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The Sinful Life of Lucy BurnsSandy M’s review of The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns by Elizabeth Leiknes
Paranormal Chick Lit Women’s Fiction published by Bancroft Press 15 Jun 09

This isn’t the usual type of book I read, but when it was offered up by the publisher for review, and after reading the blurb, I thought why not. And now I’m certainly glad I did. This was a fun story with serious undertones told in a clear, crisp manner with quirky characters full of charm. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lucy Burns, who, as a youngster, only wants her sister to awaken from a coma after being hit by a truck, writes a “To Whom It May Concern” letter, promising to be forever in their debt if they allow Ellen to wake up. Ellen does wake up and life goes on as before, but only until Lucy turns 18 and heads off to college. That’s when He shows up in her life and Lucy becomes a facilitator for Satan, one of the many who escort sinners to their fiery rewards.

Lucy lives as normal a life as possible. She has her best friend Maggie and her son Finn next door. She even gets drunk and makes a fool of herself in front of a potential date. But, as far as Lucy is concerned, her life isn’t normal and she wants out, even though she’s got a body to die for and gets whatever her little heart desires every year as payment for her performance. Except sex, love, men, and all that good stuff that women want in their lives.

It’s finally meeting her childhood idol, singer Teddy Nightingale, that Lucy learns there is a way out. And now she’s determined more than ever to go through with it since meeting Luke, a blind college creative writing professor. But she also learns that obtaining her freedom isn’t as easy as it sounds and that it isn’t free either. The Boss emails her the criteria for leaving his employ and with very little time to work with, Lucy gets to work and is quite inventive in meeting His requirements, only to run up against a brick wall in the end, something she didn’t foresee. She should have known better, considering who she’s dealing with.

Lucy is a delightful character; fun with a wicked sense of humor, and, though she wants out, takes her job seriously. And she does it well, even more so when motivated. The secondary characters are well done, especially little Finn. We definitely don’t give children the credit they’re due. Of course, the romance reader in me wanted more of Luke and Lucy, but because of the consequences she faced if she even thought about a relationship, that just wasn’t possible. What I was given of them was quite nice, though. The sinners Lucy strings through her life on their way to their great beyond are from every walk of life and the way the author metes out their reward is interesting and unique, even giving Lucy certain powers to move things along when needed.

I’m glad I took a chance on this book. If you like fun, unique, quirky, and charming mixed with great writing and humor, you’ll want to read it too. I’m sure you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

SandyMGrade: B+


Eleven-year-old Lucy Burns writes and mails a letter to “Whom it may concern” to save her sister’s life. Overnight, the sister miraculously recovers, and “He” comes to collect. Nineteen years later, Lucy has had all she can take of doing the Devil’s dirty work–luring evil people to their demise. She’s granted wishes every birthday–beauty and agelessness, among them–but never the one’s she really wants: a normal life, friends, love, and a family of her own.

Lucy wants out of her seemingly binding contract, and, oddly enough, her long-time musical idol, Teddy Nightingale, helps her figure out how she can do just that. But it’s not easy, and a lot of things hang in the balance. If she does what she needs to get out of her deal with the Devil, she’ll be able to have a real loving relationship, live her life in the open instead of in hiding, and see her sister and family–but there are bad consequences tied to that decision as well. Lucy must decide what is evil and what is good, what is right and what is wrong, and if, in the end, there’s ever any way to truly know.

Read an excerpt.