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Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21) – Janet Evanovich

Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21) – Janet EvanovichTitle: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: November 20, 2012 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library, Used bookstore
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 23, 2015
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don’t just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don’t do what Tiki tells you to do.
After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track down the con man. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.
The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory. . . .

Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21) – Janet EvanovichTitle: Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: November 10, 2013 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library, Used bookstore
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 24, 2015
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.
It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.
With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21) – Janet EvanovichTitle: Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: June 17, 2014 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 28, 2015
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)

Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under.
To top things off, Ranger—resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation—has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past.
Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list—but that’s top secret.

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I’m guessing if you’re this far into the Stephanie Plum series, you’re not really looking for a review of the books. I’ve sort of been lumping the last few books into a series of mini-reviews since my feelings about them tend to generally be the same!

In December, I was looking for a few quick books to read to meet my 2015 reading challenge goal and I knew the Stephanie Plum audio books were quick and also fun! I meant to start with just NINETEEN but ended up bingeing TWENTY and TWENTY-ONE as well because I was just on a roll! NINETEEN and TWENTY were my favorites out of the three. I thought they did a great job with the story line, keeping things moving, and keeping me engaged. I was actually pretty hooked on both of their plots and I also was totally hooked on the romance(s) that were developing even more! This is the one series that I’m not even mad or annoyed has a love triangle because I really feel for both guys and I really love them both in their own ways.

I don’t know if it was me rushing through TWENTY-ONE or just that it wasn’t as engaging but I found myself losing focus when listening to it. The premise didn’t appeal to me as much because I think it felt less personal and I just wasn’t as connected. I wish I had more to say but I really just ended up losing focus on this one and found it harder to concentrate on the audio, but I guess that says something in itself!

It’s weird to be almost caught up on the series now too! I’ve been reading it for about five years (I only started it a few years back when I was looking for more mysteries from the library) and this is definitely the longest series I’ve ever read… aside from like, The Baby-Sitter’s Club. It’s kind of fun to have this fun and easy series to fall back on! Except now that I’m caught up, I’ll have to find another fun, easy series while I’m waiting for new Stephanie!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Long series. I’ve really never read such a long series aside from children’s books when I was younger so it’s fun to really be so involved! It’s so easy to continue too since it’s much lighter and the plots don’t really tie together, aside from Stephanie’s personal life.
Left Me Wanting More: Swoony moments. I’m starting to really get into the romance in these books and I could totally go for a few more swoon-worthy moments!

Addiction Rating
Read them!

If you’re a Plum fan, you’re in it this far! They’re fun for quick, easy reads and they’re always a bunch of fun!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE NOTORIOUS NINETEEN, TAKEDOWN TWENTY, TOP-SECRET TWENTY-ONE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

 size 12 and ready to rock    MURDER UNCORKED

Mini-Review: Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18) – Janet Evanovich

Mini-Review: Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18) – Janet EvanovichTitle: Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: November 22, 2011 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library, Used bookstore
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 23, 2015
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)


Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet Evanovich.

 
Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead—and a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph he was supposed to be carrying. Only one person has seen the missing photo: Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target. An FBI sketch artist helps Stephanie re-create the person in the photo, but Stephanie’s descriptive skills are lacking. Until she can improve them, she’ll need to watch her back. Over at the bail bonds agency things are going from bad to worse. Vinnie’s temporary HQ has gone up in smoke. Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls for their largest skip yet. Lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment. And everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?
 
Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii. And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It’s complicated.

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I was fairly impressed with EXPLOSIVE EIGHTEEN! Well, in comparison to previous books. This book really had a lot going on for it as far as Stephanie Plum’s story goes and I was so excited to really add more mystery and plot to the series again! I’ve said it in previous reviews but the lack of real plot and high level of goofiness was really starting to wear on me so I’m so glad to see that things are really picking up in Stephanie’s personal life and in the development of each case.

The book started off with a twist and I was dying to see what it meant and what the details were!! That was so much fun and a great way to hook me from the start which the books don’t usually do. I wished that the mystery had lasted just a bit longer but still, I was very appreciative of it kicking off the beginning of the novel!

Somehow the Ranger-Stephanie-Morelli love triangle is one that I’m okay with. I think because I’ve really grown to appreciate and like each character. I still don’t think that Stephanie should end up with Ranger in the end but sometimes it’s hard not to root for those two to get together… But then I think of Morelli and how much I do  want Stephanie to really start and cement a relationship with him and I think that maybe it’s finally time for the book to seal that deal. As much as I enjoy the sexual tension between Stephanie and Ranger, I think that relationship can be official and still have hijinks and relationship complications enough to keep the readers laughing and interested. Hell, there can even still be sexual tension with Ranger still attracted to Steph even though she’s in a relationship. Lord knows that’s been half the series anyway!

