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Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts
Cover Artist: Getty Images
Review by Mel Jacob
Forge Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765325433
Date: 11 May 2010 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Wanna Get Luck?, the debut novel by Deborah Coonts, features Lucky O'Toole head of Customer Relations at the Babylon megacasino in Las Vegas. Smart and mouthy, Lucky keeps customers happy and in line with plenty of care and hand holding when necessary. The novel begins with a young woman falling to her death from a helicopter into the middle of the Babylon's pirate show. The girl, an employee of the casino, either jumped or someone pushed her. Lucky knows the victim and suspects foul play. However, she must also avoid any negative publicity for the casino.

Besides the normal high rollers, she also has to deal with a porno movie convention and a group meeting of married couples who trade sex partners. Her best friend Teddie Devine, a female impersonator, has designs on Lucky. He is also a star at the Babylon and has the penthouse apartment above Lucky's. There is also a handsome hunk in Security who may not be what he says he is. Lucky smells a skunk, but has no proof.

Lucky ran away from home at the age of fifteen and lied about her age to get a job at a casino. Her mother Mona runs a brothel and helps her girls to gain an education and a life beyond prostitution. Lucky's relationship with her mother is strained.

The girl who died had once worked for her mother and had been meeting someone in secret at the brothel. Her mother refuses to say who, but tries to convince Lucky, that person couldn't have killed the girl. Lucky has to fend off the police and somehow get the TV video of the victim's fall to prevent the police from getting it.

Love is in the air when Lucky's staid assistant gets the hots for an Australian private investigator. Lucky also has to struggle against an attraction to the new man in security and her feelings for Teddie. She fears a love relationship would ruin a beautiful friendship. Meanwhile, staff finds a naked fat man in a stairwell and Lucky learns a blackmailer is bothering guests.

Astute readers will anticipate information that stuns Lucky. The major failing of the novel arises because nothing bad ever happens to Lucky. She breezes through every situation and solves the crimes with little help from others. The relationship with her mother is well developed, as is her loyalty to her boss and to her staff. Overall, a pleasant read.

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