Review: Out of Luck by Kendall Talbot

Posted July 1, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 16 Comments

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I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Out of Luck by Kendall Talbot
Out of Luck

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Series: Maximum Exposure #3
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Kensington
Released on July 2, 2019
Pages: 228
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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The Delight

Guaranteed suspenseful adventure, exotic locals, and characters showing their strength while falling in love!  I love traveling the extreme locations with each of these books and, while the locales weren’t extreme in this latest, the situation was.  My book passport was stamped and I was primed to be off with a woman nearly Out of Luck.


Out of Luck is the third in a series of standalone romantic suspense tales that work in any order.

Her father is murdered before her eyes and Charlene discovers through the investigation that her life has been a lie.  She’s all alone and all she has now is hoping that discovering the truth will give her the answers about herself and her father’s murder.  The thin trail of clues lead her out of New Orleans to Key West to hire a boat captain who will smuggle her into Cuba.

Marshall is recovery from a past of losses including his Naval career.  He washed up in Key West and now has slowly taken his life back as a boat charter captain.  He has some insane stories about the people who charter him and his boat, but this latest might very well take the cake.  A women of contrasting naivete who carries herself like a fighter hires him to smuggle her into Cuba.  She’s closed-mouthed and self-contained, but he’s determined to get her story.  When he does, he finds himself at her side for the adventure of a lifetime.

Out of Luck was the story of a woman who is forced to unravel the mystery of her own past to find closure.  What she discovers is an emotional journey that gets dangerous when she kicks over a couple bad ant hills.  It felt like a treasure hunt adventure as she followed the clues through her dad’s life and her mind started unlocking her own distant childhood memories.

I was of two minds about this particular adventure romance.  I thoroughly enjoyed the clues, the twists, the danger and how they got through it all.  I enjoyed the settings of NOLA, Key West, and Cuba.  Charlene was one tough gal with her self-defense and martial arts training, always living off grid and kept moving, sure of making her way through life, and all.  Marshall was also a fab character with his background in the Navy, his need to get his life back as a recovering alcoholic.  He was tough and he knew his way about, but he respected Charlene’s ability and didn’t try to make her decisions for her.

Saying all that and without taking away from my very real enjoyment of this story,  I struggled to buy into the heroine’s motivation to go into an illegal, deadly adventure to get answers about her past.  She didn’t explore easier methods of getting answers first and she held back clues to the murder investigation because she wanted to track them down herself- on her own, without proper ID or passport, into Cuba, with no research or clue about Cuba including knowing any Spanish.   I actually don’t mention several other things she chose that could have got her or Marshall killed because of spoilers.  Point is, her motivation and consecutive decisions made little sense to me.

Yep, and still I liked it.  Go figure!  I wanted the answers, too, I guess, and I love the author’s writing and all the other elements worked together.  For those who want great adventures of survival paired with their romance, I can heartily recommend this series.

My thanks to the author via Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange of an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #96
Reading Assignment Summer #3 Professor Genre
COYER Summer #15 cover with ocean/body of water

About Kendall Talbot

Brisbane author Kendall Talbot’s used to daydream about robbing the bank she worked in. Thanks to her husband’s gift of writing lessons in 2008 she decided to write about it instead.

An adrenaline junkie and mum of two Kendall says, “I love the idea of screaming and the feeling you get when you are about to jump.” Now-a-days she gets the same rush writing action adventure scenes.

Her debut novel “Lost in Kakadu” won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year in 2014. Amongst the great reviews Kendall was quizzed on how to make the famous “bra slingshot’ that featured in the book.
Rosalina, the heroine in Kendall’s new book “Treasured Secrets” is a chef in Tuscany and the Greek Islands. Food, flavours and romance sustain our heroine as ruthless competition will do anything to prevent her from solving a 700 year mystery to a great missing treasure.

Recipes from “Treasured Secrets” debut in their own book “Rosalina’s Treasured Treats” you can cook along as you read the book.

Next on Kendall’s hit list is the Crime novel she’s long dreamed of. Yes she’s robbing that bank! Set in Brisbane in 1992 “Double Take” is scheduled for release September 2015.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

That sounds like a good mystery. Having her father murdered right n front of her had to have been hard, wow.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yeah, just crazy, but it was a great catalyst for the rest of the story. 🙂

2 years ago

It sounds a bit different and that’s always great!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Exactly so, Melliane. I’ve enjoyed this author’s writing so much for taking me somewhere different each time.

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

The mystery sounds interesting. I do agree though that the heroine’s motivation requires suspension of disbelief.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It really did. She’s young and has no idea how the world really works so I had to go with it to get the rest of the story.

Melissa (Books and Things)

Oh love a good mystery. I love how it surprised you how much you enjoyed it. I do think I may have to check this one out.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I’ve enjoyed her exotic adventure-style books for a while. This series is great, Melissa. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

What an emotional journey! I( love when a story can make me “travel” to other places. The mystery, and twists sound like they made this a story worth reading. I’m glad you enjoyed it despite the heroine not having the soundest judgement when it came to putting herself in danger.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Same here! I love it when an author transports me to a new place on an adventure. Yeah, it was troubling, but I wanted to know the answers with her so I went with it. 🙂

2 years ago

Great summer locales in this one.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  vvb

She really does a superb job of writing about distant places in her books. I’ve been to the Australian outback, Italy, Greece, central Mexico, and the Canadian Rockies with the earlier books and now Cuba. 🙂

Carole Rae
2 years ago

I hate when the motivation doesn’t make sense. But I’m glad it worked overall though

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Same here! It’s distracting in the back of my mind even as I keep going and enjoy the adventure and romance part.

2 years ago

This sounds like an exciting read with the mystery and suspense. And it sounds like it has plenty of character depth and development too. That does sound a bit weird/ unrealistic she didn’t explore easier options first. I am not a fan when characters in mysteries hold back clues. And sometimes those type of unrealistic/badly researched actions do make for a great story, so I can see why you still enjoyed this one. You do have me curious about this series!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lola

I loved this story, but yes, the only downer was not following the heroine’s reasoning several times. I think you’d really enjoy these, Lola. They take you all over the place on adventures. 🙂