Title: Lucky Penny
Author: L.A. Cotton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 30, 2015
I was his lucky Penny. He was my light in the dark, hope in despair. Our bond was one of survival, friendship... first love.
But then we were ripped apart and Blake Weston became the memory I turned to when everything else in my life fell apart.
Seven years later, a summer working at Camp Chance is supposed to be my fresh start. Beautiful scenery and the chance to better the lives of foster children--kids like me. But when my eyes land on him across the fire, time stands still and feelings come rushing back to the surface. I thought I'd moved on, tucked him away in my heart. One look into his soulful blue eyes and I know I'm wrong. Blake Weston can heal the broken parts of me. Restore my hope. Love me.
It's our second chance. A sign we are supposed to be together.
I was twelve when I survived the accident that killed my parents. Fourteen when I survived the devil. And sixteen, when I survived a heartbreak of the worst kind.
But in my twenty-three years, Blake Weston might just be the first thing I won't survive.
Marissa didn’t follow me. It was most likely she had pieced together our story after Blake’s song. How could she not? It was as if he had weaved our entire relationship into his lyrics. I could feel his sixteen-year-old self singing every line to my sixteen-year-old self. Although, I was pretty certain the sixteen-year-old Blake I’d known then had no clue how to play the guitar.
After washing the tearstains from my face, I brushed my teeth. It was still early, but I couldn’t face going back out there, so I changed into my shorts and tank top and climbed into bed. Sleep would be impossible, but at least here, I was safe.
Most people felt lonely in solitude, but I welcomed the silence. I embraced it even. Something about the quiet, the knowledge no one else was around, comforted me. I knew it made me different. I didn’t need a shrink to tell me that, but it didn’t change the fact that I found sanctuary in being alone.
I lay there not really allowing myself to think. Thinking was dangerous; it led to remembering, and my memories were stained with pain and hurt and the kinds of things that made most people’s nightmares look like a walk in the park. Instead, I tracked the uneven cabin ceiling. My eyes followed the planes of the wood from one end to the other and back again until they grew heavy.
A knock on the door startled me sending my already restless heart into overdrive and I rubbed at my eyes.
“Hello?” I called out hoping to hear Marissa’s voice, but I knew it wasn’t her. She wouldn’t have knocked; she would have barged right in and demanded answers.
“Penny, it’s me.”
I squeezed my eyes shut, but my mind betrayed me as an image of Blake’s face filled my head.
Forcing myself to sit up, I swung my legs over the edge of the bed. He wasn’t going away. Blake—our connection—was something I was going to have to deal with sooner or later, and from Blake’s admissions over the last few days, it seemed that he was making the decision for me.
My legs were like lead as I walked to the door. It swung open and Blake stood there looking at me with such reverence in his eyes I almost crumpled. Maybe I did crumple because, before my head had time to process what was happening, I was in Blake’s arms, and he was holding on to me like he needed me to breathe.
“I’ve missed you so much. I’ve tried to stay away, to give you space, but I can’t. I can’t spend another day feeling like you might slip through my fingers again.”
One of Blake’s hands buried itself in my hair and cradled my head holding me to him. My face pressed up against the collar of his hoodie, and I breathed him in. He smelled familiar, like damp grass and fresh air, of a time when things were less complicated, and my heart ached for us. At that moment, we weren’t two strangers reunited by chance; we were sixteen-year-old Blake and Penny.
And we needed each other to survive.
I’ve been struggling since I finished this to come up with just the right collection of words to explain just how much this book touched me and I seem to fall short every single time. But for the sake of getting it out there, I’m going to sit here now and try to explain as best I can.
I honestly didn’t think that the author would be able to gut me quite the way she did with the Chastity Falls series. Anyone who has read my previous reviews for that series knows how deeply affected I was by Ana and Jackson’s story, but with Lucky Penny, she definitely did it again.
This book for a good portion of it made my heart hurt so damn badly that I had to put it down. What Penny, Blake and all of the others that had been cycled through that foster home had to endure for the years they were there was wrong and I don’t think I’ve hated characters more than I did the “parents” that did this to them. And yes I use that term loosely.
What hurt my heart more was the reason they were separated at all. Why it had taken all of those years for the two of them to cross paths again and the agony that took place before they could finally be together the way I’m sure the fates destined them to be from the start.
The internal and external circumstances for their years of separation and then again the separation that takes place in the here and now, hit me right in the feels and brought tears to my eyes and upset to my stomach. From the moment they see each other again at the camp that they’re both working at, I was hooked into their happy ending and even though things got rough before they got better, it never faltered.
Penny wasn’t just Blake’s forever, she was also someone I could easily see as my friend and one that I wanted to reach out and hug and keep close to me on more than one occasion. Blake, the man he grew into, well I wanted to do the same with him at times but to a lesser degree. His heart was so pure. He was such a good kid that even though he found himself in an impossible situation when he got older, he kept that same air about him and had grown into an incredible man. One that makes mistakes like the rest of us, but that never falters in what he knows to be true.
That she is his Lucky Penny.
Both together and separate I wanted these two to be happy, that’s how deeply the author brings you into their worlds. You can’t help but root for them and root hard I did.
I hated anything that got in the way of that. His uncle Anthony more than all of the others combined. One time being so pissed with the lengths he took to keep them apart that I wanted to throw my kindle at the wall (thanks for that author lady lol).
When these two finally do give in to what the both of them have always known, when they really allow themselves to feel and move on from the torment of their childhood, it’s amazing. Certain instances even swoon worthy.
This was more than just a second chance romance story. It was more than just seeing two people broken by a system that let them down becoming whole again. It was two seemingly broken people, meeting in the most unlikely place and altering each other’s lives so incredibly that their world wasn’t going to be right until they were together again. Putting each other back together, healing the broken bits in the process.
It was life, love, healing and growth at its finest and a story that I am so incredibly glad that I took the chance on as much like the authors previous work, I do believe it’s going to stick with me long after I’ve turned the last page.
My thanks to the author and all others involved in letting me read this before release. It was a pleasure and Blake and Penny’s journey to happily ever after is one that I am so thankful that I took.
Contemporary romance and romantic suspense
… written with feeling
L.A is author of the Fate’s Love Series and Chastity Falls Series. Home is a small town in the middle of England where she currently juggles being a full-time mum to two little people with writing. In her spare time (and when she’s not camped out in front of the laptop) you’ll most likely find L. A immersed in a book, escaping the chaos that is life.