April 16th, 2024
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
ALMOST A SCOTALMOST A SCOT
Fresh Pick
THE BREAKUP LISTS
THE BREAKUP LISTS

New Books This Week

Fresh Fiction Box

Video Book Club

April Showers Giveaways


April's Affections and Intrigues: Love and Mystery Bloom

Slideshow image


Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
Investigating a conspiracy really wasn't on Nikki's very long to-do list.


slideshow image
Escape to the Scottish Highlands in this enemies to lovers romance!


slideshow image
It�s not the heat�it�s the pixie dust.


slideshow image
They have a perfect partnership�
But an attempt on her life changes everything.


slideshow image
Jealousy, Love, and Murder: The Ancient Games Turn Deadly


slideshow image
Secret Identity, Small Town Romance
Available 4.15.24


Lucky Charm

Lucky Charm, October 2008
Corwin Curse #1
by Carly Phillips

HQN
Featuring: Gabrielle Donovan; Derek Corwin
384 pages
ISBN: 0373773315
EAN: 9780373773312
Mass Market Paperback
Add to Wish List


Purchase



"You just can't blame a guy who cursed"

Fresh Fiction Review

Lucky Charm
Carly Phillips

Reviewed by Sandra Wurman
Posted November 15, 2008

Romance Contemporary

Derek Corwin doesn't think he has anything to feel lucky about. Lost a fortune in his investments, got a girl pregnant, got married, got divorced and in the process lost what little connection he had with his daughter Holly. And to think he gave up the one love in his life to prevent catastrophes. So is it the family curse which is said to bring bad fortune to any male who falls in love or is it just plain bad luck or perhaps a self fulfilling prophecy that has made all Corwin men shy away from falling in love.

After being sent on her way after the high school prom Gabrielle Donovan is back -- presumably to do research on her next book on demystifying and discounting curses. But her real goal is to find out if the love and passion she shared with Derek is alive and well and this time she has decided to get her man even if it means facing down any demons the curse throws at her. It would seem her presence in town is making someone real unhappy and making sure Gabrielle gets the message loud and clear with vandalism and threats. While she feels certain there is a personal reason behind the threats -- Derek is equally sure that the curse is once again causing havoc with someone he loves. His immediate goal is to keep Gabrielle safe and even though the love they share is still very strong, he is committed to send her packing once the culprit is found knowing it will surely be his last chance at love. But Gabrielle has some tricks up her sleeve and has garnered support from some influential townspeople who share her belief that someone with a mission is causing all the trouble. Never underestimate the power of a woman in love -- curses don't stand a chance and neither do the Corwin men.

Quirky and funny tale about seemingly intelligent men who have given up finding true love fearing the repercussion they believe will follow because of an old family curse. Any misfortunes personal or business that befall them are immediately blamed on the curse and so for many they just stopped trying. As pathetic as some of the Corwin men appear Phillips helps us find some endearing or redeeming quality in each of them and in fact makes you hope that someone can finally render the curse meaningless. In this first of three books involving the Corwin men you begin to understand just how devastating belief in curses can be -- for the observer it seems almost comical but for the believer certainly not. Believer or not this is a great introduction to what promises to be some very enjoyable reads.

Learn more about Lucky Charm

SUMMARY

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 woman 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?

Excerpt

The small town of Stewart, Massachusetts not so proudly boasted two claims to fame. Its proximity to Salem and the Corwin Curse.

Derek Corwin was well acquainted with that damned curse, as his family had come to refer to the albatross one of their ancestors had saddled them with. All because William Corwin couldn't keep it in his pants, what should have just been a scandal had turned into a centuries-long damnation.

So said town lore. So said history.

Every male Corwin since had suffered its wrath. Derek included.

A man with half a brain wouldn't return to the scene of the curse, but Derek had figured when the chips were down—or in his case, the Dow Jones— he might as well head home. That had been six months ago.

"Dad!" His eleven-year-old daughter's yell reminded him of why it was a good thing he'd come back.

After two long years of keeping his child from him, Derek's ex-wife had just remarried and decided she wanted a summer alone in Paris with her new husband. She'd sent his daughter, Holly, to live with him here in Stewart, in the renovated barn directly behind the house that had been in Derek's family for generations. All the girl had were males to guide her through this long, hot summer. Poor kid.

But Derek was happy to have her back, to get a second chance at being a father who was there instead of one focused on his career. He wanted to get to know his daughter. Unfortunately he didn't have a clue how to deal with her moods or her girlish tastes.

"What's wrong?" he asked, pausing at the landing of the stairs that led to the loft, which held two small bedrooms, his and hers.

After two years of living alone in an apartment that was huge by New York City standards, Derek actually enjoyed being among family in the small barn he was slowly but surely making his own.

