Lucky Streak is the second in a trilogy on Corwin cousins whose lives have been affected in some form or other by a curse which vows that any male Corwin to fall in love will lose his love and his fortune. Mike Corwin’s father has taken the curse more seriously than anyone else in the family, and it is difficult to deal with his eccentricity which borders on madness. Though Mike doesn’t believe in the curse, he acknowledges that the Corwin males have had at the very least bad luck in love, and so, though he doesn’t spend too much time on introspection, he has steered clear of real relationships.Amber Rose (first and last name) is a Vegas card counter. In layman’s terms, she’s a cheat. Her father was a con man as well and he raised her to be one of the best due to her photographic memory. Now her father is ill and without health insurance she needs to fund his care at a nursing home. She chooses to do so by joining her father’s long-time friend Marshall in several games. When Lucky Streak begins, Amber has had enough of this life and calls it quits with Marshall, who doesn’t take the rejection well. Mike, who is in Vegas for his cop partner’s wedding, sees Marshall manhandling Amber and intercepts. Long story short, they spend the day together drinking, laughing and being merry. When night falls and Amber realizes Marshall has sent someone after her, they slip into the hotel’s chapel and decide to get married. Yeah. Amber gets married because Marshall is after her and she’s looking to get away from her former life. Mike gets married because, and let me quote the genius:
“In some odd way, getting hitched to Amber made sense. For a Corwin man. He and Amber weren’t in love. No love, no curse.”I guess dating Amber would be too difficult. Marrying her is much easier. Because this ridiculous plot point is the basis of the rest of Lucky Streak, I could not enjoy it at all. Every time I tried to connect with the characters, I remembered how stupid they were. What made an already bad reading experience worse is the way in which Amber continuously used her body and sex to placate Mike when he sought a divorce. Every mention she made of making Mike “happy” had me screaming in my mind “Slut!” and sometimes when her actions were particularly egregious to me, “Ho-bag!”. At that point, I was firmly on Mike’s side in the hopes that he’d get that divorce, but when he vacillated on that goal because, and let me quote the genius again, “…Amber was hot,” I knew Lucky Streak had gone from bad to worse to….worser. Mike is sometimes-adamant about getting a divorce because the night of their Vegas wedding, he played a coin the hotel gives for free and won one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in cash. When he woke up the morning after, Amber had high-tailed it with the money. Why? Because Marshall had kidnapped her father and threatened to hurt him. So while her newlywed husband slept, she took the money to negotiate her father’s release. One of the few things she knew about her husband was that he was a police officer and she’d already experienced him coming to her aid. But I suppose why bother getting assistance when there’s readily available cash to use. On too many levels, Amber’s behavior was morally objectionable to me. She’s a con artist, a thief, an aptly described “psycho woman” stalker (I’ll leave you to learn about that character element if you decide to read the book) and on top of all of that she shouts at Mike that he shouldn’t judge her until he’s walked in her shoes. What? Because Amber is the heroine of this novel, Phillips had to redeem her so that the reader would wish for her happiness and everlasting love. Such efforts at painting Amber as cute and cuddly and just what staid old Mike needed and a solver of all Corwin family problems did not work for me. In fact, they hardened my judgmental heart even more. I didn’t even have a decent secondary romance to latch onto as the one that showed promise between Mike’s father and a previous love was only lightly painted. I also couldn’t look to superior writing to uplift my dejected soul because Lucky Streak is full of corny lines, info dumps and a character straight out of Texas stereotypes called King Bobby. I don’t have anything positive to say about Lucky Streak but I will repeat that my major problem with the book was Amber’s actions from start to finish. Everything else had a negative follow-on effect from there, so it is entirely possible that you could enjoy the story – if Amber doesn’t make you want to dry-heave. This is my first Carly Phillips romance and it appears she’s had good reviews in the past. For that reason alone, I won’t call this my last Carly Phillips romance. But I definitely need a lengthy break before I try her again.