Saturday, September 12, 2015

Twelve Sharp - Stephanie Plum; Just Call Her " Bait"

Pros: Mmm, sexual tension, a few fresh ideas
Cons: Stephanie's apprehension skills, I question the bad guy's abilities somewhat

The Bottom Line: With this falling a teensy bit flat in my tastes, that makes me hope book #13 will be all the more exciting.

I don’t know when or why Stephanie Plum decided to stop working for Ranger and go back to bounty hunting. I can make some vague guesses (ignoring, of course, the obvious – that the author says so), but overall I sure as heck wouldn’t have. Tch. Forget that. Nice, comfy job in a little cubby running background checks on people. I will take that job now, especially if Ranger and a free car comes with it. Dear sweet Lord, what I wouldn’t give…

Don’t tell me you don’t know who Stephanie Plum is? Let me guess, a friend told you about this book and so you’ve wandered into this area for some info. All right, well you’ve come to the right place, but let me be the first to tell you – you’re at the end of a series my friend. That’s right, end of the line. You see, Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter. She used to sell lingerie, but that’s a long story. It includes her cousin Vinnie and a duck. That’s an interesting story. She fights crime and sucks at it – well sort of. That’s, well, 12 stories, including this one. Your best bet is to at least read the first book where you can get the rundown on all the basic characters. The author, Janet Evanovich, recaps the essentials in the novels, but trust me, it’s a lot more fun to be there when the details all go down.

So Stephanie Plum is back on the job, picking up bad guys and dumping them at the police station to earn herself some kind of living. It may not be a decent living, but it’s better than nothing. Life seems casual – semi-boyfriend Joe Morelli does his cop thing, Bob the dog eats everything, Ranger slips in and out like smoke and then *poof!* it’s off to Miami. Lula wears two sizes or more too small, Connie paints her nails, and Stephanie’s mother makes pot roast. All is good.

Except now some crazy woman dressed in black is stalking Stephanie, and she’s got a little piece of information that has the potential of putting anyone into shock. If that’s not bad enough, a certain little girl disappears off the face of the map, and yet another psycho is tailing Steph. While she’s giving Morelli heart palpitations, Ranger has made a few surprise moves on his own. It’s going to take everyone’s efforts to take down the new mystery man, even if it means taking a few bullets.

Ooooh – exciting, isn’t it? *shrug* Well sort of. I think the part I liked the most was the sexual tension. Big fan. Otherwise I was sort of let down. I guess I expected awesome times from this book and failed to get them. I won’t lie – I liked the premise, I liked the plot, and I liked the Ranger goodness, but there were just aspects that had me cocking my head with a bit of a grimace, thinking, “Yeah, but I dunno…”

I think it may just have seemed a bit farfetched for me. It’s because of who you find out the culprit is and compare him to Ranger’s character and somehow it doesn’t make sense that he’s able to slip past him so many times. Ok, there are times when yes, it makes sense, but then there are other things that just boggle me. Ranger not knowing he’s being followed? Knowing this guy is so good and yet not anticipating certain (what seem obvious to me) aspects? In fact, I already had one (very correct) idea pegged down at page 214 when the guy first shows up. Does that make me smarter than all the characters in the book or was it just obvious? That sort of thing just kind of annoys me later on in the book. Same goes for the new girl they hired at the office. I knew who she was within moments of her working there while everyone else was saying, “Hmm, gee, I get this weird feeling from her…whatcha think it is?” Sheesh.

Another problem I have is Stephanie’s screw-ups. I don’t know how many more of them I can take. She puts one cuff on a guy, chit-chats, and then the guy bolts and she loses her, what? 20th pair of cuffs? Freaking come on! Cuff both hands behind the back right away and you won’t have all these problems of looking like a total moron. Right, it was funny the first four books, but now it’s just downright annoying. I like Stephanie, she’s great, but her ignorance is gnawing away at me now. Or with another skip she goes in with Lula and the two screw around and therefore screw up. Then they do it yet again. How thick can you be?

I wasn’t laughing out loud with this book, just cracking smiles here and there and making “ooh!” giddy noises when Ranger waltzed onto the page. One of the things that I didn’t ever get tired of was Stephanie losing a car, simply because they went belly-up in so many ways. Ok, most of the time it was via fire, but the ways the fire started were always rather unique. I don’t mind a car going ka-blooie. Too bad there wasn’t any of that in this book.

So what did I like besides the Ranger/Morelli alpha male struggle for dominance? Sally Sweet dances his way back into the book with some fantastic thongs, though sadly he didn’t get much personal time on the pages. Joyce Barnhardt getting zapped again simply rules, and some of the spontaneous things that occur right in front of Steph and Lula are great. And as I said, I did enjoy the overall idea of the book, plot-wise and such, even if I did have several issues with the bad guy.

As with all the books, you’ll find it written in first person with Steph doing all the narration, which is always worded for the most fun factor and that is something I know I’ll never get tired of, not when she’s sashaying out of rooms and risking comments with erotic overtones. It wasn’t a bad book, it gets a solid four stars, even though I’m sure you’d thought I’d give it three, what with all the fussing I did. But hey, it’s Stephanie Plum – even without sheer awesomeness, it’s hard not to enjoy.

So…what will book #13 hold? Looks like we may have to wait a while…


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