Lucky Charm

Lucky Charm

by Carly Phillips


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Derek Corwin is well aware of the family curse – every Corwin male who married for love would be destined to lose his woman and his fortune. He decides to outsmart the prophesy that has plagued his family for generations by breaking up with his first love-and marrying someone else. Now, divorced and broke, all he has left is his teenage daughter, a boatload of regret … and wariness when it comes to love.

Until Gabrielle Donovan returns, determined to rekindle their passion. Will her stubborn streak and her unwavering love be the lucky charm Derek so desperately needs?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942288350
Publisher: CP Publishing LLC
Publication date: 06/05/2017
Series: Lucky Series , #1
Pages: 414
Sales rank: 888,743
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Carly Phillips is the pen name of writer Karen Drogin. She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of over thirty contemporary romance novels and has won a number of awards, including the Dorothy Parker Award for Excellence and the Virginia Writers of America's Holt Medallion. She lives in Purchase, New York.

Read an Excerpt

The small town of Stewart, Massachusetts not so proudly boasted two claims to fame. Its proximity to Salem and the Corwin Curse.

Derek Corwin was well acquainted with that damned curse, as his family had come to refer to the albatross one of their ancestors had saddled them with. All because William Corwin couldn't keep it in his pants, what should have just been a scandal had turned into a centuries-long damnation.

So said town lore. So said history.

Every male Corwin since had suffered its wrath. Derek included.

A man with half a brain wouldn't return to the scene of the curse, but Derek had figured when the chips were down-or in his case, the Dow Jones- he might as well head home. That had been six months ago.

"Dad!" His eleven-year-old daughter's yell reminded him of why it was a good thing he'd come back.

After two long years of keeping his child from him, Derek's ex-wife had just remarried and decided she wanted a summer alone in Paris with her new husband. She'd sent his daughter, Holly, to live with him here in Stewart, in the renovated barn directly behind the house that had been in Derek's family for generations. All the girl had were males to guide her through this long, hot summer. Poor kid.

But Derek was happy to have her back, to get a second chance at being a father who was there instead of one focused on his career. He wanted to get to know his daughter. Unfortunately he didn't have a clue how to deal with her moods or her girlish tastes.

"What's wrong?" he asked, pausing at the landing of the stairs that led to the loft, which held two small bedrooms, his and hers.

After two years of living alone in an apartment that was huge by New York City standards, Derek actually enjoyed being among family in the small barn he was slowly but surely making his own.

"The dog chewed up my Abercrombie flipflops!" Holly yelled downstairs.

He closed his eyes and groaned. The damn dog. "He chewed what?"

She came into view at the top of the loft and rested her elbows on the ledge. "My flip-flops. You know, sandals? Thongs? Flip-flops?" she asked, exasperated.

He nodded, finally understanding the problem. "Sorry. We'll pick up a new pair at Target."

"Target? But, Dad, then they won't have the moose on them," she said in a pleading yet sweet voice.

"In other words, you want to go to the mall near Salem?" he guessed.

"Yes!" She pumped her fist in the air and whirled away, disappearing from view.

He laughed, pleased he'd made her happy. Even if happy translated into him spending more money. He should be used to it.

His ex-wife didn't shop down, as she'd reminded him over the years. The harder and the more hours he'd worked, the more money his ex had spent to compensate for his absence.

Although they'd been divorced for more than two years, he didn't think she'd changed her habits. Certainly his monthly child support and alimony had guaranteed her the lifestyle she'd come to expect. At least it had, until he'd lost the bulk of his wealth in a huge investment gone bad and moved back home. He'd been about to petition the court to change the payments, since he now earned much less than he had in the past, when his ex let him know she was remarrying. That ended Derek's obligation to pay alimony, leaving him with child support only. That he could definitely afford without issue.

He glanced upstairs. "How about we get ice cream while we're at the mall?" he asked.

"I'm lactose intolerant!" came the reply.

He winced. Shouldn't he remember that? He consoled himself with the fact that by the time the summer ended, he'd know everything there was to know about his daughter.

"We'll get lunch instead!" he said.

"okay! I'll be down in a sec. I have to change."

Another thing she'd learned from her mother… She was obsessed with fashion, even at her young age. He figured she'd be at least twenty minutes.

"I'm going to return Fred to your grandfather's." He patted his leg and whistled.

