I would honestly hesitate to call this book a romance novel. It was more like a classic “whodunit” mystery with a second chance romance subplot. I like mysteries and some thrillers. But when I pick up a romantic suspense novel, I always expect the romance to come before the suspense, or at least be intertwined in an exciting way. STROKE OF LUCK’s plot revolves around a group of employees going to a remote ranch for a retreat. While there, company mysteries start surfacing and the group realizes there is a murderer in their mix. Also, Poppy, a caterer, is filling in as a cook at at the ranch, which happens to be owned by her old crush.
Part of the reason I had a hard time connecting with the storyline was the lack of correlation between Poppy and Will and the mystery/murder plot. The employees had their own dramas between them and Poppy and Will were on the peripheries thinking about each other at weird times. The two stars were the murder plot, which is the only thing that kept me from DNFing this book. I wanted to know what crazy things were happening with the company employees.
Besides being annoyed about the lack of romance, to be honest, I wasn’t too impressed with what little romance there was. Poppy is holding a 20+ YEAR grudge. Yes. A supposedly mature woman in her thirties is still mad about a crush she had when was 12 and the hero was 15. Please, spare me. I am going to need something more than that to rationalize why a woman would risk her burgeoning catering company for revenge.
The reasons behind the romantic plot were absurd and the actual romance was ridiculous. Poppy thinks about “seducing” Will with her supposed cooking magic all the time, and it got weird. It seemed like Poppy was using her cooking to make up for a lack of personality, and I was not impressed.
Overall, this book had a strong mystery plot which didn’t make up for a shoddy romance.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
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