REVIEW: Hard Eight – A Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich

I don’t like being repetitious, but the books only get better from here on out.

Stephanie Plum.

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time rolling on the ground with men who think a stiffy represents personal growth.  The rolling around has nothing to do with my sex life.  The rolling around is what happens when a bust goes crapola and there’s a last ditch effort to hog-tie a big, dumb bad guy possessing a congenitally defective frontal lobe.

Stephanie and Lula make a wonderful team.  They met in book one.  Stephanie was just beginning her journey as a bounty hunter and Lula was still working the street corners as a ‘ho.

Stephanie will usually deal with fear in her usual manner; doughnuts, fried crispy chicken or frozen cookie dough.   This makes Lula the perfect teammate.  She can eat the store and still have the smiling energy to go shopping.

In the first book of this series, One for the Money, both Stephanie and Lula suffer an insane amount of fear and physically traumatic and unimaginably paralyzing defeat.  Bad guy, Benito, was a sexual sadist.  A sociopath with limitless amount of perseverance when it comes to stalking and hunting down the women he chooses to play with.

After book One for the Money, everything has been more or less a giggling ride with Lula and Stephanie.  In this book, Hard Eight, memories crash through them, and they are reminded of the terrible things they survived.

“I know who you are, too.  You’re one of Benito’s whores.  How did it feel to spend time with Benito?  Did you enjoy it?  Did you feel privileged?  Did you learn anything?”

“I don’t feel so good,” Lula said.  And she fainted dead away, crashing into Kloughn, taking him down with her.

Bad guy and super asshole, Abruzzi shows his ugly face in Hard Eight.  One of the reasons book one really got to me, was reading about what Stephanie and Lula endured.  To be utterly brutalized, raped and sliced apart and left for dead, this book really has its moments that I do not enjoy.  Unfortunately, sometimes when you want the laughter, you must be reminded of the bad times as well.  Perhaps that is what makes you appreciate the funny moments even more.

Stephanie suffers sadistic pranks in this book by a man who has only begun to toy with her.  Of course, you have your usual assholes in Evanovich’s books, but this one is a little different.  The madness that drives Abruzzi is throat clenching and unbearable.

I turned my head to look, and a spider the size of a dinner plate jumped at me. 

“Eeeeyow!  Holy shit!  HOLY SHIT!”  I sideswiped a parked car, took the curb, and came to a stop on a patch of lawn.

From being attacked by killer rabbits, to finding themselves in a babysitting situation, Lula never disappoints.

“Listen to me, you punk-ass loser, you don’t want to call me no Aunt Jemima or I’m gonna give you Aunt Jemima in the face with this fry pan.  Only thing stopping me is I don’t want to k-i-l-l you in front of the b-r-a-t-s.”

Dealing with Morelli during an off on-again-off-again relationship, and Ranger’s smooth sexy yumminess, Stephanie is faced with a dilemma.  On one had, Morelli was a man she loved but whom didn’t want to marry her.  The feeling was mutual.  And on the other hand, Ranger pushes himself against her body and life, leaving her toes tingling and thoughts rumbling through erotic dreams and nipple-teasing hard ons.

One of the coolest pages in this book explains the rules of Stephanie’s house.  I have similar rules, they just aren’t followed.

I hung up and retreated to the living room.  If you sat in front of the television in my parents’ house, you weren’t expected to talk.  Even if asked a direct question, the viewer had the discretion of feigning hearing loss.  Those were the rules.

Hah!

I love it.

This book slams you through the past and really leaves your chest hurting, a weight that seems to crush down on you.  There are certain things an individual reader will react to.  I don’t like to read about women being brutalized.  It upsets me.

I recommend this book to all mature adults.  Moderate violence and mild to moderate sexual content. (Yay!  You’ll see .. woo hoo!)  Sensitive content and some morally suggestive moments, but other than that, this book has my two thumbs up!

Now it’s time for To the Nines!

Happy reading!

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