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Stephanie Plum #28

Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight

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When Stephanie Plum is woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of footsteps in her apartment, she wishes she didn’t keep her gun in the cookie jar in her kitchen. And when she finds out the intruder is fellow apprehension agent Diesel, six feet of hard muscle and bad attitude whom she hasn’t seen in more than two years, she still thinks the gun might come in handy.

Turns out Diesel and Stephanie are on the trail of the same fugitive: Oswald Wednesday, an international computer hacker as brilliant as he is ruthless. Stephanie may not be the most technologically savvy sleuth, but she more than makes up for that with her dogged determination, her understanding of human nature, and her willingness to do just about anything to bring a fugitive to justice. Unsure if Diesel is her partner or her competition in this case, she’ll need to watch her back every step of the way because Oswald is a killer.

286 pages, Hardcover

First published November 2, 2021

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About the author

Janet Evanovich

273 books36.9k followers
Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O'Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

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5 stars
17,626 (38%)
4 stars
16,947 (37%)
3 stars
9,270 (20%)
2 stars
1,285 (2%)
1 star
318 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,390 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa (Semi-hiatus Very Behind).
4,650 reviews2,121 followers
October 29, 2021
Typical Stephanie Plum book--hijinks, bad guys, mortuary viewings, car explosions, romantic tension. Predictable but comforting in its predictability.

In this installment Diesel returns because he and Stephanie are looking for the same guy--a hacker with absolutely no conscience. Lula seems to have inherited Stephanie's bad luck (her astrologist blames it on the moon) and gets into one bad situation after another.

I find these books to be fun and entertaining, I know that there will always be meals with Stephanie's parents, Grandma being her sassy self, Ranger saving the day a few times, Morelli providing a stable balance, Lula's short skirts and high heels, an appearance of the Buick, and many doughnuts and trips to Cluck-in-a-Bucket.

I'm not tired of this series yet! I'll be back for more as long as Evanovich continues to write them. In the back there is a teaser for the new series featuring Gabriella, which I'm sure will be enjoyable as well.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,727 followers
November 21, 2021
Game On is the 28th book in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. On its own, the book is good. We have a lively mystery to solve, a revisit from an old fave character, and lots of humor. But... something felt very off with it too. It was a much more bland version of the past books. All the repetitive scenes were present, but it was less funny and toned down to the point that I found myself changing the dialog to make it the normal spicy. Oh well... good for a laugh, and I will read more from the series, but I don't think I will pick up her new series because either she has a ghost writer or she's out of ideas. I need each book to be more than the last, and sadly, this wasn't quite there. But if you love the characters, still read it!
Profile Image for Darla.
3,519 reviews619 followers
October 30, 2022
Stephanie Plum is at the top of her game in this 28th book of the series. Her sidekick Lula (I got a whole wardrobe based on boobs and booty.) is struggling a bit. Her hairdresser left town and she can't get the right look. On top of that she seems to be finding herself more accident-prone than Stephanie. What the what? If you love this series (and Diesel in particular) you will not be disappointed with this latest installment. There is a group called Hot Potato who is trying to save the world. Grandma Mazur is trying to learn how to be a hacker. Stephanie's mom takes up knitting. The car casualty count is greater than zero. Life is good in the Berg. Love this series so much that I will listen to Lorelei King read it to me once it is available on audio.

Get ready for Going Rogue, Stephanie Plum #29) set for release on November 1, 2022.
Profile Image for Kay ☼.
2,038 reviews770 followers
December 16, 2021
Same old, but not necessarily a bad thing! I enjoyed the quirky secondary characters and the audiobook which is read by Lorelei King is icing on the cake. 🎧❤️
Profile Image for carol..
1,575 reviews8,228 followers
May 30, 2023
This is the last one, I swear. Really. I mean it! (anybody want a peanut?)

