Thursday, May 23, 2013

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: Lucky Bastard by Deborah Coonts

Lucky Bastard by Deborah Coonts
Series: Lucky O’Toole Vegas Adventure, Book #4
Published: May 14th, 2013
Publisher: Forge Books
349 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Adult mystery/humour
Acquired this book: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Book Depository || Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

 {My review of Wanna Get Lucky? || My review of Lucky Stiff|| My review of So Damn Lucky}

Lucky O’Toole, the newly promoted vice president of Customer Relations for the Babylon, Las Vegas’s primo Strip property, has never met a problem she couldn’t handle. But when a young woman is found dead, sprawled across the hood of a new, bright red Ferrari California in the Babylon’s on-site dealership, a Jimmy Choo stiletto stuck in her carotid, Lucky’s skills are maxed out. Of course her life is already on overload. Her mother, Mona, is pregnant, hormonal, and bored — a triple threat. A song that Teddie, Lucky’s former lover, wrote for her is getting national airplay as he hits the talk shows, pleading for her forgiveness. Lucky is less than amused by the high-powered “infotainment” spotlight on her personal life. She’s having enough trouble fending off Chef Jean-Charles Bouclet, the Babylon’s tasty new dish. All of this and The Smack-Down Poker tournament, the second-largest poker tournament in the world, is holding its final round at the Babylon. Hookers, thieves, players, cheaters, media, and hangers-on descend, looking to win or to score. When one of the players turns up dead, Lucky starts to make connections between the two murders, putting her in the crosshairs of the killer. After a revelation by someone close to her sends her world reeling even further, Lucky struggles to keep her life in balance, and a murderer from killing again as bodies pile up. Then, just when she’s losing control…life deals another major complication to her personal life…and it’s not going to be pretty. Lucky struggles to keep her life in balance, and a murderer from killing again as bodies pile up.

Lucky O’Toole is back with her latest Vegas (mis)adventure, and this time it’s personal: the number one suspect in the murders is a friend. Lucky doesn’t know who to trust, and it makes for a great mixture of tension, danger, and mystery.

As always, it’s fun to catch up with Lucky. She’s tough, smart, independent, and I like her more with each novel. It’s been nice to see her growth throughout the novels, both personally and professionally. She’s been hurt, she’s had her heart broken, she’s seen more than most people in her line of work ever should, but she remains strong and keeps fighting. It was also nice to see her get her head on a bit straighter where her love life was concerned. I was really unhappy with how the romance(s) played out in the last book, but I thought Coonts did a good job of sorting things out this time around. I liked the blossoming relationship between Lucky and Jean-Charles (even though I still miss Teddie and have a soft spot for him, despite how he hurt Lucky), and I think he would be good for her. But, of course, with Lucky things are never quite that simple, and there’s still a lot to be sorted out in her romantic life.

With the past three books, I’ve had the same complaint: there were always far too many characters and the story got bogged down in trying to keep everyone - and their motives - straight. I was very pleased to discover that issue wasn't present in Lucky Bastard. There are still a lot of characters, but this time most of them were regulars, and after four books I feel like I really know these people. It’s like being reunited with friends (or enemies, as the case may be), and I didn’t have trouble keeping them straight. My only real complaint about Lucky Bastard was that it lacked the usual action, and that action was replaced by a lot of inner dialogue from Lucky, which consisted of a lot of repetitious self-pity and over-thinking things. The book was a decent length (it normally takes me at least a week to read a Lucky book and this one only took me a few days, which was a definite plus), but it could have been shorter and more concise without Lucky going over the same problems over and over in her mind.

On a personal note, I was really happy to see a deaf character in this book. My brother is deaf, and my city has one of the few deaf schools in the country, so I grew up among the deaf community. I appreciated Cole’s character being added in, and I loved his charm and his take-no-crap attitude - he reminded me a lot of my brother. 

Lucky Bastard was a great addition to the Lucky O’Toole Vegas Adventure series. We got to see some character growth not only from Lucky, but from some of the secondary characters as well (I really love Romeo). There was good set-up for the next novel (that ending! My mouth dropped open!) and I’m eager to find out what crazy misadventures Lucky will get into next.

Besides reading this book for the blog tour, I also read it as part of my Summer Reading 2013 personal reading challenge. In honour of Lucky, that yummy fruit smoothie has a healthy dose of alcohol in it. ;-)

Deborah Coonts’s mother tells her she was born in Texas a very long time ago, though she’s not totally sure - her mother can’t be trusted. But she was definitely raised in Texas on barbecue, Mexican food, and beer. She currently resides in Las Vegas, where family and friends tell her she can’t get into too much trouble. Silly people. Coonts has built her own business, practiced law, flown airplanes, written a humour column for a national magazine, and survived a teenager.

Find Deborah Online:

One lucky winner (ok, I like bad puns as much as Lucky herself) will get all three of Deborah Coonts’s e-novellas: Lucky in Love, Lucky Bang, and Lucky Now and Then.

*Open internationally. A very special thank you to Deborah Coonts for providing this awesome prize!*

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