Island of the Sequined Love Nun

Island of the Sequined Love Nun

by Christopher Moore

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Take a wonderfully crazed excursion into the demented heart of a tropical paradise—a world of cargo cults, cannibals, mad scientists, ninjas, and talking fruit bats. Our bumbling hero is Tucker Case, a hopeless geek trapped in a cool guy’s body, who makes a living as a pilot for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation. But when he demolishes his boss’s pink plane during a drunken airborne liaison, Tuck must run for his life from Mary Jean’s goons. Now there’s only one employment opportunity left for him: piloting shady secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary and a sexy blond high priestess on the remotest of Micronesian hells. Here is a brazen, ingenious, irreverent, and wickedly funny novel from a modern master of the outrageous.

Here is the setting: I am standing in the airport waiting for my flight on a bleak January evening. The pit of my stomach aches with the unnecessary stress that always accompanies the holidays and, thankfully, the airport bar is open. I shoot a whiny text to my best friend expressing my despair of not having a funny tropical book to get me through family vacation. She’s a gem and readily suggests Island of the Sequined Love Nun. I curse spotty wifi and download the book (I didn’t even read the book blurb) while sitting at the airport bar waiting for a shot of tequila. Guys….it turned out to be the perfect read to pull me out of my grumpy slump!

I am not providing a summary; the one above is perfectly vague and tantalizing. We are just going to jump into the review. I loved it. I mean…WWII flight exploits, Cargo Cults, live nose art, and perfectly detailed flight scenes…is there any question why I enjoyed this story?

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It helps Island of the Sequined Love Nun also provides a complex plot, well developed characters, and tons of laughs. First: the characters are well rounded with each having individual flaws, positive qualities, and obvious personal growth. (Well. Except for the villains; however, they are delightfully crappy). Second: the setting is so effortlessly perfect. One minute you’re reading about Tucker traipsing through the jungle and the next you can taste the island grog and feel a bead of sweet roll its way down your butt crack. Moore is a quirky master of his craft.

HOWEVER….this is definitely the type of book you have to be in a specific mood to read. That is really going to be the only negative comment I have about the story. I mean there is a talking fruit bat and a holy poker game. It’s hilarious; it’s wacky. I picked up Island of the Sequined Love Nun because I desperately needed an easy laugh and it immediately delivered. But, I didn’t finish the book in one reading. I put it down and read something else when I experienced a change in mood. I picked it back up when I was ready to laugh again. And I enjoyed it!

This is the story I would recommend for those needing a funny, laugh-out-loud read to start off a beach vacation. It helped me get through the stress of a family vacation and frustrating time at work. I turned that last page (figuratively since I read it on my Kindle) while at the beach enjoying the perfect Florida spring weather. It was equally enjoyable on a sunny beach and gloomy airport. So read it!

Let me know if you’re a Christopher Moore fan and please share your summer reading list! Happy Reading!

Lindsay

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How to Lose a Marathon

How to Lose a Marathon: A Starter’s Guide to Finishing in 26.2 Chapters

by Joel H Cohen

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In How to Lose a Marathon, Joel Cohen takes readers on a step-by-step journey from being a couch potato to being a couch potato who can finish a marathon. Through a hilarious combination of running tips, narrative, illustrations and infographics, Cohen breaks down the misery that is forcing yourself to run. From chafing to the best times to run, explaining the phenomenon known as the “Oprah Line,” and exposing the torture that is a pre-marathon expo, Cohen acts as your snarky guide to every aspect of the runner’s experience. Offering both real advice and genuine commiseration with runners of all skill levels, How to Lose a Marathon lets you know that even if you believe that the “runner’s high” is a complete myth, you can still survive all 26.2 miles of a marathon.

My one New Years resolution was to run a marathon in 2017. I was not a runner but I’ve actually been sticking with my training! AND ENJOYING IT! So of course I need to read about running because that’s who I am.

