Getting Lucky is a great big dessert of a book: it’s a blast to consume, but in the end it’s hardly a satisfying meal.
Big bad Marine Zach Taylor comes home from his latest mission in South America to find his younger sister Glynnis gone and a sexy blonde in residence. Zach takes one look at Lily Morrisette and tries to throw her out of his house. Glynnis has a history of picking up the wrong friends and falling for the wrong guys, all of whom are more interested in her inheritance than in Glynnis herself. With her blond hair and her big boobs, as well as no discernable job, Zach is convinced Lily’s just another opportunist out to bilk his sister.
Lily feels no need to justify herself to this big oaf who comes in oozing testosterone and snapping out orders. She has a lease and no plans for going anywhere. That’s before Zach finds out Glynnis is traveling with her fiancé to meet his family in Washington state. Determined to stop any pending nuptials, Zach takes off after her. Equally determined to prevent him from ruining his sister’s happiness, Lily comes along. She isn’t the only one. A man with a grudge has returned with Zach from South America. Mistaking Lily for Zach’s woman, he decides the best way to get his revenge is to enact it on another target: Lily.
The exposition-heavy early chapters drag a little, but after that, the story rarely slows for an instant. This book is flat-out fun. Andersen juggles four different threads – the romance, a secondary relationship, and two suspense elements – and at least a dozen vivid characters and while not always graceful, it’s certainly never dull. For a time I nearly considered the book keeper material, but the secondary relationship ultimately leads to so little that frustration set in. As for the romance, it starts to get a bit wobbly as the story progresses, mostly because Zach is… I’ll get to Zach later.
Lily is a great heroine; she’s funny but not mean-spirited and a good person, but no pushover. In less capable hands she would come across as a ditz. Not in this book. There’s just enough background given for her childhood to give her some dimension, but she’s thankfully light on childhood angst. Regardless, her background isn’t what defines her as a character – her actions do. Except for an amazingly stupid decision she makes at one point (even then her heart is in the right place even if her head isn’t), I loved her. Much of the fun of this book is watching Lily get the better of Zach time and again. When they arrive in Washington and find out how wrong he was about the fiance’s family, Lily laughed out loud. I was right there with her.
As for Zach, Lily’s description of him at the beginning of Chapter Four is apt: “He was a pig! A pig, a pig, a pig!”
Yes, Zach is the usual Andersen hero, the kind of guy who’s so alpha it’s a wonder he doesn’t club Lily over the head with his penis. Even for those used to Andersen’s ultra-alpha heroes, Zach may be a little hard to take. He huffs and he puffs and he stomps around misjudging everyone in sight. He’s wrong about Lily, he’s wrong about the family of Glynnis’s fiancé, he’s wrong about both villains. It would have been nice if he’d been right about something to make him less of a cocky blowhard. Unlike his fellow Marine from Head Over Heels, whose wrongful assumptions about the heroine were tempered by the genuine consideration he showed for his young niece and his attempts to make up to Veronica once the truth came out, there is really nothing to balance out Zach’s belligerence. Andersen offers some glimpses into his childhood that flesh out his sense of responsibility and I suppose Zach’s actions are understandable since they only come out of concern for his sister. However, it’s hard to be understanding when he’s stomping around like a pigheaded lunk throughout the book. The guy can’t even apologize right. When he finds out he’s been wrong about Lily, he knows he should apologize, and he screws it up!
Getting Lucky also really only works as a love story in the sex=love respect. As soon as Lily crawls out of bed after the first time they sleep together, she realizes she’s fallen in love with him!? Why? He’s been nothing but rude to her during their entire time together. My estimation of her dropped a notch at that moment. While Zach’s ultimate declaration of love was sweet, it would have been nice to see more of this prior to the final few pages. For the majority of the book, it doesn’t seem as though he even likes her, except in a let-me-climb-on-top-of-you kind of way. The romance also starts to travel down a very predictable path in the second half of the book, with the separations and misunderstandings foreseeable a mile away.
Though I had more fun reading this book, I liked it a little less than Head Over Heels (a B+ for me). But there’s nothing wrong with a book that’s simply fun, and Getting Lucky is that. Andersen delivers what many of her fans expect from her. It’s fast, it’s funny and the sexual tension is sky high. But this time around the parts didn’t quite add up to all they could have.