I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It is part of the , , , , , series and is a in Hardcover edition that was published by St. Martin's Press and has 1,906 pages.
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Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Smokin' Seventeen, Love in a Nutshell, Explosive Eighteen, Wicked Business, Notorious Nineteen, The Husband List, The Heist, Takedown Twenty, The Chase, Pros and Cons, Top Secret Twenty-One, The Job, Two for the Dough, Stephanie Plum #3 – #7, Visions of Sugar Plums, Wicked Charms, Love Overboard, Plum Spooky, , Tricky Twenty-Two, The Pursuit, The Scam, Curious Minds, Turbo Twenty-Three, Dangerous Minds, Hardcore Twenty-Four
DISCLAIMER: Okay, the plugin I use (the Ultimate Book Blogger) is coded for reviewing a single book, so some of the initial data is a bit odd sounding. Ignore it.
Continuing with my hunt to find examples of why I adore the first part of the Stephanie Plum series, I continued with: Hard Eight, To the Nines, Ten Big Ones, Eleven on Top, Twelve Sharp, and Lean Mean Thirteen. I do have a chronological listing of the Stephanie Plum books on my website if you’re curious.
I found this one scary what with Abruzzi coming after Stephanie, although Mabel and her coffee cake and Kloughn and his doughy persona did keep me laughing — Evanovich does such a great job of balancing the humor with the sexy and the scary.
It’s more of Stephanie’s bumbling, and I did LMAO when Tank showed up with Stephanie’s purse and keys after her car was stolen. Again. After that it’s bunnies and spiders, snakes and bears, death cooties,
cars blowing up, and Ranger is getting hot, hot, HOT while Joe is out of the picture.
And, do remember that not only are there no calories when eating the doughnut holes, but calories don’t count if you’re eating to celebrate!
In 2003, Hard Eight was nominated for the Lefty Award and won the All About Romance Annual Reader Poll for Most Disappointing Read.
To the Nines
The core cast of characters are too funny, and in some cases, too hot to believe. From the klutzy but intuitive Stephanie to the steamy Joe Morelli and the hot Ranger to Stephanie’s crazy family (I do adore Grandma Mazur!) to the people Steph works with at Vincent Plum’s Bail Bonds Agency…well, you can’t go wrong if you want a good laugh. Or some diet advice from Lula; that bacon diet sounds like a pip, lol.
“‘If you’re looking for your rent-a-thug, I told Ranger you’d be with me this morning.’
‘Did he make you take a blood oath that you’d protect me?’
‘He asked me if I had adequate health insurance.'”
Ten Big Ones
It’s a reconnection with Sally Sweet as Grandma and Stephanie show up to drag him off to jail. And don’t forget about “cuddle umpkins”…nor that skanky Marty Sklar. I absolutely loved Stephanie’s, ahem, threatening Marty with the transvestite angle, lol.
“‘I’m getting a bad feeling,’ I said.
‘That’s because you’re a minority here.’
‘You mean being white?’
‘No. I mean you’re the only one for blocks not packin’ a gun.'”
These characters that Evanovich dreams up…lordy, they do crack me up. From the sexline Lowanda and those dogs of hers, Sally Sweet and his cute little plaid miniskirts, Carol Cantell and her Cheetos addiction even as Stephanie is skulking about, trying to hide from the assassin out to get her, and invading Ranger’s space…*fans herself energetically*.
Eleven on Top
Steph keeps threatening to quit her job with her cousin’s bail bonds company, and she soon discovers how much worse it can be. It’s too typical of Evanovich’s humor with her newest boss…
“‘…you must be careful not to make ethnic slurs.’
‘Sure. You want to tell me the name of this country?’
‘Never heard of it.’
‘You see, already you are treading in very dangerous waters.'”
And it’s leftover birthday cake. God, how I want one of my own! Although, if I have to think of Mama Macaroni and her mole, well, my appetite gets shot all to hell. As for Ranger, yep, that hottie has his priorities:
“‘I just shot a guy in the foot,’ I told him.
‘Did he deserve it?’
‘That’s sort of a tough moral question. …’
‘Did you destroy the evidence? Were there witnesses? Did you come up with a good lie?’
‘Yes. No. Yes.’
‘Move on,’ Ranger said.'”
And this is the one in which Stephanie goes to work for Ranger…
It’s sharp all right…and scary as we learn more about Ranger’s past and the nut jobs who a) kidnap his young daughter, and b) think he’s her husband! Sure doesn’t prevent Ranger from lobbing those innuendos…ooh, baby!
Lula is dating Tank. It is, however, nothing as hot as Ranger moving into Stephanie’s apartment while he’s hiding from the cops and the FBI…while Joe is also living with Stephanie:
“And if you sleep with him while I’m here, I’ll have to kill him.”
Stephanie does know what her priorities are: “Dessert was the base of [her] food pyramid. And the laughs just keep coming.
“‘Oh, for God’s sake,’ I said. ‘Just give me the stupid thing.’ I took the panic button and stuck it into my Super Sexy Miracle Bra.
‘GPS,’ Ranger said to Morelli.
‘Probably I can find her breast without it,’ Morelli said. ‘But it’s good to know there’s a navigational system on board if I need it.'”
Lean Mean Thirteen
Stephanie’s slimeball ex-husband, Dickie Orr, goes missing, and Stephanie is under suspicion. It’s that threat to Stephanie that sends Joe to Ranger for help and sharing Stephanie-watch. Oh, yeah…
“…Morelli said to Ranger. ‘Can you be trusted with her?
‘No,’ Ranger said. ‘Not for a second.'”
I do enjoy reading about Stephanie and her adventures. Yep, all of ’em, from her bounty hunting fiascos to her decimating Ranger’s Merry Men to her heated interactions with Joe and Ranger *hot flash!* That family of hers is another car crash you can’t help laughing at as Grandma Mazur shoots the gumpy off that chicken, Valerie coos with Albert Kloughn, and Mom barely retains her sanity.