The basset hound came down the stairs slowly, sauntering toward him. Fred didn't look any more guilty for chewing Holly's sandals than he had after he'd peed in the shoes Derek had left at the foot of his bed this morning. Why should he? Fred pretty much did as he pleased, and nobody had said anything for the past ten years. If Holly didn't love the dog so much, Derek would move Fred to his father's place for good.

Derek snapped a leash onto Fred's collar, neither of which the dog had owned before Derek had come back home. Holly joined him just as he walked out the front door.

"I told you I'd be down in a sec!"

"I thought you'd take longer. Sorry."

"That's okay." They made their way over the grass that divided the yard. The barn was on the back acreage, the main house on the front. Suddenly, she said, "I'll meet you at Grandpa's!" She took off across the yard at a run.

He debated jogging over, too, but one look at Fred's sad face and he changed his mind. "You're going to make me fat, old man," Derek said to the dog, slowing his pace a little more.

"Dad!" Holly shrieked, shattering the silence of the quiet morning. "Grandpa has a gun!"

"Good Lord," Derek muttered, pulling Fred into a jog, whether he liked it or not. What was his ornery father up to now?

Holly ran back to him and he handed her the leash. "Stay here," he instructed his daughter. Then he headed over to where his father stood fooling with the old, pump-action shotgun that had been in his family for generations.

"Put that away before you shoot yourself!"

Hank Corwin lowered the gun to his side, glanced at Derek and frowned. "It's not loaded."

Derek breathed a sigh of relief. At least his father wouldn't blow a hole in his addled brain.

"Not yet, anyway." Hank chuckled.

Derek scowled at the older man. "What are you doing with that thing?" As far as Derek knew, the twelve gauge had never been removed from the cabinet where it was displayed.

"I'm polishing the hardware so I can make a point down at the library tonight." Hank ran a hand over the gleaming weapon, the pride in his movement unmistakable.

Derek glanced at his father. At fifty-seven years old, Hank was a handsome man, not that you'd know it by the company he kept-his brother and his long-eared dog, Fred. Appearance wasn't important to him. He rarely cut or styled his dark hair and never worried about what he wore. Why should he, considering the ladies in town were all well versed on the curse and stayed clear of all the living, breathing Corwin men? Hank's summer attire consisted of worn khakis, which he paired with a white T-shirt-for his job as an electrician and on days off.

His father's generation of Corwin men had all discounted the curse and lived to regret it. Hank and his brother Thomas now lived together in the main house. Their third brother, Edward, was a loner, a recluse of sorts, mainly because Thomas had married the woman Edward loved. Derek had two male cousins with whom he was close, one per uncle, and Thomas also had two daughters, both happily married. The Corwin women had prospered. The men had floundered.

Growing up, Derek wasn't sure he believed in curses, but after seeing his father's and uncles' lives shattered, Derek had lived his life very carefully. Not that it had helped him. Derek had even given up the woman he loved to protect them both from the curse. His life-and finances-had gone down the tube, anyway. He was finished taking chances.

"What's happening at the library that's got you packing heat?" Whatever it was, it couldn't be good, Derek thought, eyeing the weapon.

"This." Hank stalked over to the old wooden picnic table and picked up a flier. "Read it and weep. And not just because your high-school sweetheart's returning."

"Gabrielle's back?" Derek asked, certain he'd misunderstood.

Hank inclined his head. "Yep. And I'm not going to let that girl stir up trouble by getting people talking about that damn curse again."

That girl. Derek's high-school love and the woman he'd pushed away rather than subject to the despair that inevitably followed any woman who allowed herself to love a Corwin man.

His father had liked Gabrielle. She'd come to dinners at their house and he'd had many meals at hers. Her parents had treated him like a member of the family while Hank had welcomed her into theirs. For a gruff coot even back then, Hank had been fond of Gabrielle.

Derek sighed. "You aren't going to shoot Gabrielle just because you don't like her choice in subject matter."

Hank glanced at him, defiance in his stare. "I don't like being talked about. It's been quiet around town for a long while. I'd like to keep it that way."

"Just because you don't hear people talking about the curse doesn't mean they aren't still whispering behind our backs. It's a fact of life." Derek grabbed the flier and scanned the page.

Apparently the Perkins-Stewart Public Library was hosting a lecture titled Curses: Irrational Psychological Suggestion, by onetime resident and bestselling author, Gabrielle Donovan.

