Getting Lucky

Getting Lucky

by Carolyn Brown

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492649519
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Series: Lucky Cowboys , #3
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 173,762
Product dimensions: 4.60(w) x 7.20(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with more than sixty books published. She writes bestselling single title cowboy and country music mass market romances, as well as women's fiction. Born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma, Carolyn and her husband now make their home in the town of Davis, Oklahoma.

Read an Excerpt

Getting Lucky


By CAROLYN BROWN

Sourcebooks, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Carolyn Brown
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4022-2838-4


CHAPTER 1

Julie Donavan, the new kindergarten teacher, was on her knees consoling a little boy named Chuck on the first day of school when she noticed movement coming in the door. She gasped when she looked up. Her eyes widened and high color filled her cheeks. The most striking cowboy she'd ever laid eyes on had just walked through the door. Well, she had laid eyes on him one time before, but that time they'd been two-point-five sheets to the wind. One less drink that night and they'd have stopped before they got to the motel. Two more and neither would have remembered a damn thing. But the combination had been just right and now he was there in her kindergarten classroom in Saint Jo, Texas.

Her first thought was, "Damn, he looks even better with hair."

Her second was, "What in the hell is he doing in Saint Jo, Texas?"

Her third was, "Oh, shit, what do I do now?"

The man stopped in front of her and looked down. "Hello, we are the Luckadeaus. This is my daughter, Lizzy; she's in your class this year."

And I'm the woman you met in Dallas six years ago, she wanted to shout at him. Remember me? I'm Red.

Griffin waited for her to finish with the little boy, his pulse racing and his heart thumping. God Almighty, he'd never been this attracted to a redhead before. That was his brother's choice of women. No one had told him the new kindergarten teacher was knock-down-gorgeous or that she had eyes that could see straight into his soul. Desire shot through his body—or was it plain old lust? Either one was something he hadn't allowed in a very long time and he was determined he would get control of it before he spoke again.

Julie's daughter, Annie, came running from across the room, her jet-black pigtails bouncing on her shoulders, the white poliosis streak in her hair parted so that the majority of it was on the left side. She stopped dead in her tracks in front of the other little girl.

They eyed each other for several moments, mirror images of each other, doubles in almost every sense of the word. Jet-black hair with a white streak from the forehead back several inches, crystal clear blue eyes, a slight dent in their chins.

Finally Annie grabbed Lizzy's hand and said, "Come sit by me. My momma is the teacher; she won't mind."

Lizzy let go of her father's hand and ran off with Annie, her jet-black ponytail waving from side to side, the white streak in her hair slicked straight back.

Neither of their parents could peel their eyes away from the two little girls giggling together. Julie felt the world tilt backwards on its axis and the concrete floor of the Saint Jo, Texas, elementary school tremor as if Texas was having a rare earthquake.

"Who are you?" Griffin whispered. Desire took a backseat to shock. His blue eyes narrowed into slits. Who was the redhead and where had that child come from?

"I'm going to be your child's teacher, but we knew each other a long time ago. You don't remember?"

He shook his head. "I've never met you before in my life but that little girl could be my Lizzy's sister, with that white forelock."

"It's time for school to start. We'll have to discuss this later. Guess they each just met their double," Julie said. If he wanted to play dumb as a box of rocks, then she could do the same thing.

He spun around and marched out the door without a backward glance.

Julie would have liked nothing better than to follow him screaming like a fish wife, but she had a classroom of kindergarteners waiting. However if G. Luckadeau thought he'd gotten off easy, then he'd best think again—and this time with the head on his shoulders instead of the one behind his zipper. That visual sent her staggering backward to hold onto her desk and look out over more than a dozen little children, all looking to her with a bit of fear in their eyes. She had to get her raw nerves under control and teach a class. She had to put aside the multitude of sinful thoughts— the foremost of which was homicide at that point. Not far behind it was anger and running a close race was the urge to pick up Annie and run as fast and far as she could.

"Okay, class, it's time for us all to meet each other," Julie said. Her words came out as though she'd been running a mile, but she took two deep breaths and composed herself. "This is Chuck Chester and he's five years old. Can the rest of you stand up beside your desk and tell me what your name is?" She led Chuck to the desk directly in front of hers and settled him in. She always had one child in her classroom like Chuck: backward, dressed poorly, almost malnourished but not enough to call the authorities, unsure of himself. It broke her heart but it happened every year.

Both Annie and Lizzy turned to look at the little boy—Lizzy on his left, Annie on his right. Annie popped up from her seat and said, "I'm Annie Donavan and that is my momma." She pointed at Julie.

"But in the classroom I'll be Miss Julie, won't I?" Julie's naturally lovely smile was strained amid the turmoil in her chest. She tried to control the inner chaos tearing up her nerves like a class five tornado ripping across Texas, but she was so pissed off it was impossible. She wanted to strangle Mr. Luckadeau until his pretty blue eyes popped out and rolled around on the floor like ping-pong balls. How in the hell had he come to live right there in Saint Jo and, more importantly, why? He had to live close by for his daughter to be enrolled in her classroom. How many more little white-forelocked kids were running around the county, and how many more women had he sweet-talked into sleeping with him?

