Where there's smoke there's fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum. The bail bonds office has burned to the ground, and bodies are turning up in the empty construction lot. To make matters worse, Stephanie is working out of a motor home she shares with a dancing bear, and Joe Morelli's old world grandmother has declared a vendetta against her. And just when Stephanie decides it might be time to choose between the two men in her life, Morelli and Ranger, a third man from Stephanie's past moves back to Trenton...
Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich brings us back to the beloved world of pineapple upside down cake, the Burg and Stephanie Plum. Seventeen books into the series, if you don’t count the novellas. The bonds office has burned down, they’re all working out of Mooners bus and someone is burying stiffs in the lot.
In terms of the plot, I figured out who the bad guy was fairly quickly, but it didn't take away from the story. JE knows how to write book where it all works together, and there’s always something going on. But I think that unfortunately, at this point in the series, a lot of people are at the point where they’re just reading for the romance factor. So let’s get to that.
It seemed that JE making Stephanie sleep with both Ranger and Morelli (uh, sorry, too spoiler-y?) was either a way to satisfy her readers, since the past couple of books haven’t been up to par, or a way to maybe garner fans, by turning her into Anita Blake? It didn't really work, either way. I’m not sure if it was three or five books into the series until Stephanie actually had sex for the first time, but even after that she’s never been a slutty character, or one who sleeps around. And the actual sex that does happen is handled so well, it’s unobtrusive, really well written (not to mention, steamy) and, like so many other things, it just fits.
At the end of the book, it seemed like maybe Steph was ready to finally, finally, make a decision of some sort. While I think that the series may suffer a bit from having her choose, permanently (for however long) will be a relief. I think Steph needs a bit of stability, and as much as I love Ranger and Morelli, and the lusting, longing, and confusing, I think it’s time. Or she needs to write somebody wonderful in.
Does Stephanie need a car loaned? Yes. Is there fast food in this book? Yes. Lula in tight spandex? Yes. Hot hunks of burnin’ love? YES!
If you've read Stephanie Plum from the beginning, I’m not sure telling you it was horrible would deter you from reading this. But it wasn't Horrible, that is. If you have followed Steph throughout the Burg and all her antics thus far, you’ll be pleased to know that they've gotten better than the past two or three books. I think we’re back on track! If you've never read the fabulous Janet Evanovich, and the even more fabulous Stephanie Plum, what in the world are you waiting for? Get started! All books can, in my opinion, be read as stand alone novels. But where in the world is the fun in that when you have twenty one other novels to catch up with, counting the Between the Numbers novellas? Go! Go!! NOW! The first book in this series is One for the Money, followed by Two for the Dough. The next two installments in this series are Explosive Eighteen, published 2011, and Notorious Nineteen, published 2012.
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I really enjoyed this book. It was intense, emotional and made me cry a few times. The way Ian is, the things he says, like "I wouldn't expect love fr...moreI really enjoyed this book. It was intense, emotional and made me cry a few times. The way Ian is, the things he says, like "I wouldn't expect love from you. I can't love you back" is so heartbreaking. I found myself crying often. There were some things I didn't enjoy, the 'bawdy talk' was a little too bawdy for my taste in a book. It broke my heart that he couldn't look anyone in the eyes, the way he was inadvertently treated by his family, his horrible father and what he'd faced in the asylum was all heart-wrenching. I found Beth a very strong character, I was happy that she was no swooning, simpering miss, but this is the first book I've read where a widow actually misses her deceased husband and enjoyed her time with him. I also felt that, despite all the strife in her life, she did have uncommonly good luck. I know she suffered, and I know that luck is what got her through, that, and not giving up, always pushing forward, but I felt that even though the author mentioned some of this, she should have delved a little deeper into Beth's past. Although most of this story is told from Beth's' point of view, the book is strangely centered on Ian. I really did love this story, and I'll definitely be reading it again, although I'm not sure it's going to become a 'comfort read.' It might though. All in all, it was a beautiful book, and the author laid out some good groundwork for further novels with the characters here. I would have given this book a five but there's just something I can't quite put my finger on that's stopping me.(less)
This is my first book by Judith McNaught, and I was not disappointed. A little confused, and a lot frustrated, but not disappointed. I was frustrated...moreThis is my first book by Judith McNaught, and I was not disappointed. A little confused, and a lot frustrated, but not disappointed. I was frustrated because I just wanted to KNOW what was going to happen. I've never been like that before, so I'm not sure what it means, but I'll certainly be reading more of her books. I hated Royce in the beginning. But my oh my, at the end of the book, I'm not sure I've ever had a better hero. I liked Jennifer too, I loved her courage and her spirit. I think that her inability to open up and talk to him was a big problem, but it was totally understandable. I didn't blame her. This was one of those 'Big Misunderstanding' books, and usually I get bored or annoyed because the Big Misunderstanding is just too big of a misunderstanding. But the author wrote it out amazingly, giving no doubts as to why the misunderstanding couldn't be corrected simply. I laughed out loud a few times, and teared up too. The only reason I'm not giving this book 5 stars is because I was frustrated and impatient with it, and I don't understand where that's coming from. I'll definitely be rereading this, and reading more from JM though.(less)
Bite Club by Rachel Caine brings us back to our favorite, beloved town, Morganville. Without really being spoiler-y, the connection between the title ‘Bite Club’ and ‘Fight Club’ by Chuck Palahniuk is accurate. There’s someone, or a group of someone’s, who want to shake the town and get everyone ready to rumble; humans and vampires alike.
I really like how parts of this book were told in Shane’s POV. There really is no way it would work otherwise. Too much of the book would have been left out. And it really is backstage access. We see Shane in a way we’ve never really seen him. (Think Ghost Town, but amplified.) Eve and Michael fans will be pleased as punch to see how they’re coming along. Big surprise for you guys there.
This is the tenth installment of this series, and you’d think that maybe RC would run out of ideas, or that it would get boring, there wouldn’t be any more surprises. And you’d be wrong. It’s just as fresh as ever, and she ties up quite a few loose ends from earlier books. Another thing I’m very happy with is the character development. I didn’t notice it at first, as it was so subtle, but these characters do grow, they change, they make mistakes and get better, and they learn. It’s not often you see this, and especially since I’m almost sure that no more than about a year has passed time wise in the books.
Myrnin is back, and he’s as funny as ever. I have such a soft spot for this character. And I desperately want him and Claire to get together, as it’s kind of maybe been hinted at (or at least, the way the books have been, it’s a possibility not altogether out of this realm.) But I do doubt it. This series, while completely and totally amazing, entertaining and engrossing, hasn’t been big on the romance part. As it should be, really, seeing as though it’s a young adult book. So that leads me to have to cross off the possibility. Also, knowing Claire, it’s doubtful that she herself would do that, no matter how much she likes Myrnin.
If you haven’t read a Morganville Vampires book yet, I strongly recommend you do so. But start at the beginning and fall in love from the start. The first book in this series is Glass Houses. You will not regret it, I promise you. The next installment in this series is Last Breath, with an expected publication date of November 1st, 2011. Yay! *fangirl squeal* If you’re interested in reading Rachel Caine, but want a bit more romance in your novels, or you’ve already finished the MV series, her series Weather Warden is really good. The first book in that series is Ill Wind.