24 July 2011
To the NInes
In To the Nines, Stephanie teams up with Ranger to track down a skip on a brand new kind of bond. If they fail, Vinnie's reputation will be ruined and Stephanie will be out of a job. But the body count is rising and Stephanie's become the prey of a crazy stalker who has killed before and is looking forward to doing it again.
I really hate to say it, but I didn't enjoy this book as much as the previous eight. I'm pretty sure it was this book and not that I'm getting bored with the series, because what I didn't enjoy was the thing that made me fall in love with the series--the sexy love triangle! Normally, it is fun to watch Stephanie struggle as she juggles her feelings for two men. It usually feels like another problem that she doesn't want. In this book, it felt like she was actively encouraging both Ranger's and Morelli's feelings and rivalry. Mostly this was in the beginning of the book, where I really felt that she was just stirring up drama and acting like the kind of Jersey girl that gives Jersey its bad reputation (I was born a Jersey girl). By the end of the book there was so much going on (as always) that she didn't have time to play the men off each other.
Also the side characters in this one aren't my favorite ones from the series, which I realize is a minor complaint. Valerie and her baby-daddy, Kloun, are both so completely hopeless and helpless that neither one seems real, just annoying. But I do love Lula and we get to know Connie some more (she's great!) and as always Grandma Mazur is always ready to make trouble.
The action and the story is there, complete with lots of twists and turns and a psycho to round it all out. While I don't remember Stephanie blowing any cars up in this book, she did manage to seriously injure several of Ranger's top guys when he put them on her protection detail (his overprotective streak is sexy). I'm looking forward to reading the next several books, because even when they don't deliver all that I expect, they are still super fun. That and Ranger and Morelli are two of the most crush-worthy literary heroes. I'll read every number book Evanovich writes, just to swoon over them.