I am SOOOO EXCITED that Seven Years of Bad Luck by J.L. Mac will be re releasing this spring! I absolutely love the new cover. This is definitely a MUST have on your TBR!
When twenty-six year old Kathleen Cooper realizes that she forfeited her dreams and aspirations of becoming a lawyer after a brash decision to run off and marry the insanely charming Aidan Cooper, she decides to regain what she lost over the course of their seven-year relationship and start fresh.
With a renewed sense of hope and determination, she moves to a different city, lands a new job, and meets the handsome Benjamin Chase in a serendipitous way.
But even with all of these changes and hopes of gaining a new life, Kathleen is still not happy with the person she sees in the mirror staring back at her. She is an insomniac. She generally has bad luck in just about everything she attempts. She’s clumsy, and even if Prince Charming fell into her lap, she would likely push him in the opposite direction, for fear of getting hurt or worse, hurting someone else. This time she can’t blame any of these things on her bad luck or her destructive marriage. This time, it’s not her heart that’s in danger. This time, she has much more to lose and everything to gain.
Will she realize her mistakes in time to repair the damage? Will she be able to reverse her shattered self-image and discover true happiness? Will she ever find her way back to the person she was before seven years of bad luck?
Favorite coffee cups
I sat up in my bed and glanced over at the too bright, green numbers on the cable box to check the time. I was two hours behind my best friend and it was late on a Sunday night but I had the sudden urge to call her. As cliché as it sounded, Cheyenne Reed was my best friend and she would be the only one who could possibly understand the mess I was in. Mess was an understatement. My situation felt more like a catastrophe that had lasted a lifetime. She was in Florida, and according to the time it was two am for her. I knew she was sleeping, but I grabbed my cell phone anyway. Quickly scrolling through my recent calls, I swiped her name with my thumb and waited for the phone to connect while preparing for the unpleasant chat that awaited me. On the third ring she answered in her – not-so-happy, half-awake voice.
“HELLO?” She nearly barked at me. I wondered if she had even checked the ID on her phone to see who was calling so late.
“Hey Chey, it’s me,” I said calmly.
“Ugh, what time is it? Why are you waking me up in the middle of the freakin’ night Kat? What the hell?” Cheyenne was less than pleased with being woken up in the middle of the night, or at any time for that matter. She was infectiously bubbly, giddy even, but if you woke her from sleep, watch out! I, however, was immune to her wake up attitude. I was completely unaffected which was great for me and, incidentally, our friendship. Most people would probably offer up a few choice words at the sight of her unprovoked laser eyes every morning, but I didn’t mind. If being a grump in the morning was my very best friend’s only downfall, then I was more than grateful.
“Sorry, sorry. I know it’s late. Well, early. Whatever. Anyway, I have to tell you something important.” I stuttered out words like a dodgy car moments away from stalling due to lack of fuel.
“What’s so important that you had to wake me up instead up just texting me or something in the morning?” She didn’t sound very impressed with me so far.
“I moved his coffee cup.” I said the words almost like they were part of some grand conspiracy and had to be spoken in a hushed voice.
“What?” Now she sounded really irritated with a side of confused. I pressed on.
“Then it fell and shattered.” Cheyenne huffed into the phone making her displeasure with my late night call all the more evident.
“Kat, are you drunk?” I made my best effort to explain myself.
“Yesterday morning, when I went to get a cup for coffee, I opened the cabinet and shuffled some cups around looking for my favorite cup and well, I didn’t realize what I had done until after I had done it, but I grabbed his favorite coffee cup and shoved it up to the top shelf! Anyway, I came back later and when I opened the stupid cabinet his favorite cup fell off the shelf and shattered on the floor.” I knew Cheyenne well enough that I could nearly hear her sit up in bed to take in the meaning of what I was trying to say in an inarticulate manner.
“Oh?” She sounded like she was testing my statement with a questioning “oh”, but it wasn’t really a question.
