I reviewed this book for ROOB at the request of the author,
Long ago, as revenge on a Corwin who stole her son’s fiancée, a witch proclaimed an eternal curse that every Corwin male who married for love would be destined to lose his love and his fortune …
Derek thought he could outsmart the long-standing Corwin curse by breaking up with Gabrielle, his first love— and marrying someone else. Now, divorced and broke, all he has left is his teenage daughter and a healthy respect for ancient sorcery. But then Gabrielle returns, determined to defeat the curse and rekindle their passion. But will her stubborn streak and her unwavering love be the lucky charm Derek so desperately needs?
The Corwins, the male Corwins to be specific, have been haunted by a centuries-old curse, cast by a spurned woman, ever since they can remember. Derek Corwin is convinced this curse is the cause for his luck being on the downfall, both romantically and financially, now that he is divorced and left almost penniless. After all, hasn’t the curse affected all his male forefathers and all his current male relatives?
Gabrielle Donovan, Derek’s high school sweetheart and the love of his life he let go for fear of the curse, is convinced there is no curse. It all comes down to the power of suggestion and bad luck and she’s determined to prove to Derek that they have a future together that won’t be ruined by some non-existing curse.
Derek is honorable, strong and proud. Despite his otherwise rational and sensible look on life, his belief in the curse is something that clashes with that but still, given his personal and family history it’s not hard to imagine where his belief and fears come from. His relationship with his 11-year old daughter Holly is heartwarming and genuine. The scenes with her gave me a look into a caring father, willing to put his daughter’s needs before his own. The scenes with Gabrielle showed me another Derek, a man any women would fall for willingly, cursed or not.
Gabrielle is a delightful heroine. She’s feisty, stubborn and filled with a healthy zest for life but she also knows when to back down and let reason slip into the equation. She is loyal and compassionate. She has tried to forget Derek and move on but deep inside she knows she can’t forget the only man she has ever loved and she owes it to both of them to give their love a second chance.
Both Derek and Gabrielle are wonderful characters. The romance between them is hot. The attraction between them is sensual and unmistakable. The love scenes are spine tingling and there’s no other way to describe them than that they’re red-hot!
The secondary cast was quite extensive but more in description and background than in actual participating in the storyline. Most secondary characters were to create a background for Gabrielle and Derek. There were a few who had a bigger part in the plot, such as Sharon (Gabrielle’s best friend) and her fiancé Richard. They had a small secondary storyline that very smoothly and fluently connected with the main plot in the end. Another important role was reserved for Derek’s daughter Holly, a great 11 year-old with normal pre-teen issues. When tension would run up between Gabrielle and Derek or when the storyline would get intense, her character always offered a happy and bubbly accent to serve as a distraction. I loved Holly!
This first book in the LUCKY trilogy has whetted my appetite for more of the Corwin men and this curse they think they have to conquer. I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. It was fun, emotional, charming and down-to-earth. Carly Phillips writing style is easy to read, smooth and fast-paced. I finished the book before I knew it and that was also because I just couldn’t put it away. Every time I did, I wanted to go right back to Derek and Gabrielle and find out how they would conquer the curse.
Throughout the book I was wondering how Gabrielle was going to make Derek put the curse aside because as determined as Gabrielle was to do so, Derek was just as fixed on shielding their love and protecting her from the Corwin curse. But in the end the solution to it was brought in a realistic, satisfying and believable way.
I liked how Carly Phillips set up the plot and imbedded themes as power of suggestion, manipulation and hunger for power into it. It was an excellent mix of characters, plot and romance that fitted very well together.
The romance was heartwarming and genuine. The characters were easy to relate to and identify with. The plot was suspenseful, well paced and believable. The love scenes were luscious and sultry. It was the combination of this all that made this book a noteworthy contemporary romance for me. One I will treasure on my bookshelves and now I am dying to read how Derek’s cousins, Mike and Jason, are going to deal with the curse and the women who are going to break it.
All things put together Carly Phillips has provided a book, and hopefully a trilogy that entertains, endears and arouses. What more could you wish for in a contemporary romance? I would say not a thing, because my needs were all met and satisfied in a perfect and gratifying read.
In her dreams, he was always the boy she’d lost. But now she was facing the man -a sexy man wearing nothing but short black boxers.