"The dog chewed up my Abercrombie flip-flops!" Holly yelled downstairs.

He closed his eyes and groaned. The damn dog. "He chewed what?"

She came into view at the top of the loft and rested her elbows on the ledge. "My flip-flops. You know, sandals? Thongs? Flip-flops?" she asked, exasperated.

He nodded, finally understanding the problem. "Sorry. We'll pick up a new pair at Target."

"Target? But, Dad, then they won't have the moose on them," she said in a pleading yet sweet voice.

"In other words, you want to go to the mall near Salem?" he guessed.

"Yes!" She pumped her fist in the air and whirled away, disappearing from view.

He laughed, pleased he'd made her happy. Even if happy translated into him spending more money. He should be used to it.

His ex-wife didn't shop down, as she'd reminded him over the years. The harder and the more hours he'd worked, the more money his ex had spent to compensate for his absence.

Although they'd been divorced for more than two years, he didn't think she'd changed her habits. Certainly his monthly child support and alimony had guaranteed her the lifestyle she'd come to expect. At least it had, until he'd lost the bulk of his wealth in a huge investment gone bad and moved back home. He'd been about to petition the court to change the payments, since he now earned much less than he had in the past, when his ex let him know she was remarrying. That ended Derek's obligation to pay alimony, leaving him with child support only. That he could definitely afford without issue.

He glanced upstairs. "How about we get ice cream while we're at the mall?" he asked.

"I'm lactose intolerant!" came the reply.

He winced. Shouldn't he remember that? He consoled himself with the fact that by the time the summer ended, he'd know everything there was to know about his daughter.

"We'll get lunch instead!" he said.

"Okay! I'll be down in a sec. I have to change."

Another thing she'd learned from her mother… She was obsessed with fashion, even at her young age. He figured she'd be at least twenty minutes.

"I'm going to return Fred to your grandfather's." He patted his leg and whistled.

The basset hound came down the stairs slowly, sauntering toward him. Fred didn't look any more guilty for chewing Holly's sandals than he had after he'd peed in the shoes Derek had left at the foot of his bed this morning. Why should he? Fred pretty much did as he pleased, and nobody had said anything for the past ten years. If Holly didn't love the dog so much, Derek would move Fred to his father's place for good.

Derek snapped a leash onto Fred's collar, neither of which the dog had owned before Derek had come back home. Holly joined him just as he walked out the front door.

"I told you I'd be down in a sec!"

"I thought you'd take longer. Sorry."

"That's okay." They made their way over the grass that divided the yard. The barn was on the back acreage, the main house on the front. Suddenly, she said, "I'll meet you at Grandpa's!" She took off across the yard at a run.

He debated jogging over, too, but one look at Fred's sad face and he changed his mind. "You're going to make me fat, old man," Derek said to the dog, slowing his pace a little more.

"Dad!" Holly shrieked, shattering the silence of the quiet morning. "Grandpa has a gun!"

"Good Lord," Derek muttered, pulling Fred into a jog, whether he liked it or not. What was his ornery father up to now?

Holly ran back to him and he handed her the leash. "Stay here," he instructed his daughter. Then he headed over to where his father stood fooling with the old, pump-action shotgun that had been in his family for generations.

"Put that away before you shoot yourself!"

Hank Corwin lowered the gun to his side, glanced at Derek and frowned. "It's not loaded."

Derek breathed a sigh of relief. At least his father wouldn't blow a hole in his addled brain.

"Not yet, anyway." Hank chuckled.

Derek scowled at the older man. "What are you doing with that thing?" As far as Derek knew, the twelve gauge had never been removed from the cabinet where it was displayed.

"I'm polishing the hardware so I can make a point down at the library tonight." Hank ran a hand over the gleaming weapon, the pride in his movement unmistakable.

Derek glanced at his father. At fifty-seven years old, Hank was a handsome man, not that you'd know it by the company he kept—his brother and his long-eared dog, Fred. Appearance wasn't important to him. He rarely cut or styled his dark hair and never worried about what he wore. Why should he, considering the ladies in town were all well versed on the curse and stayed clear of all the living, breathing Corwin men? Hank's summer attire consisted of worn khakis, which he paired with a white T-shirt—for his job as an electrician and on days off.

His father's generation of Corwin men had all discounted the curse and lived to regret it. Hank and his brother Thomas now lived together in the main house. Their third brother, Edward, was a loner, a recluse of sorts, mainly because Thomas had married the woman Edward loved. Derek had two male cousins with whom he was close, one per uncle, and Thomas also had two daughters, both happily married. The Corwin women had prospered. The men had floundered.

