Stroke of Luck
Opal Carew slaps together beaucoup ménages à trois and an incidental plot to create second chance romance Stroke of Luck. An enthusiastic reader of polyamorous relationships, I was disappointed by Carew’s lack of imagination in and out of the bedroom, by the male protagonists – a predator and his accomplice – and the milquetoast heroine.
On the evening before her swanky Las Vegas wedding, April Smith catches her rich and powerful fiancé in flagrante delicto and breaks their engagement. Her ex, Maurice, a villain of the mustache-twirling variety, immediately sticks April with an exorbitant hotel bill, terminates her job working with his company, and influences the bank to call in the loan on her townhouse. He also enlists the help of hotel staff in collecting items that he has gifted to her, such as luggage, designer clothes (including panties), and jewelry. Luckily, April runs into her college ex-boyfriend, Quinn, whose heart she broke, but who still cares for her. Luckily, Quinn is a wealthy tech bazillionaire. He gives April a place to stay in Vegas, helps her to overcome her short-lived destitution, and buys her new panties. Intent on settling her debts, April offers to reimburse Quinn, but he refuses her money. So, Quinn and April, who are still hot for each other, agree on a repayment plan in which April must do everything that Quinn wants for one month. This includes threesomes with Quinn and his best friend and wealthy tech business partner, Austin. April’s love for Quinn resurfaces while she also develops feelings for Austin. Polyamory ensues!
Stroke of Luck contains just enough story to kill time between sex fests, which are somewhat titillating, but ultimately repetitive. The love story between April and Quinn and Austin is barely believable. Had the third-person PoV not changed as frequently and had the protagonists possessed more depth of emotion, then a more heartfelt romance could have emerged.
Carew’s lovers are neither endearing, nor particularly sympathetic. Twenty-something April is an emotionally vulnerable character whose melodramatic backstory explains some of her co-dependent decisions, but not enough for her to be totally likable. Her constant ‘deer caught in headlights’ reactions play into a sexualized innocence that is uncomfortable to read. Bossy alpha Quinn is determined to resist falling for April, but he is even more determined to satisfy his unfulfilled lust for her. His harsh demeanor and guarded personality do not belie an honorable man with a heart of gold. Austin is the ‘good cop’ to Quinn’s ‘bad cop.’ He is gentle and kind in a way that almost seems too good to be true, and is railroaded by Quinn into honoring April and Quinn’s group sex agreement. Since Austin is a good sport, he takes one for the team (*eye roll*).
I rolled the dice on Opal Carew’s Stroke of Luck and lost. But, if you are in the mood for M/F/M sex without the distraction of an engaging plot, then maybe give this novel a read.