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Friday, October 27, 2006

***½ Full Speed by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes. Mystery.

This is the 3rd in the light mystery series featuring reporter Jamie Swift and millionaire playboy Max Holt. IIRC (it's been a few years), it's based on a romance Janet Evanovich wrote back in her Loveswept days. Jamie and Max didn't, however, live happily ever after--they keep skirting around the issue, irritating each other, working together, and occasionally losing control and succumbing to a clinch or two.

This time, they're after a crooked evangelist who's mob-connected--the same mob that tried to have Max killed in, I believe, the previous book, which is where Max and Jamie parted ways. Jamie ends up with a beat-up old truck that came with a dog named Fleas, then poses as a sex addict to go... ahem... undercover with the reverend.

Yeah, it sounds a little convoluted, and it is, but in an over-the-top, light-hearted, I Love Lucy kind of way. It's too fluffy to take even remotely seriously, but it's fun, anyway.

I didn't love Full Speed, but I find myself compelled to defend it anyway. (Yeah, I read the Amazon reviews again. You'd think I'd learn.) Seems most detractors focused on two things: it's not Stephanie Plum, and it's not romance. Well, duh. Could be partly due to the marketing, I suppose--Barnes & Noble lists it as romance, though it just says "fiction" on the spine. And undoubtedly the Evanovich name makes people think Stephanie Plum. Much as I enjoy the Stephanie Plum series, I'd be disappointed if this were a clone of it--what would be the point?

I don't think this is ever going to be one of my favorite series, simply because it's just so light. It's fast, and it's funny, and it's adventurous, but everything's just on the surface. And that's great for a quick pick-me-up, but it doesn't land a book on my keeper shelves.


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