I’m so glad to see the series improving once again! It feels like it’s really getting back on track to be a more solid series and not just a bunch of throw-away stories to keep books pumping out. They’re still on the lighter side and I always appreciate that  but I’m glad there’s a bit more substance.

view_from_goodreads1

I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

explosive eighteen gr updates

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Kept Me Hooked On: Cozy mysteries. I love that this book had a BIT more of a mystery! The plot really got a bit better too. These books will always bring me back.
Left Me Wanting More: Commitment. I do enjoy some good sexual tension but I’m ready for Steph and Morelli to commit to each other already! The series can still be good, ya know?

Addiction Rating
Read it!

If you’re a fan, keep on going! I do like that things are picking up once again and I still have hope for things to get even better along the way!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE EXPLOSIVE EIGHTEEN

(Click the cover to see my review!)

 size 12 and ready to rock    MURDER UNCORKED

Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin’ Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17) – Janet Evanovich

Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin’ Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17) – Janet EvanovichTitle: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: June 29, 2010 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library, Used bookstore
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 17, 2015
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)

Trenton, New Jersey, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has inherited a “lucky” bottle from her Uncle Pip. Problem is, Uncle Pip didn’t specify if the bottle brought good luck or bad luck….
BAD LUCKVinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, has run up a gambling debt of $786,000 with mobster Bobby Sunflower and is being held until the cash can be produced.
GOOD LUCKBeing in the business of tracking down people, Stephanie, office manager Connie, and file clerk Lula have an advantage in finding Vinnie.
BAD LUCKFinding a safe place to hide Vinnie turns out to be harder than raising $786,000. Not even local stoner Walter “Moon Man” Dunphy is up to the task.
GOOD LUCKBetween a bonds office yard sale, Mooner’s Hobbit-Con charity event, and Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle, they just might raise enough money to save the business, and Vinnie, from ruin.
BAD LUCKSaving Vincent Plum Bail Bonds means Stephanie can keep her job as a bounty hunter—and keep hunting down a man wanted for polygamy, a turnpike toilet paper bandit, and a drug dealer with a pet alligator named Mr. Jingles.
GOOD LUCKBeing a bounty hunter comes with its perks, namely Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, and the dark and dangerous security expert, Ranger. With any luck at all, Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle will have Stephanie getting lucky—the only question is…with whom?
Sizzling Sixteen…so hot, the pages might spontaneously combust!

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Sixteen books into Stephanie Plum and you pretty much know how the story goes so I keep these going as mini-reviews! I guess I have some things to say more so on the series as it’s progressing so far than the actual book.

I love these books for what they are — just fun, easy, light reads… BUT I do think they can still have a bit of substance. The last few books have been increasingly silly and I don’t mind silly but sometimes it’s the way it’s handled. For example, Lula has always been one of the funnier characters and she adds a lot to the humor of the books with her crazy diets, fashion sense, and general no-care attitude when it comes to trouble, but lately I feel like her characters has been getting too — how do I say this without coming across poorly — dumb. The diets don’t even make sense, the reactions to being “wronged” are way over the top for what the situation is and I’m just very sad that Lula and other characters are being “dumbed down” (to be perfectly blunt) for the sake of comedy. The same goes for Stephanie sometimes but she’s more of a solid lead so I don’t see it as much and Grandma Mazur isn’t in the spotlight as much in these past few books so I didn’t notice it with her as much either, but it really holds true for a lot of characters. I don’t mind the silly things like Stephanie’s car getting blown up or destroyed every book but the characters don’t need to be stupider just so the book can be funny. I think Janet’s readers have been with her for sixteen books (more now — I’m only on book 16 so that’s as far as I can comment on right now) and we’re in it for the long haul! I’d love to see characters grown and develop instead of being stagnant or even go backwards.

I also really miss the romantic aspects of the book. Morelli and Ranger have really been on the back burner for the past couple of books to make way for some minor characters who seem to be gaining prominence, but I really miss the boys! The funny, romantic banter between Stephanie and Morelli and this crazy tension between Stephanie and Ranger were some of my favorite parts of this series so I’ve really been feeling that absence. I also think they grounded the book a bit since they both provide Stephanie with a bit of stability each in their own way so I feel like the series has been flying off the handles with all of the goofier things.

I’m still a fan and I will say that SIZZLING SIXTEEN started to get a bit better for me towards the end of the book. It wasn’t bad by any means and I’ll keep reading the series but I’m hoping for a bit more development! I like the series for what it is so I’m not asking for a lot but just the teensiest bit of characters and/or plot growth would really help push the series along instead of me having to pick up a book every few months because I just can’t read them back-to-back!

view_from_goodreads1

I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

sizzling sixteen gr updates

Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin’ Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17) – Janet EvanovichTitle: Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: June 21, 2011 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library, Used bookstore
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 29, 2015
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)

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 the murderer, Stephanie is also under pressure from family and friends to choose between her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom wants her to dump them both for a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, suggests a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Joe’s old-world grandmother gives Stephanie “the eye,” which may mean that it’s time to get out of town.
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.