“Yeah,” I said matter-of-factly. This gesture of putting my husband’s favorite coffee cup out of sight since he too was often out of sight would seem ordinary to most people but the fact is, to me it was one giant symbolic representation of the storm brewing within me for the past seven years. The cup breaking all over the floor, sending skittering pieces of glass all about only further confirmed what I felt. Cheyenne recognized the coffee cup incident for what it really was, immediately just as I did. She let out a long sigh, now fully awake and no longer sending beautiful ice blue laser eyes long distance my direction. She asked another question that wasn’t really a question but more a statement.
“So you’re done then?”
“Yeah, I’m done.” Without missing a beat my closest, friend told me she would make arrangements to take a couple days off to fly out and spend a long weekend with me. Cheyenne’s career choice had just about one perk and that was that she determined her own schedule. Other than that, she hated being a masseuse. It was a bit of a fall back career. She needed the work once her jerk of an ex, Matt, asked for a divorce out of the clear blue. She was qualified and she was a great masseuse but she always had bigger plans that had yet to come to fruition. She had a ridiculous clientele base, mostly male, and mostly wealthy. Although, her drop dead beautiful looks greatly influenced that, I was sure.
A few days after I told Cheyenne about the coffee cup incident, I was in my car and on my way to pick her up from the airport. It was a Thursday afternoon in mid fall in El Paso, Texas when I bubbled with excitement and nerves at the sight of the airport parking lot. I parked my little Honda that I loved so much, smacked my lips in the mirror after applying a little lip gloss, then strode across the parking lot as fast as my legs would carry me. I was wearing my favorite jeans which were pool water blue and had this great vintage look to them like they had been worn at least a million times and washed just as much. They also had these really great holes across the knees I had put there on purpose. They now had character with loose light blue threads hanging down from the fair sized holes that exposed each knee cap hidden below the mess of torn, loose thread. Before they just looked like jeans that had gone through the wringer. With the tattered knees and especially with me wearing them, those jeans more than looked the part. Every time I slipped them on I could not help but entertain the thought that they were very symbolic of my life in general. A tangled mess of worn, damaged threads nested around a hole that barely concealed the flesh and bone peeking out from beneath. I chose my favorite brown leather boots and a simple white, knit, fitted top that didn’t over expose my figure.
I had been lucky enough when drawing from the gene pool to inherit full breasts, curvy hips, athletic legs, a fair backside, auburn hair, emerald green eyes, and plump lips. As an adult I felt blessed for having the features and form that I did despite the torment I endured as an over developed young girl.
After making it through the front entrance of the airport, I made it to Cheyenne’s gate just in time to see her face bounce up and down behind a few people blocking her path.
My best friend was not blessed in the height department. She stood a mere 5’1” but I would give her credit, she knew how to work every inch of that 5 feet. She beamed her super white, toothpaste commercial smile at me while wiggling past the hoard of other passengers.
Cheyenne really was gorgeous. Together, we always commanded the attention of others in a room and it often created more trouble than we desired. We talked a little too loud, laughed too hard, and always had a great time together. She, too, lucked out in the gene department. Other than being rather short she was undeniably a knockout. She had natural platinum blonde baby soft straight long hair, flawless alabaster skin, the most crystal blue eyes I had ever seen, a superior smile that could reduce any dentist to tears of joy, an equally curvy body like mine and she worked hard to keep her muscles toned. Many women either secretly envied her or just didn’t care to hide it and outwardly spewed their bullshit in her direction which we both got a kick out of. We found it shallow but incredibly entertaining to see grown women act like teenagers. By my own definition, a grown ass teenager is an adult who is stuck in a perpetual state of adolescent behavior. These types of woman are almost always shallow, close minded and green with envy of anyone who is better than them in anyway. We had actually become quite skilled at laughing off the verbal assaults and evil eyes that would get sent our direction. These women intended their insults to be hurtful and demeaning and I imagined they would ooze pleasure from every pore at the sight of a few tears or even one of us bolting for the door. However, when we burst into uncontrollable laughter they really saw red. We had been called every name in the book and have even been accused of some pretty terrific things. We always laugh it off knowing that they are just words and both of us have had our fair share of real hurt and real tears and any of that crap didn’t even merit a watery eye or a second thought.
After hugging, jumping up and down and talking in sentence fragments over each other, we made our way to my car and headed straight for drinks. Sitting down at the bar I knew what was coming because she got that look on her face that told me she was thinking about something.
