Full House Mass Market Paperback – Sep 16 2002
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
At its heart, "Full House" is a romance novel: A Cinderella story of love at first sight. But the simple charm of two people falling in love is overwhelmed by seemingly endless passages directly relating their thoughts, doubts and misunderstandings.
The oddball characters that are so much fun with Stephanie Plum are jarring and distracting here. Their primary literary purpose is -- apparently -- to create gaps between the aforementioned passages about the inner thoughts and feelings of the protaganists.
There is a mystery of sorts, but it's entirely incidental, simplistic and disengaging. And the resolution is not much more than "then they were all run over by a bus".
All the characters are shallow, cardboard cutouts. At no time did their actions reveal a deeper, believable person. This is ironic considering the amount of ink devoted to inner thoughts. In the Plum novels, the shallow characters make the fun, fun. (If we empathized with Lulu or Stephanie, we'd cry when their cars blew up.)
"Full House" was an experiment in mixing romance, screwball characters and a bit of mystery together. It failed. Thankfully, Ms Evanovich learned from her experience and got it right the next time.
The "full house" results when Nick gets Billie to rent a room to his zany cousin Deedee (who is engaged to a wrestler). Along with DeeDee and another realtive, a genious teen named Max -- who is prone to making bombs -- and a pest man who can't stop the bugs in the neighborhood, and soon you feel right at home in the world of Evanovich. The "tension" comes at first from a pretense that Nick and Billie are also going to marry (supposedly to stop DeeDee from matchmaking) and later from a "mystery" about who is trying to sabotage things. A love triangle with Dheridan Flock seems tangential at best and was probably an addition to the new book that could have been left out.
Full House was originally a sweet and simple romance by Janet Evanovich writing under the pen name Steffie Hall. The old version would most likely have disappointed most of her fans- at least those who have followed her recent stellar career. Smart woman that Ms. Evanovich is, she turned to her friend and fellow Loveswept Author Charlotte Hughes, and together they spiffed and polished and added depth. Ms. Hughes, Like Ms. Evanovich, has a wild sense of the absurd, and Hughes does ensemble comedy as well as Evanovich and Seinfeld (cf. HOT SHOT and A NEW ATTITUDE). The resulting book has the best of both authors: the depth, dialogue, and character of Hughes, and the warped slapstick that is the trademark Ms. Evanovich.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on May 30 2004 by K. A. Mayer
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... Read morePublished on April 30 2004 by D. P. Birkett
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
I find Billie Pearce to be annoying beyond belief. Endless thoughts that go over the same ground, over and over and over... Read morePublished on Jan. 7 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.