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Okay, yes! SMOKIN’ SEVENTEEN feels like we’re back on track (or at least on track for what I’m looking for in this series). Stephanie is always in bounty hunter mode but I love it when there’s a bit more mystery in the plot and this one had it! Not just finding a bad guy and where he went, figuring out how to catch someone — true mystery that had me guessing! (Okay, I guessed. But I’m okay with being right on a mystery for once!)

The boys also came back in full swing (the “vordo” sure kept things interesting haha) and it was great to see their interactions with Stephanie more and not just popping in and popping right back out. Yes, I’ll still admit that I don’t LOVE that there’s no commitment (I love Ranger, but I’m a Morelli girl) but hey, I have trouble picking too.

The characters and situations felt a lot more realistic in this book too. Sure, they’re still a bit silly but I can handle it when I have things like relationships and mysteries and the like grounding the book. I’m really happy with the way this book turnd out and I actually like that I guessed the mystery! It made the rest of the book seem more obvious and it was kind of fun to watch it turn out like that!

view_from_goodreads1

I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

smokin seventeen gr updates


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Kept Me Hooked On: Stephanie. I’m really glad that things started to turn a bit towards the end. I always enjoy the books but I need more of the boys and I need a BIT more stability to keep reading the series! I’m really glad SEVENTEEN started to lean back to more cozy mystery instead of just humor.
Left Me Wanting More: Logic. I don’t mind silly but lack of logic really starts to bother me after a while! I can’t stand nonsense so the really silly decisions irked me a lot.

Addiction Rating
Read them!

If you’re a Plum fan, you’re in it this far! They’re fun for quick, easy reads and they always cheer me up a bit. I’m glad SIXTEEN ended up getting a bit more grounded towards the end and SEVENTEEN really started coming back to everything I used to love!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SIZZLING SIXTEEN & SMOKIN’ SEVENTEEN

(Click the cover to see my review!)

 size 12 and ready to rock    MURDER UNCORKED

Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether

The time has come to put together a few mini reviews of some books I’ve read recently! Today I’ve got a novella, a Stephanie Plum novel, and a DNF “report” (since I don’t feel I read enough to merit an actual review). As usual, I just wanted to share some quick thoughts since these aren’t quite long enough for full reviews!


Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: TetherTitle: The Audition (Seraphina #0.5) by Rachel Hartman
Publishing Info: June 19, 2012 by Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 25, 2015
Related Posts: Seraphina (Seraphina #1)

The Audition is a free prequel to Seraphina available online. It takes place a few weeks prior to Seraphina, covering Seraphina Dombegh's audition to become Viridius's assistant and thus Glisselda's music tutor.

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I really just adored SERAPHINA so I was delighted to see THE AUDITION in the end of my book when I finished! I really appreciated this story because it was an extra glimpse at the friendship that I grew to love between Seraphina and Glisselda. I always love little snippets that allow me to get to know the characters more that I’ve already come to know and love.

The story wasn’t really much but I loved every little bit of it. Glisselda is the same opinionated and strong-willed girl she always is and it’s really fun to see how her little pranks in THE AUDITION sort of shape her and prepare her to become the political schemer that I see her becoming in SERAPHINA and hopefully in future books.


Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: TetherTitle: Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: January 6, 2009 by Macmillan
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 28, 2015
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)

Evanovich fans rejoice! Stephanie Plum is back in town, along with her sidekick Lula, her Grandma Mazur, and an ever-widening cast of freaks, criminals, deranged felons, and lunatics looking for love. And just when Stephanie thinks her life can't get any more complicated, in walks the mysterious Diesel. A man who seems to show up at the most inconvenient moments. This time, he's the instigator for Stephanie's new adventure, which involves camping in the Pine Barrens with Lula, and perhaps even a sighting of the Jersey Devil...so hang on for a Stephanie Plum novel that is sure to send chills up your spine--it gives new meaning to the words hilarious, and "spooky."

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I’ve read every Stephanie Plum book there is so far but I have to admit that they ARE getting a bit silly. This “Between the Novels” book was supposed to come before 15 but because the audio wasn’t available, I read FINGER LICKIN’ FIFTEEN first and then came back to this one (since I know the in-betweens really don’t follow the main plot much anyway).

I’m actually glad I read FIFTEEN first. PLUM SPOOKY was… a bit too much. Monkeys, magic, vampires, head cases… Oy vey. (Honestly it was the monkeys that did me in. Monkeys that act like humans? Nah. No thanks.) I always love stories with these characters and Stephanie still cracks me up but sometimes the ploys for laughs are just too silly and this book actually turned me off a bit. Will I keep reading them? Yes. I still own the rest of the novels in paperback (they were one of my first book collections aside from Harry Potter that I actually kept and owned and took the time to keep purchasing) and Stephanie Plum will always be a friend of mine! I just hope they don’t get TOO much sillier. I can handle wacky and fun but let’s keep it a tad realistic, huh?


Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: TetherTitle: Tether (Many-Worlds Trilogy #2) by Anna Jarzab
Publishing Info: March 10, 2015 by Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Parallel Universe
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 10, 2015 | DNF at approx. 33%
Related Posts: Tandem (Many-Worlds Trilogy #1)

Tether, the sequel to Tandem, continues the captivating tale of rebellion and romance that spans parallel worlds.
Everything repeats.
Sasha expected things to go back to normal once she got back on Earth. But now that she knows parallel worlds are real, and that an alternate version of herself exists in a world called Aurora, her old life no longer seems to make sense . . . and her heart breaks daily for Thomas, the boy she left behind. Troubled by mysterious, often terrifying visions and the echoes of a self she was just beginning to discover, Sasha makes the difficult decision to journey once more through the tandem.
Thomas is waiting for her on the other side, and so is strange, otherworldly Selene, Sasha’s analog from a third universe. Sasha, Selene, and their other analog, Juliana, have a joint destiny, and a new remarkable power, one that could mean salvation for Selene’s dying planet. With Thomas’s help, Sasha and Selene search for the missing Juliana. But even if they can locate her, is Sasha willing to turn her back on love to pursue a fate she’s not sure she believes in?

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“Everything repeats.” Oh boy, did it feel like book one repeating in so many ways… Firstly, I had some issues when I started TANDEM last year. I had a really hard time getting into it, keeping the worlds straight, and getting a grip on the characters. I finally got into the book maybe halfway through so I was hoping to pick up with TETHER where I left off in TANDEM but it sort of felt like starting all over again. I was once again lost and the worlds felt foggy. Sasha felt flat. I felt very bored, spending over 100 pages of set-up trying to get into the book and it just wasn’t happening.

A third analog is introduced in this book and I was just ugh, not a fan. She really felt like Juliana Part II and didn’t feel unique at all. I was still trying to spend time getting to know Sasha and Juliana because it was a struggle in TANDEM and here comes another character who is… just like them. Things didn’t really pick up within 100 pages and I put the book down about a month before I DNFed to see if the desire came back to read it and I found I just didn’t care how it ended. It was time to call it a day and quit this series which was sad because I LOVE parallel universe books. This one just really didn’t feel quite developed.

Mini-Reviews: The Emperor’s Soul, The Snow Queen, The Eleventh Metal, Snow White & Rose Red, Finger Lickin’ Fifteen

Naturally at the end of the year, I read a bunch of novellas to help me meet my reading challenge (no shame) but also because I got a bit restless in reading and needed to actually finish a few books. Here are some mini reviews  for a few of those books!


Mini-Reviews: The Emperor’s Soul, The Snow Queen, The Eleventh Metal, Snow White & Rose Red, Finger Lickin’ FifteenTitle: The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson
Publishing Info: October 11, 2012 by Tachyon Publications
Source: Audible
Genres: Fantasy, Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 25, 2014
Related Posts: Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1), The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2), The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3), The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4), Legion (Legion #1) & Legion: Skin Deep (Legion #2), , Firstborn, Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5), The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6), Calamity (The Reckoners #3), , Perfect State, Mistborn: Secret History (Mistborn #3.5), Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, Elantris, The Rithmatist (Rithmatist #1), Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1), The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1), Snapshot, Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2), Edgedancer (The Stormlight Archive #2.5), Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3)

A heretic thief is the empire’s only hope in this fascinating tale that inhabits the same world as the popular novel, Elantris.
Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Though her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead.
Probing deeply into his life, she discovers Emperor Ashravan’s truest nature—and the opportunity to exploit it. Her only possible ally is one who is truly loyal to the emperor, but councilor Gaotona must overcome his prejudices to understand that Shai’s forgery is as much artistry as it is deception.
Brimming with magic and political intrigue, this deftly woven fantasy delves into the essence of a living spirit.

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THE EMPEROR’S SOUL took me a while to get into and I’m not sure why. The usual Sanderson genius was there but I think I was just incredibly restless when I started listening to this audio and I just wanted to zip through it. (Always a downfall of mine.) I really did like the different setting and Eastern influence — there’s an afterword in the book too which explains how Sanderson came up with the ideas for this novella’s magic system and it’s really quite fascinating how he pulled that little bit from actual history.

I really enjoyed the characters and how Shai’s story developed. I liked her a lot. I think I was thrown off because I was listening to the audio and although yes, Vin is a main character in the Mistborn books, I’ve only ever listened to male narrators for Sanderson books before (thanks, Michael Kramer!) so it was kind of weird listening to a female narrator.

