You know that saying, "Where there's smoke there's fire"? Well, that definitely applies to Janet Evanovich's Smokin' Seventeen J After the last two books, I'll admit I was a little weary. Stephanie was stuck in that same never-ending loop of Morelli-Ranger-Morelli-Ranger. The plots weren't as punchy, the humor was still there but seemed to be a bit stale, and I didn't feel enough tension in Stephanie's relationships with the guys or in the action itself.
But I tell ya, Miss Evanovich brought it all back in book 17.
Romance, plot, laughs, a creepy bad guy and plenty of my man Ranger. Y'all the man is hotness personified! I know I can't be the first to say it. I mean, I love me some Morelli (and I do think it'd be more in line with Stephanie's character to choose him in, oh, I don't know, book 100? J), but Ranger is the ish, you know what I'm sayin'? And just FYI, there is plenty of hanky panky in this book. Evanovich always writes those scenes in a fun/tasteful/funny way, but if you're not a big fan, I'd say just be prepared.
Here's the rundown.
Dead bodies start showing up buried on the Bail Bonds Office lot. Stephanie and her crew set up shop in Mooner's crappy camper. (I'm a big fan of The Moon Man btw). Grandma Bella puts "the eye" on Stephanie and something called "the vordo." Lula gets gummed by a senior citizen who thinks he's a vampire. There's a dancing bear and granny panties in there somewhere. Morelli and Ranger both make bids for Stephanie's affections, between the sheets and in the light of day.
Basically, it's everything you'd expect from a Plum novel and more. As I said, Evanovich gets back on track and delivers. She brings the fire and the funny back in a way that only she can. Seventeen is a great new addition to the series. Personally, my favorites are still the first one (it had the best plot and stakes and introduced me to Miss Plum's zany world) and the one where we find out more about Ranger (I'm thinking it was either book 8 or 9, but I can't be sure. It's the one where Stephanie finally visits the bat cave and finds out more about the man behind the mystery <3).
The book was really, really fantastic! I hope Stephanie's adventures never stop. That doesn't mean I don't want her to choose who she wants to be with, but I could read about her world forever and not get bored. I love Evanovich's writing--she's like the Meg Cabot of the adult fiction world--and if this is what the seventeenth book was like, I'm chomping at the bit to read Explosive Eighteen!
And just so we're clear: Ranger is more than just hot muscles dressed in black stretchy tees and cargo pants. He's got a heart, and he cares about Stephanie. And that is what I love so much about him. Although the muscles and the Bulgari body gel don't hurt J
Thanks for reading,