Cover Image: Lucky

Lucky

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Member Reviews

A fantastic book which is well written and completely engaging. I have been completely pulled in and kept hostage by this one. 
This is unique, intriguing and one that I have devoured.
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I was intrigued by the blurb about how a seemingly intelligent, working woman in a stable relationship could become embroiled in such a downward spiral of gambling obsession, but unfortunately the book didn’t live up to the hype.  We find out nothing about Etta or her other half Ola:  how they met, how involved they were with each other’s friends and family and what made their relationship tick.  The description of the plummet into the dark side of online gambling was well depicted but I kept shouting at her to at least wonder why Ola didn’t notice the seismic shift in Etta’s behaviour.  Sorry but this book left me feeling nothing, neither wow nor worst book ever.
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A rather interesting follow-up by Rachel Edwards, although I just say I preferred her debut a lot more. This one didn’t quite follow up in the same way, nonetheless it was a compelling portrayal of a woman caught up in online gambling and making more disastrous risks. 
I felt Etta’s motivation to make money wasn’t compelling enough. The whole keen to make eight grand, so they can put deposit on a house, until the boyfriend ain’t proposing is a bit silly. Furthermore where was Etta’s family the whole time? How did she even meet Ola? Where’s his family? I just couldn’t connect with the characters and the twists felt far-fetched. It just wasn’t executed well enough. There are some plot strands that focus on issues faced by POC which was quite poignant and I appreciated it, however the thriller part wasn’t quite there.
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An interesting read about the dangers of online gambling. 
Etta wants to marry, but her boyfriend is adamant not to put the finger on her finger until he’s brought a house and is saving up in their joint account for £30,000. To make quick Etta starts online gambling. She gets lucky making quick bucks until she starts lose...she chats with Chris on the site. Can he help? 

I’m afraid this one didn’t quite work. For of all I couldn’t stand Ola, Etta’s boyfriend, and I found Etta to be stupid. Her incentive to gamble was ridiculous and she really needed to stand up for herself especially as she contributed the most financially and on top of took care of the house for the slouch Ola. There’s a side-plot about a friend, whose mum is about to be deported, which was heartbreaking but didn’t have anything to do with the main plot. For the first we mainly see Etta making stupid decisions as she gets addicted to gambling taking massive risks 🤦🏻‍♀️ Like girl stop 😩 I just couldn’t root for her. I also found the first half lacking in any suspense and it wasn’t really a thriller and more of a character study. The last 30% got pacy and we get twists, some of which rely on coincidences and a bit of suspending disbelief. If only the thriller part came earlier.
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This is an unblinkered and very real portrayal of gambling addiction and how desperation can make an intelligent person act in a very unintelligent way.  The book zings from the page, almost too much at times, the characters are very real and the plot involves not just gambling addiction but race, social pressures and more.  This is not an easy read because of its subject matter but it is very different, original and deserves reading.
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A cautionary tale of obsession, addiction and betrayal.

Wanting to final get her boyfriend Ola to propose, Etta goes about getting the £30k he has stipulated that they need for  a house (last of the big romantics, hey? Red flag right there Etta!)

So, Etta signs on to an online casino and finds that she is quite lucky at it...her money is building up, but as we know in gambling, there is one rule - house always wins!

This was an interesting read, I just wish Etta hadn't been so desperate for Ola to commit - he wasn't worth all this hassle.

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book, this is my honest opinion.
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Lucky was just brilliant. Such a clever plot, and the suspense never let up from start to finish.

Etta is desperate to get married to Ola, but he insists they need to save more money before they can tie the knot. When an ad for online bingo pops up, Etta is sucked in and believes it's a smart move. She'll play until she wins big, then their next chapter can truly begin. But as we could have guessed, the wins are always just bait to encourage more gambling. As she becomes increasingly addicted, the losses lead to borrowing and before she knows it, she's lost all their money. Living with the secret, she turns to booze and has nowhere to turn.

Etta's life is spiralling out of control, but little does she know that Ola is also hiding a devastating secret of his own.

The story kept me gripped throughout and the way Etta and Ola's secrets are revealed to be linked was a delicious twist.
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Absolutely loved reading this book. A great storyline with some interesting characters. It was a good read and I think you would like it as well. Would recommend.
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Where I felt this book really excelled was showing the slow descent from somebody who was doing well at their job into somebody who couldn't function due to their addiction. The twist concerning the partner was interesting and one I didn't see coming. For me, the little bits at the start of the chapters didn't really work. I could see what the writer was trying to do but felt they were too short to achieve their aim. Really enjoyed this book.
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Etta wants to marry Ola, but Ola insists they save up for their wedding. Etta, ever so impatient delves into the world of online gambling - after all, it's not that addictive is it?
There are many important themes running through the story - racism, hate, Windrush but most importantly love. 
Rachel Edwards covers these with such skill that in certain parts of the story, your heart is breaking for the characters with the injustice. 

