Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley

Why I read it: It was the next one in the series. :)

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Ty Walker was wrongly imprisoned and for the five years he was inside, he honed his plan so when he gets out, he has nothing but vengeance on his mind.

But then he walks straight to stylish, leggy, beautiful, goofy Lexie Berry and he suddenly has something else to think about. He knows within seconds he wants her and within days he can love her but with the filth that was flung at him clinging; he also knows he can’t have her.

Since birth, Lexie Berry has been Lady Luck’s favorite toy and because of that, Lexie is cautious. But within a day, she senses Ty is something special. With her luck, however, she can’t trust it. Then she finds out what was done to Ty and she’s willing to do anything to make it right.

Even what Ty will never forgive her for doing.

Ty clings to vengeance and Lexie goes all out to give him back the time he lost. But Ty is battling demons within and they’re up against dirty cops and criminals who will stop at nothing to sway Lady Luck against them. All Ty and Lexie have is hope Lady Luck will finally swing their way.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Of all the Kristen Ashley books I've read so far, this one is my least favourite.  It's not that I didn't like it; I did. But there were some things which bothered me and that detracted from my enjoyment of the story.

I did like the mixed race hero (he's half African American, half Caucasian) and race was an issue and theme throughout the story.  I did like that Lexie didn't blink an eye at being in a relationship with him.  She didn't see his colour as any kind of barrier.   I also liked that Ty's friends didn't either.  I liked that there was more racial diversity in this book.

And, apart from one thing, I enjoyed Lexie and Ty together.  But the problem I had was that many of the male characters in the book referred to women (even ones they liked or even loved) as "pussy"  or "bitch".  There was one character (who was a cow, I agree) who was referred to all the time as "toxic pussy".  I dislike women being relegated to one body part, the context (and perhaps I'm being overly sensitive here but it is what it is) of it was that the only part was the one which was "useful" to a man. (There were even a couple of uses of the even more charming "gash".)  I didn't really like the men referring to the women as "bitches" either.  The women do it a little to each other and that is less bothersome (even though it is not my favourite) because there is something about a woman using it with another woman which can (but not always) indicate taking back ownership of a derogatory word.

I haven't gone back and checked the other books but I suspect there is a little of it in them. Maybe not.  But there is a LOT of it in this book.  I couldn't skim past it.

So, when Ty wasn't referring to Lexie as "pussy"  (even if it was "my pussy"  and affectionately stated - blyergh) and when he wasn't talking to her about other "pussy" or other "bitches", then I liked them together.

I also noticed more grammatical errors and typos in this book.  I feel I am fluent in Ashley now but there were three or four sentences/passages which I could not get to make sense, no matter that I read them a number of times and even sideways to see whether that helped.  The other books had very few typos - maybe one or two.  This one had closer to - I don't know, maybe 8 or 9?  Anyway, enough that I noticed and they jolted me out of the story a bit.

I liked how Lexie was very protective of Ty very quickly and "had his back".  She was fierce for him and he'd never had that before.  The effect on him was profound.  And, seeing it, the Carnal community embraced Lexie as a keeper.
Then I shared, “I was at the garage telling him my news and Chace and Misty Keaton rolled up in an SUV. He had to stand there and watch them roll up to a garage, free and easy, not having parole officers and still hearing the clang of barred doors closing them into a cell. He had to stand there and watch those fucking two roll right on up. And he says I get her, she’s fair game after he does whatever it is he’s going to do but I don’t know if I can wait. And I don’t know what he’s going to do or how long it’s going to take. So something has to give because there’s a bitch in this town who needs a lesson and I’m the teacher.” 
This got me stares all around. 
Then Jim-Billy muttered, “Shit, darlin’, remind me not to get on your bad side.” 
To which I turned my head to him immediately and said, “Don’t fuck over my husband, you’ll be fine.”
I liked the strong sense of Ty and Lexie being a team (a "Me and You Against the World" kind of thing - thank you Helen Reddy) which developed over the course of the book.

Ty isn't a big talker, but he does manage to come out with some very romantic stuff from time to time
“Babe, we stick together, nothin’ is an issue.” 
“What?” He stopped, stopping her with a tug on her hand then he drew her close, letting her hand go and winding both arms around her. When her shades hit his, he spoke. 
“This is it, Team Walker, you and me. We want somethin’, we find a way to get it. We hit a rough patch, we find a way to get over it. We face a challenge, we find a way to beat it. It’s good, we savor it. What I’m sayin’ is, this team is a winner. We never forget to celebrate the victories and we get a lotta those because we never admit defeat.”
What else? I've talked before about the sense of community I'm finding in Ashley's books and the female friendships.  In this book, there was some of that, but there was also a lot of male friendships, particularly with Ty and Julius and Ty and Tate.  And they were some of the best parts of the book (except when they were talking about "pussy").

The "suspense" part of things was a lot more low key than I originally thought it was going to be but I don't think it should surprise anyone that the book ends in a kidnapping and rescue.

Yes, the falling in love was very quick, but it worked for me in the context of the book - where both MCs had been beaten down by life so much, they recognised what they had in each other fast (for Lexie is was "good and clean and right" and for Ty it was his "miracle").  Even so, Ty did his best to screw it up in the middle and a fairly dramatic turn of events has to occur to bring them together (it is a romance with a HEA so I don't think that's giving too much away).  It was certainly a page turner and I liked it, just not as much as others I've read. 

Grade: B-


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