Books before food (and any sort of comfortable life).
Summary: Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list. Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie. With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.
This book had me laughing for days after I finished reading it. Janet Evanovich, what would the world do without you? Her books have been dragging for the past three or four, but this one was a lot better. You’re getting there, Janet! There was way more sexual tension in this book versus some others, and unlike many other Stephanie Plum fans, I DO NOT want Stephanie to choose between Morelli and Ranger. Nope. I don’t even want her to slightly waver. Just think about it: The love triangle Stephanie shares with Morelli and Ranger is a super big part of the books. What are the books going to be if she marries Morelli? Or if she starts actually dating Ranger? I will seriously miss Ranger if she chooses Morelli, or vice-versa. Who wouldn’t miss Ranger’s favorite line: “Babe”? The reason that I’m so RANGER is because I have a sinking suspicion that she’s going to choose Morelli. Just saying. So overall this book was a lot better than the last few, but just like those, the main crisis (in this case, the murderer) came to a close way too soon and in an oddly convenient way. But whatever. Lula and Grandma Mazur were fabulous as usual; it made up for it a little. This book was good, but the beginning of the series was better. And to end this with my favorite Ranger quote: (talking to Stephanie) “Working at Rangeman is a high-stress job, and you’re one of our few sources of comic relief. I give you a car and my men start a pool on how long it will take you to trash it. You’re a line item in my budget under entertainment.” Love Ranger.