Monday, August 8, 2011

Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
Published by Bantam ISBN 978-0-345-52768-4
Hardcover $28
It's summer and that means one thing; I'm throwing a copy of the latest Stephanie Plum novel, Smokin' Seventeen, in my beach bag for vacation reading.

Janet Evanovich has created memorable characters in this series, friends you enjoy catching up with every summer. Stephanie Plum is back tracking down skips as a bounty hunter working for her skeevy cousin Vinnie's bail bond company.

Her coworkers, efficient office manager Connie, and former streetwalker Lula are back, this time working out of an RV because their office building was blown up (something that frequently happens when Stephanie is around.)

This book is steamier than most in the series. Stephanie's on-again/off-again boyfriend, handsome  Trenton cop Joe Morelli's grandmother has put a spell on Stephanie that makes her horny. So, the reader is treated to some sexy scenes between Joe and Stephanie, and Stephanie and the man she cannot resist, devastating and dangerous bounty hunter Ranger. If you thought it was hot on the beach, wait until you read these scenes. You'll need to take a dip in the water to cool off.

A third man enters the fray when Stephanie's mother sets her up on a date with former high school football hero Dave, who enjoys breaking into Stephanie's apartment to cook delicious meals for her. What's a gal to do?

Stephanie and Lula chase down their share of skips, including an elderly man who thinks he's a vampire, a nod to the latest trend in books. They get knocked down, eat copious amounts of donuts and Cluck-in-a-Bucket chicken, cars get destroyed and Lula wears outlandish outfits.

The mysteries in these novels are not the main reason to read these books. They are the frame on which the story is hung, but it is Stephanie & Co. that keep us coming back year after year to chuckle at her and her friends (mis)adventures. I only wish that there was more of Grandma in this book; she is a hoot.

Fans of the Stephanie Plum series will be happy with this latest entry, although it is not one of the top three. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie of the first book, One For The Money, which is scheduled to be released early next year. It has a lot to live up to.

rating 3.5 of 5

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