Lucky Girl

Cate Lord
Lucky Girl
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Entangled Publishing
Release Date
September 2011
Chick-lit, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

Jessica Devlin isn't looking for love. Heartbroken after being dumped by her unfaithful ex-fiancé, she's determined to have a fabulous time during her vacation in England where she'll be maid-of-honor at her cousin's wedding. After working overtime as beauty editor of Orlando's O Tart magazine, avoiding dating, and putting on ten pounds, Jess is ready to toss her past like an empty lipstick tube and party like a single gal.

But when she steps into the church on her cousin's wedding day, she sees the one man who could sabotage her plan--James-Bond-gorgeous Nick Mondinello. She's never forgotten the London marketing exec who held her in his arms after her beloved grandfather's funeral two years ago. Ambitious, and lusted after by women everywhere, Nick is completely wrong for guarded, Plain Jane Jess.

Could Spy Man Nick ever fall for her? Nope. Not unless Jess is one lucky girl.

Book Review by JV (reviewer)
Jun 11, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
134 people found the following review helpful
Chick Lit-style romance is not always my cup of tea, but when I find one that's done well, I really enjoy it. LUCKY GIRL is one that's done very well and avoids the pitfall that typically spoils an otherwise promising Chick Lit-style romance for me.

Jessica Devlin is the beauty editor of O Tart magazine with her eye on the managing editor position. First though, she is headed for England to be a bridesmaid in her recently-found cousin's wedding and to take a much-needed and hard-earned vacation. Just fourteen months ago, she was engaged to be married to Stan, and he accompanied her on a visit to England during which she stayed with her Aunt Prim and cousins Tilly and Charlotte. Then four months ago, Stan walked out on her for another woman, putting a serious dent in her self-confidence as he left by accusing her of being boring in bed.

Jessica's next trip to England was for her grandfather's funeral. One night, her sadness and a few gin and tonics got the better of her, and she spewed her sadness and grief out into a potted plant at the Creaky Wicket Pub where she was comforted and cared for by a Sex God Playboy of the highest order whom she met there: Nick . Nick was just what she'd needed then -- kind, sympathetic, and comforting (and, coincidentally, totally hot) -- but fortunately she'd likely never run into him again and have to face the embarrassment of seeing the man who'd held her hair back while she puked into a potted plant. Besides, she had learned a hard lesson while growing up from her mother's experiences with love: never fall in love with a playboy!

Jessica is determined to get in touch with her Inner Goddess while she's back in England and, if necessary, to turn her cousins into Goddesses, too. Before she can even get out of her office, however, her boss tells her that Natalie will be opening her mail and taking her calls while she's gone, and Jessica has a sneaking suspicion that Natalie has her eye on Jessica's job. So, she's already stressed out by the time she arrives in England (late) and has to get a summary of her role in the wedding from the minister while the rest of the wedding party enjoys the rehearsal dinner. Therefore she is much surprised to find, at the wedding itself, that the best man is none other than her Sex God Playboy Nick , who, with a little luck, won't even remember her and the embarrassing circumstances under which they met.

A Sex God Playboy like Nick would go for the ultra skinny model type of woman and probably wouldn't even remember a woman like Jessica, who is carrying around a few extra pounds since her breakup with Stan. Would he? Unfortunately, Jess's luck hasn't taken any sudden turns for the better, but even though it appears that Nick does, indeed, remember her, she doesn't want to get involved with him, despite the fact that he definitely makes her heart go pitty-pat whenever she sees him because Jessica Devlin knows better than to get involved with playboys who'll only break your heart.

Throughout her stay, she teaches her cousins Charlotte and Anna how to be Goddesses while encouraging shy Charlotte to go after her man. After all, a Goddess doesn't need to sit back and wait for a man to notice her. She takes charge of her love life! However, she's trying to convince herself that she's a Goddess as much as she is trying to teach her cousins. Despite her outward appearance of being cool and in control, she is actually very unsure of herself. She also attempts to avoid encountering Nick, whom she runs into repeatedly often with a model-thin redhead named Dominique, whom she dubs Sex Crazed on his arm, and tries her very best to like Troy, a man who is interested in her and whom she sees as more attainable for a girl like herself.

Try as she might, however, she cannot conjure up chemistry with Troy, and her heart pounds every time she runs into Nick, who lives in the same neighborhood as Laura, for whom Jess is house- and cat-sitting. Eventually Nick's overtures toward her overcome her resistance and good sense, and she decides that a two-week affair with a Sex God Playboy won't be so bad, as long as she doesn't let herself fall for him. Of course, that's easy to say, but the heart wants what it wants. Despite her efforts to keep it light, Nick's charm, his sense of humor, and even a shared love for Plucky Penguin and Chicky Dee, a TV show they'd both watched as kids wear down her resistance. But just when she begins to think that maybe somehow, despite all the odds against them, things might work out for her and Nick, she shoots herself in the foot. (A Freudian slip?) Even though they call a truce long enough to say goodbye to one another at the airport, Jessica realizes that her love affair with Nick has come to an end.

Jess returns to O Tart to find that someone has sabotaged her articles and that Natalie has ingratiated herself right into Jess's desired Managing Editor position. With her heart in tatters and her career torpedoed, Jess just wants to find a cave somewhere and hibernate, especially since even her mother appears to be finding her happily ever after, but first she has some tough decisions to make. She also finds that maybe Cupid isn't finished with her after all.

I really enjoyed the characterizations in this book. I appreciated that Jess, who seemed so confident and in control of her attitude and her life, was really rather insecure about her own appeal and was struggling to love herself after a painful break-up with her former fiancé. I also appreciated that she wasn't a waif-thin heroine, the image of physical perfection, as so many of them are.

More than anything, I appreciate that Nick was, at the same time, a perfect physical specimen and a genuine nice guy -- not at all full of himself. (And, yes, I know that means I have a double standard where heroes and heroines are concerned.) More importantly, he was intelligent, playful, and sweet, and he was crazy about Jess. In other words, he was everything that makes me love a hero. I also appreciated that it was well-written and edited, without jarring errors or awkward wording that can pull a reader out of an otherwise good story.

This book probably would have been a five star book for me but for one thing. Even knowing that Jess was on vacation and nursing a broken heart, I couldn't get past all of the drinking she and her cousins did. They were inebriated or hung-over too often during the story. While I can appreciate letting one's hair down a bit under such circumstances, I feel they crossed the line between vacation fun and irresponsible drinking. Despite that, I found the story and the characters very appealing. I loved the little story-within-a-story as Jess envisioned herself and Nick as Plucky Penguin and Chicky Dee. She constantly used their example as a way to bolster her courage and her belief in herself, and the author did a great job of finding a way to insert the characters into her real relationship. This is well worth a read!
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