Review: Beginner's Luck by Kate Clayborn


Title: Beginner's Luck (Chance of a Lifetime #1)
Author: Kate Clayborn
Date of publication: 31 Oct 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author's links:
Add to Goodreads

My rating: 5 stars


When three friends impulsively buy a lottery ticket, they never suspect the many ways their lives will change—or that for each of them, love will be the biggest win of all. 

Kit Averin is anything but a gambler. A scientist with a quiet, steady job at a university, Kit’s focus has always been maintaining the acceptable status quo. A sudden windfall doesn’t change that, with one exception: the fixer-upper she plans to buy, her first and only real home. It’s more than enough to keep her busy, until an unsettlingly handsome, charming, and determined corporate recruiter shows up in her lab—and manages to work his way into her heart . . .

Ben Tucker is surprised to find that the scientist he wants for Beaumont Materials is a young woman—and a beautiful, sharp-witted one at that. Talking her into a big-money position with his firm is harder than he expects, but he’s willing to put in the time, especially when sticking around for the summer gives him a chance to reconnect with his dad. But the longer he stays, the more questions he has about his own future—and who might be in it. 

What begins as a chilly rebuff soon heats up into an attraction neither Kit nor Ben can deny—and finding themselves lucky in love might just be priceless . . .


What a fantastic debut! It had everything I love in contemporary romance - an engaging plot with lots of real-life details and interesting complex characters finding their HEA.

There is so much I liked about this book, I feel I can talk about it for weeks. The story covered so many aspects of life without ever being superficial about them, while still not drowning the reader in details. There is a richness to the characters (both main and side ones), to the background and the plot itself has a few twists that kept me invested in the story the whole time. I was both in a hurry to find out what happened next and at the same time I wanted to read slower in order to savour all the beauty of the writing and to fully appreciate all the tiny details the text offered.

Both Kit and Ben are wonderful characters, I really can't say whom I liked more. They are complex and realistic, dealing with different heavy issues in a mature way.

Kit is a scientist, a professional, a close friend and the daughter of a father with alcohol and gambling addiction. She is pretty much self-made and works hard to make a home for herself and to feel settled and secure. I loved the dynamics of her found family with her best friends Zoe and Greer and I appreciate so much the emphasis on female friendship and the support they gave each other.

Ben, oh Ben, he was a troubled soul. On the surface he is successful, even happy with his professional and personal life, seemingly in control, but he is thrown in for a loop when his father suffers a nasty fall and he has to come back to his home town temporary to care for him. I read him as neuroatypical (ADHD?), and he had some anger management issues in his adolescence that still troubled him. I liked how we see so much of him dealing with his family, with his colleague and friend Jasper, with River, a troubled teen that they get to help them in the salvage yard, with his conflicting feelings for Kit. There are no easy solutions to his problems and fought hard to make things work for everyone.  

There is a strong caregiver aspect in the story which I found important. Both Kit and Ben do their best for their family, despite the strained family dynamics. I like the depth of with which they were explored. We see their pasts really shaping much of their present and the people we see today. 

It's a slow burn romance, tender and intense, emotionally charged, happening under unusual circumstances. I liked how their professional entanglement was handled, and really respect Ben for giving up on recruiting her when he developed personal connection with her. 

It's essentially a story of two grown-up people meeting and falling for each other despite the circumstances. We follow them as they find a way to work through the obstacles in their way, and these were some real obstacles, practical ones. There was no magical solution, but a compromise, a personal growth in both of them which allowed them to be together. In a way both came to a decision on their own and I liked that, unlike in most romances, it was her who did the grand gesture in the end. And rightly so.

We get to meet two leads falling in love and turning their lives around to start a new one together. There are unforgettable side characters, a well developed background - places and jobs, lovely details on the work in the salvage yard and Kit's job and house restoration (as a fan of all such TV shows I loved that so much). They all gave richness to the story which I greatly enjoyed. 

Powerful debut which I greatly recommend to fans of contemporary romance! Can't wait to read the next one in the series, coming in March 2018.

Purchase links: Amazon • B&N • iTunes • Books-A-Million • Google Play • Kobo

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images