5.0 out of 5 stars A playboy and a...soccer mom?
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. A ditzy fashion diva with a heart of gold, her eccentric brother who likes to blow things up, throw in some wrestlers and a small mystery and you have a page-turning read that is sure to delight!
Published on Oct. 3 2003 by Holly Fuhrmann
3.0 out of 5 stars Light and Fun for Romance Fans, Mystery Fans Beware.
"Full House" by Janet Evanovich is a re-printed and re-written version of an early romance novel by the author of the hugely popular Stephanie Plum mystery series. And in my opinion, it's because of the fact that the majority of the people buying this book are mystery fans, not romance fans, that "Full House" has gotten such a bad reputation. It is mismarketing by the...
Published on Nov. 20 2002 by Sophie
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3.0 out of 5 stars Light and Fun for Romance Fans, Mystery Fans Beware.,
"Full House" by Janet Evanovich is a re-printed and re-written version of an early romance novel by the author of the hugely popular Stephanie Plum mystery series. And in my opinion, it's because of the fact that the majority of the people buying this book are mystery fans, not romance fans, that "Full House" has gotten such a bad reputation. It is mismarketing by the publisher and bookstores to house this book in the mystery section, which was where I found it, but as light and fluffy romances go, "Full House" is not half bad. And this book is undeniably a romance novel. As far as a rating goes, I'm wavering between three and four stars. I honestly did enjoy the story and found myself completely entertained by this light and amusing tale. But there were a few things that took away from my enjoyment, most notably, the atrocious editing job. There were glaring errors scattered liberally throughout the book, including the changing of some main characters names! I'd like to give "Full House" four stars, because I really did like it, but because of the markedly poor editing I'm dropping it down to three (if I could I'd compromise with ***1/2).
"Full House" tells the story of Billie Pearce, a divorced mother of two who finds herself lonely and bored when her children go away on vacation with their father. Deciding to try something new, Billie signs up for polo lessons. The actual polo is a disaster, but her polo instructor, wealthy playboy Nick Kaharchek, is another story. After having her foot stomped on by a horse, Billie is taken to the hospital by Nick, and their fascination with one another begins.
Used to sophisticated and snobby women, Nick is drawn to the lovely, warm, and real Billie. And Billie finds Nick irresistible, though she's sure a handsome, rich, and exciting man like him would never be interested in her. But there is an intense chemistry that sparks between them, that neither Nick nor Billie can deny, and they begin a fun, romantic, and somewhat unusual courtship.
Things start to get crazy when Nick convinces Billie to let his cousin Deedee stay with her until her upcoming wedding, and Billie inherits a redheaded whirlwind! Billie finds Deedee utterly exhausting, and quite annoying, not to mention the presence of her enormous fiancé, wrestler Frankie the assassin. Billie's not quite sure how things got so out of control, but she knows that Nick Kaharchek is to blame. Not that she's able to stay mad at him.
And Nick has lots of problems worse than Deedee, including her cousin Max, a young genius in hiding on Nick's vast property, on a mission that involves blowing things up and generally running amok. Billie finds this a little frightening, but she has other things to worry about too, like Nick's jealous and nasty ex-fiancée. Add in Billie's bug-killing neighbour and a touch of mystery near the end, and you have yourself an offbeat, light, and pleasant romance.
There isn't a whole lot of conflict between the main characters, nor in the story as a whole, really. It's just a quick and fun read that can be read, enjoyed and then most likely forgotten. "Full House" isn't a fabulous, standout novel, but it's not awful either. My advice is that even if you're a big Evanovich fan; if you don't like romances, don't read this book. But if you enjoy romances and non-demanding, feel-good tales then "Full House" is worth the read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment,
By A Customer
I am a Janet Evanovich fan, having read all of her Plum novels. It was exciting to find that she was reintroducing a new series, as I am also a fan of series books and have enjoyed Evanovich's style of humor and mystery. Of course, knowing the new series was a romantically based plot, I didn't expect mystery, but I did expect realism, interesting characters and unpredictable story lines. Disappointingly, what I got was just the opposite.
If this has been the first Evanovich book I ever read, I never would have picked up "One for the Money" and the others. The plot is not only predictable and unrealistic, it is flat out unbelievable and immature. It could have been written by a starry-eyed teenager, dreaming of her knight-prince to come in on his horse and sweep her off her feet away from all the problems of the world. Come on, this is the real world here.
