Title: No Luck
Author: Kayleigh Sky
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 423 Pages
At a Glance: I really adored this story and totally recommend it if you are looking for a book that is humorous without being ridiculous, serious without being too dark, angsty without crossing the line of too much, all wrapped up in a nice little mystery to keep things interesting.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Careful what you wish for…
Close to landing a role in a sitcom he hopes will show his father he isn’t a failure, Vane Riley loses everything when his boyfriend dumps him and his father dies. With nowhere to turn, he heads home to regroup and help his sister, Rose, keep the family diner afloat. Trying to ease his grief with a guy in a bar seems like a good idea until the guy can’t get rid of him fast enough. The last thing Vane expects is for his one-night stand to appear at his dad’s funeral with a quirky tarot reader on his arm and a romantic history with Rose.
Doug Moore is a widower who isn’t ready to move on, but he can’t seem to get the clumsy guy he met the night before out of his thoughts. After helping Vane get back into the car he somehow locked himself out of, Doug figured he’d never see him again and can’t believe his lousy luck when Rose’s loser brother turns out to be the hookup he can’t stop thinking about. Doug is determined to keep his distance, but when Rose hires him to renovate the family home Vane is now living in, there’s not much chance of that happening.
Though Doug wants nothing more than to resist him, Vane ticks all his boxes. Clumsy, needy, sexy and… Oh yeah. Paranoid. Not for a minute does Doug believe somebody is out to hurt Vane despite the strange accidents that have befallen him since returning home, but Vane is sure somebody wants him dead.
Doug is solid and steady. Vane is emotional and imaginative. Nobody’s trying to kill him. Doug is sure of it….
Review: Though this author has published several books, I had never read them so I went into this not knowing what to expect at all. I must admit I am pleasantly surprised at how dimensional the characters were, and I was cheering both Vane and Doug on their happily ever after the whole time.
Both characters are rich and interesting, and both have a past that they can’t seem to let go of to appreciate the present and look towards the future. This was much more than a romance for Vane and Doug; it was about finding out who they are after everything they have been through. It’s about each of them finding their new “normal” after the world around them falls apart. It’s about the journey of admitting truths to oneself and facing a future that is both unexpected and scary for each of them.
Vane has been following his dreams of being an actor, to the point he started losing himself and pushing others away. When his father dies, and everything else in his life crumbles around him, he ends up going home to a town he didn’t want to face until he made it in Hollywood, and it is anything but easy. He feels as if he is a disappointment, and his insecurities are only compounded by having to come back with nothing to show for the years he spent in LA.
Doug is a widower who is coasting through life, mired in grief and blame. Despite his best friend’s efforts and his friendship with Vane’s sister, he is stuck. The future he wanted with his wife was taken away, and he has no idea how to move on from the plans he’d made and figure who he is after the tragedy. Guilt consumes him every time he makes a step forward, and he can’t seem to truly give in to the happiness that Vane brings him.
Their relationship is a slow build. The story takes place during the course of about eight months. Once the two meet, not as strangers and one-night stands but as Rose’s friend and Rose’s brother, things are rocky. Doug has an impression of Vane being vain. His Hollywood career goals and lack of contact with his family—and, frankly, some really poor choices on Vane’s part—have colored him as a loser. Vane is insecure, despite his looks and choice of careers, and he takes things personally, lashing out at Doug. Despite their heated conversations, the chemistry sizzles and they find themselves giving in more than once to the desire they feel. Until, eventually, they find themselves in a relationship almost as if not realizing it.
There was a dash of mystery going on around Vane as accidents keep happening around him. He knows they aren’t accidents, but his klutziness and ability to fall and trip over nothing lead others to not believe him, instead chalking it up to another clumsy move. Until it cannot longer be ignored. Though the mystery was present, it wasn’t a main focus; months go by between incidents as Vane’s and Doug’s feelings grow for each other and as the two find themselves, individually and together. I enjoyed having the little mystery that popped up, because I never knew exactly when it would and how it would happen.
I found the writing to be humorous without being over-the-top on comedy, with the actual content much more serious and introspective than I had expected but without becoming too dark. Vane’s klutziness and awkward situations made the storyline lighter, along with the sweetness of the romance and the side of kink the two explore together. The struggles both men face within themselves as they process what they have been through, what they want and what they want for their futures, are somewhat somber. Vane’s past and things that happened have colored his view of himself, and possibly even colored his choices. Is acting what he really wants or is it something he chose to show he wasn’t useless? Does he miss his life in LA? Does he want to keep the diner, or is it just temporary? Working through his thoughts and finding out who he truly is and what he truly wants by letting go of dreams and the past is not an easy path and takes time for Vane. Doug’s struggle is letting go of guilt and of his plans for a future he had set. Does he really want to grieve forever and never love again? Can he be with Vane without losing his love for Meg? Can he let go of his previous plans and a future that he buried with his wife, and create something new with Vane?
I found it interesting how Vane was so shy and sweet while being so prickly. He tended to use terms like “gosh” and “darn” rather than curse words, and then lash out and be that grumpy guy next door yelling at the kids to get off his lawn. It gave him an air of innocence while still being irritable, one that Doug seemed to see that first night and was continually drawn to. There was a vulnerability about Vane that he tried to suppress but from readying his POV, it makes so much sense.
I really adored this story and totally recommend it if you are looking for a book that is humorous without being ridiculous, serious without being too dark, angsty without crossing the line of too much, all wrapped up in a nice little mystery to keep things interesting.
You can buy No Luck here:
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