I received this book for free from the Bought, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Last Days of Lilah Goodluck by Kylie Scott
Published by Graydon House Books, Harlequin on February 6, 2024
Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Magical Realism, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Romance / Royalty
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Bought, Publisher
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Red White and Royal Blue meets The Last Holiday in this delight of a novel, about a woman who unexpectedly finds "fall in love with a prince" on her bucket list after a fortune teller tells her she only has a week to live. Ideal for fans of Sophie Cousens and Rebecca Serle.
Your boyfriend is cheating on you
You will be passed over for the promotion
Your soulmate is a royal prince
And your time is up a week from Monday
When Lilah Goodluck saves the life of Good Witch Willow as they’re crossing a busy LA street, the last thing she expects is five unwanted predictions as a reward. Who gives someone the lotto numbers then tells them they’ve only got a week to live? And who believes in that nonsense anyway?
But when the first three predictions come true within twenty-four hours, Lilah’s disbelief turns to mild panic. She’s further horrified when she nearly runs a car off the road that belongs to Alistair Lennox, the illegitimate son of the English king.
Alistair is intrigued by her preposterous story, but Lilah is adamant about resisting the heat between her and the playboy prince. If he’s not her soulmate, then the last prediction can’t come true. But as the days count down, they become maybe friends…and then maybe more. Between the relentless paparazzi and his disapproving family, dating a sort-of prince isn’t easy, especially when you have death on your doorstep.
I really enjoyed Kylie Scott’s END OF STORY so I had zero reservations going into THE LAST DAYS OF LILAH GOODLUCK. With the same down to earth approach to her characters with a bit of magical realism thrown in, she has written a very heartwarming, fun, romantic, and engaging novel.
Good Witch Willow is unhappy at me for keeping her waiting.
This is made obvious by the way she glares up at me through her wire-rim glasses while tugging on one of the crystal pendants around her neck. Like it is going to take help from beyond to stop her from slapping me silly or something.
“Lilah,” says my best friend with much patience, “why are you like this?”
“I don’t know.”
“Just ask her a question already.”
Rebecca (not Becca or Becky) does have a point. It’s not like I haven’t known this moment was coming for weeks now. She wanted to do something fun for her birthday and every other entertainer had already been booked. A lot of birthday parties in March, apparently. Guess everyone has sex in the summertime.
The private room at the back of the bespoke cocktail bar off Santa Monica Boulevard is close to capacity and a song by Hozier plays over the speakers. We stand at one of the tall round bar tables with the remains of a charcuterie board and a flickering tea light in a vintage jar. The walls are painted a bright turquoise, but the vibe is relaxed. It should be a great night. I want it to be for my friend’s sake. But I am anxious and distracted and not in the mood at all, dammit.
“I honestly don’t have one,” I say. “I’m sorry. I told you this wasn’t my thing.”
Rebecca groans and downs more than a mouthful of her whiskey sour. It’s her party, she can self-medicate if she wants to—and apparently, she does.
“What do people normally ask?”
Good Witch Willow is older with white skin and long gray hair in a braid. She’s exactly what I imaged a witch would look like when I was a child. A dramatic long lace dress and plenty of chunky jewelry. Instead of answering me, she glances at her smartwatch and announces, “That’s your two hours up. I’m out of here.”
Rebecca gives me a look.
Good Witch Willow wastes no time, packing her tarot cards, a travel-size crystal ball, and a collection of brightly colored crystals back into her large velvet tote.
“I’m sorry,” I say to Rebecca for the second time. “Though your work bestie hogging her for over forty minutes to ask about his fantasy football team didn’t help. And your neighbor that needed that emergency love potion. I wonder if she’ll actually manage to find Keanu Reeves and persuade him to drink it.”
Rebecca just raises her brows.
“You have to give it to her, it’s a beautiful dream,” I say. “But my point is you, my friend, are popular. There are a lot of people here. The chance of Good Witch Willow getting around to everyone was always going to be low.”
“Just admit you’re all up in your feelings about your boyfriend again.”
“I am worried about Josh.” I take a sip from my gimlet. “He said the headache was really bad, that it was messing with his vision.”
“That actually doesn’t sound good,” she reluctantly agrees.
“Yeah. I really think he needs to see a doctor, but you know what dudes are like.”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve pretty much made it my life mission to not know what dudes are like.” She takes another sip of her drink. “You’re going to rush home to play nurse instead of going dancing with me, aren’t you?”
“Rebecca, can you predict the future?” I fake gasp. “And you never told me…that hurts. Wait. Did you know that was going to hurt?”
