Thursday, January 19, 2012

[NOR and ARC Review]: "Lucky Penny"

Lucky Penny by Catherine Anderson
Publisher: Signet (January 31, 2012)
Genre: Historical Romance
Summary (
To support her orphaned niece, impoverished Brianna O'Keefe accepts work with a Colorado rancher. To guard herself from unwanted attention, she resorts to a harmless little lie: that she's married to a Denver gold miner named David Paxton. But when her "husband" shows up, Brianna is stunned-not the least by her desire...

Where to Buy*: Amazon | Kindle | | NOOK
More Info: Author's Site

My Review:

What length would you go to for the sake of family? Would you live a lie, dig out of trash cans for food, pretend to be someone you're not—all so your promise to a dying relative will be upheld? Brianna O'Keefe has done all of these things, and more, for her “daughter”. And she won't give her up, no matter what!

David Paxton, a small town marshal, is surprised when he is given a bag of mail, all sent from a woman, Brianna Paxton, who claims to be his wife, and Daphne, who is supposed to be his daughter. Problem is, David's never heard of the woman, nor does he have any children. He sure as hell isn't married....unless he got extremely drunk one night during his younger years. What if Daphne really is his? How can he ignore their letters, especially should she prove to be his? He sets off to find out the truth—but nothing could have prepared him for what he'd find in Glory Ridge. Brianna, though a bit prim-and-proper, is a beauty and sweet Daphne has the Paxton looks, right down to the birthmark on the neck. So how is it that Brianna can look him in the eye and tell him he's not her father?

Brianna made a promise to her twin, Moira, when she was on her deathbed. She would raise Daphne as her own, caring for her like she would a child from her own womb. She's kept this vow all these years, and nobody else knows the truth. But when David Paxton, her made-up husband, suddenly appears at her doorstep, her life of lies is in jeopardy. Though she won't admit it to David, she can't deny the overwhelming family resemblance between Daphne and David—but Brianna knows better. He's not the father of her dead sister's child. But then how does one explain the looks? Or David's determination to claim her as his own and Brianna as his real wife?

There is more to this story than what is appears, and only after the details are told and the lies picked out can we see the whole truth—and some of it will come as a surprise, even to Brianna!

The storyline for Lucky Penny was unique and very well done. I couldn't help but feel for Brianna and Daphne after reading of their hard life. I wanted David to be Daphne's dad, even though I knew it was impossible (biologically, that is). But this story taught Daphne, Brianna, and us readers as well, one very important thing—family and love is not determined solely by blood.

David, though a bit tough around the edges, was a true gentleman, very responsible and caring, even when the truth of the child's family gets out. He wasn't perfect, but his few flaws helped to make him who he is.

Brianna was a bit of an annoyance at times, yet in the end I found myself wanting to applaud her for everything she did for Daphne. She tried to act very proper, but beneath all her starched layers lay a fiery woman. I wish we could have seen more of her strong side, but I was still glad that it showed up the few times it did. Otherwise, I would have been hard pressed to find something about her to like, as her paranoia about David and his plans for them was enough to make me want to slap her a few times. I can understand her being cautious, but she took it to the extreme, and for far too long. But, despite this flaw, she wasn't too bad as far as heroines go.

It was lovely watching David and Brianna slowly fall for one another. It took time, and up until the last few chapters it wasn't a passionate love by any means. However, it did fit their characters, and therefore seemed more real than forced love or a quick roll in the hay that then miraculously turns into “love”. I do wish there had been more to the romance part of their story, but I wasn't completely disappointed, so I can't complain too much.

4 STARS! Sweet and charming, Lucky Penny is an entertaining novel. Full of romance, family, and a couple finding love despite all the obstacles they put in the way, Lucky Penny is a joy to read. Ms. Anderson has managed to once again bring the Old West to life, complete with charming heroes and strong heroines. I definitely plan on reading more by this author! Lucky Penny may be tamer than most of my normal romance picks, but it still managed to warm me up!

Thanks to Night Owl Reviews, where I received this ARC for free in exchange for reviewing the book. (Free book does not equal biased review, however!) This review is the property of NOR.


Until Next Time,
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