Friday, January 22, 2010

Review: Getting Lucky

Getting Lucky
Carolyn Brown
Contemporary Romance
Lucky Trilogy/Book 3
Sourcebooks/January 2010

From the publisher's website ~

Teacher Julie Donovan has just relocated to a new town in Texas with her young daughter. Of all the kindergarten classes in all the state, Julie is surprised to see her one-night stand, her daughter's father, enroll his own 5-year-old daughter, all the while pretending they are strangers.

But to Griffin Luckadeau they really are strangers, and Julie's little family is a mess he wants nothing to do with. Julie attempts to make her own way in the town, but local politics, a fire and her daughter's inconvenient friendships all seem to be pushing these two strong-willed Texans together.

Carolyn Brown's final book in her Lucky trilogy takes the reader back to Texas and to the town of Saint Jo. It's here where Julie Donovan has taken a job as a kindergarten teacher. She and her five year old daughter are starting over after living with Julie's parents after her divorce. This is to be a fresh start, getting away from the gossip and rumors that ran rampant after Julie's ex-husband filed for divorce. Annie, Julie's daughter, is not her ex-husband's child.

Griffin Luckadeau is one of the numerous Luckadeaus that populate Texas. He comes from a long line of ranchers and has ranching in his blood. He is also the single father of Lizzy, his five year old daughter who just happens to look like Annie, Julie's daughter. When the two girls meet for the first time in Julie's class they become instant friends. Their bond is a strong one and their parents are not happy about it. When Griffin first meets Julie at the school he doesn't know who Julie is but he thinks she trouble. When he does unravel the truth of who Julie is and how they are connected, it's too late for him to back away from her and Annie. They have become part of his and Lizzy's life.

Julie is just having the worst luck. I felt bad for her when she came face to face with Griffin. Here she is trying to get a new beginning for her and Annie and she can't seem to get away from her past. Add to that the quick friendship that develops between Annie and Lizzy and it just complicates things. Julie doesn't like Griffin, she wants nothing to do with him but understand that she also has to consider Annie. Griffin doesn't trust Julie at all but he also has to consider Lizzy. They're stuck. Then the rumors start up with people talking about the amazing resemblance between Annie and Lizzy.

When Julie is confronted with the rumors of who Annie's father is she tries to deny it which I really didn't understand since it's obvious Annie is a Luckadeau. Then she has a major run in with Griffin's ex. The claws come out and Julie goes from sweet kindergarten teacher to momma bear guarding her cub. I got why Julie was so upset with Griffin's ex. The woman was horrible. What I didn't get was how close to violence Julie was. The women in general throughout the book were very vocal when they became angry. The men seemed tame in comparison. And the women didn't use only words but threats of physical violence as well. This surprised me and had a tendency to take me out of the story.

The kids in the story were really cute and well written. There was Annie, Lizzy and a little boy named Chuck that the girls basically adopt. It was sweet the way they took him under their wing and decided, on their own, that they should take care of him. They would share their lunches and invite him to their homes in spite of the fact that Chuck was a bit of an outcast at school.

Julie and Griffin's relationship goes from wary to angry to cordial to tentative friendship. Then the fire that ravages the area places Julie and Griffin in a position to help each other out. That's when the tentative friendship really becomes more. I liked when Julie and Griffin were getting along and had a common goal that they worked towards. They made a good couple except when they were fighting because the fights seemed to become so childish. If they had simply talked more I think they could have avoided some of the arguments.

The people of the town played a role in Julie and Griffin's relationship. As did Griffin's family. The women were, once again, very protective of Griffin. Almost too protective. Millie and Jane (Luckadeau heroines from first two books) make it very clear to Julie that they don't trust her. It takes a while before the misunderstandings are discovered and the women can finally stop with the threats.

The down home Texas feel comes through in spades in Brown's writing. The reader experiences what life is like in a Texas ranching community. Both the small mindedness and the acts of kindness that Julie experiences. If you like your contemporary romances with a southern, small town flair they you might just like Getting Lucky.

Rating: B-


  1. I don't know if I like Griffin already, Leslie. I mean if this is his daughter we're talking about (Annie)... why does he want to have nothing to do with them? I understand surprise, etc... but it sounds pretty hostile. The family sounds really hostile too, what is that all about?

  2. Hils ~ they think Julie's trying to get half of Griffin's ranch. Lots of hostility from that family.

  3. Hmmm, I have the first two books in this trilogy. I've skimmed through the first one... i'm surprised that this author is using the secret baby plot so much.

    I feel like there's a lot of jumping to conclusions in these books...

  4. nath ~ I didn't read the first one but the h/h show up in the second and third books. In Getting Lucky much of the jumping to conclusions came from Griffin's family. They were very suspicious of Julie. And she didn't try to clear things up right away.