Luck of the Draw

( 2 )


"Gambling runs through the blood of the Navarro family. And like the luck needed to score big, the Navarro clan will certainly need a lot of it, if they're going to hold themselves together through a hilariously high-stakes game of family history and secrets." "Having heard her entire life of the lost glory of La Estrella - "The Star", the name of the casino the Navarro family owned in Havan before Castro took power - Esmerelda thinks it's a joke when her mother informs her and her siblings Sapphire, Ruby, and Quartz that the family has a duty to ...
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New York 2003 Hardcover 1st Edition New in New jacket Book. Signed by Author(s) Hardcover. Book Condition: NEW and UNREAD. Dust Jacket Condition: NEW and Mylar Protected. 1st ... Edition/1st Printing. SIGNED and DATED: June 2003 by Carolina Garcia-Aguilera on the Full Title Page. Read more Show Less

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"Gambling runs through the blood of the Navarro family. And like the luck needed to score big, the Navarro clan will certainly need a lot of it, if they're going to hold themselves together through a hilariously high-stakes game of family history and secrets." "Having heard her entire life of the lost glory of La Estrella - "The Star", the name of the casino the Navarro family owned in Havan before Castro took power - Esmerelda thinks it's a joke when her mother informs her and her siblings Sapphire, Ruby, and Quartz that the family has a duty to bring La Estrella back into existence." "With a mandate given to her through a dream, the Navarro matriarch announces that in order for La Estrella to thrive once more, the family must be reunited in Miami. Only there's a hitch: the youngest daughter, Diamond, a journalist living in Las Vegas, is missing. The family must find a way to rescue her, not only in time to restore the family's lost business to its shimmering glory, but also to save Diamond's life." "Esmerelda, the eldest and most sensible of the Navarro clan, is dispatched to Las Vegas, and to an underworld that this Miami mother of three thought she would never be suited for. Surprisingly, Esmerelda is not only suited for it, she thrives in it." From seedy bar to casino to back alley, Esmerelda sleuths her way through Las Vegas with sexy style - and into a mystery that is much larger than she, her family, and her family's history had ever bargained for.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Garcia-Aguilera (One Hot Summer) sends her Miami heroine off on a wild Las Vegas adventure in her latest, an engaging thriller/mystery that succeeds despite an abrupt and underdeveloped ending. Esmeralda Navarro, a married, 30ish interior designer, is called to a family meeting by her mother, who announces her plans to try to recover the casino she and her husband owned and ran in Havana before Castro took over Cuba. But the plan has to wait until the family can find Esmeralda's free-spirited sister, Diamond, who doesn't seem to be at her Las Vegas newspaper office or her apartment. Esmeralda temporarily ditches her family and her troubled marriage to go to Las Vegas to find her missing sister. Fearing the worst, she arrives in Sin City with no plan, but fortunately her limo driver, the attractive, middle-aged Dennis O'Shea, turns out to be a retired NYPD homicide detective who helps her engineer a private investigation. After plenty of twists and turns, the clues point to a new casino called the Star, where Diamond took a job as a waitress before her disappearance. Esmeralda decides to pose as a high roller to try to track her down. The passages in which Navarro locates the mobster who may have kidnapped her sister feel more like a rushed explanation than a dramatic conclusion. But apart from this flaw, Esmeralda's adventure is as skillfully written and plotted as Garcia-Aguilera's successful Lupe Solano mystery series, and Esmeralda is a feisty, entertaining narrator. 6-city author tour. (July 1) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060536336
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.25 (d)

First Chapter

Luck of the Draw
A Novel

Chapter One

I had just hung up the phone and closed my eyes expecting to go back to sleep -- always the optimist -- when it rang again. I knew this call wasn't to announce Fidel Castro's death -- every Cuban exile's dream come true -- so my enthusiasm for picking up was severely limited. I debated ignoring the call and letting my voice mail get it, but I can never let a phone ring unanswered. Instinct made me reach for the receiver in the darkness.

I was bringing the phone to my ear when I looked over to check out the number on the caller ID. I cursed when I saw that it was my older sister Sapphire on the line. Mierda! It was barely six-thirty in the morning, far too early to deal with a family crisis. First my mother had called, now Sapphire. It was a bad start to the day.