Derek knew Gabrielle had written a number of books, debunking popular myths in print and then discussing those books on big-time talk shows. It was no coincidence that she'd chosen to study the occult and New Age, Derek thought. His past had defined both of their lives.

Although she hadn't been back to visit, the town claimed her as their own local celebrity. The diner on Main Street had a signed photograph on the wall, although Derek had seen the signature and doubted its validity. He wouldn't put it past Henry, the owner, to forge it instead of contacting Gabrielle and asking for one.

Even Derek's father was one of her fans- Derek had seen her books on Hank's shelves. In reality, Derek wasn't worried that his father would shoot her. But that didn't mean he couldn't cause trouble in other ways..

Derek placed the flier down on the picnic table and looked Hank in the eye. "You aren't going anywhere near the library, Pop."

"Want to bet?" Hank asked.

"Well, you sure as hell aren't taking a shotgun." Though Derek spoke to his father, his thoughts were far away, already in turmoil over the chance of seeing Gabrielle again. He'd spent enough time avoiding watching her on TV. Seeing her in real life would be far more painful. He didn't need to worry about their reunion occurring over the barrel of his father's shotgun.

Derek grabbed the rifle, intending to lock it up tight at his place or in the trunk of his SUV. There was no telling how easily an old rifle like this one could go off if Hank started waving it around to make his point.

Hank stamped his foot and shook his finger in Derek's face. "You don't play fair."

"And you don't play rational. Want to go to the mall with me and Holly?" Derek waved his daughter over.

"No. I have to pick up some things in town. Then I'm going to prepare a rebuttal to that girl's speech tonight. No curse, my hiney," Hank said, stomping toward his house.

Derek laughed and let him go. Hank was all bluster. Derek couldn't imagine Hank showing up any place where the Corwin Curse was the subject of public discussion.

A discussion started by Gabrielle Donovan.

Damn. He couldn't believe she'd returned after all these years.

He'd broken up with her after the prom. Post graduation, her parents had moved away, and she'd gone with them. At least he hadn't had that summer to watch her, longing for something he could no longer have. But while they'd been together, his life had been spectacular. At eighteen she'd been the most beautiful, sensual woman on the planet. He could only imagine what the intervening years had done to her already lush body and china-doll-like face. With her mother's French genes, she hadn't been afraid of passion or sex, and they'd indulged in both often, until Derek realized it was no longer just physical attraction that kept him coming back for more.

She'd been smart, too, the only daughter of parents who were both professors. She had a sharp wit and had been insightful, understanding Derek's love of high-stakes finances even before he had the money to indulge his passion. She probably wouldn't be surprised to learn he'd gone to Columbia undergrad and directly on to Wall Street as a trader until he was hired by an investment-banking company and made himself rich from lucky, huge deals.

He'd made himself poor the same way, investing too much in a company that went south instead of north. These days Derek was a financial planner, getting his thrills by building other people's incomes more slowly and sensibly, not toying with his own.

He shook off the memories and headed to where his daughter was trying to play fetch with Fred. The dog was lying on his fat stomach without moving, staring at the stick she'd tossed.

"Ready?" Derek asked her.

Holly wiped her dusty hands on her jeans shorts. "I'm ready."

"Good." He ruffled her long hair. "Let's drop Fred off at the house before we go."

Holly nodded and pulled the reluctant dog's leash. Fred trotted along at her side.

"Daddy? What's wrong?"

"Why would you think anything's wrong?" Derek asked.

His daughter met his gaze, squinting as the glare of the sun hit her eyes. "Because you look sad."

"Hey, how could I be sad when I'm spending time with my favorite girl?" he asked, determined not to let anything dampen the time he had with his daughter.

She giggled. "I'll go give Fred to Grandpa." She walked to the house, leaving Derek alone with his thoughts. The most tempting woman in his past had shown up to wreak havoc with his future.

Maybe she wasn't here to stay.