The female lead, a divorced mother who conveniently has time to spare given that her children are away for the summer, falls into a rapid romance with a rich, good looking, seemingly perfect man (all the stuff we dream of, girls) who pursues her and asks her to marry him after only knowing her for a few days! The children, upon their return, welcome him with open arms, and all ends happily, despite minor tribulations from absurd characters, a seemingly early, albeit poor, attempt at the Plum style of colorful, goofy characters.
(While I know the Plum novels were not entirely realistic either, most of the plot lines were believable and the characters had some depth. None of that here.) Again, I did not expect this to be a Plum novel, and didn't want it to be, but I expected it to be well thought out and believable.
The bottom line: I abandoned this book on the lounge chair in Mexico, only half-read. Maybe someone else picked it up and enjoyed it, but in reality, I hope it was thrown out by the attendant.
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time,
By A Customer
Plain and simply, this is probably the worst book I have ever read.
1.0 out of 5 stars Wildly disappointing,
I am a BIG fan of the Stephanie Plum novels. They are such fun to read, so I decided to try other books by Ms. Evanovich, starting with Full House.
The first half of the book was rather vanilla, but not intolerably so. There was little plot, the characters were uninteresting, and the viewpoint was a hodge-podge of omniscient and third person subjective which was so confusing at times, I had a hard time separating truth/fact from character opinion. For someone as well-published as Evanovich, this book was very poorly written. It reads like someone's first novel. When I learned it was one of her earlier works, I thought I could cut her some slack, but to find out this is a re-written version of it -- BLECH. She should have known enough about how to tell a story by now. This book should have been allowed to go quietly out of print.
I lost interest half-way through the book, and while I am struggling to force myself through it, I don't think I'm going to make it. The dialog is boring, the characters cardboardy, and the plot has simply died. There's nowhere for them to go. The conflict has just petered out, so it's more like looking in the window of an ordinary person, watching their ordinary daily lives. Yawn. Don't waste your money. Get a Stephanie Plum novel if you want a fun read.
2.0 out of 5 stars Sugar but no Plum,
Apparently Janet Evanovich wrote romances in an earlier incarnation and this is one of them. Macho men aren't supposed to read romances but there's only one new Stephanie Plum a year and my addiction is such that I had to scrape the barrel.
As regrards plot it has the one size fits all plot derived from "Pride and Prejudice". Elizabeth Bennett is played by Billy Pearce, a divorced 38 year old mother of two. Darcy is played by Nicholas Kaharchek,a millionaire newspaper owner and polo horse trainer There are some misunderstandings between them but then in the end you'll never guess what happens.
Are there any traces of the brilliance of the One, Two, Three ...Nine series? Occasionally - there's a good scene of buying a wedding dress with a salesperson whose previous job was IRS auditor. The writing is full of cliches. On one page we have"expert hands" "Thoughts into a tailspin""utterly confused""fresh-scrubbed look""simple nature""put on airs" and a man wonders "What was the power she had over him that made him desire her." I've read that romance writers deliberately stick to stereotyped plots and use cliches so maybe it's not all JE's fault. A lot of people like romances and many art forms use conventional formulas. (And Pride and Prejudice is a great novel.}
It's interesting from the point of view of Evanovichian scholarship and I'd love to know what the input of Charlotte Hughes was and to lay my hands on an unaltered early work.
1.0 out of 5 stars --This is a boring dud!--,
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. The story is stupid and has nothing amusing about it or the characters. I purchased it on a whim because while I was in the store someone mentioned to me that the book took place in my area of Virginia. That was a big mistake! Where it took place didn't really make much difference to the sorry plot. Janet Evanovich is trading on her success with the Stephanie Plum books, and this story has nothing redeeming about it.
This is the first time in years that I've purchased something without looking it up and reading the Amazon customer reviews. I apologize to my fellow reviewers.
1.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the worst book I ever read,
By A Customer
I am still amazed I finished this book - just a sickness I guess - I never allow myself to NOT finish a book. What is even more amazing is that this piece of garbage ever got published. It is absolutely HORRIBLE - stupid drivel. STAY AWAY.
