Carly Phillips

Lucky Streak

The second book in the Lucky series, 2009

Dear Reader,

The wait is over! I am thrilled to bring you Lucky Streak, the second book in a trilogy featuring the sexy, charismatic Corwin cousins, men who are dogged by a centuries-old family curse. According to legend, any Corwin man who falls in love is destined to lose his love and his fortune.

So what does fate have in store for cousin number two-Boston cop Mike Corwin? An impromptu trip to Las Vegas for his partner’s wedding takes him on a wild ride of his own, including winning a fortune, marrying a woman he met the night before and waking up alone-no wife, no cash. The family curse has hit him hard. Or has it? Amber Rose isn’t my typical heroine, as Mike quickly finds out.

I can’t wait for you to read this fun story! The series concludes in October 2009 with Jason Corwin’s story, Lucky Break, and if you missed Derek’s story, Lucky Charm, it’s still in stores now.

Visit www.carlyphillips.com for release dates and so much more. You can write to me at P.O. Box 483, Purchase, NY 10577 or e-mail carly@carlyphillips.com.

As always, thank you for buying my books, and happy reading!

Best wishes,

Carly Phillips

This one’s been used before but bears repeating!

To Phil, Jackie and Jen-I love you always!

To Bailey and Buddy-my daily companions.

Life wouldn’t be complete without you.

To Mom and Dad-thanks for setting the best

example in life and in romance.

I love you, too!

To Brenda Chin, my longtime editor-

keep doing what you do for me.

We make a great team!

And last but not least, to the Plotmonkeys-

Janelle Denison, Julie Leto and Leslie Kelly.

As usual, I couldn’t do it without you and

I wouldn’t want to try. XXX OOO

INTRODUCTION

I N THE LATEnineteenth century, in the small village of Stewart, Massachusetts, 1.5 miles west of Salem, site of the now-famous witch trials, fear of curses and witchcraft ran rampant. During this time, William Corwin fell in love and eloped with a woman who was already betrothed to another. The man William wronged, Martin Perkins, was the oldest son of the wealthy Perkins family from the neighboring village of the same name. To William Corwin’s misfortune, Martin’s mother, Mary Perkins, was a witch.

And she immediately sought revenge on her son’s behalf with this curse: Any Corwin male who falls in love will be destined to lose his love and his fortune.

No male Corwin has walked away unscathed…

CHAPTER ONE

AMBER ROSE WANTED out of the con-artist life. Counting cards in Vegas high-stakes poker games was not the way she wanted to live-even if it did bring in money she desperately needed to pay for her Alzheimer’s-stricken father’s medical bills and keep him in a top-notch nursing home. But now she’d saved enough to find another way. She glanced around the crowded, smoke-filled casino, where she’d arranged to meet Marshall Banks, her soon-to-be ex-partner. The Bellagio was his favorite hotel on the Strip and she hoped the atmosphere would put him in a good mood for when she delivered the news.

Amber glanced at her watch. Though it felt like hours, only five minutes had passed since she’d arrived. Relax, she ordered herself, when she finally caught sight of Marshall across the room.

She couldn’t help but notice many appreciative female eyes followed him as he cut through the crowd. With his black slacks and colorful striped dress shirt, and dark, slicked-back hair, he epitomized Vegas glitz and studly Andy Garcia-like appeal. Women had always been drawn to Marshall. As a young, impressionable teenager, Amber had been one of them. How could she not have a crush on her father’s top protege?

Sam Brenner had been a gambler extroaordinaire, a man Amber had been in awe of. He was everything Vegas-big and large, dynamic and exciting. He’d adored his daughter and he’d seen to it she had everything she’d ever needed. Since he was often traveling the gambling circuit, leaving Amber with his parents, she’d extended her awe and love to her dashing father to her hometown, Vegas. She reveled in the glitz and glamour that emanated from it in waves.

The shine had long since come off Marshall, though, and these days she saw her soon-to-be ex-partner for the man he really was. A middle-aged con who made his living by gambling and cheating, simply because he could. Amber’s reasons for getting into the life had been less self-serving, yet she couldn’t deny they shared a mutual investment in their partnership.

“Hey, beautiful.” Marshall stepped up beside her and pressed a cool kiss to her cheek. “How are you this morning?” he asked, interrupting her introspection.

“I’m just fine.” She pressed her fingers together to keep from fidgeting or tipping her hand before she was ready.

“Can I get you a drink?” Marshall asked.

She frowned at his question. “Isn’t noon a little early for cocktails?”

“Come on, babe, relax. It’s Friday. The start of the weekend.” He flagged down a waitress. “Johnnie Walker Black for me. And a chardonnay for the lady.”

Chardonnay was Amber’s drink of choice when she and Marshall were acting the part of gambler and his bimbo. Amber didn’t want anything to do with the charade now.

She waved her hand in the air. “Nothing for me.”

With a nod, the cocktail waitress turned and walked away.

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