Lizzy hopped to her feet and said, "I'm Lizzy Luckadeau. My daddy is Griffin Luckadeau and I almost didn't get to come to school, but I cried and cried and Marita said I would be safe."

The principal, Mrs. Amos, stuck her head in the open door. "Could I have a word with you?"

Julie motioned her inside. One hour into the first day and Julie was sure she was already fired. G. Luckadeau had most likely gone straight to the big dog in the office when he saw Annie and insisted that hussy mother of hers be fired on the spot.

Mrs. Amos stopped in front of Julie's desk and lowered her voice considerably. "I want to make you aware of special arrangements for Lizzy Luckadeau. Her father, Griffin, was going to homeschool her but finally agreed—with lots of talking from me and his housekeeper—that Lizzy needed to come to school. That's why you didn't see her name on the student sheet. He just made up his mind last night. She is not to leave this school with anyone other than Griffin or Marita; I'll point her out to you if she comes to pick up Lizzy. And Lizzy is never to ride the bus home."

"May I ask why?" Julie asked softly.

"Nervous father. That's as much as I can say. Amazing how much Lizzy and your Annie look alike. You sure you've never been in these parts or ever known Griff?"

Her boss knew the secret. Her twinkling eyes said it all. The very thing Julie was running from had circled back around and taken a huge bite out of her ass when she least expected it.

"No, ma'am. Didn't even know Saint Jo existed until I heard about the job," she said.

"Well, they say everyone has a twin. Guess those little girls found theirs early on in life," Mrs. Amos said as she left the room.

By the end of the day, Lizzy, Annie, and Chuck were inseparable.

When the last bell sounded a thin woman with dyed blonde hair and four inches of dark brown roots appeared in the doorway and yelled at Chuck to hurry. He cringed at the sight of her and dropped his glasses in his rush.

"You break those again, boy, and you're gettin' in big trouble. They said if you had to have another pair, we'd have to pay for them. So if you break 'em, you won't be able to see. Now get a move on. We've got places we need to go."

Chuck rushed out and they were gone.

Julie wanted to mop up the floor with that woman. Her hair did resemble a mop that had been left out on the clothesline to dry, and Julie was tired of seeing children mentally as well as physically abused; she'd taught long enough to recognize the signs of both. She'd barely cooled down from that episode when the light was completely obliterated in the doorway by one Griffin Luckadeau. Would the day never end? From lust to shock to anger and now back to lust. Damn! He was every bit as fine a cowboy as he had been a soldier. And still he had a puzzled look in his eyes, as if he'd never seen her before. Well, he'd best think hard and long, because he'd seen every square inch of her and they'd done a hell of a lot more than exchange phone numbers. Annie was proof positive of that.

Lizzy ran to his side, grabbed his hand, and started to chatter about Chuck and Annie being her new friends. Griffin picked her up and hugged her close, then shot one more look over his shoulder at Julie. He'd remember someone that pretty even if it had been a long time ago. He'd racked his brain all day and not one memory surfaced. Why would she think she'd known him?

Julie hoped he choked to death when Lizzy went running in their house telling her mother about the little girl in the classroom that looked just like her. Mr. Griffin Luckadeau was fixing to find out just what it meant to face off with a mad woman. His wife would never believe that he hadn't been unfaithful when she clapped eyes on Annie.

And that made Julie the other woman, a part that she never, ever intended to play after the pain of confronting the other woman in her own husband's life. In her defense, she hadn't known Griffin was married when she wound up in bed with him six years before. He wasn't wearing a wedding band. She might have had a few drinks too many, but she did remember checking for that particular item and there wasn't even a white ring where it should have been.

After all the students were gone, Julie and Annie shut and locked the door and headed home. Julie's hands shook as she put the key in the ignition of her truck. For a long minute she sat in stunned silence, her head on the steering wheel, while she tried to tame a million memories and racing thoughts. It was a useless endeavor; taming her thoughts was like attempting to take the wild out of a Texas longhorn. Some things simply weren't possible.

"Momma, why does Lizzy look just like me? And Chuck didn't like that stuff they put on his plate in the lunchroom today so I gave him half my sandwich," Annie said.

Julie started up the engine and headed north toward her new home. "Let's go home, baby. We've got lots of things to do. You aren't the only little girl in the world with a white streak in their hair. We just haven't seen any of the others. And why didn't Chuck eat his lunch?"

Annie exhaled in impatience. "Because he don't like fish sticks. He said they make him puke. I gave him half of my sandwich."

"What did Lizzy bring?"

"She had ham and cheese with mustard just like me. And potato chips and a cookie and chocolate milk," Annie said.

