Monday, 10 November 2014
Review: Luck on the Line by Zoraida Cordova
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication Date: November 11th, 2014
Series: On the Verge #1
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To turn her life around, she’ll have to stand the heat. To fulfill his dreams, he’ll have to get Lucky.
Despite her name, Lucky Pierce has always felt a little cursed. Refusing to settle for less or settle down, she changes jobs as often as she changes boyfriends. When her celebrity chef mother challenges her to finish something, Lucky agrees to help her launch Boston’s next hot restaurant, The Star. Even if it means working with the infuriating, egotistical, and undeniably sexy head chef.
James loves being known as Boston’s hottest bad boy in the kitchen, but if he wants to build a reputation as a serious chef, he has to make this restaurant work and keep his scandalous past out of the headlines. Getting involved with his boss’s spoiled, sharp-tongued daughter is definitely not on the menu.
As the launch of The Star looms and the tension and chemistry heat up in the kitchen, they’re going to need more than a little luck to keep everything from boiling over.
What a surprise Luck on the Line was. It makes me a very happy reader. NA is a hard genre. With it being a somewhat new genre and one that is very popular, it is of course being flooded with books. Which makes me a little weary when I pick a new title and/or a new author. There is a lot of crap out there. But thankfully there's books like Luck on the Line in there that keeps me coming back again and again. NA is really starting to become my comfort genre. There's such a wide range from fluff to the darker stuff. It's good for any mood. Luck on the Line falls more towards the lighter side. It's not fluff. It's just a fun and heart warming read. But be warned, do not read this book on an empty stomach. It's going to make you hungry either way, just maybe have some snacks ready.
Lucky is making her yearly trip home to Boston and her mom. She's kind of a wanderer and has been away from home since she left high school. She changes colleges and jobs as fast as you can blink. But the one things she's sure of is that she doesn't belong in Boston where her mom is. Her mom, a food network star. Her mom, who's on the verge of opening a new restaurant, The Star. Her mom who is probably searching for husband #5. It's clear that Lucky and her mom don't really see eye to eye.
Anyhow, upon Lucky's stop in a coffee shop on the way to her mom's, she's witness to a guy chatting up the barista. It's such a major eye-roll moment, but he's holding up the line so she not so kindly points that out. There's a little bit of a confrontation and she runs off with his coffee. Lucky meets her mom who than shoves her into the restaurant and tells her she needs to help out. Lucky takes over manager duties, well her mom buggers off. Lucky just keeps reminding herself that she's only here for a few weeks. She can handle it. That is until she runs into coffee shop player guy(James). In The Star's kitchen. Turns out he's The Star's executive chef. This is his kitchen. Lucky can't believe her luck. Not only is this guy hot but he's a total ass. Well at least she thought he was an ass.
Like I mentioned above, this is a fun book. Lucky is a great character. She's easy to connect with. Her sassy take charge attitude can get her into hot water. But it also gets her through the opening of the restaurant where the workers actually listen to her. Lucky comes from a more privileged upbringing and that has kind of allowed her to change her area of study so frequently. But she's also really hard working. Lucky has tried to break out of that life. She works at bars and restaurants to prove to herself that she can make her own way. It's also clear that she's a bit of a runner. I think she's kind of scared to just stay in one place. I think she's scared of the stability that would bring. Coming home this time around was different. Lucky has always blamed herself for her father's death. And because of that she feels she also lost her mom. She doesn't get why her mom took such a turn in her lifestyle. It's another one of those times where talking helps. The lack of communication and pretty much non-existent relationship between the two of them is not just Lucky's fault. Lucky can see her mom going down hill and it's finally the kick in the ass for her to finally have a discussion with her mom. Yes, they talk, but I liked how everything wasn't okay right away. Because(like in real life) it takes time. But progress was made. And Lucky showed some real growth and understanding towards her mom. Lucky was just a fun and smart girl. Sometimes she didn't know when to keep her mouth shut but she didn't shy away from anything that was thrown her way.
Oh man, I never knew chefs could be so hot. Seriously this year I've been all over the guys that work at tattoo parlors. But now I think I'm going to be searching for some NA books that take place in restaurants and such. There needs to be more hot chefs in NA. Authors take note. James is a true Bostonian. Irish background and rough past. He comes off as a bit of a douchebag. But he's really just scared of his past catching up to him. James is kind of a local celebrity having one a cooking show. But he's not really into the spotlight. He just wants to make a name for himself and show everyone how brilliant of a chef he is. Like he said, food saved him. And it's clear he's good at what he does. Lucky throws a bit of a wrench into his plans. Stella's(Lucky's mom) bratty daughter shows up and is all of the sudden calling the shots. He's supposed to work with her. Nicely. James is obviously a little frustrated. But after a truce is called and they spend some more time together they really can't hide their attraction for each other. It's swoon worthy. It's easy for them to butt heads but as they both aren't ones to really put up with shit they will eventually call each other out. Lucky finds it easy to just spill her secrets to James and well James might be more hesitant he eventually realizes she's the only one he actually wants to air his rough past to. Put once everything came to light it was another reason why they connected so easily; their pasts was something they could understand about each other. I just really enjoyed their relationship. It was hot when it needed to be, but there was no insta-love. No once was the word uttered. They just both realized the other offered them a safe place and they wanted to stay around and figure out why. It helped that they were a good team and would back each other up. Which is what is needed in a running a restaurant.
There was a really easy flow to the story and dialogue. Nothing was fake. The characters felt like actual people not characters. And the side characters weren't just there because. They added to the story. Lucky needed close friends and she made those. Felicity, Bradley, Bella, and the rest just added a great dimension to Lucky's story. It wasn't completely all about her and James. She was learning that not all old friendships are healthy, people grow apart. And she was learning she needed to make new friends. Which is one of the reasons why I seem to love these companion NA series. Because the characters will be around for more than one book they all get a part. I'm now guessing(and hoping) who the next book is focused on.
I think Luck on the Line is a good place for new readers of NA to start or readers that aren't into a lot of sex. There is sex but it doesn't take over the story. There's just enough. As well as the story and characters being fun and easy to connect to. I LOL'd quite a bit. I swooned in there too. Plus there's growth and heart warming moments. As well as a lot of yummy food described in detail. Hell, I think Luck on the Line will just appeal to romance readers as a whole. It's a great book. I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series. I can't wait to find out who it'll be about.