I heard about How to Lose a Marathon while listening to a running podcast. It’s humorous look at the unique ‘aspects’ of becoming a runner appealed to me. Each chapter covers a mile in his journey and Cohen includes drawings to help illustrate the joys and frustrations of running.

I loved it! I don’t want to provide too many details because you just need to read it. This book is a delight and I recommend it to runners, aspiring runners, and couch potatoes. How to Lose a Marathon will be one of my favorite nonfiction reads this year!

Any runners out there needing a funny read? Any couch potatoes wanting to understand why people run? Bored while waiting for an airplane? READ IT!

Lindsay

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen

by Victoria Alexander

 

 

Embark on the breathtaking romantic adventures of The Lady Travelers Society in the brand-new series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander

Really, it’s too much to expect any normal man to behave like a staid accountant in order to inherit the fortune he deserves to support the lifestyle of an earl. So when Derek Saunders’s favorite elderly aunt and her ill-conceived—and possibly fraudulent—Lady Travelers Society loses one of their members, what’s a man to do but step up to the challenge? Now he’s escorting the world’s most maddening woman to the world’s most romantic city to find her missing relative.

While India Prendergast only suspects his organization defrauds gullible travelers, she’s certain a man with as scandalous a reputation as Derek Saunders cannot be trusted any farther than the distance around his very broad shoulders. As she struggles not to be distracted by his wicked smile and the allure of Paris, instead of finding a lost lady traveler, India just may lose her head, her luggage and her heart.

I picked up The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen because the title promised a fun story. I didn’t even read the blurb on the back. I needed an audiobook…the one I came for was checked out…this title caught my eye as I was walking by. Thankfully, I didn’t once regret this impulse read!

Side Note: I initially though The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen was written by the same author as a book I had previously read. A book I will review later this week. I was wrong but you could understand my confusion: Tasha Alexander and Victoria Alexander as somewhat similar names.

I will start this review by saying that I only seem to enjoy reading romance around the holidays. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it is something about that time of year as I only seem to like Hallmark movies around the holidays. Who knows…. So, I may have slightly groaned when I finally realized The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen was a historical romance. I wasn’t really in a mood for a romance; however, I was in the mood for something funny, so I kept listening.

I didn’t stop laughing! Guys, I was laughing OUT LOUD on my morning drive to work. Any book that can make me laugh at 6:30 in the morning is worth its weight in gold! The characters were hilarious; kudos to Victoria Alexander! This book is full of well-rounded, colorful, and unapologetically human characters. I instantly connected with India as her brutal honesty, with both herself and everyone around her, is a trait we share. I also understood her frustration with the awkward self-growth she struggles with. I adored Derek, as his attempts to reign in his aunt’s fraudulent activities and attempts at subterfuge with India were endearing. The banter between Derek and Val had me in stitches every time! The characters are what made The Lady Traveler’s Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen such a wonderful read. I was invested in their journey, and their happiness. Plus, Alexander provides us with a unique lesson on love and acceptance.

So now for the negative points. I only have two to share. First: The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen starts SLOW. I attribute this to India’s rather abrasive personality. She is a hard character to like for the first quarter of the book, but don’t let that deter you. I promise it gets better. Second: the book blurb (once I finally read it) promised a mystery. The whole catalyst for the story is India’s search for her missing cousin, and I expected to read more about the actual search. We get a few details, but sadly the search is very limited, as neither India or Derek are expert investigators. I was slightly disappointed the mystery wasn’t a more prominent aspect of the story. I still enjoyed it! And I picked a mystery up once I had finished this audiobook.

Have I been converted into a romance fan? No. But I am now a fan of Victoria Alexander, and you bet I will be picking up the prequel novella, How to Stop a Wedding in Seven Days or Less, and the sequel, The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger. The sequel is scheduled for release December 2017 and I will have to beg my library to pick up the audiobook version! I anyone else a fan of Victoria Alexander? Have you read The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen? Let me know, and definitely pick up this one if you need a good laugh!

