Cover Image: Lucky

Lucky

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Etta wants to get married. Ola, her partner, says he does too, but he’s also allergic to making concrete plans and keeps insisting that they save enough for a house deposit before they even think of marriage. So Etta finds a way to start secretly making money: online gambling. And how lucky that she just happens to be so good at it.

I could see where this was going from the outset and wanted to give Etta a shake, I could feel her emotions as she gambles everything on her next big win. She neglects her relationship and her friendships as online gambling takes over her life. 

The book is full of humour and very enjoyable. This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Loved this, even though with some of the phases used, it wasn't always easy to understands.  But the story it told was a common one and probably touches a nerve for many people.  2 stories intertwined.  Although the lead character had done wrong, all of your sympathies were certainly with her.  Really enjoyed it, well written and kept me hooked to the end.
Was this review helpful?
No. I'm sorry, but, despite the rave reviews, this was a 'did not like' from me.

I thought the premise was interesting, hence the request to preview. However, the characters and their interaction didn't engage me at all and I found the whole thing to be frustrating and disappointing.

Etta wants to get married, but, her longterm boyfriend says 'not until we've saved enough' ...irritated yet? 
I appreciate there are cultural references that explain some of the engrained male dominance issues, but, jeepers! Etta though, is only more spurred on to persuade him and so begins to enter the dark world of online gambling.

I'm really glad that others' enjoyed it and I wish the author every success, but, definitely not for me.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to preview.
Was this review helpful?
Oh poor Etta! I could see where this was going from the outset and wanted to give Etta a shake and say no man is worth this! Etta is drawn into online gambling and I could feel her emotions as she gambles everything on her next big win. She neglects her relationship and her friendships as online gambling takes over her life
However, there are quite a few twists along the way as we find out that most of the characters are hiding secrets and nothing should be taken at face value. A lot of humour in this book which really appealed to me, very authentically and cleverly written.
Was this review helpful?
Etta wants to get married and start a family with long-time boyfriend Ola. Ola first wants to save enough money to buy a house before even thinking of putting a ring on it. So, Etta makes a plan....

This is one interesting concept. I've never read a domestic thriller with gambling as the main concept. 

What I loved:

- Seeing Etta's downward spiral. Chasing the ever-elusive carrot. It was interesting to see the inner-workings of a gambling addict's mind. I mean, granted, Etta made so many dumb decisions. Telling a random online nobody details about your life? That is 'How to get Scammed 101' right there but hey who am I to judge. 

What I didn't love:

- The over-use of non-lexical vocables. The dialogue is filled with 'heh', 'hehehe', 'o' etc. It's such a huge turn off for me in books. 

- The writing style is different and something to get used to but once I got into the story, this was no longer jarring. 

- The ending?! I felt the story ended so abruptly. I would have liked to see how Etta attempted to recover because let's face it, an addiction doesn't just disappear at will. Also, what about the consequences of her actions, not only legally but with the scammers? How does that end? It didn't feel like she showed any remorse for what she had done. She was more afraid of getting caught then her actions. 

So a very interesting concept and this book has great potential to be absolutely brilliant!
Was this review helpful?
The opening of ‘Lucky’ introduces us to Etta and Ola, living in London but originally from Nigeria.  From the outset it is clear that Etta thinks it is time they were married, but Ola insists that they must have £30,000 with which to buy a house.  Ola works on scientific research and hopes that eventually this will lead to employment at the University.  He works hard on his research and devotes many hours to socialising and developing contacts which will help him.  Etta is very aware that it is her work in an office that is actually providing the bulk of the savings.  She is a traditional woman, giving due respect to her man; he is the one who loves her, supports her and she in turn keeps a good home for him, cooking good traditional food and generally concedes to him, in and out of the bedroom.

Etta’s place of refuge is the spare room, which Ola used as a study but slowly Etta has taken over the space whilst she works at home.  However, one evening as she puzzles how she can get hold of the £8,000 to boost their savings she hits on an on-line bingo site and from then on she is lost.

Ms Edwards’ descriptions of the bingo site is amazing; she conjures the simplicity of the graphics, a sophisticated simplicity with music, vivid colours, bright images, quick paced, literally with bells and whistles, with the promise of more excitement, more opportunities, more wins, more bonuses.  To help Etta enjoy the full experience of the website she sips a little wine, a little gin and as the compulsion takes hold, she sips some more, and some more.

