by Amy E. Reichert
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
From the author of the “clever, creative, and sweetly delicious” (Kirkus Reviews) The Coincidence of Coconut Cake comes a novel about a frustrated wife and mother who hatches a scheme to reignite her marriage—and risks everything in a gamble she hopes is a sure bet. When Milwaukee-area wife and mother MJ Boudreaux notices her husband Chris seems more interested in the casino than her, she’s more bothered that she isn’t upset than by her husband’s absence. She picks up poker as a way for them to spend more time together—and reignite their marital flame. Although the game doesn’t give her the quality time with Chris that she’d hoped, MJ finds she has a knack for it. Increasingly unhappy at home, she turns to the felt top of the poker table for comfort. Intoxicated with newfound freedom, MJ begins spending more time at the gambling tables and less with her family, finally carving out for herself a place outside her role of wife and mother. After a string of great wins, MJ finds herself in Vegas, attracting the attention of a certain magnetic poker star. But when she’s forced to choose between her family and her new exciting lifestyle, the stakes may be higher than she thought and MJ will have to play her hand carefully…or risk losing it all.
Luck, Love & Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert is a standalone novel that takes us into the difficulties of married life, jealousy, friendship and love. Luck, Love & Lemon Pie realistic look at the complexities of marriage Reichert quickly pulled me into MJ’s story and had me laughing, nodding and losing myself for a few hours.
I adored the quirky romance Reichert delivered in The Coincidence of Coconut Cake so I was eager to begin Luck, Love & Lemon Pie. Set in Milwaukee and we enter the Boudreaux home. Chris and MJ have settled into a routine and are busy raising two teenage children. When, Chris is late for their anniversary lunch it sets in motion doubts about their relationship. MJ attempts to rekindle their connection but miscommunications, trouble from an old nemesis, and plans backfires MJ is unsure where she stands.
All marriages go through phases and having been married for close to 29 years I can attest to this. Sometimes we are like new lovers, other times like roommates who bask in holding hands and watching a movie. We both have our own interests and things we enjoy together, but sometimes life gets hectic and we forget to make time for us as a couple. This is where MJ and Chris find themselves.
Chris enjoys playing poker, and MJ decides to learn so they can spend time together. With things going south at home, MJ loses herself in the game. She discovers a renewed confidence in herself and a sense of accomplishment as she begins winning. She pushes herself and enters a competition. While she is becoming more confident in herself, it also leaves her craving what she and Chris once shared. I felt for MJ, but was frustrated by their lack of communication. Even Chris had me shaking my fist for being closed lipped. So much could have been resolved if we just locked them in a closet for a few hours. Bwahaha!
I found the threads on the game of poker interesting from finding tells to strategies. Reichert shared just enough to get us into the game and understand its allure. She offered insight about what draws folks to the felt and it fit MJ perfectly. I do wish Chris was a little more fleshed out, particularly with his poker habits and secretiveness.
Reichert touched on many topics from jealous to the pressure and insecurities a stay at mom faces. While I did not always agree with the actions MJ took the author did a great job of making me understand her. Admittedly I worried we might cross the line when a certain sexy poker player entered the picture and we did indeed teeter that line, but his attentions helped MJ focus on what really mattered. Funny, sexy, and outrageous he boosted MJ’s confidence.
The back of the book contains a recipe for Anniversary Pie and questions for Book Club. I for one cannot wait to bake the pie!
Luck, Love & Lemon Pie wrapped up with character growth and tender moments that made me smile. Reichert delivered another heartfelt novel with realistic characters who drew me in and allowed the outside world to slip away.
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