Monday, June 22, 2020

New Release Review: Just My Luck by Alice Winters #Review #Giveaway

Title: Just My Luck
Author: Alice Winters
Self Published
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Length: 342 pages 

Reviewed by Sammy 


When I’m tossed into the trunk of a car, I realize that what little luck I have has finally run out—especially when I find that Tony, the man who’d abducted me, is planning on using me to get back at my father. My chances for escape look pretty bleak when I’m handcuffed to Tony’s bodyguard, an intimidating man named Shepherd who apparently loves tight shirts and seems to be amused by making my life miserable. Soon, though, I learn that Shepherd has a heart and a brain. And sometimes, those two things can be a bigger weapon than anything in a time like this. I just have to learn how to wield them.

After Shepherd gets me away from Tony’s men, I discover that he’s a survivor, a fighter, and the only person who seems willing to help me when it feels like the whole world is against me. At first, I’m not sure if I can trust the man, but the more we get to know each other, the more I realize that he’s funny and kind of sweet. He’s determined to protect me, but he doesn’t know all of my secrets. He doesn’t know that Tony isn’t the only one looking for me. But together, as we face betrayal and taking down the worst monster of all, we’re determined that we will be the lucky ones after all.

Just My Luck is a 101k book that includes a dog that wants to eat Killian’s face off (or maybe just play with his shoe), handcuffs used in a disappointing way, way too much running, a hero that can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a gun (which might have something to do with the fact that he picks up a book instead of practicing every chance he gets), a game of strip checkers that doesn’t go as planned, and two broken souls who find peace in each other.


Killian tries to keep convincing himself he has some sort of luck—after he gets abducted, tied up, thrown in the trunk of a car, and then beaten up he is still talking and talking and talking and sure that he will get lucky—or die trying. It might have been nice if his father—the police chief, even cared, but that sadistic killer never really liked his son except for the computer skills he exhibited early on. And his drug addicted mother never wakes up long enough to say much of anything, besides she never really cared much for Killian either. Maybe he can get this Shepherd guy to sympathize with him—after all since his second or third (who’s counting really?) attempt to escape the crime boss keeping him captive has him handcuffed to the mountain of muscle. Now Killian must use all his psychological finesse to convince Shepherd to help him get out of there before he is killed—in other words—talk his ear off. Yeah, he is definitely going to die.

Alice Winters has released a humorous little gem of an action adventure story called Just My Luck. Killian is twenty years old and trapped in a nightmare living situation with a father whose tentacles reach far into police business and the crime world as well and has abused him physically and mentally all his life. The man has also kept his wife drugged and ineffectual for just as many years. Killian has tried leaving but is always brought back to the prison that is his home. With enough guilt over his own complicity in helping cover up murder, gun running and so much more, Killian is just trying to survive—and then he’s kidnapped. The crime boss, Tony, wants Killian’s father to find his missing daughter and hopes that by beating Killian senseless and threatening to kill him Killian’s father will relent and open an investigation. That thought makes Killian laugh—his dad relenting—no way. So escape is the only way out—but being handcuffed to one of Tony’s goons is not making it easy.

Shepherd owes Tony his life—literally. After being thrown onto the streets at the age of fourteen, he did things he’s not proud of just to survive. Then Tony took him in and made him an expert marksman and, yeah, a cold-blooded killer. Shepherd has murdered far too many to remember but there’s something about this guy who is currently talking his ear off and handcuffed to him that makes him feel…different. Feeling anything at all is unusual for Shepherd—he learned long ago to wall off his emotions but this kid—no man, young admittedly but still a man, is getting under his defenses. When it becomes clear that his bastard of a father isn’t going to rescue him, Shepherd is faced with a decision—one that will change his life and possibly end it sooner than later.

I can really connect with Alice Winter’s sense of humor—it is brilliant, in my opinion, as is her story telling capability. This is an author who turns out one delightful novel after another. I think the real plus here is that the characters seem so accessible—down to earth and somehow, despite the crazy scenarios, realistic. That comes from an outstanding ability to craft people with depth, interesting backstories that are fully developed, and romantic entanglements that are sensual and somehow incredibly funny and just downright cute. Killian and Shepherd are a fine case in point. Deeply flawed, hard-ridden by guilt and shame at past mistakes, these two come together slowly—learning to love and care for each other in the best of ways—while running for their lives. It is an insane premise that works so very well.

The bad guys are not stereotypical and really horrific—especially Killian’s dad. He made me shudder every time he spoke. Just My Luck is such a satisfying story. It has all the finest elements to make it entertaining, enough action to keep your heart in your throat and so much humor that you may never want the novel to end. I love Alice Winter’s work and this latest just confirms her auto-buy status with me.


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