I do not know how these sites work – clearly they must entice you in and they must do this by allowing you to win, but I did feel some doubt about just how much Etta did win – and lost.  This in turn made me cautious about her character, how stupid is she?  Her life becomes a roundabout of lies, booze, gambling, stealing and stress, mega stress.  It affects her friendships, her work, and her relationship with Ola.  Speaking of which, what a thoroughly unlikable person he is; lord and master, stuffing his face, totally unaware of poor Etta.  Run Etta, run!

I didn’t like the book at the start, the rhythm of the prose was unsettling – strange to my ear.  As the plot became more interesting and I had a stake in what was happening to Etta I enjoyed it more and I settled into the tempo.  Whilst reading I kept thinking of how I would review the book, and it went from a tepid reception to a more positive one.  The situation, the characters, description all captured my thoughts, the most profound of which is – ‘is this what it is like – oh these poor people enslaved by gambling.

There is more, much more to cover about the plot; racism, blackmail, even the Windrush scandal!

A very unusual book, domestic in its setting, but absolutely outstanding in its perception.

Thank you to the author, publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC via my Kindle in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A tangled and dramatic story of the gambles we take with high stakes.
I was hooked at the twists and gobsmackingly shocking depths that the character went to due to addiction. It explores the criminality and exploitative practices involved in online gambling as well as scams and the multilayered desperation of immigration & asylum. 
A very clever book, I just felt sometimes the online games descriptions went a bit over my head and I got a bit lost with it, but the deceptions were very well written.
Was this review helpful?
"Unbearable: the rotting smell still hung in the kitchen, and the hall. She fought down a tremor of nausea... She suspected it emanated from the spare room. Above the stench, a screaming from within: You deserve this, skank! It was not OK to help herself to their joint money as if it were all hers for the taking. This was bad."

In the fictional town of Rilton, Etta Oladipo, in her mid-thirties is bright and ambitious; she wants to marry boyfriend, beloved but set-in-his-ways, Ola. He wants this too, but wants them to save for a house deposit first. Etta despairs this will never change, so finds a secret way to make extra money - online gambling with 'Cozee Bingo' in the spare room. She's lucky, she happens to be good at it, but keeps it a secret. Until she isn't and finds herself in a fix. Her online bingo buddy, StChristopher75 has just won big, and thinks Etta is 'hot', so he'll help her, won't he?

Etta's plight is oh-so relatable as she wants to settle down and have a family with the man she loves. The author portrays the lure of online gambling with what feels like accuracy (I have no experience of online gambling, but imagine this is how it can be). There is a parallel storyline with an event for Ola in Zagreb, that I didn't take to. However the storyline with Etta's friend, Joyce and her mum's threatened deportation, is heartbreaking, but enables the reader to understand the context of Etta's life, along with her generous nature. Tense and secretive, this is pacey, as we experience Etta's slide into further difficulties, as her online bingo habit and bad decisions get out of hand. I was rooting for Etta all the way because this was more character than plot based. Enjoyed it, didn't love it.
Was this review helpful?
This is the first book I have read by this author. The cover appealed to me - the striking colours and bold design are very eye catching.

The story focuses on Etta and he journey into gambling in order to make enough money to get married. 

The author takes us on a journey of addiction and vulnerability which becomes a real page-turner. 

The book was well written with plenty of twists and turns along the way. I liked the authors writing style and felt the book flowed well. 

Thank you NetGalley and publisher for my advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review 📚
Was this review helpful?
Etta wants to marry Ola but he’s insistent they save £30,000 for a house deposit and they’re a few grand short. Etta reasons that there’s no harm committing a few hundred pounds to play online bingo in order to achieve the magic number. To start with she’s lucky and then you can guess the rest .... but some things you won’t see coming!

