy and while it can be read standalone it is better if you’ve read the first book Danger, Sweetheart.

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