Lucky Girl

Jessica Devlin doesn’t really feel like a lucky girl. Four months ago, she came home late one night to find her fiance banging one of the receptionists from his office. His nasty comment that she couldn’t blame him since she wasn’t home and that she was lousy in bed led not just to the direct demise of their engagement but also to the continuing death spiral of Jess’ ego. Unfortunately, she’s spent the past four months drowning her sorrows in Ben & Jerry’s.

Her cousin is getting married in England, and Jess is the maid of honor.  Her final dress fitting doesn’t go well. Four months repeated applications of Mr. Ben and Mr. Jerry haunt the fitting room. But she is still going on her first vacation in two years, her first trip back to England since the death of her beloved grandfather.

It’s clear that Jess has some unfinished business in England with a handsome stranger she met, a man she fantasizes about as “Spy Man”. Nick Mondinello looks rather like a younger version of Pierce Brosnan, the actor who played James Bond a couple of times. Jess assumes that any man that gorgeous won’t want anything to do with her slightly overweight and rather out-of-shape self. Especially since when they met two years ago, she threw up in a planter and then sobbed on his shoulder.

But Nick turns out to be the best man at her cousin’s wedding. And he is very interested in Jess.

Jess thinks this is all too good to be true, that it can’t possibly last, and that Nick can’t possibly want her. But Jess has also made a pact with herself to grab a whole new life while she’s on vacation, to finally be the heroine of her own story. And she’s only going to be in England for two weeks. If “Spy Guy” wants to have a two-week fling, who is she to turn him down?

Lucky Girl, by Cate Lord is a light, fun read. One of the elements I loved was Jess’ near-obsession with the “Plucky Penguin” collectibles, and that Nick collected them too. The concept of the TV show about the spy penguin and his girlfriend was cute and funny, but also a part of the story.

I didn’t get some of the parts about Jess’ job at the magazine. Jess worked in Orlando, and it was a beauty magazine, so the name of the magazine was O Tart? O please! And then there was that secondary story about Jess’ work being sabotaged that was just not fully resolved. Who did it? We never know for sure, and neither does Jess. That still bothers me. There’s an assumption, but it’s not a complete answer. Jess’ angst over the missing stories, and needing to write substitute stories, and getting her cousins and Nick involved with the creation of those stories was a fairly major plot point. Not finding the villain for certain, even if Jess couldn’t prove it, made it feel like the story was a tiny bit unfinished.

Escape Rating C: Worth finishing the story, but I wanted all the ends wrapped up.