This is a good character driven domestic thriller with Etta and Ola in particular being very well portrayed though you sense something is off in their relationship. You want to yell ‘No’ at Etta as her addiction to gambling grows, with the spiralling out of control descent into a pit of debt and despair that leads to huge risks in more ways than one and makes you gasp in horror. She’s lost in the game, she’s so immersed in it she’s lost herself to it and is in a ginormous hole. To start with you feel annoyed with her but end feeling sorry. I think the second half is way better than the first which I find to be repetitive but later the pace and tension picks up considerably and becomes compelling reading. Apart from the addiction theme  there are a number of issues that emerge such as racism, blackmail, betrayal and lies heaped on top of lies. 

Although there’s much to praise in the novel the pace initially is slow and there’s a thread running through the narrative in Croatia from 2015 onwards which is very confusing though it does make sense at the end. I also question in these days where you have to be so online savvy whether Etta would have been so foolish with some of her decisions. Possibly by then she’s in so deep that she loses her faculties of reasoning. 

Overall, though the last 40% is very good which outweighs any reservations. It’s a well written book and one of the stand out features is how believably Etta’s addiction and emotions are depicted. 

With thanks to NetGalley and 4th Estate for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Genre: Adult Fiction | Mystery 

Release Date: Expected 24th June 2021



Etta wants nothing more to marry her boyfriend, Ola. And while he says he does too, he's always focused on the next step and insists they need to save enough for a house before they even think of walking down the aisle. Etta is a sensible woman, working a steady office job, volunteering for a charity helping people facing deportation and injustice - but they still don't quite have enough. 

So she tries something new - online gambling. And she likes it. Pretty soon she's playing all the time and lying to Ola about it - but she's sure the win is coming soon, even if there's a few losses along the way. And her new friend on the site, StChristopher75 seems to be supportive. He's won big recently ... and he thinks she's hot. Etta knows she's going to get lucky soon. She has to. 

Lucky took me totally by surprise - this was so much more than it appeared to be. It was a an enthralling, tense story about the terrifying decent into addiction, as we watched Etta succumb to the temptation of gambling and trying to convince herself she's okay. It delved into the world of scam artists and conners and just how devastating they really can be. 

Brimming with betrayal, deception and desperation - this story felt almost like being inside Etta's head and feeling every twisty emotion she did. While not much happened in the story until the end, the journey of the characters was where the spotlight was through the whole thing. 

Alongside the very real dangers of gambling addiction, this gave a very real insight into the terrifying truth of deportation and racism that just isn't given enough gravity. 

Lucky is Edwards second ever release, and I definitely can't wait to see what literary gold she brings next. 

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Rachael Edwards, Fourth Estate and Netgalley for this ARC in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book. Etta lives with her partner Ola. She wants to get married but he insists they save enough for a deposit on a house first. So Etta decides to take matters in to her own hands and starts playing online bingo. Soon she is hooked and things go from bad to worse. She steals and lies and then finds herself vulnerable when she arranges to meet a fellow gambler who has been flirting with her online. This is a real page turner with a good twist at the end. Thanks to NetGalley for a preview copy.
Copied to Goodreads.
Was this review helpful?
*4.5 stars *

OMG, what an absolute mess Etta manages to get herself into! But forgive me, I’m getting ahead of myself. 

Etta wants to get married, she’s in her 30’s and wants to get on with it, she doesn’t want to wait much longer. Her partner Ola, says he wants to marry too, but he’d rather wait until they have a £30,000 deposit to buy their own home. Therein lies the problem. They can’t save quickly enough, so Etta thinks she can make enough money by gambling the online slots - she won’t take it too far like some people do, she knows she’ll stop before it gets out of hand. However, it DOES get out of hand, and Etta becomes a statistic, one of the many for whom gambling becomes an overwhelming addiction, and a complete nightmare!

Author, Rachel Edwards, has great skill when it comes to her characters - bringing vividly to life their personalities, motivations, goals and problems. In ‘Lucky’ she manages to create the kind of tension and intensity, that reels her readers in with an ease of which she should be justifiably proud. The way in which she portrays Etta’s downward spiral is both gripping and sad.

Wow! I could feel the pressure mounting, the overwhelming tension that Etta’s online gambling caused, the blind panic, the guilt, the need to quell that panic and guilt, using drink as a crutch, as ever increasing amounts were spent on trying to win back the sums she’d already lost, and all this with her bank balance at £0.00. Think it can’t get any worse? Oh, it can, it really can!

