Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum, the bombshell bounty hunter from New Jersey, already has problems. Her relationship with Joe Morelli is so complicated it’s now over. Plus, her attractive, if terrifying, mentor and tormentor Ranger has decided he’s ready to collect his reward. But when Steph’s mother and Grandma gang up to insist she finds their neighbour’s missing granddaughter Evelyn and her child Annie, Steph can’t refuse. Mabel Markowitz signed a custody bond guaranteeing Annie would stay in Trenton after her parents’ divorce. Now Evelyn and Annie have vanished, Mabel will lose her house to True Blue Bail Bonds Agency. But following their trail is not simple. Where have they gone? And why is a giant rabbit stalking Steph?

After a short (and very unwelcome) break, I’m back onto the Stephanie Plum novels.  For a little while, anyway. Boy am I glad to be back, I’m not joking Stephanie Plum is my most favourite female character in a book ever. She beats Becky Bloomwood and I love Becky Bloomwood. Sure, all the Stephanie Plum novels are similar, but I like that. I like the fact that I know when I start reading a new Stephanie Plum novel that it’s going to have these things: an FTA on the loose (or two), Stephanie being a bit of a clutz who’s allergic to her gun (still!), Lula, Grandma Mazur, Stephanie’s mom making the sign of the cross, Stephanie’s car blowing up, Morelli flirting, Ranger flirting and somebody will kiss Stephanie and send us all bonkers. I like knowing all that will happen and I like knowing I’ll be laughing so hard that tears stream down my face.

Hard Eight is no different to the previous seven books but I loved it nonetheless. I am rather running out of things to say about this series, because well, I feel like I’m repeating myself. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad thing, but well, I’m out of words. (After all, how often do you want to hear I loved the plot/writing/characters? See.) It was nice in its predictableness, everything was there that I expected and I absolutely loved it. Sure, I was a teensy bit gutted that the book didn’t pick up where 7 left off (Ranger coming into Stephanie’s bedroom), but well, that was told to us rather quickly (and it was rather disappointing!).

The Plum novels, long and short, make me happy. I love reading them, I love the fact they’re guaranteed to make me laugh and, well, I love Ranger. I want to marry Ranger. I know Morelli is endgame for Stephanie, there’s absolutely no doubt about that, but well, I love the Stephanie/Ranger flirting in the meantime. Did I mention I love Ranger? Doesn’t everyone want a Ranger? Doesn’t everyone want someone who’ll protect you and look hot doing so? See. Stephanie is undoubtedly the master of the series, but Ranger makes the series. I’m sure Janet herself would agree. I now move on to one of the Plum short stories before plunging into number 9. I can’t wait!

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