Things really got going in the end and the action picked up a lot! I love how the story ended and it was definitely riveting. I know that this takes place in the same world as Elantris but Nikki also said it’s not really quite the same concept so I’m doubly excited for Elantris and seeing where that book will take me!


Mini-Reviews: The Emperor’s Soul, The Snow Queen, The Eleventh Metal, Snow White & Rose Red, Finger Lickin’ FifteenTitle: The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
Publishing Info: December 12, 2014 by Audible Studios
Source: Audible
Genres: Children's & Middle Grade, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 15, 2014

Audible's 2014 Narrator of the Year Julia Whelan performs one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved fairy tales, The Snow Queen. This classic tale is a fantastical fable of two dear friends - one of whom goes astray and is literally lost to the north woods, while the other undertakes an epic journey to rescue him. This charming, strange, and wonderful story is a timeless allegory about growing up and the challenges of staying true to one's self, and it served as the wintry inspiration for the blockbuster hit Frozen.

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Yes, this is “advertised” as the inspiration for Frozen and I know, I know — I knew it wasn’t going to be Frozen. I probably sound totally uncultured by hoping it was going to be like Frozen and it’s not haha! But hey, I love the Disney movie and as most of us know, I don’t do terribly well with original versions of fairy tales.

So THE SNOW QUEEN. It was very short and really not what I was expecting. I knew it wasn’t going to be like a Disney movie, but since that was all I really had to go on, it was a bit surprising in a way. I was thrown off by the fact that it was broken up into seven parts — seven different “stories”. Really it just was not captivating to me at all — and that has nothing to do with the fact that it wasn’t Disney-fied. I tried to focus but my brain was just not having it. I think I could have connected to the story but the way it was told felt roundabout and like it dragged on, and that’s not a good feeling to have for an audiobook that I can finish in a day!

I actually really did find myself interested in the actual story of the magical broken glass but for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. I’m actually really not that into Juila Whelan as a narrator either so that probably didn’t help. This one just wasn’t for me.


Mini-Reviews: The Emperor’s Soul, The Snow Queen, The Eleventh Metal, Snow White & Rose Red, Finger Lickin’ FifteenTitle: The Eleventh Metal (Mistborn #0.5) by Brandon Sanderson
Publishing Info: July 1, 2012 by Independent
Source: Read for free online
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 16, 2014
Related Posts: Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1), The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2), The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3), The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4), Legion (Legion #1) & Legion: Skin Deep (Legion #2), , Firstborn, Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5), The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6), Calamity (The Reckoners #3), , Perfect State, Mistborn: Secret History (Mistborn #3.5), Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, Elantris, The Rithmatist (Rithmatist #1), Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1), The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1), Snapshot, Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2), Edgedancer (The Stormlight Archive #2.5), Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3)

The Eleventh Metal is a Mistborn short (really not longer than a few pages) originally created for the Mistborn Adventure Game for people who have not read the series. It delves into Kelsier's time shortly after becoming a Mistborn. This sort of begins his obsession with the Eleventh Metal and what it can do, also showing some of his training on becoming a great Mistborn fighter. 

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There is no Goodreads description for this one so that little section up there is my own — I LOVED this short story. Of course after binging the entire Mistborn series, I was dying for more, especially in the original world (I love you, Alloy of Law, but I miss the original crew). I was SO HAPPY to see Kelsier again and it’s almost comical to read a short like this when I know what I do now about the eleventh metal and what comes after that. It was so incredibly nice to spend more time with Kelsier though and I just LOVE getting more backstory from original characters. It’s so cozy to hop back inside of that world again!

This one was really only a couple of pages (if spanned out into pages — I read it on Sanderson’s website) so there’s not a WHOLE lot to say about it but I highly recommending taking the few minutes to read this if you haven’t and you’re a Mistborn fan!


Mini-Reviews: The Emperor’s Soul, The Snow Queen, The Eleventh Metal, Snow White & Rose Red, Finger Lickin’ FifteenTitle: Snow White And Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede
Publishing Info: January 1, 1970 by Macmillan
Source: Library
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 28, 2014

THE FAIRY TALE SERIES — Created by Terri Windling — ONCE UPON A TIME... — ...fairy tales were written for young and old alike; it is only in the last century that they have been deemed fit only for children and stripped of much of their original violence, sensuality, and power to frighten and delight. — Patricia C. Wrede, the best-selling author of Caught In Crystal and other beloved fantasy novels, brings Snow White and Rose Red back to an adult audience, in this romantic and magical retelling set in the enchanted forests of England at the time of Queen Elizabeth.
Tor Books is proud to present the latest offering in the Fairy Tale Series -- a growing library of beautifully-designed original novels by acclaimed writers of fantasy and horror, each retelling a classic tale such as Snow White and Rose Red, Briar Rose, and Tam Lin in interesting -- often startling -- new ways.