‘Lucky’, is about so much more than gambling addiction, it shines the spotlight on race, immigration, blackmail and betrayal. Etta comes into contact with some dreadful individuals and situations, but there were some great twists along the way. There were times that I wanted to scream at Etta “ No, don’t do it Etta” She didn’t listen! However, she took this reader on a roller coaster ride that made ‘Lucky’ hard to put down. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review 

Definitely different story line than the other psychological thrillers out there – not as much fun as her first one but still good enough. The protagonist is a real charmer   3.5 rounded up
Was this review helpful?
Oh Etta please don't. Such an intense read. 

I was enthralled by the beautiful prose and the tension of the plot. And the vivid characterisation made her feel like a friend. I so wanted to jump into the pages and help. But even if that was possible, I doubt one thing would have changed. However, I was with her every step of the journey and was hypnotised by those flashing colours too. The whole narrative was written so brilliantly. Such an authentic feel. 

This is a gripping read with a mystery that intensifies on each page. I finished in the early hours of the morning because I honestly couldn't put it down. I needed to know what her bank total was and what on earth was going on elsewhere. I was so saddened by her friend's storyline and then horrified at the outcome. How cruel.

This is such a powerful story, not only of addiction but of chasing dreams and what one does to feel safe.

Highly Recommended
Was this review helpful?
It took a while to get into this novel, I think due to the style of writing but suddenly it all clicked and was hooked. It’s been a while since I’ve read such a roller coaster novel. The writing about Etta’s spiral into addiction was very believable. It really did examine how addiction can totally unravel someone’s reasoning and judgment.
I started off really angry at Etta for being so silly but by the end I was heartbroken for her.
A novel I didn’t want to finish.
Was this review helpful?
Lucky is Rachel Edwards second book. Etta lives with her boyfriend Ola and is frustrated because he will not marry her until he has saved £30,000 for a house. He’s almost there, at £22,000 and Etta is looking for a way to make things move faster.
Etta is a sensible woman with an office job, she volunteers one day a month, providing benefits and rights advice to mostly migrants, but as she gets involved deeper and deeper in online gambling websites, things spiral out of control.
Lucky is an interesting read. I cannot say I enjoyed the journey, perhaps because when you can imagine yourself so easily on a similar one, there is a sheen of sweat on your upper lip throughout.
The horror of Etta’s predicament is laid out in a way that describes the insanity of gambling but it is disturbing and even darkly funny at times rather than harrowing.
There is an enormous amount going on in this book, including a confusing back story from two years earlier which is ultimately resolved, but the subplot about the puzzle man was not, for me anyway.
I really struggled to like Ola and the relationship between Etta and him and nothing came as a surprise on that score. 
So, did Lucky prove a point and did I enjoy it? Well, I like this method of point proving and it’s a book that I will remember.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book as its very different to my usual type if read. The story illustrates the devastating effects of gambling and the lies and deceit that it breeds. Alongside this runs a much deeper and darker deceit. Brilliant characters - if not very likeable!
Was this review helpful?
This was quite a strange book to read. I think should actually be marketed for young adults. The plot was quite interesting but it lacked the intensity that was required.
Was this review helpful?
First off, I truly was not expecting where this book ended up.

This is a story about Etta, a black woman who with her boyfriend Ola, is saving up to get married. She turns to online bingo to gain the £10,000 she needs. Online bingo becomes online slots and big wins become massive losses. As things start to spiral she meets a mysterious stranger on the website who gives her tips and tricks to help her win but as her relationship with him grows, so does her desire to win it all.

The characters were fairly likeable but you got into Etta's headspace and understood, just why and how she got stuck in with the gambling. You see the descent and how stuck she feels and I enjoyed that aspect of it.

This is pretty character-based rather than plot-based but I did enjoy that as well. I love seeing the psyche of certain characters but it was extremely Etta based which while I didn't mind, made the other characters seem very 2 dimensional. 

There were a lot of things I was not expecting when I went into this the massive thing being the ending. The place completely changed in the last section and while I enjoyed it, I wish it kept that pace the whole way through.

Overall, I don't feel particularly strongly about this but I did read it all the way through and I enjoyed watching Etta and who she becomes.
Was this review helpful?