This is Stephanie Plum lite, gentled down for a more enlightened age, and you know what? I don't know that it works as well. Or maybe I just find it annoying that Evanovitch is now spelling out all the details that I would have taken for granted, like yes, Steph's dad doesn't really hate grandma, and no, Vinnie doesn't really think Stephanie is an idiot and in fact relies upon her, and really, Rex does eat something besides doughnuts. It is, in short, a real-er Stephanie Plum, and if I wanted that, I don't think I would be reading about a bounty-hunting New Jersey klutz who was failing at adulting.

The case isn't even that maniacal: a bond has gone missing, and unbeknownst to all of Vinnie's agency, the bond-ee was an internationally known hacker with a penchant for sadism. The fugitive is out for revenge on an amateur hacking group known as the Baked Potatoes, and if I say that provides some of the daffiest laughs, you get an idea how low we've sunk. Diesel, who first makes his appearance in a Christmas novella, reappears here, providing all the deus ex machina Steph needs. I'm calling in quits for now, unless it's re-reads of the series beginning. They were always good for a laugh.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,184 reviews30.5k followers
December 24, 2021
I was a late fan to the series, hearing about them for years before finally trying the first three. I read them quickly, probably around the time the movie came out or a little before? Ever since I love them for reliable escape reading. They make me laugh and hold my attention with the quick, breezy, entertaining antics of Stephanie and her family and friends. I have not read every book in this series, but I did get a good foundation in the beginning and have read the last couple, including the newest, Game On, which is now available.

Diesel, another bounty hunter, breaks into Stephanie’s apartment in the middle of the night. She hasn’t seen him in a couple years, and here he is, handsome and rough around the edges. Stephanie and Diesel are seeking the same fugitive, Oswald Wednesday, a computer hacker. Are Stephanie and Diesel working in tandem or against each other?

There are the usual suspects we’ve come to expect from these dear books- Ranger, Morelli, Grandma Mazur (love), and Lula. This series is pure fun, and I’m grateful to have these books to turn to when I need the reset button!

I received a gifted copy.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Julie .
4,079 reviews59k followers
November 5, 2022
Game On by Janet Evanovich is a 2021 Atria/Simon & Schuster publication.

Diesel is back after a two-year absence. This time he’s in search of a computer hacker, named Oswald, who is rumored to have left a trail of disappeared wives and girlfriends and perhaps a few rival hackers, too.

As it turns out, Stephanie is also looking for Oswald- so they help each other out, a little- but they each have their own agendas- which pits them against one another in a way, but regardless, they need to capture Oswald before more people die…

If you have followed this series at all over the years, then by now you know exactly what to expect and that’s part of the charm, I think. It’s the type of series you grab when you want something familiar and comforting that you know will be light, fun, and entertaining.

This installment provided all those things- it was the usual zany, and madcap adventure, but there was a small, subtle shift- something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Maybe I was missing Ranger a little bit? (He does make a few 'cameo' appearances- but that was all)

Either way, the story is still fast paced and entertaining, which is exactly what why I keep showing up time and again to see what Stephanie and the gang have been up to...

3.5 round up
Profile Image for Tina Loves To Read.
2,534 reviews1 follower
December 7, 2022
This is a very funny Suspense Cozy Mystery, and this is the 28th book in the Stephanie Plum series. I have read all the books in the Stephanie Plum series, but I do feel this book can be read as a stand alone. I love that this book as some characters in it that we have not seen in a long time. I think the beginning is a little slow to get going, but I do feel this book as a good build up/suspense in it once it gets going. This book as so many funny/cute times to break up all the suspense that was going on. The characters in this series is just the best.
Profile Image for Monnie.
1,436 reviews772 followers
September 24, 2021
When I finished the author's 24th installment of this series, I literally hung up my Kindle in frustration. I've read and enjoyed the action and humor in the previous books featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, but over the last few years, they'd grown to be, well, downright silly - partly, IMHO, because despite getting older, Stephanie just didn't grow up.

