Sunday Book Review x 2

I've had another great weeks reading, with two books I just didn't want to lay down and even better, both are the first in a series.

I started this week with 'One for the Money' by Janet Evanovich, the first Stephanie Plum novel and a hugely popular character I have somewhat avoided up until now. I am not a huge detective fiction fan and so I just wasn't sure the Plum books would enrapture me, as they have millions of others. But Stephanie Plum is a character it's hard not connect with; especially when the first chapter describes her as a 5'7, shoulder length brown frizzy/snarled hair, blue eyes and whipping along with the top down on her Mazda Miata (MX-5) - that used to be me to a 'T' back in the UK!

Stephanie is at rock bottom, out of a job, out of money and soon to be out of her Mazda and maybe her apartment. So against her best judgement, she goes to work for cousin Vinnie as a bail bond agent. She has no experience and her first 'catch' needs to be Joe Morelli, one of those bad boys most women secretly lust after at least once in their life. Just to complicate matters she and Joe have history, albeit more by submission on Stephanie's part!

Soon Stephanie finds herself in possession of a gun she's too scared to use, a spray that can drop a man in seconds and a totally psychotic stalker with the hots for her. Unwisely she steals Joe's car for transportation, just making him mad, but still uncatchable. Then things go from bad to worse as witnesses get knocked off and someone tries to blow her up in her own parking lot!

This is a fast moving book, not predictable and although it didn't make me laugh out loud, I was chuckling away a few times. My friends who have read all these books predicted I would love them and be unable to put them down. Well that's not quite true yet, but I am pretty certain by the time I have read 'Two for the Money', I will be hooked.

'What a Girl Wants' by Kristen Billerbeck was recommended to me by Amazon and has been on my wish list awhile, but the Hubster bought me the series for Christmas. These books are described as Christian Chick-Lit' so I was somewhat intrigued, and the description and reviews really appealed to me.

They introduce Ashley Wilkes Stockingdale, a paid up member of the Reasons, her church's singles group, where everyone has a 'reason' for being unmarried. Ashley is an Audi TT driving, Jimmy Choo heeled, Patent Attorney in Silicone Valley endlessly obsessing about her failure to catch an engineer husband. She hasn't had a date in months, spends her evenings either watching The Bachelor or on the Reasons singles nights out at Starbucks or Applebee's.

She has longterm friendship and chemistry with a 'Matrix' obsessed engineer called Seth, but he seems incapable of acting on his barely suppressed feelings. Then Dr Kevin Novak rolls into her life, gorgeous, wealthy, Porsche Boxter and electricity that positively sizzles, and he acts on it.

Suddenly confusion reigns, followed closely by desperation when her irritating younger bus driving brother gets engaged before she does. Ashley is roped in as bridesmaid to his unbelievably gorgeous Asian fiance, her mother is driving her insane about wedding favors, her apartment is infested with rats, work takes her to Taiwan and she ends up in jail after hitting a cop with her Prada purse!

This book was laugh out loud and I literally didn't want to put it down. Being Christian Chick-Lit' this considers life's path and choices taken more deeply, the characters aren't hopping into bed and I found this really refreshing. It also didn't take itself too seriously, Ashley even uses her Bible as a tool to get rid of one smarmy married guy on a plane, just too funny!

At the end of both these excellent books I had the next one here ready to go. Interestingly it was the next Ashley Stockingdale book 'Out of Control' that I immediately grabbed, so I guess she wins by a nose!


Vickie said...

Loved the Stephanie Plum series up until #10 and then she lost me. The first one is still my favorite, though, and might go back one day and re-read.

Daryl said...

I think I am the only reader I know who hasnt read the Plum books .. right now I am finishing up The Secret of Lost Things which sounded so good in the review .. and hasnt quite lived up to it for me .. oh well my stack of waiting to be read is TALL so I am not too concerned.

Maybe I will put Ms Plum on my wish list.


Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Great books, and you did wonderful reviews of them Sarah! I've read all of the Stephanie Plum books and enjoyed them. They're always a good choice to turn to if I want to laugh and have a fairly predictable plot. I didn't read them all together but spread them out, as they all follow basically the same formula. I've also read the Ashley Stockingdale books and loved those as well. I enjoy Christian fiction and I enjoy chick-lit, so this was a good combination to me. It must be odd to go from the foul language of the Plum books to the clean, Christian Stockingdale books, LOL! I must admit that the first Ashely S. book was my favorite, but I did enjoy the series. I have her other series, the Spa Girls, here to read and hope to get to those in 2009. I really like Kristin Billerbeck and read her blog too (shhh, I'm such a stalker!)

Happy Reading, hope you guys have a wonderful new year in 2009 :)

Sherilyn -The Dominee Huisvrouw said...

I have 3 of the Kristin Billerbeck books, but haven't read them yet, I think I might have to start!

pamokc said...

I haven't read the Plumb books either and can't say I'm intrigued yet. And I love detective stories! The other sounds really cute and very Marian Keyes to an extent.

George said...

It sounds as if you found a couple of good books to enjoy. I'm glad you did.