Excellent writing from Edwards and such a compelling read.
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Etta is a loyal, hard-working woman in her mid 30s who is a good friend to Joyce, gives her time to a charity which helps people newly arrived in the country and is desperate to marry her long term partner Ola, who seems in no hurry to commit to marriage. Etta spends a lot of time at home alone while Ola is working away!
Then Etta discovers on line gambling - a £50 welcome sum - Etta wins! Etta loses! Etta wins again! Etta is hooked!
The writing is so compulsive and I became quite tense and concerned about Etta's gambling - it spirals out of control until Etta is no longer loyal, hard working, a good friend.
A cautionary tale with many twists and turns until I didn't know if I was angry with Etta or felt sorry for her.
Many thanks to Netgalley/Rachel Edwards/4th Estate for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.
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It didn't grip me but seeing how easily an intelligent woman became hooked on online gambling was scary. Etta seemed down to earth, and completely in love with live in partner Ola. I found him strange, seemed all he wanted her for was food or sex. Or for her to add to the savings. Why was he avoiding getting married? They had plenty savings. While I wondered what Ola was doing on his work overnights, I didn't see the outcome until it actually happened.  A salutory lesson in a very readable form. #netgalley #lucky
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I absolutely loved Darling and Lucky wasn't disappointing either! Wonderfully written, gripping, intriguing. Exactly what I wanted!
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Unusual and surprisingly addictive. It started quick slow and I almost didn't continue, but then it got its hooks into me and I couldn't put it down. Eta's partner wont marry her until they have enough to buy a house. So she decides to nudge things along but making more money herself. She starts online gambling and the next thing she knows she is way over her head and things are spiraling out of control. She is borrowing, and stealing and maybe even worse. She doesn't even recognise the person she has become.

The addiction is real and so well described. We enter the rollercoaster with Eta, crossing fingers and toes that she can catch a break. Its nail-biting and impossible to put down. Eta is human, she has flaws but she also has the capacity to do so much good. I loved that they showed both sides, warts and all. Some of the side characters I didn't quite get and they could have benefited from more of a back-story, but it didn't really matter as this was the Eta-show, and she was more than complex enough to carry the whole book. Overall, well written and compelling.
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Found the first chapter interesting then went downhill.
Etta wants to marry Ola but he won`t marry till he gets £30,000 to buy a house first, they have £22,000 so Etta only needs to get £8,000 and ends up on a online gambling site so you know where this is going.
Then it goes off on a different angle where her friend who came from Jamaica 50 years ago is threatened deportation.
The story comes together at the end but I found it too boring and the characters not likeable to be enough to make it up for me.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review
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My thanks to Fourth Estate for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Lucky’ by Rachel Edwards in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is about something that I consider much more frightening than creepy clowns, serial killers or lurking monsters: the lure of online gambling sites. 

Etta is a black British woman in her mid-thirties. Aside from her job, she volunteers at the Welcome Project, giving assistance to those seeking asylum or residence in the U.K.. She is a kind and compassionate woman, who is also keen to get married and put down roots. Her partner, Ola, claims to be of the same mind, though insists that they continue to save so that they have enough for a house deposit before marrying. 

Hoping to hasten that day Etta is seeking ways to increase their nest egg. She comes across a snazzy online advert: ‘Deposit £10 today and get £50 more to play with!’ Temptation! She talks herself into registering with Cozee Bingo, justifying it: “if you could see through all the snazzy tricks and do it anyway? You could study the odds, research, insulate against losses, cogitate, calculate, speculate, win. Had to be worth a try. Each win would inflate their savings and confirm her cleverness, someday, to her grateful husband.”

So it’s no surprise that this turns out to be a slippery slope. She plays in secret - she wins, she loses, she is lucky one day and not the next. The more she loses, the more she convinces herself that she’ll win it back and hit the jackpot in the next round. She also makes a male friend on the site, who says she sounds hot and encourages her to meet up with him at a VIP party organised by the gambling site. Oh Etta! 

While Etta seems to have plenty of savvy when it comes to dealing with Nigerian princes and cold call scammers, her inability to stop herself from getting deeper and deeper into trouble is truly frightening.

There is also a heartbreaking subplot linked to the mother of Etta’s best friend, who came to Britain from Jamaica fifty years ago as part of the Windrush Generation. She now finds herself threatened with deportation.