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I read SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED with Alyssa & Amy for our December On the Same Page read (it’s one of Alyssa’s favorites) and after not liking Amy’s favorite, I was terrified. I got a couple pages into the book and was like, “Holy cow. That’s a lot of thee & thou & thy.” But as I read on, it really wasn’t as daunting as it first seemed. I’m not used to the language so yes, it did affect my read a little bit because I had to concentrate more, but overall, the book was very enjoyable!

SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED is actually one fairy tale I remember reading as a kid (at least I THINK I read the original…) and it stuck out in my mind. I really enjoyed Patricia C. Wrede’s adaptation and how she changed the tale in little ways to make it her own story and these changes actually really helped me grow attached to the book too. I’m notoriously hesitant about fairy books but after falling in love with books like Heir of Fire and A Court of Thorns and Roses, I’m definitely coming around so I was so happy to see that not only was it something that I wasn’t afraid of in SWRR but also something that I enjoyed.

I loved the characters and they totally made the book for me. They were SO much fun with so much personality. I’m glad I was pushed to read this one with Alyssa & Amy because I would not have done it without them!


Mini-Reviews: The Emperor’s Soul, The Snow Queen, The Eleventh Metal, Snow White & Rose Red, Finger Lickin’ FifteenTitle: Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: June 23, 2009 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 29, 2014
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)

Unbuckle your belt and pull up a chair. It's the spiciest, sauciest, most rib-sticking Plum yet.
Receipe for disaster: Celebrity chef Stanley Chipolte comes to Trenton in a barbecue cookoff and loses his head - literally.
Throw in some spice: Bail bonds office worker Lula is witness to the crime, and the only one she'll talk to is Trenton cop Joe Morelli.
Pump up the heat: Chipotle's sponsor is offering a million-dollar reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the capture of the killers.
Stir the pot: Lula recruits bounty hunter Stephanie Plum to help find he killer and collect the moolah.
Add a secret ingredient: Stephanie Plum's Grandma Mazur. Enough said.
Bring to a boil: Stephanie Plum is working overtime tracking felons for the bonds office at night and snooping for security expert Carlos Manoso, aka Ranger, during the day. Can Stephanie hunt down two killers, a traitor, and five skips, keep her grandmother out of the sauce, and solve Ranger's problems and not jump his bones?
Warning: Habenero hot. So good you'll want seconds.

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I usually write up full reviews but really once you review a Stephanie Plum book, you kind of review them all as far as plot goes! Don’t get me wrong — I really enjoyed it! These books are always so quick and easy to read and I finished this audio VERY quickly. The plot never really changes — Stephanie needs to pick up bad guys. She’s constantly back and forth between Morelli & Ranger. Lula and Grandma muck things up. Cars blow up. Stephanie gets covered in something (flour, sauce, paint, etc). Good guys win in the end. Yet somehow Janet Evanovich still manages to write these books in a way that’s always entertaining to me! (If sometimes over the top)

This one was a bit more entertaining than the last. I felt like it wasn’t as goofy (although it still had its moments of course) but the plot felt more concrete and more mystery than just chasing bad guys and hunting down skips. I really enjoyed the plot (an actual murder mystery!) and sure, things got goofy, but it was all-around enjoyable and I will keep on reading this series!

Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14) – Janet Evanovich

Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14) – Janet EvanovichTitle: Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: June 17, 2008 by Macmillan
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 1, 2014
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)

Personal vendettas, hidden treasure, and a monkey named Carl will send bounty hunter Stephanie Plum on her most explosive adventure yet.
    The Crime:  Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars
     Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money, and did the time. His family couldn’t be more proud. He always was the smart one. 
    The Cousin:  Joe Morelli
    Joe Morelli, Dom Rizzi, and Dom’s sister, Loretta, are cousins. Morelli is a cop, Rizzi robs banks, and Loretta is a single mother waiting tables at the firehouse. The all-American family.
    The Complications:  Murder, kidnapping, destruction of personal property, and acid reflux
    Less than a week after Dom’s release from prison, Joe Morelli has shadowy figures breaking into his house and dying in his basement. He’s getting threatening messages, Loretta is kidnapped, and Dom is missing.
    The Catastrophe:  Moonman
    Morelli hires Walter “Mooner” Dunphy, stoner and “inventor” turned crime fighter, to protect his house. Morelli can’t afford a lot on a cop’s salary, and Mooner will work for potatoes.
    The Cupcake:  Stephanie Plum
    Stephanie and Morelli have a long-standing relationship that involves sex, affection, and driving each other nuts. She’s a bond enforcement agent with more luck than talent, and she’s involved in this bank-robbery-gone-bad disaster from day one.
    The Crisis:  A favor for Ranger
    Security expert Carlos Manoso, street name Ranger, has a job for Stephanie that will involve night work. Morelli has his own ideas regarding Stephanie’s evening activities.
    The Conclusion:  Only the fearless should read Fourteen.
    Thrills, chills, and incontinence may result

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It’s been a WHILE since I’ve read a Stephanie Plum book — or really and cozy mystery — so when I was looking for a quick read, a palate cleanser, and a fun audio book, I knew just where to turn! I actually hadn’t read any of the Stephanie Plum books via audio before but I’ve heard they were good and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Loreli King was the narrator who I first heard when I listened to First Grave on the Right (I didn’t fall in love with the book, but the narration was great)!

