Lila Wilder is a chemistry major, a nerdy girl lacking in social and body confidence. Her best friend is Beckett Davenport. He’s the captain of the college hockey team and has a bit of a reputation as the love them and leave them type. This somewhat unlikely friendship between the protagonists of Getting Lucky Number Seven developed after they were paired as lab partners in chemistry class. Lila was getting over her breakup with the fellow nerd who had been her boyfriend through high school and she has “relationship material” written all over her. So, even though Beck always thought Lila was cute, albeit in a somewhat bohemian way, he’d never considered her as a romantic partner and vice versa. That is, until Lila makes a ‘college bucket list’ of all the things she has missed out on since starting at Boston University.
When the story begins, Lila is on a three-way (six-way?) blind date with her college roommates. The guy she’s been paired with is less than impressed with her bulky, unfashionable clothes. When Lila overhears the guy describe her as “fugly” she decides she needs a makeover. What may have been inspired by a guy does become something she decides to do for herself however.
With the help of Beck, she embarks upon a goal-setting exercise and lists all the things she wants to do in the remainder of the semester so that she has the “true college experience”. Those things include dancing on a bar, singing karaoke, getting a tattoo – and the “lucky number seven” is “have mind-blowing sex”.
The first thing Lila does is have her hair done. She goes from brunette to redhead and has a new cut, with bangs and layers. Then she goes shopping and buys some clothes that show off her assets. As a girl who developed breasts early, she had always covered herself up – her insecurity about her body was abetted by her mother who was a bit over the top in the modesty department. What may have been appropriate for an 11-year-old is not the same as what works for 19-year-old Lila.
To his credit, Beck always thought Lila was cute. But after her makeover, he notices things about her (*coughherbreastscough*) for the first time. It was difficult for me to give him a pass on this entirely because isn’t the fantasy that he would have “seen” her before the makeover?
Beck and Lila are comfortable with one another and this is a plus for both of them. Lila tends to be socially awkward and she’s not good at flirting or meeting new people. Beck, for his part, is still getting over the sudden death of his parents the summer before as well as dealing with the consequent family and business responsibilities and obligations this created.
Over a couple of weeks, as Beck helps Lila with her bucket list, the growing attraction between them picks up heat and by the time Beck sees number seven on the list, he’s pretty much toast. Of course, he volunteers to help Lila complete her list. The deal is that it will be only sex and that their friendship takes priority. Beck isn’t into relationships – for family reasons he mistrusts them – and Lila says she wants only a college fling and nothing serious to take the focus from her career goals.
Famous last words.
I enjoyed the interaction between Beck and Lila – something which was only enhanced by the narration. Both Andi Arndt and Cooper North performed strongly, with Mr. North perhaps edging out Ms. Arndt for my preference. I think I’ve gotten used to Ms. Arndt voicing 20-somethings and I had to shift gear to “hear” her as a 19-year-old.
Even though Beck is the captain of a very successful hockey team, hockey didn’t feature very prominently in the story and there were times I wondered whether the depiction was realistic. That said, my only exposure to college hockey is through other NA novels so I have no idea really. I did notice that Beck seemed to have a fairly open schedule and that surprised me.
As Beck and Lila commence their sexual relationship, they both carefully do not use the boyfriend/girlfriend label. Said out loud or not, Lila is all in well before Beck is. Then again, Lila had a happy home life and doesn’t have the same baggage as Beck. Still, the black moment felt a little manufactured and the resolution a little too saccharin.
Much was made of Beck’s future career plans versus what he really wanted to do and when it came down to it, I felt the story blew off what could have been a meaty plot point.
Both Ms. Arndt and Mr. North made the most of the material at hand, with both demonstrating good timing, pacing and characterisation.
Mr. North’s female character voices were pretty good all told and I liked his differentiation between the various cast members.
Ms. Arndt has been one of my go-to narrators for some time now; she has a believable hero voice. If it sounds the same from book to book, that’s not really all that different from almost all female narrators I listen to (and quite a few of the male ones actually) – so it doesn’t bother me.
Both Beck, at 20, and Lila, at 19, seemed very young to me. For some reason, Getting Lucky Number Seven had me feeling my age (groan) but, for the most part, it was a light-hearted, sexy story with bonus bad chemistry puns and jokes thrown in to make me chuckle.
TITLE: Getting Lucky Number Seven
AUTHOR: Cindi Madsen
NARRATED BY: Andi Arndt and Cooper North
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
STEAM FACTOR: Glad I had my earbuds in
REVIEWER: KaetrinBuy Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen on Amazon