Customer Reviews

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Lucky Charm (Corwin Curse Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much happening. I feel lucky I finished the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These are old books that I read years ago. While I love the author, this is the worst series she has written. Not worth the money, go to library and read them for free.
of-course More than 1 year ago
A really fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
melorem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I normally enjoy Carly Phillips but I did have a hard time staying on track with this book. The story didn't have enough interest. The author tries to build up the suspense/mystery with a blackmailing storyline as well as a threats and break ins to a different character. Too much going on without any serious story line.
JoAnnSmithAinsworth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Had a hard time staying focused with this one. Too many eating scenes¿not enough action. I actually liked the secondary characters, Sharon and Richard, better than the H/H because they grew throughout the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read I did lose interest and had to back to catch up ending was better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eye rolling bad. I like her other books, but this was a horrid premise and a waste of words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great story .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not what I've come to expect from Carly Phillips. The story line was too cutsie for my taste. The editing was flat out lazy, and the way the story jump around gave me motion sickness.
Cali-Jewel More than 1 year ago
Sexy, fun and entertaining Small town second chance romance with a small magical twist. Two small towns, two families and one small town scandal turned curse long ago still going strong today. (or is it possible it was never real) Derek Corwin and his family may have been cursed (or have they). Gabrielle, his first love and the one he let go to save them from the curse. She is back in town and so is he can they have a future? If Gabrielle has anything to say about it they will. Loved that the she is so determined to fight for the future they where denied over a decade ago. Looking forward to more from this series.
Kindle_Loving_Mom More than 1 year ago
This book was so much more than I expected. I wasn't sure I'd be into the story line, as second chance romances are a bit of a love-hate thing for me. Throw his tween daughter in the mix, and I was torn. But, I enjoyed it so much, and I am so glad that I read it. Derek Corwin is cursed. Well, to be more specific, every man in his family is cursed. Back in the day, a Corwin man eloped with a woman already promised to another man. That spurned man's mother was a witch, and she laid a curse on the name of Corwin for all time. Any Corwin man who loved a woman, would lose his love, and his fortune. And that curse has come to fruition time and time again over the generations. Derek had a great, first love, Gabrielle, and he broke up with her before college to save her from the curse. Then, in college, he met, impregnated, and married a woman he didn't love, hoping he could have a family, and a nice life, without triggering the curse. He ended up divorced, and a lot more broke than he was before. Now he's back in his hometown, and his daughter is visiting for the summer. Then his great love rolls back into town too. Gabrielle Donovan is a famous author. She debunks myths and other paranormal phenomenon and writes books about it. She's back in town to visit her best friend, and give a talk at her friend's library in town. She is also going to be researching for her next book, about the Corwin curse. She heard Derek was back in town, and she's determined to find out if they can have a second chance at a life together. She's never gotten over him, and she's determined to prove to him once and for all that there is no curse. I loved the history and chemistry between Gabby and Derek. It was like no time had passed in a lot of ways, other than the elephant that is always in the room with them. But, Gabby is a very determined woman, and I love that she didn't hold a grudge, and she just went full force for what she wanted. She wasn't scared of heartbreak, or any stupid curse. She came to get her man, and she was going to have him. I loved her courage, and her strength. I really loved Derek too, but every time he let the stupid curse keep him from something he wanted, I wanted to smack him upside the head. His daughter Holly was a fantastic side character. I love that she was so fun and energetic, and was super into Gabrielle. She didn't fall under the stereotypical trope of young daughters who hate any female in their dad's life who isn't their mom. She was spunky, and precocious, and I enjoyed her so much. There was a side suspense plot with someone who wanted Gabrielle out of town, and also wasn't happy about her friend's fiance running for mayor against the incumbent "queen" of their town, the descendant of the original witch who cursed the Corwin family. Gabby's friend Sharon, and her fiance were entertaining side characters, as were Derek's crazy dad and uncles. As I said, I have a love-hate relationship with how second chance romances make me feel. Usually there's so much angst, that I just can't handle it. But, this book wasn't like that at all. While there were heartbreaking parts, and sexy parts, and funny parts, throughout it all was Gabrielle's indomitable will, and her big love for Derek, and the life they could have together. She was truly the heroine of this story, and I loved that. I really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to the other 2 books in the series!
tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
