Review: Feeling Lucky by Kathy Bryson

Feeling Lucky by Kathy Bryson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: June 20, 2019

I don’t think I realized prior to this book just how much my other urban fantasy reads have conditioned me to be in constant fear for the characters’ lives. And, yes, this book has just as much urban fantasy as it does paranormal romance.

That’s actually one of the things I like about it.

One evening in a drunken state, our heroine Megan approaches a cute-looking guy at a wedding and pinches him on the behind. (And rightly feels pretty lousy about it afterwards.) However, she then discovers the guy (Fergus) is a leprechaun, and the fairy queen has thus decreed that the pinch totally counts as “catching” him, thereby giving Megan a sum of “gold” in the form of five million dollars. So now Megan’s got a leprechaun living on her couch. If she uses any sort of phrasing that implies she’s kicking him out or doesn’t want the money, he’ll take it and go. The setup is awesome, and roughly here was where I expected the two to fall head over heels in love. But instead the story focuses on what Megan wants to do with the money, because (gasp and shock!), she’s actually responsible enough to admit it’s too much to handle alone. Having worked at a bank, Megan’s got some plans for how to make the money work for the better of everyone long-term. This becomes a big part of the plot, and if business and finance chat with a backdrop of mischievous fairy magic doesn’t sound like your thing, that’s completely understandable. I was intrigued.

One book I kept comparing this to is The Hidden Family by Charles Stross. Like Megan, the protagonist Miriam is also thrown into a magical world she didn’t know existed and tries to solve problems through establishing a new business that will hopefully benefit everyone. The biggest difference between the two is the constant threat Miriam is under, whereas Megan has frustrations and obstacles, but no one is going to murder her if her business plans go awry. If you like your fantasy with high stakes and thrills, you might find the middle-to-later parts of Feeling Lucky a bit slow or even boring. I started to feel that way myself at a couple points. There were times I really wanted the stakes to be a little higher for Megan. The ending lands well, though. And, yes, there is romance.

Even if the low-stakes plot wasn’t 100% my cup of tea, I’m glad this book exists. It’s different. And not just because Fergus is a leprechaun rather than a more popular supernatural creature. The book doesn’t wrap the entire plot around whether or not Megan and Fergus get together. There’s no threat of destruction awaiting the town populace she has to thwart. It tells a smaller story. Maybe you’ll like that, and maybe you won’t, but it’s worth having books like this on the shelf to show the full range of what both paranormal romance and urban fantasy can be.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

You can add Feeling Lucky to your Goodreads list here.

You can also purchase Feeling Lucky (The Fayetteville Fairies Book 1) at Amazon or your local bookstore.