Lindsay

My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane

by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

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The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

Sorry for the brief review hiatus everyone. I’ve been a little under the weather lately, which means much more reading and tv watching than reviewing. Anyways, I first heard about My Lady Jane from a number of BookTubers that I follow, and decided to give it a go for a couple of reasons: 1. historical fiction is a genere that is not often discussed on BookTube and I was surprised to see this novel keep popping up, and 2. everyone kept talking about how funny it was and I can’t say no to a good laugh!

So, a brief synopsis. My Lady Jane presents a very loosely historic recount of the life of Jane Grey and her limited term (9 days) as the queen of England. It’s definitely loosely historical as there is a magical element that definitely makes this a fantasy read as well. But don’t worry; the authors warn readers with a disclaimer on the very first page. 

Don’t let the fantasy element discourage you from reading My Lady Jane. The authors do a wonderful job of creating a detailed and engaging setting which left me feeling as I was running for my life along with the characters. The adventure is fast paced, but the love story of Jane and G progressed at a wonderfully realistic pace. No insta-love here folks, which I’m sure we will all find refreshing. And I absolutely adored our heroine, Jane. She is complicated, stubborn, passionate, awkward, and driven by her love of books. She is unapologetically herself! 

Now, I’ll reiterate that My Lady Jane is not historically accurate, but you are made aware of this point through out the story thanks to hilarious interjections by the narrator/authors. This gives it a fireside story telling atmosphere that more serious readers may not appreciate. I do also have to point out that many of the secondary characters and aspects of the plot felt a little under developed. This was  definitely evident when looking at G’s hobbies and the whole last quarter of the book. I would like to provide specific details, but I know y’all don’t like spoilers.

I heard a number of reviews describing this novel as hilarious. Did I find it hilarious? Yeah, it was pretty darn funny and had a delightfully honest tone that embraced teenage sexual awkwardness without all the tedious angst that is typical of young adult literature. It is fun, and very different which is why I recommend it for readers, especially those in need of a break from serious topics and prose.

Have you read My Lady Jane? Let me know what you thought!

Lindsay

Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos

Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos

by Donna Andrews

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Every year, Yorktown, Virginia, relives its role in the Revolutionary War by celebrating the anniversary of the British surrender in 1781. This year, plans include a re-enactment of the original battle and a colonial craft fair. Meg Langslow has returned to her home town for the festivities–and to sell her wrought-iron works of art. Except, of course, for the pink-painted flamingos she reluctantly made for her mother’s best friend–she’s hoping to deliver them secretly, so she won’t get a reputation as “the blacksmith who makes those cute wrought-iron flamingos.”

Besides, she has taken on another responsibility–making sure none of her fellow crafters ruin the historical authenticity of the fair with forbidden modern devices–like wrist watches, calculators, or cell phones. She’s only doing it to keep peace with the mother of the man she loves. And Michael himself will don the white-and-gold uniform of a French officer for the re-enactment–what actor could resist a role like that?

Meg’s also trying to keep her father from scaring too many tourists with his impersonation of an 18th century physician. And to prevent a snooping reporter from publishing any stories about local scandals. Not to mention saving her naive brother, Rob, from the clutches of a con man who might steal the computer game he has invented. It’s a tough job–at least, until the swindler is found dead, slain in Meg’s booth with one of her own wrought-iron creations.

Now Meg must add another item to her already lengthy to do list: “Don’t forget to solve the murder!”

Fortunately, the more trouble Meg faces, the more fun the reader will have–and Meg faces plenty of trouble in this lighthearted and funny novel.

Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos is the third book in the Meg Langslow’s mystery series by Donna Andrews. This installment has Meg and Michael participating in the local history fair and reenactment. I am a history nerd and this is definitely the main reason why I enjoy this story. I am fascinated with reenactments and the details about the period costumes were enthralling. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good battle!

