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Bulletproof Mascara (Nikki Lanier #1)

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  335 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Q: What do you get when you cross Avon Ladies with Charlie’s Angels?

A: A world-class intelligence organization run by women who really know their foundation.

When Nikki Lanier signs up as a cosmetics rep at Carrie Mae, it’s hardly her idea of a dream job. With a degree in linguistics and a hard-core workout regimen, the twenty-six-year-old redhead once had hopes for a r
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Atria Books (first published February 4th 2010)
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The Lipstick Laws by Amy HolderMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenDead Until Dark by Charlaine HarrisBad Taste in Boys by Carrie HarrisLolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Lips and Lipstick
79th out of 286 books — 149 voters
Princess for Hire by Lindsey LeavittFree Gift with Purchase by Jackie PilossophA Farewell to Charms by Lindsey LeavittGorgeous by Rachel VailCompact with the Devil by Bethany Maines
Cosmetics on the Cover
36th out of 67 books — 7 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 30, 2010 Jackie rated it really liked it
I liked it! Aside from a few frustrations - lapses that caused me to go back and re-read something to figure out what I missed (and I didn't, usually it was something that could have been fixed with a bit of judicious editing) - I found this great escapism. (I'm grateful Ms. Maines didn't find it necessary to use the ubiquitous foul language. Made reading this much more enjoyable.)

While this did have a sort of "first novel" sense about it, I have high hopes for future books from Ms. Maines. I lo
Tara Chevrestt
Oct 07, 2010 Tara Chevrestt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2010-release
Fun book! Full review on my blog. Please click on the link below.
Sep 27, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it
BULLETPROOF MASCARA is Bethany Maines' debut on the mystery scene, and the book is definitely good escapist fun. If you like spy novels with humor, this one will float your boat. This line from the back cover of the advanced copy I read says it all: "What do you get when you cross Avon ladies with Charlie's Angels? A world-class intelligence organization run by women who really know their foundation." BULLETPROOF MASCARA is out on March 2, 2010.
Aug 23, 2011 Dlora rated it really liked it
The blurb on the book is a great summary: "A pinch of James Bond . . . a handful of humor . . . great escapist fun." The Carrie Mae Foundation philosophy is to improve the lives of women everywhere through education, medical, and financial assistance, which is financed by selling affordable, quality cosmetics. But the Foundation also has a secret arm of trained operatives who literally fight for the rights of women everywhere. Redhead Nikki Lanier, who is a horrible cosmetic saleswomen, seems li ...more
Apr 07, 2010 Monty rated it really liked it
I haven't had this much fun reading a book in a long time. This is definitely a brain candy book. It's about an unemployed linguist who has a nagging mother who is trying to motivate her to get a job. Through some funny situations and amusing dialogue (there's lots in the book) she winds up going to a training camp for an international cosmetic company that looks out for women's rights. The training includes martial arts, various weapons, cocktail party skills and much more. The action scenes in ...more
Nov 25, 2010 Cyndi rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Difficult to find a thriller these days that doesn't have graphic sex and bad language but other than a few swear words the book focused on the principal character, Nikki, and the action. With her job prospects non-existant and still living with mom after college, Nikki finds herself as a reluctant makeup consultant turned spy. Her company fights for women's issues around the world and she goes there. A love interest does come into the story. Hard not to like a book that uses my favorite word, a ...more
Jul 25, 2010 LeeAnne rated it really liked it
What a fun book!! I liked this book a lot more than I expected to but the premise was so funny that I had to give it a try. Nicole (Nikki) Lanier, unemployed linguist, is convinced by her mother to try selling "Carrie Mae" cosmetics as a career move. Little does Nikki know, Carrie Mae does a bit more than just sell cosmetics. This is a funny and clever, high-action thriller that brings "chick lit" to a new high. I look forward to the next installment of what could prove to be a highly addictive ...more
John Marsh
Apr 03, 2015 John Marsh rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2011 Porsche rated it really liked it
What a creative premise! I love how the home party selling makeup giant is "Carrie Mae." LOL.
Nikki Lanier (that's lan-yay to you, buddy!) is an out of work linguist, who finds herself in an interesting situation. A man is trying a pick up line on her that he needs a "wife" so his business contact stops trying to set him up with his horse face sister. Would you go with it?
Nikki definitely kicks butt (strong female-w00t!) while using fairly clean language (it's okay, Mom).
A fun romp that combines Avon Ladies with James Bond in an adventure story with a touch of romance. Light easy reading but captivating and characters that you remember
Audrey George
Jul 06, 2012 Audrey George rated it really liked it
easy read, totally enjoyable!
Feb 17, 2016 Tamera rated it liked it
Chick Lit meets James Bond in this quick read. Although there is a hint of possible romance with Z'ev in future books the real focus is on Nikki, her friends, and her increased self confidence as she takes on a job as an agent for the Carrie Mae Foundation. Like James Bond, the training includes neat gadgets for use on the missions, including bomb earrings and a gps powder compact.
Aug 03, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-clean
I enjoyed this book a lot. Nikki has an overbearing mother and at 25 is still wondering what to do after becoming a linguistcs major. She tries for a job and after a bad interview, and is drinking at a bar when a handsome man asks her to pretend she is his wife. She finally agrees, and notes some strange things about the situation that helps her later on. Then, pushed by her mother, she attends a Carrie Mae convention, (Carrie Mae being a transparent spoonerism of Mary Kay) and wins a free start ...more
May 24, 2013 Gayle rated it liked it
I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could. It's a good book in theory, and some parts I really liked, it just wasn't quite there to be a good book. It really lags in the first half with too much action description of mundane things I found unnecessary. In the second half some parts seem to think they are an action flick and not a novel. This would be fine if novels had moving pictures to show these action sequences off better as many of these scenes were tricky to follow. A few too many cliches both in l ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Julie rated it liked it
This is the perfect beach read. Fun, fast, and (most important) clean. There was enough action and excitement to keep me turning the pages.

