REVIEW: Pure Dumb Luck, by Dahlia Donovan

Title: Pure Dumb Luck

Author: Dahlia Donovan

Genre: Contemporary

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing

Pages: 75

Reviewer: Pat Henshaw

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

When two small-town country dudes win the lottery, they finally find the courage to speak their truth.

An unexpected adventure follows.

Linwood “Woody” Robinson has a routine. He works for his baby brother in construction, buys three lottery tickets every week, and lusts after his best friend from high school. He’s done the same thing for twenty years.

Eddison “Eddie” Howard owns the only gas station in their small South Carolina town, sells lottery tickets, and lusts after his best friend from afar. They joke around but never speak their truth. He knows they’re cowards but can’t seem to find the courage to bridge the gulf between them.

And then they win eighty million dollars.

Life changes.

They go from never talking about their feelings to facing the world together.

Can anything pull them apart?

The Review

You know those books that you really want to like? The ones you pick up and eagerly start reading because the blurb has given you so many positive vibes? Pure Dumb Luck was one of those books for me.

Two good ole boys? Check. Secretly in love since they were kids? Check. Too shy to tell the other? Oh, yeah. Winning an eight million dollar lottery? Wow. What a plus!

I really, really wish every book that makes me rush into reading it were as enthralling as I hope—mostly because the letdown when it isn’t drops me so far down.

Unfortunately, Pure Dumb Luck was that book. 

It’s not a bad, completely unreadable book, thank God. But it is quite a few degrees removed from what I hoped it would be. 

So let’s focus on the high points first, shall we?

The families of both men stand out. One is delightful and supportive. Nobody from parents to siblings wants anything to do with the winnings and all are happy that their family member has won. Their attitude is that it’s free money to be blown in any manner that makes the guys happy.

The other family is exactly the opposite and comes out of the woodwork like maggots after fresh meat. They are the kind of parents who see children as profit centers. If the kids aren’t making enough for the parents to live in style, the kids are losers and ingrates. And if the son won’t give his parents a share of the millions, he should burn in hell for disrespect. 

Both sets of parents and their sons’ attitude toward them go a long way to describe who the characters are intrinsically. How the men matured with or without their families’ help tells more than artificial dialog about them as people. 

Another plus of this book is the good-old-boy back and forth joshing they exchange—sometimes lovingly and sometimes, well, not. The pranks and jokes as well as the mocking and kidding describe their lifelong love and trust. These are guys who know everything about each other as well as themselves and are comfortable being together as a couple of friends as well as lovers.

Unfortunately, because they share so much and are so alike, readers can easily confuse them because their differences are so slim. Only when they talk about family do they truly become separate. 

As far as I was concerned, however, the biggest flaw was the men’s whirlwind travels after they won the millions. Here the book turned into a series of travel brochure descriptions and didn’t add to either fleshing out the characters or adding to the plot. Having traveled to some of the places they visited, I expected more insight and not rehashing of what can be found in travel columns and on travel sites.

All in all, as I said before, this was a book that I wanted with all my heart to like. I’m hoping other readers see more in it than I did.

The Reviewer

Pat Henshaw:

  1. Is a she, not a he.
  2. Writes MM romances.
  3. Has interviewed Arlo Guthrie, Big Bird, Fred Rogers, Liberace, and Vincent Price.
  4. Has lived and worked on all three US coasts and in the middle of the country, too.
  5. Has been a reviewer, costumer, librarian, and teacher.
  6. Has ridden an elephant, touched the pyramids, and stood at the edge of a volcano.
  7. Believes love is essential to everyone’s happiness.
  8. She wants you to remember: Every day is a good day for romance!

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