One for the Money, Janet Evanovich
My mom recently started reading this series on the recommendation of some of her friends, and when I was visiting she lent me this one to give the series a try. Not wanting to disappoint, I did so, and I could pretty easily see why this has become so popular.
Stephanie Plum is a young woman who has got herself into a tough spot. She needs money to pay her rent and bills in her apartment in Trenton, New Jersey, and soon, so when her family tells her that her cousin has a job up for grabs, she goes for it. That job is for a bounty hunter, but the inexperienced Stephanie, lured by the promise of $10,000, decides to go after the most dangerous criminal of them all. He is a man with whom she has a past, and a man she’d very much like to get revenge on.
For me, this had a very typical mystery feel to it – if it had had magic, it could have been the start to an urban fantasy series, which usually starts out with some sort of mystery at the core. It was certainly fun, albeit a bit gory at times, a book I didn’t mind reading and sped through very quickly. My favourite parts were probably Stephanie’s interaction with her oddball family; I think I can see where the series is going with the two potential love interests, too.
I am not really dying to read the second book, but I wouldn’t turn it away if my mom put it in my hands again, either. Like most series, I suspect it gets better as you go along and get more acquainted with the characters and the history of the books, but it’s down to preference; I prefer the variety of mystery that involves either fantasy or history.
Web of Lies, Jennifer Estep
Having read and enjoyed the first in this series, I figured I might as well buy the second and keep on going. Urban fantasy is definitely becoming my stress relief reading; whenever I’m not sure what I want to read, one of them jumps out at me with the promise of ever-more-epic storylines, consistently developing characters, and usually a fair bit of romance, too. In short – all of my favourite things, and this series isn’t an exception to the rule. In fact, I found the second one improved on the first as I fell deeper into Gin’s world.
Ostensibly retired from her job as an assassin, Gin Blanco has settled into running her murdered benefactor’s restaurant, the Pork Pit. But trouble won’t leave her alone, and it walks into her restaurant in the shape of two people; Jake McAllister, who attempts to rob her, and Violet Fox, who knows that benefactor and who is in danger. Gin’s own personal lust interest, Donovan Caine, is back, but thrown into the mix is another potential partner this time, as the stakes for Gin are as high as ever.
I liked this book a lot; it was a fast and easy read and I found myself liking Gin a lot better than I did in the first book. I liked that she was a devil-may-care contented assassin before, but I think her heart is coming out a lot here, and she needs to figure out how to operate without Fletcher around at the same time. Probably the only part that I didn’t like was Donovan Caine, the cop who simply won’t let his morals go enough to be with Gin. He doesn’t even seem that interested in knowing her – there is plenty of lust between them, but for him, he’s not curious about her and simply shuts off when he realises she’s going to kill someone else. I much preferred Owen Grayson, the new guy, and I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes next.