That being said, I only gave it three stars because I didn't find it well written. There were several times that the awkward writing pulled me out of the story. Some of the characters were not well developed - I discovered at the end of the book that I had combined two different characters into one. Two characters had similar roles and were not well developed
Mar 18, 2011 Chelsea rated it it was ok
I didn't bother to finish this book. I am amazed that someone nominated it for a Reader's Choice Award at the library. The synopsis made this book sound like a fun, light read; Avon ladies as James Bond-style agents sounded kind of entertaining! However, as I read this, I kept wondering when I would become interested in the story. I didn't find it particularly horrible, nor did I find it particularly good. It wasn't very well-written, and I found that I didn't care about any of the characters. T ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Meghan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book gets 2 stars because while I didn't like it, I also didn't hate it. It was just dumb. Cool premise, just horribly executed. If it wasn't going into WAY too much detail on the military tactics and gun facts, then it was them discussing makeup and shoe shopping. Really? Not quite sure who the intended audience for such a book is. Too prissy for me at parts, too butch at others, is probably the best way to put it. The best part was when they actually showed the main character going on her ...more
Mar 31, 2016 Lori rated it really liked it
This book is really fun! I only gave it a four star because it does have some bad language.
Dec 26, 2015 Tami rated it really liked it
This is a clever story line with likable and real characters. A fun read for summer vacations.
Feb 24, 2013 Bethany rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Growing up I always wanted to be a spy or detective, but I ended up an accountant. Books like this are nice because they speak to that part of me that still desperately wants adventure. I believe I have had daydreams very similar to this plot and it felt like I may have written something similar in my head, I do have the same first name as the author... But, it was a great book. Good excitement, good adventure, good romance, good twists. And intelligently written, unlik ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hits just the right blend of silliness and suspense. A fun read.
Laurie Ryan
Apr 16, 2010 Laurie Ryan rated it it was amazing
What do make-up and espionage have in common? Nikki Lanier! I very much enjoyed reading this book and couldn't put it down. Finally, there's a female answer to James Bond. Not as suave, maybe, at least not in the beginning. :) Bethany Maines does a great job of weaving important issues into an entertaining format. Her characters stand out from the page and the story is just downright fun. I was very entertained by this debut book of Ms. Maines and look forward to the next installment.
Sylvia Garza
Mar 28, 2014 Sylvia Garza rated it it was amazing
A guilty pleasure. Funny, adventure not very believable, but who knows about everyday women trained to be spies
Nicole Shelby
Feb 09, 2011 Nicole Shelby rated it it was ok
Shelves: good-once
I only persevered because the main chick's name was Nicole...called Nikki (my nickname until kindergarten). I'm in the fifth chapter, and considering quitting. Following a training session, one girl was called out for blue eyeliner...because you know spies must always be impeccable dressed with perfect makeup...

(a day later) okay, i finished it. it was a fun little good-once read. not brilliant...but not prohibitively irritating either.
Apr 12, 2011 Candi rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book was a little slow at the beginning, kind of a lot of flashbacks, but then it really picked up. It's a spy novel using make-up ladies which is pretty fun. I'd like to read the next one in the series since it should start out running on the ground. I've got to read some [author Ian Flemming] to see how it compares with manly spy novels, but who hasn't thought that make-up cases would be great for smuggling?
Feb 23, 2014 Rita rated it liked it
Jun 22, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
This is a "what if" book -- what if Mary Kay Inc. had a clandestine group dedicated to fighting women's causes around the world, such as human trafficing? Under the umbrella of the Carrie Mae Foundation, poised and talented women fight for right. This is not great literature, but it was a lot of fun for someone who is with the the Mary Kay Foundation. Their work is a lot more exciting! I was entertained.
May 22, 2010 Elle rated it really liked it
I liked it because it was cleverly written and entertaining. I liked that it was a spin on the more male dominated genre of the spy novel. Yes, it did have it's elements of romance but was not a romance. I think that it had a good opportunity to bring to a more serious light the issue of human trafficking but in the end I did pick it up as a light read. It is what it is.
Aug 06, 2011 Gabriela rated it did not like it
Oooook, the main character is 25 and still talks like shes 15 and in highschool! I admit it is funny at times , not laugh-out-loud-funny but come-on-are-you-serious-funny.Nothing original,old ideas... If you just want to kill some time this is ok.

If you want to try a similar novel thats really funny AND original try the Stephany Plum novels by Janet Evanovich ;)
Gina Jantz
Jan 06, 2014 Gina Jantz rated it did not like it
This was pretty bad, one of those I finished it simply because I started it books. It also helped that it was cold and snowy yesterday and the kids seemed content to play on their own.
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Bethany Maines, a native of Tacoma WA, is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery series (from Simon & Schuster), and Tales From the City of Destiny. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her fourth degree black belt in karate, she can be found chasing after her daughter, or glued to the computer working on her next novel.
More about Bethany Maines...

Other Books in the Series

Nikki Lanier (4 books)
  • Compact with the Devil
  • Power of Attorney (Carrie Mae Mysteries Book 4)
  • Supporting the Girls

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