“Ok, what? Just come out and say what you want to say,” I said, dreading the conversation. The bartender took an awkward three seconds too long stare at the both of us and we both smiled politely thanking him for our drinks but mentally dismissing him from our conversation at the same time.
Cheyenne drew in a short breath and huffed it right back out. Her elbow was propped on the bar and she rested her chin in her upturned palm. If her goal was to look annoyed and exasperated she had accomplished it.
“Okay fine. Where is Aidan?” She asked flatly.
“Um, he has business in California.” I replied with the same tone, and there we were like two tennis players serving up bullshit by the mouthful. I stirred my drink with the tiny red straw and kept my eyes askew.
“Have you spoken to him about…you know…the whole coffee cup thing?”
“No. I didn’t really plan on explaining that one. He’ll think I’m nuts and give me that crazy stare which just makes me want to kick him in the balls and run.” I followed up my statement with a shrug and a slight smile. She gave me the same crazy stare for talking about the crazy stare which made both of us erupt into a huge fit of laughter that caught the attention of everyone else at the bar and won us a few dirty looks from the “grown ass teenagers”. After we wiped away our tears from laughing and caught our breath we continued our conversation and cocktails.
“Seriously, Kat, what is the plan? What is going on? Spill it.” I knew those were commands disguised as questions from an irritated Cheyenne.
“Well, it’s just… I don’t know.” My shoulders slumped in defeat. I gestured at the bartender for another round and then clasped my hands together hoping that holding my own hands so tight could help me hold onto my sanity a bit longer. Cheyenne squared her shoulders to face me and crossed her arms over her chest.
“Okay, start talking. What the hell has been going on between you two? Did he screw up again? Because I swear Kat, if he did I will kill him myself!”
I laughed at her idle threat. Mostly because Cheyenne was so pretty and petite it was hilarious to see her super pissed. A visual image slid sideways through my brain of Cheyenne going head to head with my husband in a physical altercation. Although she could be quite feisty when she needed to be there would be no contest unless there was a gun, flame thrower, or explosives involved. My husband, Aiden, towered above both of us at 6’4”. He was exceptionally tall and lean with a chiseled body of defined muscle. He boasts an all American boy smile which he gladly shared with anyone who looked. He was and probably always will be a diehard flirt. Aidan has beautiful blue gray eyes and ash brown hair that he kept rather short on the sides but longer on top and he always styled it to look sloppy. With his hair going in no specific direction it gave him that distinctive look that he either just walked out of the shower or the bedroom. Either scenario was fine by me and plenty of women who laid eyes on him.
Cheyenne rolled her eyes and clicked her tongue. “What has he done this time to make you move his favorite coffee cup, which caused me to fly across the country to be with you? Also, what is the likelihood of me going to jail for assault?” I nodded and gave her an endearing smile knowing full well that she was serious about the jail part.
“Well, it’s just that with everything that he’s done in the past seven years it just feels like I am at the end of my rope.” I furrowed my brows thinking aloud about the disaster that had been my marriage. “He has betrayed my trust so many times it just feels like irreparable damage now. He has done enough to take down three or four marriages. Honestly I’m not sure how we made it this long. He is just so damned charming he knows what buttons to press to reel me back in every time. My missing back bone certainly doesn’t help.” I audibly scoffed at myself and it came out sounding more like a mix between a disapproving sound and a gag. I actually felt repulsed with who I had become and how much time I wasted at Aidan’s side. I took another long sip of my cocktail and absent mindedly spun a napkin around on the bar.
“Well, has he had another affair?”
“Not that I know of but I haven’t been digging. I’m just too tired to deal with it Chey. I’m not going to snoop around like some private detective all my life.” I shrugged and glanced at Cheyenne. She looked at me with sympathetic blue eyes and I instantly felt the sting of looming tears. The lump in my throat grew exponentially and it was hard to discern if it was the alcohol or my circumstances that were making me so emotional. A couple of fat tears rolled down my cheek.
“I don’t even know how I got to this point. I’m such an idiot.” My voice was weak and quiet. I shook my head slowly from side to side as I looked down. The weight of the shame and embarrassment I felt was crushing.
“Hey. Don’t do that to yourself.” She reached over and placed her hand on my shoulder as she kept talking.