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is such a wallbanger...,
By A Customer
I find Billie Pearce to be annoying beyond belief. Endless thoughts that go over the same ground, over and over and over... when at one point she said something like "I'm such a moron," I thought wow, at last some real self-awareness. She decides she loves Nick based on very little - particularly after she realizes that, while pain medication was affecting her resistance, he took advantage of her to foist off his annoying airhead cousin DeeDee on her, when he could just as easily have parked DeeDee in a hotel - and probably one that has French Provincial furniture, to boot - Loudon County is actually relatively close to DC, and it's not like DeeDee was doing anything in particular in Loudon County while she waited for her wedding day to roll around. There were logic leaps and holes, unbelieveable characters, idiot behavior (Billie deciding to jump out of a cake at a bachelor party because all men are pigs, and if her fiance is going to root with the pigs, then she's going to make sure that she's the truffle), quirky characters who are more like fingernails on a blackboard than endearingly cute... et cetera et cetera... Billie is priggish, selfish, self-absorbed, and completely spineless. She lets herself get backed into marrying Nick because she's trying to keep DeeDee from fixing her up - she's only known DeeDee a day or two, but she apparently can't tell her no. When DeeDee tells Raoul rather pointedly that he's not invited to the double wedding (it's family and politicians only, DeeDee says), even though Billie counts Raoul as a friend she just shrugs and says, basically, sorry you can't come. She says she trusts Nick, but then her actions and endless ruminations show that she doesn't trust him at all. Why they love each other is beyond me - Billie's rather like one of my sisters - the one my other sisters and I enjoy talking about when we get together because of all the annoying and stupid things she does. I don't remember Full Tilt being nearly this irritating, and I enjoy most of the Stephanie Plum novels (there was some serious sagging in the middle of the series), but this book just goes to show how a writer can learn and improve. This novel should give hope to anyone that, with a little bit of luck, they, too, could be published.
2.0 out of 5 stars Janet Evanovich remains a gifted writer,
This book would have been pretty ok if an unnecessary and ridiculous action sequence wouldn't have been forced in at the end. I didn't find very much humor in this book which was fine because I really enjoyed the characters, felt like they were given much more depth than the characters in the Stephanie Plum novels, and actually missed them when I was finished with the book. I don't really read romances, because I get so tired of innocent conversations between the characters resulting in internal suspicion, doubt, and questions, but if the book would have stuck with romance I probably would have gone with a 7/10 rating.
Maybe if the bad guy would have been developed better he would have worked. He was just too inconsistent. There was new material and new characters added to the original 1980's version of this book? I never read the original, but I believe I know what character and scene was added and unfortunately it didn't get worked into the story well and didn't belong. However, Janet Evanovich remains a gifted writer. 4/10
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Evanovich with Great Characters,
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. It's not as action-packed as Evanovich's more recent best sellers, although there's some action and a car does in fact get blown to bits. Full House, originally published in 1989 under the pen name Steffie Hall, is obviously the same author we love so much, but in her earlier days.
Nick Kaharchek has a playboy reputation, owns a newspaper and a stable, teaching polo as a hobby. He typically enjoys the company of elegant, sophisticated, well-breed women. That is, until he meets Billie Pearce, divorced mother of two, 6th grade teacher, who comes for polo lessons as part of her recent get-into-shape program. Although the attraction is unlikely for them both, it is most definitely mutual. Following this romance is dangerously fun.
Full House is witty, with plenty of steamy romance. Although it's a simply story without much depth, it's Janet Evanovich's characters that keep you interested. The characters are extremely vivid, likeable and very memorable. For example, Nick's cousin Deedee, a rich, spoiled, ex-beauty queen, sweet but dim-witted. Nick cons Billie into letting Deedee stay with her for a couple weeks until her wedding to professional wrestler Frankie The Assassin. Also beware of Deedee's 16-year-old brother, Max, a young genius, animal rights activist, who likes to blow things up to get attention. There's also Nick's ex-fiance Sheridan to contend with. And Raoul, the bug-guy who tries to please everyone in the neighborhood, but isn't too good at his job. There's bugs everywhere.
Keep yourself from comparing this to Evanovich's latest mysteries and you should enjoy it like I did.
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Full House by Janet Evanovich (Mass Market Paperback - March 30 2010)
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