I feel lucky every year when a new Lucky O'Toole book by Deborah Coonts is released. And, Lucky
Lucky may have that name, but the VP of Customer Relations for the Babylon casino-resort is definitely unlucky in love. Dumped by her best friend and lover, Teddie Kowalski, in favor of his music career, she's moved into the Babylon, living on the same floor as the Big Boss, her father, and her pregnant mother, Mona. But, a murder in the car dealership in the Babylon leaves her little time for sleep, let alone a love life. And, the woman found dead on the hood of a Ferrari, with the heel of a Jimmy Choo in her throat, had an unexpected relationship with Paxton Dean, a sexy man who used to work security at the hotel. It seems Paxton had a wife he never bothered to tell Lucky about.
As always, Lucky's role as professional troubleshooter for the hotel means she can't just deal with the suspicion that a man she flirted with might be a killer. When a close friend of her father's, in town for a high-stakes poker tournament, ends up dead in the company jet, she has the widow to deal with. And, she fires the poker room manager when he refuses to give a deaf player a seat at the table.Wheat do all of Lucky's problems have in common? Poker.
With Lucky's luck, all these pieces fall together, making it difficult for her to keep up appearances that everything is fine at the Babylon. Smoke and mirrors. But, the Big Boss trusts her to keep everything running smoothly. "Why do you think you run this place? You make the tough decisions, and yet you still lead with your heart."
That's the appeal of the Lucky O'Toole adventures. The books give us Lucky, a character addicted to puns and cliches, who hides her broken heart behind humor. But, they also give us romance, solid characters surrounding Lucky, and the unexpected humorous stories that come out of Las Vegas. And, even when she's working on little sleep, drinking too much to escape pain and uncertainty, and chasing a killer, Lucky O'Toole is a strong, caring woman who makes the extra effort for her friends. As I've said in previous reviews, Deborah Coonts has a sure hand when it comes to bringing characters to life. And, two of those characters, Lucky O'Toole and Las Vegas, are just perfect for each other. Lucky Bastard is just one more adventure in their on-going story, one of the rise and fall of love and luck.
Deborah Coonts' website is www.deborahcoonts.com
Lucky Bastard by Deborah Coonts. Forge. 2013. ISBN 9780765335463 (hardcover), 349p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.