“You loved him and you got lost somewhere along the way. That doesn’t make you an idiot. It makes you human.”
“No, but tossing myself and all my dreams into the trash and staying with him for so long definitely makes me an idiot, Chey.” She didn’t respond to my self-depreciating dialogue.
“Kat, I only want you to be happy. Is this what you want? Because divorce is ugly and painful, and it’s going to leave a nasty scar. Are you ready to walk away?”
I knew I had two options. I could either stay with my husband and just cope with having to share him with God only knows how many women and possibly never get myself together, or gather what was left of my dignity and walk away from seven years of nothing but bad luck with a little hope. I knew what I had to do. After the coffee cup incident I found myself doing a body check similar to what a person does when they are in some type of accident. Except, my check was more of an emotional inventory.
Heart? Broken. Brilliant!
Ego? Seriously wounded. Great!
Self-confidence? What’s that? Oh joy!
Dignity? Little to none. Excellent!
Self-worth? No habla ingles! Ah shit!
I escaped that thought and I turned in my seat to square my shoulders with Cheyenne’s and I tossed back some words she once spoke to me.
“I have to leave him. What choice do I have?”
Flirty and Dirty Book Blog’s Review of Seven Years Of Bad Luck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of J.L. Mac’s debut novel Seven Years of Bad Luck. I could not put this novel down nor could I stop thinking about it! I was sneaking around reading it every chance I got! I was sad to finished reading this fabulous novel. Congrats J.L. Mac on creating such a captivating story your first time out 🙂
Seven Years of Bad Luck is Kathleen (Kat) Cooper’s story. Kathleen has been lost for so many years she’s not even sure who she is anymore. Something in her finally awakens and she desperately wants to find the woman that she once was! Will the emotional scars she has ever heal or will they hold her back from finding happiness. Kat and her best friend Cheyenne decide to start a new life together and so the journey begins. I found J.L. Mac to be a very descriptive writer, so much so that she had my heart aching while I was getting acquainted with Kathleen, I was moved to the point tears (no UGLY tears were spilled folks!!).
Ms. Mac has created some absolutely fabulous characters. I found Kathleen to be very lovable, I felt connected to her right from the beginning. I wanted to see her find what she was looking for, I wanted her to find happiness… she deserves some happiness! Kat’s best friend Cheyenne also deserves to find some happiness. Cheyenne is the kind of best friend who has always got your back but won’t hesitate to call you out on your crap! Aidan, what can I say about Aidan except he is a gigantic ass, an ass that you will love to hate and boy did I hate him! Then there’s Tucker, I felt robbed that we only got a teaser of who Tucker is…ladies here is your HOT tatted up shmexy man! Finally there is Ben ~wipes drool from chin~ Ben is charming and successful, he won’t take no for an answer, he will go to great lengths to get what he wants. I just can’t bring myself to tell you anymore about Ben without dropping spoilers but what I will say is that Ben has made it to my Top Ten Book Boyfriend list! I dare you not to fall for this AMAZINGLY SEXY man!
For me, Seven Years Of Bad Luck was a brilliant read that took me on an amazing journey. I fell in love, had my heart-broken and had fun with a best friend… what more could you ask for right?!? I laughed and I cried, my heart ached to the point that I shed tears but thankfully, I was not left with a book hangover! My pulse raced at the incredibly HOT sexy scenes, and my heart skipped a few beats when Ms. Mac threw in an unexpected twist but, through it all my heart was filled with love! Looking for a sexy hot fabulous love story… Look no further, you will not want to miss out on Seven Years Of Bad Luck by J.L. Mac. Nic
J.L. Mac currently resides in El Paso, Texas, where she enjoys living near her parents and siblings. She was born and raised in Galveston, Texas, until she married her husband in July of 2005. She has two young children and is married to a soldier in the United States Army. J.L. and her family have lived all over the United States and have enjoyed each new experience in each new place. J.L. admittedly has had a long and sordid love affair with the written word and has loved every minute of it. She drinks too many glasses of wine on occasion, smokes fake cigarettes, and says way too many swear words to be considered “lady-like.” J.L. spends her free time reading, writing, and playing with her children.