I found Etta a sympathetic lead, which made her fall into addiction and the denial of her situation, so much more harrowing. I genuinely felt afraid for her. While aware that this was a fictional situation, there are those whose lives are ruined by such addictions. 

There are elements of suspense and threat within the story, such as Etta being aware of someone trying to spook her with odd gifts, etc.. There is also a series of short chapters, interspersed throughout, that are flashbacks to someone’s experiences in Croatia. Their significance does become clear eventually.

I found ‘Lucky’ a cautionary tale that not only addresses the dangers of online gambling, payday loans, and various scams but highlights the racism that people of colour routinely encounter in modern Britain. This includes the insidious question put to Etta by a white policeman in the opening chapter “Where are you from, originally?”. As Etta shares with her readers: “He does not get to ask that question. But of course, he does.”

While listed as Women’s Fiction, ‘Lucky’ struck me as being multi-faceted. It considers the issue of a woman seeking to attain her goals, and also mixes in some comedy with its drama, has elements of suspense and is subtly hard-hitting in terms of the various social issues it considers. 

It is definitely a novel that I feel will appeal to reading groups given its strong characterisations, its various aspects that provide plenty of topics for discussion and yes, being a very good read. 

4.5 stars rounded up to 5.
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This is the first book I have read by Rachel Edwards.

Lucky is based on Etta and her gambling addiction and shows just how easy it is to become addicted.

The book is quick to read and enjoyable
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Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book. In exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book I have read by this author, but it won't be the last.

A well-written book, full of twists, turns and excitement. I can't wait for the next book by this talented author. Recommended.
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This was a book that, whilst it certainly had an interesting premise, I struggled to fully enjoy because of how frustrated I was with the main character. However, perhaps that’s actually a sign that it’s a great book. ⁠⁠
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Etta wants to marry her boyfriend, but he doesn’t want to marry her until they’ve got enough to put down a deposit for a house. So what does Etta do? Naturally turn to gambling for a quick fix. Etta quickly spirals out of control, with many twists and turns along the way to keep us on the edge of our seats.⁠⁠
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I had many feelings throughout this book. Ultimately the strongest one was frustration, because I truly do not understand how someone can be so stupid. I feel really bad saying that but like...come on! I completely understand it can happen to anyone but we’ve all heard the horror stories and the ads about how addictive gambling is. (I think there’s ads about this? I could be lying)⁠⁠
For example, when Etta’s friend was like why did you send me a link to a gambling site u bitch, I opened it and next thing you know I’d blown two months rent worth of money! I was taken aback by how quickly that escalated there. And yes that’s a direct quote from the book (not really). But maybe I’m being small minded and I think I’m immune to all this and you’ll catch me next week posting about how I’ve blown 5k on some random gambling site 🤷🏽‍♀️ ⁠⁠
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I’ll admit though, this was a gripping read. I was invested in the story and the characters, even if I couldn’t entirely relate 😂 It’s definitely a page turner and the ending cracked me up, even if it probably wasn’t meant to be funny! It was a bit tragic but it was also just kind of like ah, of course. Of course that would happen to poor Etta. All I’ll say is...why do men? ⁠⁠
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I won’t give too much away but I would say give this one a go, it’s a different kind of thriller and I know other people have enjoyed it a lot!⁠⁠
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Thanks to Netgalley and 4th Estate for my review copy ✨ ⁠⁠
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#racheledwards #luckyracheledwards #luckybook #lucky #netgalley #netgalleybook #netgalleyreview #blackbritishthriller #blackthrillerbooks #gamblingbooks #gambling #4thestatebooks #4thestate
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I was completely hooked by this to begin with as we watch Etta slowly succumb to online gambling.

The way the author shows how Etta finds herself on these sites and how she progresses to spending more and more was, I think, perfectly done. The descriptions of the websites were accurate and I liked how it showed the progression from bingo to the slots and just how easily it can be done.

These were definitely my favourite parts of the book. They were so intense and my own stomach was in knots seeing just how much she kept losing and all the payday loans she was taking out. I also loved the interactions with StChristopher75 who she begins talking to on these sites, however I did think this was going to work out differently so was shocked when it felt like their interaction ended quite abruptly – I thought this was going to be the main part of the story.

Whilst I loved the tension and the parts where she was gambling and speaking to Christopher, as mentioned, once this had come to a head the story took a slightly different approach which I wasn’t expecting at all. It felt a little disjointed and the things that Etta experiences seemed a little over the top and I didn’t feel there was any conclusion or explanation to one part of it.

Overall this is a quick read and one that really does look at how gambling can take over your life which I thought was executed really well and I thoroughly enjoyed. However I would have liked it to focus on this more rather than the route it did go down near the end.
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