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Originally published in 1989 under the pen name Steffie Hall, Evanovich's comic romantic suspense novel Full House reappears here in what the author calls a "bigger and better" form. Wealthy newspaper owner and horseman Nick Kaharchek meets divorced mom Billie Pearce when she makes polo lessons at his stables part of her summer self-improvement program. Though she's hopeless at polo, Billie is so cute that Nick begins to invent excuses to spend time with her. First, he takes care of her when a horse steps on her foot; then, he arranges for his nutty cousin Deedee, a self-absorbed airhead, to board with Billie while her kids are away. As if that isn't enough, Billie must also contend with a bomb-setting teenager, professional wrestlers, an outbreak of spiders and threats from a mysterious intruder. Evanovich acknowledges in a note to readers that her plotting has gotten more intricate since this book was first written (she's right), but her attempt to rework a formulaic '80s love story for the new millennium doesn't come off. The outcome of the artificial romance between Nick and Billie is obvious from the start, as is the identity of the intruder. Instead, the book's focus is on the slapstick comedy provided by the cast of wacky, though mostly loveable, eccentrics. (Sept.) Forecast: Thanks to Evanovich's sterling reputation and substantial fan base, sales won't falter much, but this trussed-up tale may fall flat for both her mystery-loving fans and readers seeking a truly contemporary romance.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
What, readers may wonder, is the best-selling Evanovich doing publishing what looks to be a mass-market romance? As it turns out, this book isn't exactly an original publication. It appeared first, in 1989, under the pseudonym Steffie Hall, before Evanovich switched from romance to mystery and hit the publishing jackpot. Apparently, the author has received numerous queries from knowledgeable fans about the availability of her earlier, pre-Stephanie Plum novels. The publication of this "enlarged" edition of one of those early books is intended to respond to that demand. If nothing else, it will give fans a clear view of how far Evanovich has come in terms of style and characterization. Wealthy Nick Kaharchek isn't known for fraternizing with common folk, but when divorced mom Billie Pearce falls right into his arms, he has trouble letting go. Commonsensical Billie has always led a predictable life, juggling work and family, but her levelheadedness takes a vacation when Nick expresses an interest in her. There's none of the tension--romantic or otherwise--that drives Evanovich's crime novels, but hints of stubborn, self-reliant Stephanie Plum pop up now and again in Billie, and there are signs of the vivid secondary characters the author would later generate for her series. There's even a touch of mystery. This is pleasant, nondemanding fare, but its audience will probably be limited to devoted Evanovich fans (not that there aren't plenty of those) interested in their favorite writer's evolution. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
FULL HOUSE does not deserve the time it takes to read it. It's not worth the money and I feel annoyed that I even paid for it. Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2004 by Judith Miller
I am still amazed I finished this book - just a sickness I guess - I never allow myself to NOT finish a book. Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2004
This book would have been pretty ok if an unnecessary and ridiculous action sequence wouldn't have been forced in at the end. Read morePublished on Dec 1 2003 by djbrkns
If you're expecting something along the lines of the Stephanie Plum mysteries, this book is not for you. Full House must be viewed on its own. Read morePublished on Nov. 1 2003 by Wendy O.
I read a couple of Stephanie Plum novels. Unlike many of the reviews, I actually find this new series quite good. Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2003 by T. W. M. Philip
Seems like an odd pairing, but Evanovich and Hughes make it work. And if you think the idea of Nick and Billie is odd, wait until you meet the secondary cast. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2003 by Holly F
'Full House' is a sweet romance. I think that you will enjoy this book if you like light-hearted romantic stories. Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2003 by PadreRat