Carly Phillips has re-released an older series of hers after updating some things in the stories to reflect current times. I read these when they were first released and it was fun revisiting them again. The first book is Derek Corwin and Gabrielle Donovan's story. Derek's family has been cursed since the late nineteenth century by Mary Perkins, who was a witch. Ever since then, every male Corwin that fell in love was destined to lose his love and his fortune. When Derek knew he was falling in love with Gabrielle in high school, he broke things off with her just before college because he couldn't bear the thought of losing her permanently. Crushed, Gabrielle tried to move on with her life. Now, 14 years later she is back in her old hometown, ready to prove to Derek that this curse isn't real, and get her man back. Derek recently came back to town after his divorce, and the tanking of his job. For now he has his 11 year old daughter, Holly with him since his ex, Marlene, just got remarried and was on her one month honeymoon. When Holly runs into Gabrielle at the store, they quickly become friends unbeknownst to Derek. When Derek happens upon them, he is surprised to see Gabrielle and then even more surprised when Holly gets him to go listen to Gabrielle speak at the library about curses and how they are not real. Derek and Gabrielle start spending more time together and quickly go back to where they used to be. While Gabrielle is trying to convince Derek there is no curse, weird things start happening to her. Everyone has to come together to help figure out what is really happening. I really enjoyed these two. They both still really loved only each other and they really needed their happy ending. I loved the crazy Corwin family along with Fred the dog. This story has a few good laugh out loud moments. Overall, it was a fun book to revisit.
JennieF More than 1 year ago
ARC for honest review with no compensation Lucky Charm is the 1st book in the Lucky series and what a great way to start it with the “curse” over all the Corwin men! ! ! This book is about Derek Corwin and his second chance at love with the girl he left behind because of the curse, Gabrielle. The curse on the male Corwin’s is "Any Corwin male who falls in love will be destined to lose his love and his fortune”, so he decided to find another girl in college that he could maybe just lust after and marry her that way the curse would not affect him but he ended up divorced and lost most of his fortune. When Gabby, who is a well know author returns back to town to show them that the curse is not real but the mayor is keeping it alive because it was her family that put the curse on the Corwin men. While Derek believes in the curse, Gabby works hard at showing him that it’s just circumstances that make it look like the curse….will she be able to convince Derek that the curse is not real and for them to have their second chance at love and a HEA or will he disregard all she does????? Lots of sub plots go along with making this a good read, can’t wait for the next book….Lucky Streak! !
Ruza65 More than 1 year ago
The Lucky Series is about the Corwin curse. All Corwin men who fall in love will be destined to lose his love and fortune … No Corwin has walked away unscathed. Luck Charm brings us Derek Corwin's story. Derek broke up with the his H.S. sweetheart to save her from the curse. He married, but not for love, and still feels he is curses. Divorced, a big loss in the Dow Jones, and he returns home to live on the family land. The only good thing that came out of his marriage is his daughter Holly. Gabrielle Donovan, best selling author, was heartbroken when Derek broke up with her. Her family moved to Florida, and now she returns to her hometown 14-yrs later to host a lecture on Curses. Gabrielle doesn't believe in "curses" and she plans to write a book about the "Corwin Curse". Gabrielle's return to town stirs up all kinds of trouble as she reconnects with Derek, and falls more in love with him and his daughter Holly. You will laugh, cry, and cheer Gabrielle on as she fights for LOVE. I read this series when it was first released, and I enjoyed revisiting it. I volunteered to review an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Christine_Miller More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a good read. Derek is from a family that believes they are part of a curse. When they fall in love, they lose their love and their wealth. When he is in high school, he is dating Gabrielle who he is in love with, but as things get serious, he walks away. He doesn't want to set the curse into motion. Now 14 years later, Gabrielle is back in town and she wants Derek and wants to make him see that this curse is just a myth. I loved how strong and sassy Gabrielle is. She comes back to town with guns blazing and her sights set on Derek. When Derek tries to resist his love for her, she calls him on in. Derek desperately wants to be with her, but doesn't want to invoke the curse. When Gabby gets into trouble, Derek does realize that he doesn't want to live without her. This was a good read.
sferguson105 More than 1 year ago
Overall, I really enjoyed this read! I loved seeing Gabrielle and Derek reunite, even with Derek's stubbornness. The mystery aspect to this story was perfect, and I definitely didn't see that being resolved like it did! I had my suspects, but wow. This is definitely a must read!
Theresakerch-28 More than 1 year ago
Charming Derek and Gabby were meant to be together as teenagers and then because of the Corwin Curse Derek broke things off with Gabby and they went there separate ways. But neither if them forgot each other or stopped loving each other. When they both end up in their home town at the same time will they be able to move on and forget the curse. There also is some crazy stuff that is going on that people in the town believe is the curse but is it really. I loved this story and hadn't read this series even though it was an older one. I loved Sharon and Richards story also and their relationship. Plus Holly, Hank, Thomas and Fred the dog there is so many interesting people and stories. This was book was great with interesting stories.
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