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Home » Authors, Doll Mona Leigh, Janet Evanovich, Reviewers, Reviews

Review: Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

Submitted by on August 17, 2011 – 4:03 am9 Comments

Author: Janet Evanovich
Book: Smokin’ Seventeen
Release: June 21, 2011
Series: Stephanie Plum 17
Source: Personal Library
Purchase: – Book Depository

Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.

Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.

Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.

With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.

Smokin’ Seventeen is vintage Stephanie Plum, and Janet Evanovich has killer chops when it comes to comedy. In my book, Lula is one of the best-written comedy sidekicks in all of fiction, making the book worth buying just to see her harebrained antics. Morelli’s Grandma Bella and her evil eye figure prominently in the story this time. Unfortunately, Stephanie has finally irritated me to distraction.

If you’ve read any of the Stephanie Plum books, you’re well aware of Joe Morelli and Ranger, and Stephanie’s inability to commit to either man. She hasn’t changed any in this book, either. She still can’t decide whether to be Morelli’s bimbo or Ranger’s love interest/entertainment. We’re at least blessed with some between-the-sheets action with Ranger before Stephanie runs the length of her mental leash and jerks to a halt.

And now there’s a third man thrown into the mix. Former high school football star Dave Brewer leaves a shady past behind and returns to Trenton to start over. When their parents insist they’d make a perfect couple, he goes right along with it, but Stephanie has enough men on her hands without taking on another one—especially one who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word no. At least Dave’s good for some funny moments and a bit of drama.

Once again, the ending of the book left an open question—Morelli or Ranger—and I don’t have it in me to care anymore. This indecision had dragged on long enough. It’s time Stephanie got her life in order and grew up. Isn’t it possible that a woman can still have crazy exploits even after she’s committed to a man? Too many writers tend to look at commitment as the kiss of death when it could easily be a fresh avenue to adventure. Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series is a prime example of a woman moving from single to committed while enjoying a hair raising occupation.

I hate that I feel so aggravated with the series because I really enjoy the writing style. In fact, I own every book Janet Evanovich has published, and yes, I’m counting all those stand-alone titles, too. While publishers push to extend a series past the point of no return, it would be nice to have some different conflicts going on for a change other than which man it will be this time. As much as I love Ranger and Lula, they aren’t enough to keep me spending my money.

And just in case you were wondering….my mental image of Ranger looks rather like Jason Momoa. If you’re not familiar with Jason, do yourself a favor and Google him. You’ll be glad you did. ;)

Also Reviewed By: Chick Lit ReviewsThe Brazen BookwormReflections of a Bookaholic

Mona's first grade teacher, Mrs. Stanford, gifted her with the love of reading. For that, she'll always live in her heart. But reading took over Mona's life, eclipsing everything but playing sports, and has continued to be a huge part of her life. Although she has always written poetry and stories for her self, last year she decided to try her hand at writing fiction. She is currently editing her first urban fantasy and hopes to have it ready for the agent by summer's end. Besides reading, Mona loves speed in the form of fast cars. The faster, the better! In her next life, she plans to drive race cars (or whatever happens to be their replacement in the future) all while reading and writing. She has also taken up rune reading, and find it to be disturbingly accurate and exciting.
Doll Mona Leigh


  • Don’t even get me started on this book. Or the series anymore. Well, I guess I am started now aren’t I I posted a review about this book too . I just can’t do it anymore. I hope Janet realizes that she is alienating her fans now. Enough is enough.

    Reply to this comment »
    • Mona Leigh says:

      Read your post and I’m happy to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Ever since I found out Joe took Stephanie’s virginity on the floor of a fast food joint, I’ve been totally anti-Joe. Plus, he’s had sex with every woman they went to school with. How gross is that? Can you say STDs or HIV? Blech.

      Ranger always accepts her for what she is, never pressures her, and accepts her scraps of affection….especially since the incident with his daughter. He gives her new cars every time she trashes hers, has his guys watching over her, helps her find her FTAs, and he’s the one who saves her butt every single time. Then he lets Joe console her ’cause that’s the kind of guy he is.

      Janet needs to make like Stephanie and get a clue.

      Reply to this comment »
      • Meagan says:

        Do you guys read fanfiction by chance? ;) It gets me through the series. I haven’t read a book since 13, although I might read this one. I couldn’t put up with all of the bad things I heard about 14 & 15. I tried reading 14 and couldn’t get through it, Carl was awful. I’ve been hearing rumors that 18 is the last Plum book, but I’m not sure.

        Thanks for your review. And also, trust me, you aren’t the only person that doesn’t like Joe because of his history (molesting a 6 year old-yuck!), and just wish Stephanie would grow up!

        Reply to this comment »
        • Mona Leigh says:

          I wish I had the time to read fanfic, but between reading for pleasure, reading for reviews, and working on my own manuscript, I barely have time to speak to my husband. (That might be a good thing) LOL

          I’d forgotten about the 6 year old incident. Just another strike against Joe.

          Thanks for the input.

          Reply to this comment »
  • I thought I was the only one who was unhappy with these books. So glad to know I’m not alone. Wonder what Janet would say about all this?

    Reply to this comment »
  • says:

    I stopped reading this series when I heard who might be playing the role of her. I also was thinking the same thoughts too ..make up your mind . I was always partial to Ranger too. I actually didn’t laugh as much as her books prefessed to be LOL.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Jennifer says:

    LOL! My mental image of Ranger has always been Jason Momoa even before he became so popular. Great minds think alike!

    Reply to this comment »
  • [...] With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke. Read her review Here [...]

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