Book Review & Excerpt ✭ Luck Be a Lady by Meredith Duran
Author: Meredith Duran
Catherine Everleigh is known as an “Ice Queen” for her frigid demeanor. What is mistaken for an unfriendly lass is actually a clever, independent woman who has no intention of ever relying on a male companion. Being as it is the Victorian era, this is unheard of. All she’s ever wanted and dreamed of was to own and operate the Everleigh Auction House in order to honor her father. Art and antiques is what she knows and loves, and it’s what makes her feel complete.
Her elder brother, Peter is determined to keep her from that by embezzling money and marrying her off to a man that will help his own political aspirations.
Nicholas O’Shea has a reputation for his criminal past. He’s charming and passionate, and cares deeply for the people in his life. Unbeknownst to Catherine, he’s had his eyes on her for quite some time. So when she propositions him, that is just the icing on top of their brilliant endeavor.
Catherine strategizes to overwrite her brother’s objectives. So they enter into a marriage of convenience that will benefit them both. Set with contractual limitations, they’re too busy with their eyes on the end game that they don’t focus on the simmering attraction between them.
Starting off with glimpses of both Catherine and Nick’s childhood gave a brief yet highly important view into the people they are at present time. Nick’s rough childhood paved the way for a sympathetic cloak over him. He may have done some not so admirable things to overcome his upbringing, but he did many of those things simply to survive.
Both Nicholas and Catherine are strong headed individuals who know what they want and aren’t afraid to scheme a little to obtain it. In theory, they sound like the perfect team, but their butting of heads was a constant during their interactions. Yet their strong ambitions kept them on track.
Having Nick in her life encouraged Catherine to let her walls down and to accept that it would be okay if she let a man into her life. Likewise in the case of Nick having Catherine. He found that he could do more with his life if he pleased and simply be more.
Sometimes I find myself being constantly reminded that I’m reading a historical romance. It’s like a huge, flashing neon light reminding me every few pages. With this book, I was so enthralled by the relationships of the characters and their intentions throughout the story that the historical setting never shadowed my reading. However, that is no way meant to undermine the historic elegance of Duran’s writing. Detailed enough to set the scenes, but not overwrought with a tidal wave of descriptions. The plot itself was written with a continuous flow and smooth transitioning from scene to scene.
The suspense of their grand plan in action had me frantically flipping pages. Quick-wit banter and really well written sex scenes that gave descriptive details without becoming distasteful or imposing on the moment also made this novel blossom in my eyes.
A surprising facet of this book I found rewarding and refreshing was the lack of epilogue that typically grace romance novels. The ending, while not detailed in a happily ever after, gave enough of a satisfying conclusion that allows the reader to form their own future for the couple.
Characters from past books make appearances in this novel, but they are presented in a way that a new reader will understand. Rest assured, Luck Be a Lady can be read as a standalone novel.
MEREDITH DURAN grew up enamored of British history. At thirteen years old, she made a list of life goals that included writing romance novels, trying sushi, and going to London to see Holbein's portraits of the Tudor court. She is now happy to report that all three goals have become her favorite things to do. When not writing, she enjoys reading, teaching, knitting, weightlifting, baking, painting (alas, poorly), a full-fledged internet addiction, and the hunting and collecting of dusty travelogues written by nineteenth-century Englishwomen.