The body of a disliked man is discovered in Meg’s metallurgy booth with a knife in his back. He was a well-known scam artist who had his sights set on Rob’s new video game, so Meg is determined to protect Rob and keep him from trouble with the local law. Of course, hilarity ensues. Meg’s Dad is determined to be a murder suspect, the cannons sound through the night, and Meg is stuck keeping the peace between her fellow artisans and Michael’s mother, the tyrant in charge of the event.

I love the characters, the quick pace of the story, and the ‘ah ha!’ reveal at the end of the book. Donna Andrews is my favorite cozy mystery writer. Her stories always make me laugh and are my go-to when I’ve had a rough week. I continue to read them over and over; they are perfect for a trip to the beach! But, Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos offers more than a fun mystery and good laugh. This novel provides more character development, especially in the relationship between Meg and Michael. We see more interaction between the two, learn more about the competition between the two mothers, and delve in to more of Dr. Langslow’s odd hobbies.

Once again this is a quirky cozy mystery. You’ll probably figure out who-dunnit well before the reveal. You will read about some outlandish highjinxs. Do not pick up Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos if you are in need of a serious sophisticated read., but DEFINITELY read it if you’re craving a bit of fun. I promise you will want Meg’s wrought-iron flamingos by the end of the story!

Happy reading!

Lindsay

Fifth Grave Past the Light

Fifth Grave Past the Light

by Darynda Jones

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5)

Never underestimate the power of a woman on a double espresso with a mocha latte chaser high.
– T-shirt

Charley Davidson isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper. She’s more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire. However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case. Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth…but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason. When it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma is the serial killer’s next target, Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes’s help. Arsonist or not, he’s the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay.

Charley Davidson is at it again in the sexy, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny fifth installment of the New York Times best selling series.

Charley is back to her old self in Fifth Grave Past the Light. Yeah, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet showed us the more human, and vulnerable, side of our heroine, but it was tough seeing her so scared. She’s back in full snark-mode and it’s wonderful!

The best thing about Fifth Grave Past the Light is the main mystery. I LOVE the mystery! Charley’s apartment is rapidly filling up with the spirits of tormented blonde haired women. They are all barely dressed, covered in mud, and unable to focus on our spunky grim reaper long enough to give out clues. Charley is forced to get her hands dirty and search out their fates. Also, there is an arsonist determined to torch all of Reyes’ childhood homes and Charley is pretty sure the Son of Satan is responsible. And if all that wasn’t enough, the sultry Reyes has moved in next door! (I know you can’t see me but I am totally fangirl giggling over here. This has to be my favorite in the series so far!)

The plot is obviously quite complex and Jones handles it masterfully. The pace is quick and everything ties in smoothly. The full cast of characters is back, including personal favorites Uncle Bob and Cookie. We get to see a more personable side of Reyes that will leave you swooning. And we get to see Charley delve in to the depths of her grim reaper powers.

Once again, the strained relationship between Charley and her father is the only thing worth complaining about. I’m just ready for some solid information instead of fighting with Charley’s determination to ignore her father. I am hoping answers come soon!

READ Five Grave Past the Light and let me know what you think! Happy beach reading!

Lindsay

Motor Mouth

Motor Mouth

by Janet Evanovich

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Barney is a woman with a taste for speed, talent for breaking rules, and knows too much about cheating. First there was boyfriend NASCAR racer Hooker and a salesclerk. Now an unlikely winner has to be cheating. Another spotter calls for help, trapped. Their drooling St Bernard leaves his teeth marks in a corpse. They are on the run, suspected of murder.

 Sorry it’s been a minute since I’ve posted a review! I’ve been sneaking away to hit the beach instead of sharing all these good mysteries with you! But, I am back on board and starting the review week off with a good laugh. Motor Mouth is the second book in Janet Evanovich’s Alex Barnaby series and you can check out my review of book one, Metro Girl, for a brief intro to the characters.

Barney and Hooker are back and there is trouble in paradise as their romance went up in flames when Hooker woke up next to a sales clerk. Barney is still working as a spotter for Hooker’s team and enjoying a chance to help in NASCAR research and design. And then a friend of the pair gets stuck in the car hauler of a rival racer…. It’s not long before Barney and Hooker are racing to hide dead bodies and out run a pair of hitmen.