Julie started the truck and backed out of the school parking lot. Surprisingly enough, the sun still hung in the sky and the world had not come to an abrupt end. It had been a day of miracles. She kept her cool when Griffin Luckadeau waltzed into her classroom. Mrs. Amos didn't fire her. And she didn't try to mop up Saint Jo's main street with Chuck Chester's mother. All in all, not as bad as it could have been.

"Lizzy gave Chuck half her cookie," Annie said.

"Well, I suppose Chuck ate well today," Julie said.

"Yes, he did. I like him and Lizzy. They are my bestest friends," Annie pronounced.

Children were wonderful. They had no preconceived notions of who to like or not like. Money or the lack thereof didn't affect them at all. From the looks of Lizzy, she came from a comfortable family. Chuck, according to Mrs. Amos, when they discussed her students the day before, lived in a trailer south of Saint Jo and his father had been arrested multiple times on drug charges.

A person had to pass a test to get a driver's license. They had to prove they were credit-worthy to buy a house. But any drug dealing son-of-a-bitch could be a father.

Or any handsome soldier on his way to Iraq. Julie's jaw clamped shut. A woman couldn't even berate an SOB without her conscience putting in her two bits.

By the time Julie stopped at the local grocery store and picked up supplies, then got to her new property a mile north of Saint Jo, she had convinced herself that Griffin Luckadeau really had been three sheets to the wind that night and didn't remember the night he'd spent with her in the hotel room.

That was her blessing for holding her temper all day. He flat out didn't remember. Thank God! She sure wouldn't ever bring it up to him. That was a solid fact.

She turned right less than a mile outside of town into a gravel driveway and parked on the north side of the house. Five acres, a two-bedroom house with an orchard and garden space. That's what the realtor had said that day when she drove Julie out to look at the property. What she hadn't said in advance was that all the paint had peeled off the house and the wood was as gray as fog, that the driveway was full of potholes big enough to bury an army tank, or that the roof needed new shingles.

Julie had driven up to interview for the job back in the summer and been hired on the spot. When she went to the only realtor in town to ask about an apartment to rent, the lady had taken her to the place on the outskirts of town to look at purchasing rather than renting. Her argument was that the payment would be far less than an apartment and she'd have lots more room.

Julie had taken a look at the place and fallen in love with it at first sight. She couldn't believe the low asking price until the realtor explained that the estate was to go as it set and cleaning it out wasn't going to be an easy job. The money from the sale was going to the Methodist Church in Saint Jo where Edna Lassiter, the former owner, had attended. Julie had written a check for the total price and gone home to Jefferson, Texas, to pack.

"Momma, are we going to sit here all day or get out?" Annie asked.

"I'm sorry. I was thinking," Julie said.

"Me, too. I was thinking about Lizzy. When do you think her birthday is?" Annie asked.

"The papers they sent to me say that it's two days before yours. So she was five in May, just like you," Julie said. "You big enough to help me unload groceries?"

"Yes, I am," Annie said seriously.

Julie picked up the bags holding milk and soda pop. Since she'd bought the house "as is" she had been surprised the day before when she and Annie had arrived to find the cabinets stocked with staples and the freezer full. She'd known the furniture would be there and all the closets would be full, but she hadn't thought about food.

Her mind went back to the fact that there were only two days between Lizzy and Annie. Griffin had to have had sex with his wife just before he left for Iraq. One thing for sure, Julie really had been his good luck charm, because he had returned home all in one big sexy package. Just exactly what kind of man was he, anyway? Having sex with his wife, going off to war, and having sex with a stranger on the way?

He's probably wondering the same thing about you. Are you a schoolteacher by day and a sleazy two-bit hooker on weekends who doesn't even ask a man if he's got a wife at home before she falls into bed with him? But he didn't have a wedding ring, she argued with her conscience.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Getting Lucky by CAROLYN BROWN. Copyright © 2010 Carolyn Brown. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Getting Lucky 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a fun read!
cjp0 More than 1 year ago
Not a great book. I couldn't wait to be done with it. The 3 children made the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the final one in the series and is good. It does have a little action and, for the most part, will hold the reader's attention. The author is good because the characters seem real. I would suggest the prior two be also read; especially since they are extremely affordable.
dinneen More than 1 year ago
I like how she makes you feel like you are right where with them
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book it was sweet and charming and kept me hanging on to the end. If your a sucker for a happy ending for a family than this book is something you would like. i still couldnt believe it was free
Sweetproo98 More than 1 year ago
Hands down the kiddo's make up a majority of the reality of this story. Getting Lucky is by far the most emotionally charged out of all 3 of the "Lucky" books and it's a great conclusion to the series. Julie is an admirable woman who has pulled herself up by her boot straps and made a life for herself and her daughter and Griffin is a tough nut to crack. But, between a town in their favor and a family bond that is unbreakable, Griffin and Julie are destined to be together...or not thanks to some unsavory characters from their past. All in all, it's a great story and a great way to wrap up this series. A must read!
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great read
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