An offer of a pre-release copy of this one (the 28th) from the publisher, via NetGalley, made me decide to take another look. And honestly? I'm glad I did. Yes, some parts are still on the silly side (a guy who makes a living mooning guests at parties, for instance) and Stephanie is still waffling among her three hunky guy friends, but for the most part she seems to have settled on longtime love, New Jersey detective Joe Morelli.

One of those hunks, another "apprehension agent" named Diesel, shows up in Stephanie's bedroom unexpectedly (triggering both annoyance and one of those aforementioned waffling spells that permeate the rest of the book). Turns out they're on the trail of the same guy, an extremely talented computer hacker named Oswald Wednesday. Scuttlebutt has it he's working on something really big, so the sooner they catch him, the better. Stephanie hooks up with another hacker - a member of a hacking group that does it for fun, not profit. But one of the folks they hacked is Wednesday; when Morelli starts to investigate the murder of a man done in a rather grisly fashion, it brings the suspicion that the motive may be payback and this guy was only the beginning.

When the danger hits closer to home, Stephanie's third hunk and security firm owner Ranger makes an appearance. In between all this, Stephanie's wacky assistant Lula (she of the wild hairdos, skanky clothes and penchant for fried chicken) and crazy Grandma Mazur add some comic relief. All told, it's an entertaining romp that gave me a few chuckles and put me back in the mood to read the next one. To the publisher, many thanks!

Oh, and by the way - that really big project Wednesday was cooking up? It was a doozy!
October 23, 2021
I just finished reading Game On by Janet Evanovich. I was struggling to finish this book. It’s the same thing in every one of Janet Evanovich’s books. Now I know why I don’t read her books anymore. It was boring. I have nothing good to say about the book.
Profile Image for Anne.
446 reviews80 followers
January 4, 2022
That’s the thing about rage. You gotta have selective rage. You don’t shoot things that are valuable like people and éclairs. If you gotta shoot up something, you go for the gluten- and dairy-free zucchini bread. Vegans always give you a pass.”

Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight served up zany humor that made me laugh out! It’s been a while since I checked in with Stephanie, Lula, and Grandma Mazur (something like seven books ago), and they didn’t let me down.

I’ve read the series through book twenty-one. And, honestly, I don’t care that much about the mysteries. It is the kooky characters and what they get up to that keeps me coming back for more.

Since I am not a fan of Morelli or Ranger and tend to skip books when they get a lot of page time, I was thrilled that book 28 featured Diesel. Oh, and let’s not forget Bob the Dog.

In this book, Stephanie plays some minor match making that turned out cute. Lula has hair challenges that I’d loved to see on screen. And several things get set on fire. I did like how the slime ball was apprehended. You go girl!

It was wonderful to start the new reading year with these kooky characters. The book delivered the humor I expected while being a super low stress read. Very few books in this series would I rate four stars, but this one I felt deserved it.
Profile Image for Shereadbookblog.
651 reviews
October 27, 2021
Yes, the Stephanie Plum stories are silly, but I so look forward to each new one that comes out….and I’ve read all 28 of them. Who cares about the plot when you have such colorful characters that fill each Stephanie Plum novel? As a former Jersey Girl, the Jersey setting/jokes/lifestyle really resonate with me.

I’ve tried some of Evanovich’s other books, but they just don’t have the same pizazz as this series…maybe it is the Jersey Girl thing…….
Profile Image for Howard.
1,288 reviews80 followers
December 4, 2021
5 Stars for Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight by Janet Evanovich read by Lorelei King.

