Luck on the Line, Zoraida Cordova
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I really enjoyed this read. I liked Lucky – she’s hardworking, helpful and kind, and even though she and mum don’t really get on she still does the annual obligatory family visit, where they remember her lovely dad who died many years back. Since then her once happy, loving mother has found fame with her TV show, and seems to chase the limelight and want a succession of new husbands. She’s become someone Lucky doesn’t really know, and she seems kind of brittle and false when we meet her. Lucky’s life seems to be in two parts, happy and loving family when dad was alive and then sort of lost, after she was farmed out to private schools etc while her mum chased fame. Its left her feeling angry, though she doesn’t seem to admit it, and she’s a clear “chip on her shoulder” about her mum. None the less she’s home again, and once again between occupations…
Her mum’s latest venture is a new restaurant with the latest TV chef prize-winner heading the team. Things aren’t going well though when Lucky comes back for her annual visit, and somehow she ends up carrying the venture while her mum swans round, upsetting plans, and leaving with no notice to carry out other things. Poor Lucky, she can’t let this fail, despite everything her sense of family, love dad had for cooking and just innate nature won’t allow it.
James the chef is a great lead, a character who comes across as very real, and I felt I could picture him and understand his motivations. I liked him too and that’s essential for me, to feel I can empathise and feel for the main characters. I have to want them to be together for a book to work for me, and I was rooting for him and Lucky to sort things out. They just seemed such a good match for each other, strong, ambitious and determined. A team to succeed in life and love. He’s been given the impression by her mum that she’s a privileged, vacuous flake so they don’t get off on good terms. He sees her help as interference, and doesn’t think she knows what she’s doing, convinced she’s just there to ride on mum’s fame. He’s desperate for the venture to be a success so he can leave his past and all its secrets behind. HA! Like that ever happens! He didn’t plan on being so attracted to Lucky though, and after some sharp words and actions they slowly grow into a truce, and then more…and that’s really hot. I love this kind of change of opinion, when you can’t quite work out where the change started, when they went from enemies to friends to lovers. Its a prickly relationship though, they’re both hiding secrets and as it turns out so is mum. That one was a shock I didn’t expect! I love to get caught out
Its a fun read, loved the cocktails and food descriptions, and they way it felt like a real project, where things go wrong, disasters strike at just the wrong time ( the name tags at the tasting – and what a great recovery Lucky did). The heat between James and Lucky was searing, and I enjoyed the sensual back and forth play out of their romance. I did feel after all the build up though a bit underwhelmed both by the reveal and the drama that followed, and that’s where its a four star and not a five star read for me. I need some sadness that really moves me and while I felt for Lucky and James I didn’t get the sense that things might not be recoverable.
Stars: Four – a solid, well written fun romance.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers