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Pub Date 24 Jun 2021 | Archive Date Not set
4th Estate, Fourth Estate


A tense, twisty novel about love, betrayal, survival – and an addiction so compelling it threatens to destroy everything in its path

Unbelievably tense and twisty – I loved it’ Laura Marshall, author of Friend Request

Brilliant’ Nikki Smith, author of All In Her Head

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.

Soon she’s playing quite a lot. She doesn’t like lying to Ola, but it’s all for the good of their relationship. She’s even made a friend on the site, StChristopher75, and she’s invited to a special VIP party. And even if she is losing a little money here and there – or even quite a lot – she’ll win it back eventually. In the mean time, perhaps StChristopher75 can help her out with a little loan, once she’s met him in real life. He’s just won big, and he’s been so friendly and helpful.

And he says her photo’s hot. Why wouldn’t he want to help her?

A tense, twisty novel about love, betrayal, survival – and an addiction so compelling it threatens to destroy everything in its path

Unbelievably tense and twisty – I loved...

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ISBN 9780008364588
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 70 members

Featured Reviews

Lucky is an incredibly fun and good read.

I really enjoyed starting this and I had a lot of trouble putting this down.

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Rachel’s first book, Darling, was excellent, so I was happy to be invited to read an advance copy of Lucky.

Etta wants to get married, have nice holidays and so on, but boyfriend Ola insists they save for a house deposit first. But that’s taking forever. Etta needs to find a way of making more money, quicker.

Etta isn’t the kind of sad person who gets addicted to online bingo. That’s not who she is at all. She’s confident she can beat the odds and make the money they need. And initially, it goes mainly according to plan. But before long, things get a bit out of hand.

What seemed initially like quite a simple story of a spiral into addiction ultimately turned into something more unexpected and complicated - there were twists here I really didn’t see coming. In the end I wasn’t entirely sure I had my head around it all, but I definitely enjoyed the journey.

It’s a story which has various things to say about modern Britain, some of it via Etta’s voluntary work at First Welcome. Her neighbour Jean illustrates a certain type of emboldened racist - though clearly has issues of her own.

And the Windrush scandal shows its ugly face here in the shape of Etta’s friend Joyce’s elderly mother, Cynthia, faced with the threat of deportation back to Jamaica after fifty years.

Edwards writes evocatively about the dizzying, beguiling lure of online gambling, the early wins and devastating losses.

Etta was alarmingly reckless at times - not just with the gambling, but giving away far too much information to a stranger on the internet. Surely we all know better than that, nowadays.

I loved the dialogue - Etta, like the author, is half-Nigerian, half-Jamaican, and Ola is of Nigerian heritage - and their voices emerged very clearly.

Lucky is an engaging read about... well, about lots of things really. Race, addiction, money, deception, the risks people take and the lengths they are prepared to go to. An interesting and surprising read.

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Second book by Rachel Edwards really enjoyed Darling her first novel and feel the same about Lucky .I was drawn right in read late into the night enjoyed from first page to last Full of tension twists and turns kept me guessing to the last page..#netgalley #4thestse

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A real page turner. It had me gripped from page 1. The murky world of online betting alongside people smuggling. I had no expectation yet I was blown away. Twists and turns and intermingling plots. Excellent read! Highly recommended if you can put your life on hold for a day.

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Easily a 5 star read for me. Lucky was such an good portrayal of gambling addiction, mixed with some tense thriller aspects. It also explored issues of race and money, against a backdrop of the Windrush scandal in the United Kingdom.

Etta and her partner Ola have been living together and saving money for a house. After constant arguments over scrimping and saving, she decides to join a Bingo site to try and raise the money quicker. However she soon begins to spiral into the world of online gambling, the more she plays, she wins but more often loses. During the midst of this, she meets a shady character online, and deceit and betrayal ensues!

Gambling additions are not often brought to the forefront in fiction and I loved how much Rachel Edwards portrayed this. In fact the scariest thing about this thriller was how is captured how much gambling can consume someone and isolate them. I was constantly hoping for Etta to just stop before it had tragic consequences.

This is Rachel Edwards 2nd novel. Lucky was suspenseful, gripping and devastating in many ways. Her style of writing was wonderful to read, and I cannot wait to explore more from her.

Thank you so much to @NetGalley and @4thEstate for providing me with a copy to read in exchange for a review.

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Oh my! This book is full steam ahead and boy was I hooked as soon as main character, Etta, hit the gambling sites. I felt so much heartache for her as I know how serious an addiction gambling is and this book had it all when it comes to intricately exploring the psychological issues surrounding it. At times I wanted to jump into the book and try to fix her life as I tensely bit through my nails.

My heart banged away as Etta fell further down the rabbit hole, where danger lurked in the shadows. I felt every uncomfortable moment of her dark descent, her inner turmoil and the external threat that lingered.

I loved the setting of her bleak rented house which she tolerated while trying to save for her dream home with partner, Ola. Her dream life, hanging on a thread as she chased the promise of a carrot if only she took a chance of another spin. There is far more to this story than the gambling but I don’t want to ruin it for you. There are thrills aplenty and they don’t let go until the end.

I would definitely recommend ‘Lucky.’ It’s one exhilarating read!

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This is the first novel I have read by this author, but it won't be the last. Not only is the premise original, and beautifully executed, the writing itself is sparky and fresh - I found myself excited by the prose even before anything had happened!

"Lucky" is the story of Etta, who desperately wants to marry her partner, Ola. But Ola insists that they need to save enough for a deposit on a house before they can think about spending on a wedding, and is working all hours to secure them financial independence. Then Etta stumbles on a genius scheme: she'll win some money gambling online, using a strict system to make sure she stays ahead of the casino, and saving her winnings. And it turns out Etta is good at gambling - at first. But slowly, irrevocably, things start to spiral out of control, and Etta is soon in deeper than she ever could have imagined, and taking even more desperate measures to undo what she has set in motion...

This is exactly the kind of thriller I love, where a normal person finds themselves in an abnormal situation, so I knew I was probably going to enjoy it, but it's the quality of the writing that really elevates this novel into something beyond just another enjoyable but forgettable thriller. The prose is dazzling, and the characters were beautifully realised - I was rooting for Etta even as I was internally screaming at the decisions she was making. I am so excited to see what will come next from this author - I'll be first in line on publication day!

Thank you to NetGalley, and to the publisher, who granted me a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 📚

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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.

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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.

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*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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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I really enjoyed this book. It has so many layers, it's about far more than gambling. It explores just how much trouble a compulsive gambling addiction can get someone into and how much damage it can do.

A great page turner. .

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I haven’t read anything by Rachel Edwards, but I’m totally blown away by this complex tale which explores so many issues. Addictive behaviour, racism, Windrush, love, friendship, betrayal; it’s difficult to know where to start.

The heart of the tale is Etta; she wants more; a better life, marriage and happiness. She has a job plus a boring and soul destroying fiancé. He promises much, but never delivers. She wants to kickstart things for a better future. Easy, peasy solution; online gambling. Just a big win or two would make dreams come true and how difficult could that be?

There were moments in this story when my heart was almost literally breaking for Etta. Beguiled by the demon spins and empty promises, she moves into self destruct, aided and abetted by her only good friend, alcohol.

This is such a unique tale. Etta has a very distinctive voice; she’s intelligent perceptive and helpless. Her partner, Ola, is apparently sympathetic and supportive, but there’s a whole backstory to their relationship.

There are so many reasons I absolutely love this book. Rachel Edwards not only spins a convincing and engaging yarn, she explores addictive behaviour, inherent racism, betrayal, love, payday loans… Her use of imagery is compelling; I could feel, hear and see the slot machines beguiling her into hope and desperation. Her prose is lyrical and alliterative. It’s just so well written, I was swept from one page to the next, desperate in my hope that things would work out for Etta. This is a story of our times. I enjoyed it immensely and I’m certainly hoping for more from this author. Simply brilliant.

And congratulations to 4th Estate for delivering a dynamic and intriguing cover. Never judge a book, etc, but I have to say the cover of thistitke is dramatic and drew me in to exploring the content. Excellent. My thanks to the publisher for a review copy via Netgalley.

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I really enjoyed "Darling" but it took me a while to get into this book and the characters. However, it was definitely worth persevering as the twisted narrative becomes one of survival and betrayal in many forms, but ultimately with hopes of redemption.
Thank you to netgalley and fourth estate for an advance copy of this book

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With the promise of a wedding when they have a £30,000 house deposit, Etta turns to online gambling to try and sort it out. Predictably, things don't go to plan although there are lots of additional issues along the way. Whilst centered around gambling many more topics such as race, betrayal and lies. Tense right to the end.

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Etta and Ola have been together for a while and she would like to get married. Unfortunately, Ola doesn’t agree, as he wants them to wait until they have saved £30k for a deposit on a house before even considering marriage. But he does offer her a trip to the Maldives – someday. Etta is not happy and, as she loads up the ‘asthmatic washing machine, in her rented house she starts to think about ways in which she could make some extra, easy money to put towards the £22k that they have already saved. She has already found her dream house near to her home at 31 Aspen Street.
But, at their anniversary meal, in an uninspiring local restaurant, Etta realises that their relationship is crumbling. She works in a dead end job and Ola is always away at conferences and seminars to build his career. As she’s alone a lot, Etta soon exhausts legitimate moneymaking avenues and is tempted by an ad for an online bingo site on her phone. Despite it being a ‘low rent and embarrassing source’, she is intrigued by the thought of being able to win extra money to help them out. So, Etta signs ups and before long she is hooked. She is excited by winning good sums of money but not so thrilled when she losses it all on other games. And fellow Cozee Bingo fans are so friendly and helpful as they advise her about other upcoming big money games and chat to her online. One soon becomes her ‘virtual best mate at the virtual party’. Ette is thrilled to become a VIP and the Cozee Bingo party is never ending. It isn’t long before Etta progresses onto the slots and is congratulating herself on being so savvy as to win over £1000.
In the meantime, real life intrudes on Etta’s gaming world. Cynthia, the elderly mother of one of her best friends, Joyce, has been threatened with deportation as part of the Windrush scandal. Etta writes a letter to the Home Office on her behalf. She volunteers at the First Welcome Project where she helps and advises people with problems like Cynthia’s.
But who sent Etta a large box of rotten flowers to her home late at night? They’re sending her a message but why?
Gambling is taking over Etta’s life more and more and like a true player she thinks that she can win it all back again. But she doesn’t, instead she ploughs it all back into more games and loses it all. Soon she has gambled away the £22k house deposit money before taking out payday loans. And then she discovers that her online pal isn’t all he seems as she begins to drink heavily and sends indiscreet messages about her situation.
When will Etta stop? Can she stop? Does she even want to stop? Too late she realises that she’s about to lose everything.
What I liked about this book is the skilful way in which the author took me into Etta’s new world of online gambling. I’ve visited arcades full of gambling machines with flashing lights and noises and could see how they lure people in. Online gambling is less visible but just as enticing. It was the way in which a lonely woman was seduced with flashily titled games and visuals and the belief that she could win all the time. Eventually, she does admit that she is an addict and that nothing else matters in her life.
I was intrigued how the subplot involving a Croatian illegal immigrant would become part of Etta’s world which she did. In a way, she was also a gambler.
However, the ending felt very abrupt, and I wondered how Etta was going to get out of the terrible mess that she had created with her addiction. It was as if the author had run out of steam which was a shame as she had so successfully combined all of the plot elements and made Etta into such a believable character. I had my suspicions about Ola early on.
The dialogue was good and also the way in which the author depicted their different backgrounds. Ola is Nigerian and Etta is half Jamaican and at times there was a culture clash between them.
Lucky is a novel with a dark theme in how Etta’s life completely unravels due to her desire to make some money for their future. It was also about how easy it is to fall into a world of bright, shiny graphics and the rabbit hole of money that you think you’ve won but was never real in the first place.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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From the cover I was expecting a completely different sort of book but Im so glad I read 'Lucky' - a real eye opener of a book which doesn't pull any punches. Etta is in her 30s, living with Ola and hoping for a proposal at any time. Life is good - but he says he needs more money before they can get married. Etta starts online gambling, sure she can handle it unlike all the others who get hooked. After a few quick wins, she becomes more hooked on it, and the inevitable losses aren't enough to make her see sense. I was reading it through gritted teeth as the story progressed, desperate for Etta to see what she was doing but aware of the depths she was going to. Mixed in with Etta's story is a sub-plot of a Bosnian woman trying to get to the UK to start a new life, her story itself is also really interesting and would be well worth reading
I would recommend Lucky to anyone ready for a contemporary drama

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Made for unsettling reading as you felt the compulsion and addiction gathering pace. This makes it a great read because you feel emotions whilst reading. The betrayals are real and painful.

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This was a great story of a woman who really pushes her luck !! A great story that was original and simply brilliant!! I highly recommend this book to my fellow book lovers !!

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Twists and turns I wasn’t expecting in a sad yet ringing true story of addiction. I ran through the book.

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Nigerian born Etta lives with her partner Ola. and she wants to get married but he insists they save enough - £30000, for a deposit on a house first. Having reached £22000 Etta has an office type job but decides to speed up the solution and takes matters in to her own hands by starting to play online bingo.

What turns out to be a simple plan, in her eyes, ends up with all sorts of problems. She becomes addicted and Ms Edwards charts this downward spiral with consummate ease.. I was hoping that Etta would use some of her winnings wisely but that is not how it works. She needs more and more money and resorts to all the various methods available including the (dreadful) payday loans. 'Lucky' she is not. Olas remained blissfully unaware for a time.

The book moves sadly to an inevitable ending (no spoilers) but Ms Edwards isn't afraid to tackle other issues like the Windrush scandal and racism.

The sub plot was not entirely convincing, but all in all an excellent book. The desperate needs of addicts is a lesson for us all.

Thanks to Net Galley and 4th Estate and William Collins for the chance to read and review.

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