Sweet Trouble

Rants, raves, book reviews and one girl's thoughts on life, the universe and everything.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

"Full" of It: Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes

Sometimes I crave truly gourmet fair, other times I'm forced to admit a fondness for things like cotton candy, or funnel cakes at the fair. The same is true with the kind of books I read.

Recently I was on a road trip by myself and needed entertainment. One stop at Cracker Barrel and I was supplied with both dinner, an empty bladder, a toy for my son and a book on CD I could return at any other Cracker Barrel in the country. Their selection varied greatly. They had classics which might appeal to a whole family, and various selections from the NY Times best sellers lists. Not in the mood for anything heavy, I finally settled on Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes's collaboration Full Bloom.

I'd read Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books up till around number nine. At that point I began to find them annoying and redundant. There was no growth, and the main character was a little too wishy-washy about the men in her life. I quit reading the author's all together at that point. You can imagine my surprise when I found Full Bloom to be utterly delightful.

Make no mistake, this book is not a literary meal at Ruth's Chris, or even Olive Garden. The "Full" series are definitely sweet cotton candy, hot and freshly swirled right in front of you onto a giant paper cone. The very decadence of the snack makes it a guilty pleasure. From the beginning I knew who was winding up with whom, and when the murder mystery cropped up I guessed that part too and yet I enjoyed every step of the ride. So much so, that when pressed to find something to read later in the week I picked up the newest confectionery offering by the two writers: Full Scoop.

Turns out all of the "Full" novels are set in the same charmingly eccentric Southern town. Supporting characters from Scoop and Bloom clearly have their own stories in print, and while they serve a purpose in new books as well it also gives the gals a chance to up date readers on the happily ever afters of earlier characters. I haven't discovered any really need to read them in any order. Each one has a unique charm of it's own, and if you've a few hours to waste away and are tired of gas prices, middle eastern politics or your own nine to five schedule then you should head "Full Speed" to get one of these sweet tales.


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