The Alex Barnaby series is probably my favorite from Janet Evanovich. Yes I know the Stephanie Plum novels are the most popular, and I enjoy them, but there is just something about Barney and Hooker that keeps me coming back to the series. It is because both main characters solve these mysteries by sheer dumb luck. Hooker struggles to keep from gagging when they move dead bodies. Barney whines when she falls down in the mud while digging a temporary grave. Both end up way over their heads in murder and mayhem because they steel a NASCAR hauler to help out a friend. Dumb luck people! All the characters are relatable. Their reactions are realistic. And they keep getting themselves in to hilarious sticky situations!

I love how fast paced and fun the story is. We get to revisit all the old Miami characters from Metro Girl, as well as meet a few more interesting people (Huevo’s wife being one of my favs). Critics of the series will remark on how unrealistic certain plot points are, but that is one of the reasons I enjoy the series. Motor Mouth is the perfect read when you need a pick-me-up. I definitely recommend it as a fun beach read!

Anyone else an Alex Barnaby fan? What is your favorite Evanovich series?

Lindsay

Third Grave Dead Ahead

Third Grave Dead Ahead

by Darynda Jones

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Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hell-bent on murder when the devil’s son just won’t give up?

Last week I talked about needing a funny book to read because life was being annoying. So, I went down to the library that day and picked up a copy of Third Grave Dead Ahead. I’m so lucky to have friends who get my sense of humor. This series was recommended by two awesome women and I know Charley’s antics will leave me laughing every time.

I started this series last year and feel free to check out my reviews of First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left. I decided to take a break after Second Grave because the character development and interactions just left me frustrated. So many reactions were just too knee-jerk and confusing. Third Grave Dead Ahead eliminated all of that for me.

Reyes is alive and back in prison. Cookie and Uncle Bob have started flirting! Garrett has fully embraced Charley’s roll as the Grim Reaper. And Charley isn’t sleeping…Third Grave Dead Ahead picks up mere weeks after Second Grave and Charley’s dreams are haunted by an angry Reyes.

I LOVED this story. I finally understand the friendship between Charley and Garrett and Jones provides two ‘on the edge of your seat’ mysteries for Charley to solve. Charley actually interacts with Reyes outside of her dreams and it is interesting! Plus, Jones introduces us to the biker gang that owns the old asylum. Third Grave was just a well developed, fast paced story. I actually connected with Charley, which I just didn’t have with the first two books.

My only complaint would be how Charley’s dad was portrayed. His brooding and abrasive responses just felt out of character. I could only see him as Charley saw him: an unfair man who was slowly turning in to her enemy. I have a feeling this will be resolved in the next book.

I definitely recommend Third Grave Dead Ahead and the Charley Davidson series. It is the perfect series to read when you need a good dose of snark and a reason to laugh!

Lindsay

Wicked Appetite

Wicked Appetite

by Janet Evanovich

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For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long — Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues’ gallery of power seekers. He’s an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.

That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She’s freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston’s North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle’s bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it’s suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.

Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She’s not sure about Diesel. He’s offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.

The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that’s fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.

Wicked Appetite is the first book in a relatively new series by Janet Evanovich. Some of the main characters were initially introduced during her in-between-the-numbers Plum novels, but Stephanie is absent this time around. The Lizzy and Diesel series is different in that it doesn’t stick with the normal romance or quirky mystery storyline that is typical of Evanovich’s novels. Instead, Wicked Appetite takes a stab at a supernatural semi-romance story and I enjoyed it. 

I love the characters and they are one of the reasons I find myself coming back to Evanovich’s novels time after time. Lizzy is just an ordinary girl who can make extraordinary cupcakes and has the ability to find certain unmentionable items. Diesel, a ruggedly handsome stranger, needs her help to find seven stones that embody the Seven Deadly Sins. A rude monkey, ninja guard cat, bakery full of witchy women, knight, and mysterious bad guy make up the quirky supporting cast. Yep, it’s an Evanovich novel!

