Penny Sue Got Lucky
Grade : B-

Penny Sue Got Lucky is a great title and fits the novel perfectly, which you’ll discover when you finish it. This book has a bit of mystery, a hero and heroine who are total opposites in personality, a large cast of secondary characters, and even a cute dog. It’s part of Beverly Barton’s long running Protectors series and is a fairly lighthearted book.

Penny Sue Paine’s family is eccentric and has given the town much to gossip about. The latest bit of Paine eccentricity involves Penny’s aunt, who is worth millions. Her will leaves all the money to her pet dog Lucky with Penny as the guardian. This does not sit well with the relatives, and someone shoots Lucky. Penny is not about to take this so she hires a bodyguard for the dog.

Vic Noble, ex-CIA agent and now operative for the Dundee Agency get the assignment. He isn’t happy. Well, if you were a big, tough bodyguard would you want to keep tabs on a pooch? But Vic is a professional and off he goes grumbling all the way.

Vic and Penny are like oil and water. He’s uber-masculine, taciturn, and dour. She’s ultra-feminine, has a tendency to chatter and is almost always cheerful. Her family is well to do while Vic grew up dirt poor. He’s ready to resent the hell out of Penny and in the early parts of the book, he walks around with a chip on his shoulder (and an ache in his groin) but it doesn’t take very long for things to happen.

Someone leaves a bloody knife and a toy dog on the doorstep, and then someone tries to burn down the veterinarian’s office. Finally, someone turns two pit bulls loose on Vic and Lucky. It’s clear that someone wants him gone and Lucky dead. But which someone? There’s a lot of Paines in town and almost all of them have some reason to need the money.

The mystery is not all that interesting and Vic finally does a Nick Charles and gets everyone together while he tells who did what. But the love story between Vic and Penny is a lot of fun.

Penny is such a girly girl. She’s also very old-fashioned and not used to being around so much manly masculinity. Don’t be fooled by her old-fashioned ways though – Penny is smart and a capable businesswoman. She owns a successful gift shop/interior decorating service called Penny’s Pretties and has a sharp mind under her sweetly feminine exterior. She’s immediately attracted to Vic, but they are such opposites!

Vic is a typical brooding loner. He grew up as the son of a dirt poor woman and when he sees how rich Penny’s family is, he is not comfortable. In his experience, such people are snobbish and look down on him. But not Penny. Sure, she sometimes gets on his nerves by her constant chatter, but he soon grows to like her very much, and if the ending is way improbable – it’s a series romance!

Penny Sue Got Lucky isn’t a series romance masterpiece, but it’s a light, charming read with some of Beverly Barton’s wonderful sexual tension and small town southern charm. This is the kind of series romance I enjoy when I’m looking for something short and fun to read. Check it out.

Reviewed by Ellen Micheletti

Grade: B-

Book Type: Series Romance

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : January 9, 2006

Publication Date: 2006/01

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