This book took me completely by surprise. I’ve read mixed reviews for this author’s work (she also writes as Dinah McCall), and I figured that, while Lucky may not turn out to be a DIK, it would probably be an okay read. Half-way through the book, however, I could not believe what I was reading. Not only was Lucky not an okay read, it was filled with bizarre phrases, characters that never left the flatness of the page, a hero who thought and behaved more like a woman than a man, and a love scene that had me laughing out loud (which was not the author’s intent, I’m sure). If you’ve read Rachel Potter’s review of Queen, then I’ll just say I had exactly the same problems with Lucky that she had with Queen.
Lucky Houston is the daughter of a gambler. Johnny Houston had three daughters, Queen, Diamond, and Lucky – and if there is any reason why these girls’ mother(s) allowed these girls to be saddled with such wretched monikers, it’s not given in this book. Lucky is tall, has deeply tanned skin, and green, almond-shaped eyes. She has no skills other than dealing – not drugs, cards. So, after the death of her father, she gets on a Greyhound in Cradle Creek, Tennessee and heads for Las Vegas.
The first person she meets in Vegas is Nick Chenault. Even though, at 36, Nick is a good dozen years older than Lucky, when he sees her, he offers her a ride, which comes off sounding like a proposition. Thinking Nick is a pimp, Lucky gives him the brush-off, leaving him scratching his head in shock and lust. Nick owns the Club 52, a profitable gambling house in Vegas that was founded by his father, now wheelchair-bound from a recent stroke. As it would happen, one thing leads to another, and Lucky gets a job in Club 52 as a dealer. When Nick realizes he is Lucky’s employer, he begins to lust after her in earnest.
There’s a plot afoot to kill Nick and his father (yet knowing this, Nick whines but does not hire bodyguards). There’s a bad guy (El Gato) in South America pulling all the strings (we are never told how). A former showgirl named Fluffy (who is now 84 years old) befriends Lucky. Also included are various supporting characters, including a detective who couldn’t detect his way out of a paper bag. While the plot moves hither and yon, Nick and Lucky fall in love.
For the first fifty pages or so, I cared. Mid-way through the book, however, I stopped caring and began marveling at some of the truly amateurish dialogue. It was like reading a parody or a badly written soap. Near the end, I gave it all up and just turned pages just to get finished. The point-of-view shifts and head-hopping took their toll early on and had run me to ground by the end of the book. I actually counted six POV shifts on one page, and further on in the book, the POV shifted three times in on paragraph. Three times . . . in one paragraph. These constant shifts distanced me completely from the characters. Any suspense was lost. My emotions began moving from mild irritation to outright anger.
There were many lines in this book that were so, well, I just don’t know how to describe them. Here are some samples. You be the judge.
“The men inhaled as one, and then held their breaths in collective fear as they watched El Gato’s eyes go from blue to white with rage . . . Lucky made a dash through Club 52 with one eye on the clock and the other on the dressing room.” (A physical impossibility, except maybe for Britney Spears).
“It was when he staggered sideways to dodge the constant but restricted swing of her knees toward his turgid manhood that he stepped into the bucket . . . The woman’s screams ripped above the noise level on the floor with the power of a jet wash . . . Nick laughed aloud, surprised by her jest, and then bent his head. He meant for the kiss to be friendly, and nowhere near her lips . . . His burgeoning manhood tested the limits of metal zippers and expensive material, while her body warmed to a sweet honey flow . . . Instinctively her lips turned up to meet the ones coming down . . . Maizie had her thing and she had hers . . “.
And then, there’s the love scene. Sadly, I laughed through the whole thing; it was simply unbelievable.
“Within the space of a second, Lucky’s heart felt like it had shot to the roof of her mouth and then dropped to the region of her stomach . . . His hands slid up her arms and then down, palming her breasts as his thumbs began circling the dark areola surrounding her nipples. Spiral after spiral, he increased the pressure in subtle increments so that when his thumbs finally found their targets and rubbed across the jutting pout of the nubs, she lost every skill she had, including balance . . . “.
And, the intriguing and not quite comprehendible:
“While waiting for Lucky to answer, Fluffy swung a fly swatter at her cat has he sauntered by. She missed, but out of respect for the thought, the cat hissed and danced sideways to stay in practice and in doing so, knocked a vase off a table.”
Now, I’ve thought about that one several times, and it still doesn’t make any sense to me.
It was at this point, I closed my eyes and sighed…I didn’t care what happened to these characters. I didn’t know them, and what I did know about them, I didn’t like. I didn’t need anymore frustrating dialogue or irrational behavior or pouting nubs or thrusting manhoods. The book was on such a downward slide, there was no hope of recovery. I’m sorry I wasted so much time hoping Lucky would improve. As luck would have it, it never did.