I love how naive and openly honest Lizzy is about her life. She has no problem telling Diesel how she feels and I found it endearing. I also love everything about Diesel and how he interacts with Lizzy. He is sweet, assertive, and yet perfectly protective of our sweet damsel. Diesel is my kind of guy and I plan to finish the series just to hear more about him! Plus, I LOVE how Evanovich portrays the glutton   attributes of the Moore family. Her humorous twists left me giggling constantly during my tedious drive.

I still do not get where Evanovich is going with this whole Unmentionable thing. It doesn’t seem to have any basis in any predetermined paranormal storyline and it just lacks the information I need to really enjoy the story. It just seems like everyone is ok with the lack of information (except Lizzy, she isn’t ok with any of it) and that lack left me a tad confused at times. I need more history and background to wholeheartedly jump onboard. If anyone gets the Unmentionable thing please feel free to enlighten me.

Also, I do not find Wolf attractive. At. All. The dark, dangerous vampire vibe is fine but it isn’t something to leave me swooning like the women in the novel. To be honest, their reactions made me rolling my eyes. I’m not about to jump in to bead with a cruel guy like Wolf so I don’t get the appeal. I am also wary of the whole ‘one of us will loose our unmentionable powers if we sleep together’ plot line. WHAT?!? I know there needs to be something keeping Lizzy and Diesel from jumping in the sack by chapter three but this has bad idea written all over it. What’s going to happen by the end of the series? Which character is willing to give up a part of themselves for sex? Eh….

Overall, it was a fun book to listen to during my commute. I love the characters and Diesel is my type of guy, but it will not be making my list of favorites. Have you read Wicked Appetite? Let me know what you think!

Lindsay

Metro Girl

Metro Girl

by Janet Evanovich

Metro Girl (Alex Barnaby, #1)

“Wild” Bill Barnaby vanished after a woman screamed on his phone call to big sister Alex 30, narrator who heads for Miami to rescue him. NASCAR driver Sam Hooker wants his 65′ Hatteras back. His last employer Moran on Flex II wants something back. Security guard Sanchez was murdered. They expose a plot to grab Cuban gold and a sinister relic of the Cuban missile crisis.

Let’s get May started with a review of a fun fast-paced summer mystery! I’m sure many of you are fans of Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, but who has read her Alex Barnaby books?

Alex ‘Barney’ Barnaby is heading to Miami. She just received a mysterious and terrifying phone call from her brother Bill and now he’s missing. Barney hits the streets of Miami looking for answers only to team up with Sam Hooker, a popular NASCAR driver whose boat has been ‘borrowed’ by Bill. Soon the two are engulfed in mystery: where is Bill? why is Barney being followed by thugs? what does all this have to do with the Cuban Missile Crisis?

I enjoy Metro Girl and usually listen to the audiobook each year to kick off summer. I keep coming back because of the characters! I love how Hooker is so goofy while still exuding sweet sexiness and self confidence.  I enjoy Rosa’s blunt honesty and Judy’s spunk. And I love how real Barney reads. She’s head strong, assertive, good with an engine, and absolutely terrified of spiders and heights. This ensemble keeps me coming back to the streets of Miami year after year.

Many diehard Stephanie Plum fans seemed disappointed in how ‘fluff’ the plot is and how similar the characters are to those in the Plum series. These are all valid statements. The plot is simple and yet over the top. The characters exude Evanovich quirkiness. And these are the points that keep me coming back. Metro Girl allows me to enjoy Evanovich characters without having to wade through the lengthy Plum series and I can focus on giggling at their antics without dealing with a complex plot structure. Fans of the Plums series and serious mystery readers should keep these points in mind before picking up Metro Girl.

Metro Girl is the perfect beach read! Poor you a frozen daiquiri and grab your beach towel because you’ll be ready to head to south Florida after this book? What is your favorite Evanovich novel?

Lindsay