I’m still really enjoying this series. Especially when Lorelei King is narrating. I hope it goes on forever. It’s always fun to see how many cars Stephanie Plum can destroy in one novel.
698 reviews110 followers
January 14, 2023
A comfort read. Totally absurd. Did I enjoy my ride in total ridiculousness? Yup-- every minute of it.
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,339 reviews350 followers
November 4, 2021
I read too many books at a time and it took me longer than normal but Definitely a fantastic read! I had no idea this author’s book is what I have been looking for. I loved the humor. I enjoyed Stephanie’s Grandma’s humor, sass, and overall attitude. Good set of characters overall. The men in Stephanie’s life all sounded wonderful and handsome. Lucky her! I have seen this author’s books a few times but it’s still on my TBR. Luckily I made time for it this month and enjoyed reading it a lot. I will for sure read more of her books in the future! I did enjoyed the Stephanie Plum movie I saw awhile back. Stephanie’s mom sounded like my mom. She washed my clothes and cooked for me when I visited her. I liked her comment about cooking and knitting. So true! I would like to know what she decided to do with her “thing” in the end because it exceeded the length of a scarf. I enjoyed the light romance in this book.

This book started with Stephanie, bail bonds enforcement, as she was woken up in the middle of the night by a noise in her living room. She panicked and thought about the location of her gun and phone, none of which was by her side, when Diesel appeared. Diesel was her rare more than friends boy toy because his job often took place overseas. Now he’s back in town and wanted to pick where things left off with Stephanie. Stephanie refused him this time because she has a boyfriend named Morelli. Her new client was named Oswald because he failed to show up at the courthouse. His crime was breaking and entering. But Diesel is here because his client is also Oswald. Turned out, Oswald did more. He hacked Diesel’s secret employer and the employer wanted Diesel to fetch Oswald. Along the way, one to two person(s) was killed and another person admitted that he and his friends hacked into Oswald’s computer system. They all thought maybe Oswald had that person(s) killed in retaliation.

Game On was well written and a fast paced read! I enjoyed the cat and mouse chase. I liked that Stephanie utilized all strategies to catch the bad guy. She took in ideas from everyone and took actions. I liked her close relationship with her family. The Baked Potatoes group sounded fun. Would have been great to read their chat during their hacking process and their short lived success. I think this thriller was a light hearted read. The killing was bad but readers were spared the details. Although this book belong in a long series, I was okay reading it as a standalone. I have collected a few books by this author so I’m excited to start reading the next one, even if I’m reading backwards in this series. I do recommend everyone to read this book!

xoxo, Jasmine at www.Howusefulitis.com for more details

Many thanks to Atria Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.
Profile Image for Jenn.
4,201 reviews53 followers
September 11, 2021
Stephanie is up to her old hijinx in Game On, the 28th book in the series. This time, an insane hacker is hunting down a group of B Level hackers who were able to infiltrate his system. This time, instead of just Morelli and Ranger, Stephanie also has Diesel to contend with as they all search for the madman named Oswald Wednesday. Fans of the series will find their old friends, especially Lula and Grandma, and their shenanigans in New Jersey.

So. This is the same old, same old. There's nothing new here. It's become mildly entertaining to me. I was at the point where I was ready to give up on this series when they started being released as digital ARCs on Edelweiss. So, since they're free, I continued. I like Lula and Grandma, but no one ever does anything new in these books. There's a very familiar formula and it rarely deviated from it.
Profile Image for Linden.
1,530 reviews1 follower
September 14, 2021
Stephanie and Lula are looking for an evil computer hacker who murders other computer people in a grisly way. Diesel is back, and he is also looking for the same fellow. Diesel's not my favorite character, but there are still plenty of car explosions and laughs with Stephanie, Lula, and Grandma. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the opportunity to review this ARC.
Profile Image for theliterateleprechaun .
1,392 reviews28 followers
November 1, 2021
I’ve been enjoying this series since 1994 and thankful for the opportunity to read about Stephanie Plum’s escapades in hunting down the latest bail evader, a cyber-criminal operating out of Trenton, New Jersey.

Stephanie is a bail bonds enforcement officer who always seems to find herself in difficult situations while chasing down all sorts of people skipping bail. Stephanie and her work partner, Lula, work for Stephanie’s cousin Vinnie. Lula continues to make me laugh with her wardrobe choices, hairstyles, and funny banter. I also look forward to Stephanie’s quirky Grandma Mazur’s appearance in each episode and the tension that I expect to occur between the men in Stephanie’s life. Evanovich has a winning combination in this series; engaging plots, stellar cast of characters, witty banter and just enough suspense to keep readers turning pages.