Simply put, Stephanie Plum books are just fun. I think I agree with the masses when I say that they’re good for something light, fun, and definitely not too serious. I really appreciated taking a break from the series for a while and coming back to it… Wow, maybe a year (or more) later? Of course, there are always a lot of hijinks and mishaps going on and sometimes it does get a little silly and unbelievable (even after taking a year break) but I was definitely laughing out loud in my car as I was listening. Janet Evanovich always does a great job of making her books entertaining!

I’m always amazed with after so many books how things are still able to be interesting and new. Stephanie always has a zany new case, and sure, we repeat some of the same jokes, but I’m always in the dark on the mystery that Stephanie needs to solve and somehow I’m never able to come up with the resolution to the mystery first. Maybe because these characters are so off-the-wall that I just can’t possibly predict what will happen next!

I am tiring of some of the characters a little bit. People like Lula and Mooner who have the typical Lula and Mooner things to say and the characters just get a little repetitive and start to get on my nerves. Some of the situations tend to get repetitive as well but that’s also why I was happy to take a break in between books! Once you write fourteen books with the same characters (and I think book #20 just came out), it’s hard to keep things fresh and new while keeping it light at the same time.

One thing I really do have an issue with is the Morelli-Stephanie-Ranger love triangle. Personally? I actually really like both guys. I love Morelli and he seems like the obvious choice, being the bad-boy turned responsible-man, owning a house, and you know, being in love with Stephanie. I always liked Ranger as the dangerous, silent type and having a mysterious quality, but that sort of got ruined when the whole love triangle got ruined when Stephanie ACTUALLY got with Ranger in a previous book. Love triangle explosion. I just can’t stand when characters are essentially more or less legitimately dating more than one person at a time and that crossed the line for me. I took that as cheating and well, with the constant innuendos from Ranger (which I used to enjoy), it just started to feel skeevy.

Will I keep reading this series? You bet. I know not to be blown away by them, but I’ll definitely keep on with Stephanie Plum’s latest adventures when I need a break from heavy reads or my usual YA.

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Stephanie Plum // Character Obsessions: Bounty hunting, Morelli, Ranger, birthday cake.
I always love Stephanie. I feel like we have a lot in common (I LOVE birthday cake) and I’ve always kind of identified with her. I think she makes a lot of silly decisions, but oh hell. I love you anyway, girl.
Joe Morelli // Character Obsessions: Protecting & serving, Stephanie, beer, sweatpants, looking fine.
Morelli grows on me more and more each book… And now I’m starting to feel bad for him! It started out as a sort of taunting almost and I felt bad for Stephanie… Now I feel bad for Joe! He has genuine feelings for Steph and I love their relationship… I actually like Ranger a lot too but this side relationship with Ranger is really starting to bug me!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Cozy mysteries. It’s been so long since I’ve read my beloved cozy mysteries! I still remember when I picked up the first in this series just over three years ago and read it on a snow day so it’s always near and dear to my heart. It also started my obsession with cozies too and it was good to fall back into them.
Left Me Wanting More: Romance. Oh, there’s romance… But I want that sense of REAL romance and a lasting relationship. Haha I’m totally pushing the Joe issue, here.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

If you’re  fan of the series, you know what to expect. If you’re STILL a fan of the series, it’s worth the read and the palate cleanse! I always have fun with them.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE FEARLESS FOURTEEN

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        The Bride Wore Size 12    First Grave on the Right

Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5) – Janet Evanovich

Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5) – Janet EvanovichTitle: Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: January 8, 2008 by Macmillan
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 25, 2012
Related Posts: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)

    Looking to get lucky? 
Stephanie Plum is back between-the-numbers and she’s looking to get lucky in an Atlantic City hotel room, in a Winnebago, and with a brown-eyed stud who has stolen her heart.
    Stephanie Plum has a way of attracting danger, lunatics, oddballs, bad luck . . . and mystery men. And no one is more mysterious than the unmentionable Diesel. He’s back and hot on the trail of a little man in green pants who’s lost a giant bag of money. Problem is, the money isn’t exactly lost. Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur has found it, and like any good Jersey senior citizen, she’s hightailed it in a Winnebago to Atlantic City and hit the slots. With Lula and Connie in tow, Stephanie attempts to bring Grandma home, but the luck of the Irish is rubbing off on everyone: Lula’s found a job modeling plus-size lingerie. Connie’s found a guy. Diesel’s found Stephanie. And Stephanie has found herself in over her head with a caper involving thrice-stolen money, a racehorse, a car chase, and a bad case of hives.
    Plum Lucky is an all-you-can-eat buffet of thrills, chills, shrimp cocktail, plus-size underwear, and scorching hot men. It’s a between-the-numbers treat no Evanovich fan will want to miss! 

