Sunday, June 8, 2008

Getting Lucky by Susan Andersen *****

Oh man, can this woman write good stuff or what??? Getting Lucky is book #2 in the "Marine" series, and our hero is Zach, whom we met in the first book Head Over Heels. He was Coop's friend who came in for the wedding (right? for the wedding? or earlier?) whatever. (I cannot believe I don't already have book 4, Coming Undone, in my PBS queue...)

Zach is single, rich and still in the Marines. Zach has a younger sister that he feels responsible for. Zach's upbringing was an emotional wasteland, with 2 doctor parents who raised him to the age of 11 in Africa, then sent him and his infant sister Glynnis off to live with Stateside grandparents while they stayed to provide medical care to the less fortunate. Parents and grandparents are now dead, and sister is coming into her inheritance in a few months. Zach's big fear for his sister: gold diggers taking all her money because she's such an easy touch and pretty dang irresponsible too. And now he's on a month leave and he's gonna straighten Glynnis out.

Lily met Glynnis and developed a friendship. Glynnis, soft touch that she is, invites Lily to live with her in Zach's mansion temporarily, complete with lease (at Lily's insistence). Lily is a chef who works on corporate yachts, going on several day to several week cruises, and is between living arrangements. Lily is actually trying to help Glynnis - she teaches her to reconcile her bank statement, and tries to help her economize. Then Zach shows up - Lily's there in his house, and Glynnis is gone.

What's Zach to think but that Lily is sponging off Glynnis? Especially when he finds out Glynnis has left with her fiancé David to meet his parents - a fiancé Zach is sure is another gold digger.

Of course it kinda messes with his head that, while he immediately takes a dislike to Lily and wants her out of the house, he also has an immediate attraction to her. Man. I hate when that happens!!

Lily finds him boorish, dictatorial, rude and, dammit, sexy as hell. Man - I really hate when that happens!!

We have 2 suspense plots to deal with - first, a young Colombian native feels he has been insulted by Zach on a recent Marine mission, and he plans the old Eye for an Eye trick. His Colombian girlfriend apparently got hot and heavy with one of the Americans during the mission, consensually, but Miguel doesn't care about that old consenting part. He just wants revenge by taking Zach's woman. That's assuming Lily is Zach's woman - well, Miguel doesn't know that she's not. He's sorta not that smart, really.

Then, when Zach and Lily show up unannounced at the fiancé's mother's mansion (oh, yeah, by the way, David isn't a gold digger after all, being wealthy himself), they learn sister and fiancé have been kidnapped, and get involved in the rescue attempt. This part brings Coop and Ronnie into the picture, as well as the next Marine, John.

Once we get the kidnapping all solved, Zach takes Lily out on a real date, during which she makes mention of how they went about their relationship backwards. Ooops. Relationship? That sends Zach into a tailspin, because frankly he just hasn't taken a moment to think one way or the other about it, and now that the subject is on the table, he's got cold feet. It doesn't help that Lily admits she's in love with him - and his reaction is to backpedal, big time. That sends Lily out the restaurant door, right into Miguel's arms...

Once again, Andersen writes witty dialog, zany but believable plot twists - love the thing about Miguel not liking Lily's "chews" aka shoes! And have I mentioned about 5000 times how great her hot love scenes are? And sweaty stableboy - indeed.

The AAR Review mentions a "secondary romance" and that has me thumbing through the book looking around. Oh, wait, does she mean David's cousin Jessica and her husband Christopher? I didn't really consider it a secondary romance as much as just another story line. Maybe I'm wrong, because they do have a relationship issue and work it out, but it hardly earned the title "secondary" in my book. Parts of the story with David's family actually seemed a little superfluous, thrown in to sorta mix things up and confuse the reader about who the bad guy was. And frankly, I'm still mad at Zach for flirting with another woman while Lily does the dishes.

To be honest, as I read, I didn't find this book quite as endearing as Head Over Heels either. However I did finish with another smile on my face - her writing just manages to do that to me. The AAR reviewer didn't like Zach too much, but how can you not like a guy who finally admits he's ready for a relationship and in the next breath says, "So what do we do now? Do we get married?" Insert big grin here. 4.5 stars.

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