"Hey, Esmeralda, did Mama call you yet?" Sapphire launched in without any pretense of small talk. "She called me about ten minutes ago. I know she must have gotten to you by now."

We both knew what she was referring to. In an effort to avoid any appearance of favoritism. Mama always telephoned her children in order of their birth. That meant she would first call Sapphire, then Ruby, then me, then our sister Diamond out in Vegas. Our brother, Quartz, the baby, traditionally got the last call.

"What in the world is so fucking urgent that we all have to meet as soon as possible?" Sapphire asked in her shrill, staccato, migraine-inducing tone of voice. I felt a low-grade pain developing at the back of my neck.

Apparently she didn't expect me to answer, because she kept talking at breakneck speed. I groaned as I realized it was too early for her first dose of meds to have kicked in. I hated dealing with Sapphire when she was pharmaceutically free.

"I bet you a hundred dollars she's just being a drama queen," Sapphire said with delight. "There's probably no real emergency at all."

That last bit woke me up, as Sapphire knew it would. There was nothing like a friendly bet between me and my siblings. For a moment I considered taking her wager and doubling it. That's the problem with being born into a family in the gaming businessbetting was in our blood. Our pool of bets on Fidel Castro's death was in the tens of thousands of dollars. As the bastard lived longer and longer, we kept rolling the bets over, extending the windows.

I don't know what it's about , I said, making a supreme effort not to take the wager. "But it sounded important, Sapphire."

Tony, my husband, started thrashing around next to me, making sure I knew that he was irritated by all the noise coming from my side of the bed. At an earlier time I might have tried to make up with a sexual overture, culminating in a quickie before it was time to get up, but our relationship at this point was such that I didn't want to make a pass that might be rejected.

"It's too early to call Diamond," Sapphire said. "But maybe Ruby or Q will know more. I'm going to call them."

Sapphire hung up without saying good-bye. I doubted Ruby or our brother would know anything we didn't, but Sapphire didn't give me time to say so. Well, let them enjoy an early morning call from our unmedicated eldest sister. it would be interesting to see what shape they were in when Sapphire phoned. Our family doesn't do well with situations that happen in the morningunless it is an extension of something that began the night before.

I put down the receiver and pulled the sheets all the way up to my chin. Like most people in Miami, we kept our bedroom temperature as cold as the air conditioner could go. Sometimes I awoke with chapped lips. The chill in the room was starting to make me shiver, so I gently appropriated the rest of the down comforter from Tony, careful not to disturb him further. it was too early in the day to deal with my husband just yet -- that challenge would come soon enough.

I looked over at the bedside clock and saw that in two minutes the first of my three alarms was about to go off -- I don't do well in the morning. Sometimes I entertained the delusion that my children might find a slot in some "exclusive" night school. it was a pretty unlikely scenario, considering the fact that they were still in elementary school.

As an interior decorator with my own company, I could set my own schedule. The only reason for me to wake up early was to roust my sons, feed them breakfast, and drop them off at school. The four of us were nearly comatose in the morning, and we barely said a word as we dressed and had breakfast. I made the boys drink double café con leches before we left the house, and still they slept in the car all the way to school. I had to yell at them to wake up and then get out and open the door myself when we finally arrived there. All three of my sons were good students, and regularly made the honor roll, but I also got notes from their teachers asking if they got enough rest, Apparently they fell asleep in class with alarming regularity. I told the teachers there was nothing wrong. It was in the genes.

The boys and I were in heaven during school vacations, because then we could sleep all day and stay up all night. My work schedule entailed my showing up at the office around noon, and I rarely scheduled an appointment earlier in the day. If the boys didn't have to be at school the next morning, it wasn't uncommon for us to have dinner at ten at night ...

Luck of the Draw
A Novel
. Copyright © by Carolina Aguilera. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2006


    it wasn't that great. i thought it'd have some spontanaety, but not really. I stopped reading when I got halfway into the was just boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2004

    the best book a ever !!!!!

    i really love this book,it was so much fun to read, i just could not stop.

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