Saturday, March 28, 2009

Review: Lucky's Woman

Title: Lucky's Woman
Author: Linda Winstead Jones
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Last Chance Heroes/Book 4

Published September 2006
Silhouette Intimate Moments
Year of the Category Challenge

From the back cover:

She saw a killer in her dreams...

Annie Lockhart's colorful exterior concealed a serious psychic ability. And if her latest visions were true, a serial killer was preying on couples deeply in love. She had been burned by her talents before, so instead of going to the police, she hired private investigator Lucky Santana to find the killer.

Even though Lucky wasn't sure about this assignment, Annie drove him crazy, in more ways than one…which made their task all the more torturous: Annie and Lucky set out to look like a happy couple. As their faux relationship turned all too real and passionate, the killer came in for one last deadly showdown.

This is the second book I've read by this author and it makes me want to try more of her work. Maybe some of her full-length novels. The writing has an intrinsic flow, not stalling out at any one plot point. The story kept my interest enough to make this a very quick read.

Annie has dreams, vivid dreams of murder and death. She's tried to do the right thing in the past but going to the police turned out to be a disaster. When the dreams start up again she decides to hire a private investigator to help find out who the murderer is.

Annie went through hell five years ago when she dreamed of murder. She thought going to the police was the answer. Instead she was ostracized to the point that she moved from Nashville to the smaller town of Mercerville, TN. She owns and runs two shops called Annie's Closet that sells one of a kind hats and handbags. She loves designing hats and bags and has found her niche in the beautiful town. The last thing she wants to do is have to move again.

Lucky Santana is prepared to take a statement from Annie and be done with the case. He figures she's nuts and doesn't want to waste time listening to some crazy lady. But it turns out that Annie isn't crazy and Lucky soon finds himself deeply involved in Annie's effort to find the murderer.

Lucky is a hero who has a soft spot for women in trouble. He starts out very skeptical of Annie and her abilities. Even after he experiences proof of her psychic talent he still continues to try to solve the murders and find the killer through conventional methods. While he poses as Annie's love interest he also has a chance to get to know her far better than he planned.

I liked the way Annie and Lucky interacted. Even when the spark of attraction was there Lucky still held back and Annie still treated her growing attraction for Lucky as secondary to finding the murderer. That's not to say that they didn't do something about the attraction but it didn't completely overshadow the original reason for the two being together in the first place.

Lucky and Annie both have issue from their pasts to overcome and Winstead Jones deals with them in a way that doesn't come off as phony. The suspense was also well written and genuine. I hate it when I figure out who the killer is long before the hero/heroine do, when it's suppose to be concealed until the dramatic end.

Lucky's Woman was a quick, enjoyable read. It's part of the Last Chance Heroes series from Silhouette but IMO can be read as a stand alone. Since it and others in the series were published a few years ago the best chance of finding it is in UBS or Paperbackswap.

Linda Winstead Jones has also written under the name Linda Jones. Her website is a bit sparse but there is info on her previous and current releases.

Rating: B+


  1. You know what's weird about this? Linda W. Jones wrote Howl's Moving Castle, whose heroine was also owned a hat shop. There was magic involved and wizards, etc, but maybe she has a thing for hats ;)

  2. This sounds fun - I love a plot where the heroine has powers and isn't believed, and the fun of that unrolling. Charlaine Harris in the Grave series has that, too. I should check out this author.

  3. Hi Laura - the hats shop was certainly different. Odd that Jones would have two heroines with the same occupation.

    CJ - I haven't read any of Harris' books yet. I saw the first episode of the True Blood series and wasn't too impressed. My guess is that the books are better.

  4. Glad you're having a good streak of categories! I'm planning to try out as many of the different category genres as possible. It seems like a lot of them have paranormal elements in them these days. I don't know why I thought lines like Intimate Moments were more straight romance. There've been others I came across that I was surprised to see anything paranormal in them.

    I've heard good things about this author tho. Thanks for the great review!

  5. I haven't even seen the show. I'm sure the books are better. Oh, and I hope that if I don't win on Bwaha, that you do. If you went for be with me, you might!!!

  6. KMont-I think the paranormal craze has infused every genre. Thanks for having this challenge. I'm surprised at how much I enjoy the category romances.

    CJ-I was actually hoping to win the ARCs or the GC from Samhain. It looks like Jennifer will win those. :(