Growing up, Derek wasn't sure he believed in curses, but after seeing his father's and uncles' lives shattered, Derek had lived his life very carefully. Not that it had helped him. Derek had even given up the woman he loved to protect them both from the curse. His life—and finances—had gone down the tube, anyway. He was finished taking chances.

"What's happening at the library that's got you packing heat?" Whatever it was, it couldn't be good, Derek thought, eyeing the weapon.

"This." Hank stalked over to the old wooden picnic table and picked up a flier. "Read it and weep. And not just because your high-school sweetheart's returning."

"Gabrielle's back?" Derek asked, certain he'd misunderstood.

Hank inclined his head. "Yep. And I'm not going to let that girl stir up trouble by getting people talking about that damn curse again."

That girl. Derek's high-school love and the woman he'd pushed away rather than subject to the despair that inevitably followed any woman who allowed herself to love a Corwin man.

His father had liked Gabrielle. She'd come to dinners at their house and he'd had many meals at hers. Her parents had treated him like a member of the family while Hank had welcomed her into theirs. For a gruff coot even back then, Hank had been fond of Gabrielle.

Derek sighed. "You aren't going to shoot Gabrielle just because you don't like her choice in subject matter."

Hank glanced at him, defiance in his stare. "I don't like being talked about. It's been quiet around town for a long while. I'd like to keep it that way."

"Just because you don't hear people talking about the curse doesn't mean they aren't still whispering behind our backs. It's a fact of life." Derek grabbed the flier and scanned the page.

Apparently the Perkins-Stewart Public Library was hosting a lecture titled Curses: Irrational Psychological Suggestion, by onetime resident and bestselling author, Gabrielle Donovan.

Derek knew Gabrielle had written a number of books, debunking popular myths in print and then discussing those books on big-time talk shows. It was no coincidence that she'd chosen to study the occult and New Age, Derek thought. His past had defined both of their lives.

Although she hadn't been back to visit, the town claimed her as their own local celebrity. The diner on Main Street had a signed photograph on the wall, although Derek had seen the signature and doubted its validity. He wouldn't put it past Henry, the owner, to forge it instead of contacting Gabrielle and asking for one.

Even Derek's father was one of her fans— Derek had seen her books on Hank's shelves. In reality, Derek wasn't worried that his father would shoot her. But that didn't mean he couldn't cause trouble in other ways….

Derek placed the flier down on the picnic table and looked Hank in the eye. "You aren't going anywhere near the library, Pop."

"Want to bet?" Hank asked.

"Well, you sure as hell aren't taking a shotgun." Though Derek spoke to his father, his thoughts were far away, already in turmoil over the chance of seeing Gabrielle again. He'd spent enough time avoiding watching her on TV. Seeing her in real life would be far more painful. He didn't need to worry about their reunion occurring over the barrel of his father's shotgun.

Derek grabbed the rifle, intending to lock it up tight at his place or in the trunk of his SUV. There was no telling how easily an old rifle like this one could go off if Hank started waving it around to make his point.

Hank stamped his foot and shook his finger in Derek's face. "You don't play fair."

"And you don't play rational. Want to go to the mall with me and Holly?" Derek waved his daughter over.

"No. I have to pick up some things in town. Then I'm going to prepare a rebuttal to that girl's speech tonight. No curse, my hiney," Hank said, stomping toward his house.

Derek laughed and let him go. Hank was all bluster. Derek couldn't imagine Hank showing up any place where the Corwin Curse was the subject of public discussion.

A discussion started by Gabrielle Donovan.

Damn. He couldn't believe she'd returned after all these years.

He'd broken up with her after the prom. Post graduation, her parents had moved away, and she'd gone with them. At least he hadn't had that summer to watch her, longing for something he could no longer have. But while they'd been together, his life had been spectacular. At eighteen she'd been the most beautiful, sensual woman on the planet. He could only imagine what the intervening years had done to her already lush body and china-doll-like face. With her mother's French genes, she hadn't been afraid of passion or sex, and they'd indulged in both often, until Derek realized it was no longer just physical attraction that kept him coming back for more.

She'd been smart, too, the only daughter of parents who were both professors. She had a sharp wit and had been insightful, understanding Derek's love of high-stakes finances even before he had the money to indulge his passion. She probably wouldn't be surprised to learn he'd gone to Columbia undergrad and directly on to Wall Street as a trader until he was hired by an investment-banking company and made himself rich from lucky, huge deals.

He'd made himself poor the same way, investing too much in a company that went south instead of north. These days Derek was a financial planner, getting his thrills by building other people's incomes more slowly and sensibly, not toying with his own.

Videos


NY Times Bestseller Carly Phillips Latest Blockbuster


What do you think about this review?

Comments

No comments posted.

Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!

 

 

 

© 2003-2024 off-the-edge.net  all rights reserved Privacy Policy