Book Review: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky

Book Review: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky

The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer Heacock

Kat Carmichael’s priorities for the last two years have been primarily opening and keeping up with her successful bakery Cup My Cakes. Business is good and she’s working with her best friends and there’s a deal coming that could just push Cup My Cakes into the big leagues.

Also, she hasn’t had sex in two years.

Who has the time, right?

But it’s not a quick fix. The last time Kat and her boyfriend attempted sex, they found it to be physically painful. And not the fun kind of pain. With her four year anniversary coming up, Kat sets a deadline. Putting her relationship on hold, she encourages her boyfriend to see other people while she dives into the physical therapy needed to get her lady bits back in action.

With the help of Ben Cleary—one of the shop’s handsome regulars—and now a Friend With Benefits, Kat is all set to reach her goal. But as clear cut FWB relationship starts to get blurry, Kat must figure out what it is she actually wants.

 

*~*~*

I can say with sincerity, I have never laughed this hard while reading a book. Sure, I occasionally chuckle or snort when I read, but The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky had me flat out laughing every four pages.

Kat is a woman with friends and a bustling business that just happens to be having some physical issues with sex. This book isn’t just about romantic relationships, it’s also about relationships between women, and the often neglected platonic relationships between men and women.

To balance out the relationship drama is small business drama. Cup My Cakes has only been open for two years but they’re doing steady business and they’ve thrown their hat in the ring for a big business contract. That’s a lot of stress and it resonates in the relationship dynamic Kat has between all the other characters. There are no static feelings in this book. Even the secondary characters are filled out and nuanced.

Kat is very independent and not one to really ask for help, so I relate. She could be on fire and still wouldn’t ask for a glass of water. She is complex and real character. Her bravado and dry humor are her battle armor, hiding insecurities and fears any person can connect with. She’s worried about letting her friends down, worried about her future, worried about disappointing her boyfriend. And the book opens up right smack in the middle of this crossroads that churns up her insecurities and chips away at her armor. The armor is resilient though, I cried a little toward the end, but three pages later I was laughing through the tears.

From an ace point of view, I didn’t really connect with Kat’s urgent need to have sex to validate her relationships. I spent good portions of the book reading like it was wildlife guide to a new species. This is seriously the closest I will ever be to being inside a non-ace person’s head. It’s kind of thrilling. And weird.

The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky broke a dry reading spell for me. I was burned out on reading about ridiculous love triangles in every YA book I picked up. I couldn’t get into the characters in another series because some of the romance scenes felt so staged I just wanted to throw the book out the window. It’s a downside to not sharing the same sexual wants/needs as the majority of the population. Romance gets tedious.

This book though didn’t feel tedious. I flew through these 356 pages in an afternoon. I was excited to see what Kat was going to do, how she was going to deal with situations, and how this was going to resolve. And a great deal of that comes from the wonderfully unique voice Summer Heacock has. It is an unforgettable style of writing and storytelling. Once you read The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky you’ll be able to spot Summer’s writing from a mile away. She has a distinct voice with a penchant for glittering swearing and it is all things great and good.

And if you want to test out some of the delicious cupcakes they mention in the stories, surprise! There are recipes for five specialty cuppies in the back! I cannot recommend the chocolate-peanut butter enough. So. Good.

All in all, The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky had wonderful characters, lots of nail biting drama, laughter for days, and an ending as relaxing and satisfying as that last deep breath before you drift into sleep.

Even if ‘chick lit’ isn’t what you normally read—I don’t—I still encourage you to make an exception for The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer Heacock. I promise, it’s one you’ll pick up again and again.

 

The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer Heacock is out now!

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Review: Catch Me When I Fall + Bonus, Cover Reveal!

Catch Me When I Fall

By Vicki Leigh

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 “Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen year old Daniel Graham has spent two hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, but that doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best and wants nothing more than to stop
“Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen year old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take an unprecedented interest in her, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.
“A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law, revealing his identity, and whisk her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.”

Who doesn’t love a jaded, brooding hero? Daniel is on par with Batman for broodiness. But he’s keeping it together. Like most of us who are sick of our jobs, he’s looking for a good time and reason to turn in his two week notice. He has a very distinctive voice, he’s two hundred+ years dead and while his speech is modern there are places where he’ll slip into an older cadence. He’s also British, so you can read the whole book with Cumberbatch’s voice in your head if you’d like.

Then there’s Kayla. I would love to see a book from her perspective. We get a lot from her just from Daniel’s point of view, but it’s easy to see how much more there is beneath the surface. She’s funny, and maybe because she already thinks she’s lost her mind, we don’t have pages and pages of disbelief, denial, and anger to get through. She passes Go, collects her $200 and jumps pretty much right on board the crazy train that becomes her life. It’s awesome. Again, another reason I would love to see a book from her perspective. Even if you think you’ve already gone off the rails, having Daniel and his cohorts appear like they do would take some mental acrobatics.

Now, if you like Silent Hill you’re going to thoroughly enj1oy the Nightmares. While reading I was reminded somewhat of the faceless, homicidal nurses, except they’re darkness incarnate, featureless with claws and teeth. So, you know, nightmarish.

And the travel in this book! The Protectors are stationed out of Rome and I don’t know if the author has traveled to this place or the others, but there’s wonderful detail about the buildings that really gives the setting life without burdening the story with twelve paragraphs describing the pillars and flagstones. There’s a scene in Paris that I absolutely loved. She captures how breathtaking the Eiffel Tower is at night when it’s lit up. And the meal Kayla and Daniel share does Lady and the Tramp so proud. Shy flirting and getting-to-know-you cuteness.

But if cuteness isn’t your thing, fear not, there’s still a homicidal maniac after Kayla and there’s plenty of edge of your seat fights and close calls to keep you flipping pages. There’s also the mystery of what exactly Kayla is.
It’s a lot packed into a svelte 197 pages. I finished in only a couple hours so if you jump into it before bed, don’t worry, you’ll finish with enough time for your Dreamcatcher to get comfortable and fodder for your Dreamweaver.

 

And, coming soon to a bookshelf near you, this lil’ gem:

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http://www.vleighwrites.com/#!novels/cjg9

Oh look, a link where you can order both books. How did that get there?