She gives me an amused smile and raises the remains of her drink in a toast. We’ve been best friends since sharing a dorm room in college about a decade ago. She’s petite with dark hair and olive skin. I on the other hand am more of a robust blonde. They didn’t spare the tits and ass when they made me.
“Go on, abandon me then,” she says. “But you owe me.”
“How about I take you out to dinner next week? To that Japanese place you love?”
“No complaining when I eat all the salmon sashimi.”
“Agreed. Happy almost birthday. Talk to you tomorrow.” I set my mostly empty gimlet on the bar and give her a hug. “Don’t go home with Priya. You know you’ll only regret it. Again.”
“But she’s brilliant and beautiful and emotionally unavailable. She’s exactly my type.”
“Oh my God. It’s like you just proved my point.”
“Get out of here, loser.”
I smack a kiss on her cheek. “I love you, Rebecca. Make good choices.”
Despite the late hour, there are still plenty of people around. The road is glossy black from a recent storm, and puddles on the sidewalk reflect the lights from the bars and restaurants. I huddle down into my cardigan against the cold night air. There’s a small convenience store open on the other side. Just perfect for picking up Tylenol since I have no idea how much we have at home, and Josh might need more. Better safe than sorry.
I join the only other person waiting at the corner to cross, and she just so happens to be Good Witch Willow. Her stereotypical pointed boot taps impatiently as she rummages through her colorful velvet tote in search of something. Being a witch must be interesting. Not that I believe in all that. Divination and spirits and so on never seemed particularly probable to me. My father is an atheist and taught us to question everything and always demand proof. I’m also a librarian, and librarians like facts. An established truth is a beautiful thing. They help to prop up society and keep us warm at night. Or they used to.
The walk light flashes, and Willow’s gray braid swings as she steps off the curb. I follow with my mind wandering, thinking about what else Josh might need and whether I should buy him some soda. But out of the corner of my eye, I see it—a sleek vehicle that doesn’t stop like the others. It doesn’t even slow down. It is, in fact, speeding straight toward us with headlights dazzlingly bright.
There’s no time to think. I grab the older woman from behind as I propel us both back toward the curb and tumble to the ground. Had she been any bigger, it might not have worked. But my years of infrequent gym attendance finally come in handy. Wheels screech and the horn blares as the sports car roars past us. It’s so damn close I can feel the rush of air in its wake.
But we don’t get hit.
Holy shit. My heart is hammering. Willow’s elbow digs into my stomach as she rolls off me onto the pavement. Whatever. I am just honestly amazed to still be amongst the living.
“Asshole!” Good Witch Willow hollers at the fading taillights.
The cool damp ground is hard beneath me, but overhead a star twinkles in a gap between the clouds. Parts of me hurt. My hand is bloody and scraped, and my hip is bruised. There’s also a tear in the tiered skirt of my new pale blue mini dress, not to mention numerous stains from the wet and dirty sidewalk. Odds are also good that I just flashed my panties at the entire street.
Willow raises a brow at me. “Oh, it’s you.”
“You’re welcome,” I reply dryly.
A young man standing nearby caught the whole thing on his cell. And is still filming. A jogger stops and offers Willow his hand. He gently pulls her to her feet before doing the same for me. Which is nice of him.
Willow brushes herself off, gathering the items that fell from her tote. Breath mints, hand sanitizer, and such. “I didn’t see that car coming at all.”
Were I not still catching my breath, I would definitely make a smart-ass comment about her supposed prognostication abilities. Or at least give it serious consideration. But my hip is aching and my hand stings. I wince as I pick a piece of gravel out of one of my deeper scratches. What a mess.
“You’re the one who wanted to know what people ask me, aren’t you?” She tosses her braid over her shoulder and narrows her gaze on me. Like she’s attempting to stare into my soul or something.
“Don’t worry about it,” I say. “Are you okay?”
She nods. “Falling on you made for a soft landing.”
“There’s a lot that people would like to know,” she continues. “But the most popular questions tend to revolve around love. Are they cheating on me? Will they come back to me? Who’s my soulmate? Things like that.”
“Makes sense, I guess.”
“Then they tend to move on to more mundane issues, like if they’re going to get that promotion, or are they on the right career track? Then you’ve got the ones who think they’re funny. They like to ask me for this week’s lotto numbers.”
I snort. “That is kind of funny.”
“Not when you’re hearing it for the hundredth time, it isn’t. And then there are the ones who want to know when they’re going to die.” She cocks her head and sighs. “That car would have hit me if you hadn’t been there. Given the speed it was going, I doubt it would have ended well for me.”
I don’t know what to say to that, so I keep my mouth shut.
“It would seem you’re owed something.”
“That’s not necessary.”