In this episode, readers will love to see hunky Diesel joining Stephanie on the trail of fugitive Oswald Wednesday, an international computer hacker. Doubtful of whether Diesel is investigating for the competition or not, Stephanie decides to watch her back and, although not technologically savvy, she doggedly attempts to lure Wednesday into her world. Stephanie and Diesel, the Swiss stud-muffin, have a flirtatious relationship and it’s obvious Evanovich has as much fun writing about him as I enjoy reading about him!

I can always count on Evanovich to provide a great escapist read with hilarious capers, unforeseen twists and edge of your seat suspense. Each time I pick up a book in this series, it’s like hanging out with good friends – I know what to expect and always come away happier from spending time in their presence.

I’m excited for a new series, The Recovery Agent, coming in March 2022.

I was gifted this advance copy by Janet Evanovich, Atria Books and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
Profile Image for Paula Adams.
239 reviews83 followers
December 21, 2021
Another laugh out loud adventure with Stephanie and Lula. Diesel is back!! Plus there is Morelli and Ranger. I wish I had her dilemma, 3 hotties that want you. Lula is a hoot. Looking forward to the next misadventure.
Profile Image for Deb.
337 reviews79 followers
April 15, 2022
These books are always a fun read when I need humor in my life!
Profile Image for Kimmylongtime .
900 reviews83 followers
January 8, 2022
This was an awesome read !!! I love Stephanie and Lula so much. But mostly Lula she is a lovely sassy woman. I started reading this series only one year ago so I am not tired yet. However, I am so mad that we decided to stick with Morelli when there are sexy men like Ranger on the loose.
Profile Image for Natalie M.
1,128 reviews34 followers
December 28, 2021
I know what I'm getting into with this series, but this one didn't have its usual magic.

The return of Stephanie Plum, Morelli, Grandma, Lulu, Ranger and not seen for a while, Diesel. And don't forget Rex, the longest surviving hamster in history. There were a few laughs, a few cringe-worthy moments and a few cars exploding but, on the whole, a little drab.

Super quick, very light reading but not as much fun as usual.
Profile Image for Dianne.
1,601 reviews120 followers
September 25, 2023
Yahoo! Diesel is back and still vague on who or what he works for! This book may not have been the funniest in the series, but it was among the scariest!

Everyone makes an appearance in this book, and the coolest thing is, is that Lula seems to have lost her mojo, and Stephanie gained it. I can't wait to hear what everyone says about the bat episode or Lula's hair *snicker*!

Alas, Stephanie is up to her usual with her cars...woe is me!

What is up with the odd swearing language tho? Maybe I'm having a senior moment, but I don't remember that from past books. Then again, I don't remember much swearing at all in any of the books.

I loved it, and it will be going on my comfort read shelf, right along with the rest of the series---actually ANYTHING written by Ms. Evanovich!

*ARC supplied by the publisher, St. Martins press/Atria, Janet Evanovich the author, and NetGalley.
Profile Image for Veronica ⭐️.
1,025 reviews205 followers
April 13, 2022
Although book 28 in a series, Game On is the first Stephanie Plum novel I have read. Stephanie Plum is a bail bond enforcement agent and the protagonist of 27 previous novels by Janet Evanovich. Even though this book is well into a series it reads fine as a stand alone.

As Stephanie chases up a few people who have skipped bail she comes across one that is proving to be quite elusive and very dangerous. Computer hacker Oswald Wednesday manages to stay one step ahead and is playing a cat and mouse game with Plum.

Evanovich's writing is fast paced making the book a quick read. The story is equal parts laugh-out-loud funny and tension filled drama.
I loved the banter between Stephanie and Diesel, who is also chasing after Oswald Wednesday. Stephanie and Lula also have a great rapport and I enjoyed the way they bounce off each other.
I'm eager to read the previous books to see where Ranger, Stephanie's protector, and Diesel fit into Stephanie's love life. She is currently living with Detective Joe Morelli however is still enamored with Diesel and Ranger.

