A group of three close-knit friends buy a lottery ticket together one night and end up winning a considerable amount of money. Not enough to never have to worry about money again, but certainly enough that they can fulfill some life-long dreams and still live comfortably afterwards.
Beginner’s Luck – 3.5 stars
Ekaterina “Kit” Averin is if possible the least risk-averse person there is. She’s very happy working as a research assistant at a university, co-writing the occasional article and generally happily hiding her technical brilliance in order not to attract undue notice. She doesn’t want fame, she wants stability. When she and her friends win the lottery, she buys herself a house, her first proper home. The house needs a lot of work, which she can thankfully also afford. She isn’t expecting the person to help her out the most is also the person who’s trying to tempt her away from her safe, comfortable university job.
Ben Tucker is back in his hometown because his father had a bad accident on his salvage yard and needs some help until he recovers from the injuries. Rather than take over the family business, Ben has moved out of state and works as tech industry recruiters for Beaumont Materials. He agrees to try to smooth-talk one K. Averin into joining his company but is surprised to discover that the brilliant tech mind is a beautiful woman, and one who is completely unimpressed with Ben’s tempting offers and handsome face. Ben’s bosses really want Kit recruited, however, and keep badgering him to persuade her. Initially, he’s determined to succeed, but as he gets to know her, since she’s a frequent visitor to his father’s salvage yard, trying to find pieces to help her refurbish her house, he realises that he may be willing to sacrifice his own career dreams rather than persuade Kit into a job she’s not interested in.
Luck of the Draw – 4 stars
When she unexpectedly won the lottery along with her two best friends, cutthroat corporate attorney Zoe Ferris quits her job, having long been uncomfortable with the sort of things she has to spend her days doing. Of the three women, Zoe is by far the one most comfortable financially, and despite her grand promises to herself about travelling the world or making a distance, Zoe doesn’t really do a lot once she quits her job. Eventually, she realises that the only way she’s ever going to feel better about herself is if she makes amends for a lot of the bad behaviour she exibited in her past life as a high-powered lawyer. She makes a “guilt jar” with the names of everyone she feels she’s wronged in some way, and determines to try to apologise and make peace with each and every person whose name is on the little slips of paper, from her harried former personal assistant, to the barista she frequently yelled at and so forth.
The slip of paper she draws out first is that of the O’Leary family, however. A family Zoe dreads facing because of the horrible way her company handled the case of their son’s wrongful death. She remembers both the wife and husband crying at the negotiation table. She goes to see them, only to discover that they’ve moved to Florida, and their remaining son, Aiden O’Leary is living in their house. He’s not interested in her apology, but since she’s so hell-bent on doing anything to gain some measure of forgiveness, he asks her to pose as his fake fiancee over the next couple of months instead. Aidan wants to buy the campground he and his brother used to spend their summers at and turn it into a rehab retreat in his dead brother’s memory. Yet the couple who still own and run it are very conservative and all the other potential purchasers are married couples with solid families. As a single man, Aidan’s certain he won’t stand a chance. So he gets Zoe to agree to help him. Of course, he wasn’t expecting to fall for the beautiful, intelligent woman who he was determined never to forgive.
Best of Luck – 3.5 stars
When Greer Hawthorne wins the lottery with her two best friends, not only does she get the opportunity to pay off a lot of her family’s debts, but she can finally complete her college education. With her dream job secured after she graduates, Greer is devastated to realise that because she’s missing one arts credit, she may not be allowed to complete her education after all. Her only chance is a photo course offered by one of the department chairs, or she won’t be graduating.
Alexander “Alex” Averin was only really planning on staying in town a couple of days for his sister’s wedding, but when he has a panic attack during the rehearsal dinner and Greer helps him work through it, suggesting he see a therapist she can recommend, he decides to stick around for a little while. When it also turns out that to get into the photography class that can give her that coveted arts credit needed to graduate, Greer may need some help from a world-famous photojournalist, there’s all the more reason for him not to go away on new adventures. He’s very much trying not to notice how attractive his sister’s best friend is, but the more time they spend together, the more difficult it gets.
Full review of the trilogy can be found here.