“Be quiet and listen.” Willow draws herself up to her full height, and her gaze turns hazy. As if she’s staring into the middle distance. Then in a sonorous tone, she announces, “He is cheating on you. But I think you already know that deep down. The name of your soulmate is Alistair George Arthur Lennox. What a mouthful.”
My smile is bemused. “Wait a minute. You don’t mean—”
“You will be passed over for the promotion. They really don’t appreciate you. I have no idea why you’ve stayed there so long.”
“It’s complicated. You’re actually predicting all of this, aren’t you?”
“Five, eight, twelve, twenty-four, thirty-nine, and forty-three. And I’m very sorry to tell you this, but you will die next Sunday.”
“What?” I shake my head. She cannot be saying what I think she is saying. Because there is not a chance in hell that this is real. “No. That’s not possible.”
“You might want to say goodbye to your loved ones and get your affairs in order.”
My laughter is brittle with an edge of disbelief. “Are you serious? I mean, you’re joking, right?”
Willow blinks several times and blows out a breath. Like she’s coming back to herself or returning to her version of reality or whatever. Maybe she hit her head on the pavement. It’s the only thing that makes sense. Though she believed in all the supernatural stuff to begin with. Which just goes to validate my belief that people are wild.
“Right,” she says. “Goodnight.”
“Did you mean right as in you were joking?”
But without another word, she heads off into the night, leaving me standing there stunned.
I ask the night at large, in a not so quiet voice, “What in the actual fuck?”
But no one answers. Even the dude with the cell phone has disappeared. Despite the drama and weirdness, no one so much as spares me a glance. The world keeps turning and life goes on. Insert big sigh here.
What I need is to buy the Tylenol, go home, check on Josh, down some of the previously mentioned painkillers (for my poor sore hip and hand), have a long hot shower, and then go to bed.
Excerpted from The Last Days of Lilah Goodluck by Kylie Scott. Copyright © 2024 by Kylie Scott. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
THE LAST DAYS OF LILAH GOODLUCK is a feel-good, fun, grounded, and very sweet book that I devoured in one sitting. This is the second novel of Kylie Scott’s that I’ve read, and neither of them has been disappointing. Lilah’s at her best friend’s birthday party where a psychic was hired as entertainment. While Lilah didn’t get a reading from Good Witch Willow before the time was up, Lilah saves her life on their way home–and gets a reading she didn’t expect for free. Willow tells her that her boyfriend is cheating on her, she won’t get a promotion at work, the name of her soulmate, the winning lottery numbers, and that she’ll die in a little more than a week. Lilah doesn’t believe her until the those items start to come true, so she takes a week off of work and decides to make a list of things she wants to do–just in case she does leave this earth soon.
Her soulmate was predicted to be an illegitimate son of the King of England, and she just so happens to almost crash into his car. Her snark and sass don’t scare him away, and soon they’re working on her bucket list together–as just friends. Alistair’s life is a bit messy due to his lineage and the resulting media interest that comes with it, but he’s intrigued by this librarian and keeps coming back to help her time after time. I really enjoyed the push and pull of their friendship, with a slow burn while they get to know each other finally exploding into a hot, steamy relationship.
Lilah is curvy and gorgeous, smart, and so funny that I’d love to be friends with her. But she’s been a bit complacent in her life with her goals, sitting stagnant in a librarian job that is going nowhere. Her choice in men has been what she thought was safe, but that didn’t turn out the way she thought it should. Alistair is guarded but a very loyal friend. As his and Lilah’s friendship grows over the week, his jealous streak shows–and while he denies how he feels about her, it’s obvious to everyone around them that they’re falling for each other.
I give THE LAST DAYS OF LILAH GOODLUCK a five out of five. The pacing was very steady and made the book fly by as Lilah and Alistair’s relationship grew. Both Lilah and Alistair were fascinating, nuanced characters, and the side characters were just as well-developed and entertaining. My favorite was Alistair’s sophisticated and quirky mother Lady Helena, and I loved every scene where Lilah and her were interacting. While not completely unpredictable, the twists and turns of this book kept me interested and needing to see how everything turned out. I really loved how Lilah and Alistair had problems to work through, but it wasn’t because they just didn’t communicate. They had zero problems communicating their feelings and needs to each other, and that was very refreshing. I highly recommend the audiobook as well. The narrator did excellent work with Alistair’s Scottish accent and Lilah’s voice. Kylie Scott is a must read author for me.
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About Kylie Scott
Kylie Scott is the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and international bestselling author of 19 novels including the Stage Dive series, the Dive Bar series, the Larsen Brothers series, and West Hollywood series. Her most recent release, Pause, debuted on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages, and she has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
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