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I do have to say that I enjoyed PLUM LUCKY a lot more than the previous “Between the Numbers” books. I always enjoy the Stephanie Plum books regardless of how silly they get, but reading the first two BtN books (PLUM LOVIN’, VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUSM) had more of a paranormal element to them that took it a little outside of the normal fun-loving but (moderately) realistic Stephanie sagas. In each BtN book, we get a glimpse of Diesel, who’s kind of like Ranger only he deals with the fantasy/paranormal worlds and sometimes appears and disappears at will. I think the magical aspect takes away from the normal Stephanie story lines that I always love. PLUM LUCKY dealt with leprechaun luck, but it was much more enjoyable because we just see another zany criminal who thinks he’s a leprechaun and keeps trying to act like one, but really he’s just an average Joe like everyone else.

I’m never a fan of the Stephanie/Diesel interactions — no, scratch that. They’re always decently enjoyable but I always find myself pining for the real stories. Even though it’s been going on for 14 books, I still love the Stephanie/Joe/Ranger love triangle. I still can’t make up my mind how I want that to end (I think I’m on Joe’s side! But Ranger… Oh, Ranger) and I find that to be one of the more enjoyable parts of the Plum books.

Realistically, I like to take these books for what they are: fun fillers. I can’t take them too seriously because clearly they aren’t intended that way! They’re even labeled as “Between the Numbers” and aren’t the meat and potatoes of the series, so I like to take them in their proper context.

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Grandma Mazur: I wanted to see more of Grandma in this story! She was a big part of the plot yet somehow absent all at the same time. I love how the grandmother is one of the most unpredictable characters of this series.
Diesel: Eh, Diesel still really doesn’t do much for me. I find his character a little dull and I think of him as the poor man’s Ranger!

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Library read

The “between the numbers” books aren’t really my favorites but I do always love this series so I’ve committed to reading them all!

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Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13) – Janet Evanovich

Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13) – Janet EvanovichTitle: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: June 19, 2007 by Macmillan
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 15, 2012
Related Posts: Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1), Look Alive Twenty-Five (Stephanie Plum #25), Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum #26)

MISTAKE #1
Dickie Orr. Stephanie was married to him for about fifteen minutes before she caught him cheating on her with her arch-nemesis Joyce Barnhardt. Another fifteen minutes after that Stephanie filed for divorce, hoping to never see either one of them again.

MISTAKE #2
Doing favors for super bounty hunter Carlos Manoso (a.k.a. Ranger). Ranger needs her to meet with Dickie and find out if he's doing something shady. Turns out, he is. Turns out, he's also back to doing Joyce Barnhardt. And it turns out Ranger's favors always come with a price...

MISTAKE #3
Going completely nutso while doing the favor for Ranger, and trying to apply bodily injury to Dickie in front of the entire office. Now Dickie has disappeared and Stephanie is the natural suspect in his disappearance. Is Dickie dead? Can he be found? And can Stephanie Plum stay one step ahead in this new, dangerous game? Joe Morelli, the hottest cop in Trenton, NJ is also keeping Stephanie on her toes-and he may know more than he's saying about many things in Stephanie's life. It's a cat-and-mouse game for Stephanie Plum, where the ultimate prize might be her life.

Breaking It Down Further: To help Ranger on a mission, Stephanie agrees to plant a bug on her slime of an ex-husband Dickie Orr down at his law office. To no one’s surprise, Dickie gets under her skin and Steph goes postal on him. When Dickie turns up missing, apparently dragged from his now blood-stained home, guess who’s suspect #1 on everyone’s list… To clear her name, Stephanie begins investigating Dickie’s disappearance and as usual, gets herself into a little too much trouble when the henchmen see her as a threat to their secrecy. Prominently working with Ranger, Steph has to keep her hormones under control as well as keeping her cool through it all so she can finish the job and go back home to Morelli.

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Review: Oh Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie. I love your hijinks. It’s pretty much the same story as every other Plum-tale, but it never gets old and the more I read Stephanie Plum, the more I wish she were real. What a kick life would be with Stephanie Plum as a gal pal! Anyway, as usual, it was a nice mystery to unravel with some nice twists in the case of the MIA Dickie Orr. As usual, loved the Stephanie-Morelli-Ranger love triangle (or triangle-ish). And as usual, full of laughs!

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Hard to go wrong with these, so I really hope they stay strong! I’ve been a fan since the first book so I just hope they don’t get monotonous!