ARC Review: Stroke of Luck by Opal Carew

Title: Stroke of Luck
Author:  Opal Carew
Publisher/Year:  St Martin’s Publishing Group 10/27/20
Length:  304 Pages


Getting cheated on and left with a hotel bill that costs more than she makes in a year was not a part of the plan when Riana came to Las Vegas to marry her wealthy fiancé. Her plans also didn’t include getting bailed out of this horrible situation by Quinn, the ex-boyfriend she hadn’t planned to see ever again. For Quinn, Riana was the one that got away and he’s never gotten over her, no matter how successful he became.

Riana insists on paying Quinn back, so he makes her an offer—spend the next month with him and his business partner Austin while they’re on vacation. It’s clear to him that Austin is attracted to her, too, and Quinn’s always liked the idea of sharing a woman with him. It’s something that Riana wants to do, and after a few glasses of champagne—only enough to stop denying herself what she wants—she voices her desire to be with both men.

But as the month comes to an end, Riana has to face the reality she’s falling for Quinn and Austin…and the possibility that one crazy night in Vegas could cost her one—or both—men.

My Thoughts

Before i get into this review, I want to thank the folks at Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for getting me this ARC. I’ve read several Opal Carew stories in the past and it was nice to get into a new one, even if it was a stand alone.

So, first i have to point out that in the version that i got, her name was April, not Riana, and there was a whole story about how she came to her name. Not a huge deal, but something that i noticed. The other thing is that the summary over simplifies what happens here and the timing of it all, but again, not a huge deal.

We start off our journey at a moment in time when April wakes up to realize that she’s not alone in bed, and not just that she’s not alone, it’s not with her fiance Maurice, but instead with two men that she’s yet to identify. The other thing is the quick realization that she was supposed to have gotten married the day before and she’s now also got a hangover which makes the slow realization of reality a bit more harsh.

We then flash back to the previous 24 hours when her life came crashing down on her. They were in Vegas to get married, enjoying the weekend with their friends, when post the rehearsal dinner, April walks in on her fiance ‘getting it on’ with some random blonde woman. That turns her world upside down and now not only has she lost her fiance, but he makes it so that her entire world comes crashing down. Because he has so much power and influence, he makes sure that everyone things that she’s the one who cheated, cancels her credit cards, leaves the bill with her, takes her townhouse from her (calls in her loan) fires her from work and ensures that no one else will hire her. To add to that, he knows that April has no family and really no friends, so she’s left on an island.

It’s through a weird twist of fate that as April’s being kicked out, that a man from her past is in the hallway and comes to her rescue. We don’t know what the true background of the story is between Quinn and April, but we know that it can’t be all good (or bad) based on his reactions to her. He immediately wants to help but he has such anger for her that it’s mixed.

The journey from here is an interesting one. There’s clearly chemistry between these two and even with Quinn’s business partner Austin, so if nothing else, we’ll get a really hot and steamy story, but what we get in addition to that is a really sweet story about lost opportunities because of the lack of true communication when they were younger and a misunderstanding of motivations etc. As a result, things get sexy, complicated and so engaging.

When the guys realize that April is left with nothing, and they watch Maurice send people to come and take all her belongings, they jump in to make her feel a little better. They take her in for the night, go to the casino and drinking, try to get her mind off of things, and end up married. All three of them. Yup – you read that right. First Quinn and April get married and then immediately after, she and Austin do. and while it’s with the intention to get annulled in a few weeks, (after their month deal is over), you know that there are feelings involved and things are going to get dicey.

The bulk of this story is spend enjoying each other – we get the full expected flavor here from Ms Carew in the steamy scenes between this threesome. It’s hot and engaging and really helps take your mind off how bad April’s life can be. At the same time, we also watch April and Quinn better understand each other and Quinn’s hatred for what went down between them in the past seep away. Now that he understands her fears because of how she grew up, and understands why she walked away from him in college, his eyes are opened up to so many new things that he actually wants the arrangement that they have to be real.

Seems like everything will be perfect until Maurice comes back and begs April to take him back. Giving her back everything that he took away from her, compensating her for the past 24-48 hours of pain and fear. April doesn’t realize the motives behind it all but the guys realized quickly why he’s crawling back and it’s because she’s got something that he wants and is afraid that now she’ll have too much control over him. The problem though is that the guys see her with Maurice and make the wrong assumption, driving her to leave them earlier than their arrangement deemed fit and worlds come crashing down once again.

What we have form this story is the notion that there’s really no such thing as happily ever after and that sometimes the idea of ‘what happens in vegas stays in vegas’. You want more for everyone and yet you don’t know what’s possible and the only way to truly find out if anything was real or fantasy is to read this story and engage with them all. I think that you’ll enjoy this one for sure and i can’t wait to see what’s next from our author. Enjoy!

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