Stroke of Luck by Trixie Stilletto

Stroke of Luck by Trixie Stilletto
 Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (76 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Hydrangea

Annalisa Webb is a photographer, determined to get the very best possible shots of the Olympic sculling team and make her boss proud. But she doesn’t bank on her clumsiness landing her in an Olympic sportsman’s lap—literally.

Ex-Army Ranger Robert Buchanan is going for the gold—not for himself, but for his wounded comrades and those who’re still putting their lives on the line every day overseas. When curvaceous, quirky Annalisa loses her footing and nearly drowns them both, he wants her immediately.

But Robert knows that losing his heart might mean losing his medal. He has to prioritize success over sex. The only problem is that if he loses Annalisa, he doesn’t know whether he can count himself a winner at all.

This girl has her guardian angel working overtime. Annalisa is a professional photographer, and is covering the pre-Olympic races of the sculling team. I didn’t know going in what sculling was, but from the book I learned that it’s about rowing. Annalisa starts to take pictures and is caught off guard when she sets her eyes on Robert.

Robert is a wounded soldier and started rowing as a way to regain physical strength. I liked that his fellow soldiers were super supportive of him. So much so that they he decided to go for a gold medal. The gold medal is all he can think about. Nothing else matters to him until he ends up in the water because of a clumsy Annalisa. Her clumsiness tends to get her into trouble but I found it charming because she handles it with such grace.

Once they are both in the water, the attraction to each other is magnetic. The author did a beautiful job setting up their fast paced relationship. This means they don’t stay merely “new acquaintances” for long, but this is a short story so it needed to move at a quicker pace than it might in a novel length book. The tension builds around a trope that is typical to new relationships but it’s the way Robert goes about resolving the issue that made for a fantastic read. He’s very clever and inspired.

The book kept me engrossed and reading because I kept asking myself questions that had to be answered. Will Robert realize that his heart is involved more than simple lust? Will Annalisa see the truth of the situation before it’s too late?

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