As Lucky Penny by Ellie Ashe opens, it has now been a year since Miranda was acquitted of embezzlement and she still can’t get a full-time job or get hired in the financial sector. So the lawyer for whom she has been doing financial research recommends her to Dotty, a forensic accountant, who takes Miranda with her to Lake Tahoe to serve a long-time client, Max Emmerson, who has just returned to managing his high-end hotel, The Whispering Pines, after being on sick leave for 18 months. But Max suspects his son of mismanaging the hotel. With their effort to purchase back the Lucky Penny Casino, which their family historically owned, they need clean books for the sellers and particularly the Gaming Commission to review and approve. Thus Miranda and Dotty arrive at the Whispering Pines to go through all the books and end up in an adventure.
Upon going to the Whispering Pines, Miranda discovers that Max’s son has arranged for a movie to be filmed at the hotel, and Miranda finds herself being surrounded by actors and all their crew. In addition, she runs into Quinn, a client of her lawyer, who earlier served two years in prison on a drug trafficking charge when he took the rap for bringing drugs into the country from Mexico, a crime actually committed by his then-movie star girlfriend. Since Quinn once worked in the movie industry with stunt horses, he gets recognized by members of the crew who take for granted that Miranda is his girlfriend. So Miranda gets invited to a party, where they have a sophisticated gambling set up. Miranda mentions the party to Tess and Max, who are disturbed because gambling is illegal without a special license, and the Whispering Pines could get in trouble for allowing it on their property. Thus, Tess suggests that Miranda call in her friend at the FBI, Jake Barnes, a man she has been crazy about and has tried to start things with since the first book. However, something always gets in the way, including Miranda’s awareness that Jake’s colleagues and especially his partner disapprove of his dating her, a former criminal defendant, despite her being found not guilty.
The presence of the FBI creates drama at the Whispering Pines, especially since Jake has to go undercover as a honeymooner with his partner, the one jealous of Miranda. Things heat up and get exciting. When I read the first book by this author, I thought there was too much gunplay and that the book spent too much time with their having to run away from their enemies. But this book created a good balance of drama and mystery. It really kept me occupied. The characters were very lively and unique. I really appreciate the way they seemed so real and showed depth.
Teri Schnaubelt performs the audio narration of this book. I really liked the energy she gives to her reading and the way she brings her characters to life. She did a great job creating good voices and gave a strong delivery.
I enjoyed Lucky Penny. It had a great pace and kept me highly entertained. In fact, I couldn’t put the book down! I give this book five stars!
DISCLAIMER: I got this book free from the author. But that in no way has affected the quality of my review!
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