In between all the action, Stephanie's assistant Lula and Grandma Mazur add plenty of humorous moments and a good dose of spirit.

I am happy to have been introduced to this engaging series and I enjoyed this book so much I raced out and bought five more books in the series.

A vast array of interesting characters and some well placed one liners make Game On an entertaining read.
*I received my copy from the publisher
Profile Image for Christina Pilkington.
1,536 reviews163 followers
January 31, 2022
Even though the mystery in this latest book is just ok, I still loved being back with Grandma Mazer, Lula, Morelli, Ranger, and of course Stephanie. Stephanie Plum books always bring a smile to my face and are the coziest of reads for me.

There were lots more laugh out loud moments for me in Game On. The last few books in this series has been a bit so-so, but I really enjoyed so many character moments this time around. Stephanie's mom is usually just a background character, but she has a bit of growth in this story which I loved.

Oh, and Diesel is back. Um, yes! I've never read any of the four holiday novellas featuring Diesel, but I'm gonna have to change that this December!

If you love wacky, off-the-wall mysteries, this is a great series to pick up. And if you enjoyed Finlay Donovan is Killing It, I think you'd really like this series, too.

Profile Image for Jennifer Brown.
2,318 reviews48 followers
November 18, 2021
3.5 Stars

Another fun and entertaining book that goes with this series. I enjoy the antics of Stephanie and Lula and all the people around them. I can't say that this one was really suspenseful, but it definitely kept my interest.
Profile Image for Cortney -  The Bookworm Myrtle Beach.
864 reviews143 followers
December 13, 2021
Fun and easy read, per the usual.

Lula is a gem, made me laugh out loud throughout the book. I'm not the biggest fan of Diesel, but I know our two boys will be back front and center on the next one.

3.5 stars rounded up
Profile Image for Sabine.
595 reviews76 followers
January 14, 2022
A great addition to the series. The geeky edge was fun and the story held my interest from the beginning to the end. I liked that all the characters made an appearance, Joe, Ranger, Diesel and Wulf.
Looking forward to the next one....
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,502 reviews178 followers
December 21, 2021
Game On: Tempting 28 is the 28th book in the popular Stephanie Plum series by American author, Janet Evanovich. Stephanie Plum’s latest FTA is a celebrity computer hacker called Oswald Wednesday who has broken into a rental home and assaulted a cop. But she’s not the only person seeking the notorious hacker: the enigmatic Diesel turns up at Stephanie’s place, on a mission for an unstated employer who has been hacked by the elusive Wednesday.

Where better to get information on a hacker than another hacker? Stephanie and Lula seek out Melvin Schwartz, whom Vinnie Plum has bonded previously. But Melvin is a little reticent: he and his fellow hackers, the Baked Potatoes, have hacked OW and it seems he’s not happy abut it.

Retribution for several BPs comes in the form of murder and mutilation, making Melvin very nervous: Stephanie has to stow him in a safe place while he works on digitally tracking OW down.

After a close encounter with bats in her hairdo and an unintentional dumpster-dive, Lula decides she has lost her mojo and has Stephanie’s bad juju following her around. Further hairdo mishaps and being forced to wear an item of apparel that definitely doesn’t suit her, cement that impression.

Meanwhile, Stephanie tries to keep Diesel out of her bed, goes to a luxury car show, has a potentially-fatal incident at the train station, and manages, as is mandatory in every book of the series, to destroy not one but two cars, necessitating use of Uncle Sandor’s 1953 blur Buick (again!).

As usual, food, the getting of it, the eating of it and often, the accidental wearing of it, features on almost every page, and Stephanie’s mom finds a new form of stress relief. Lula’s antics are often LOL-worthy and Grandma Mazur’s comments and opinions on every topic never fail to amuse. Entertaining, as always.
This unbiased review is from an unsolicited copy provided by Simon & Schuster Australia

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