I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Full House by Janet Evanovich, Steffie Hall, Charlotte Hughes
Genres: Cozy Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on September 16, 2002
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: Takedown Twenty, The Chase, Top Secret Twenty-One, The Job, Stephanie Plum #3 – #7, Wicked Charms, Love Overboard, Stephanie Plums, Plum Spooky, , Tricky Twenty-Two, The Pursuit, The Scam, Curious Minds, Turbo Twenty-Three, Dangerous Minds, Hardcore Twenty-Four, "The Shell Game", Look Alive Twenty-five, The Big Kahuna, Fortune and Glory, The Bounty
First in the Full cozy and humorous romantic suspense series revolving around the normal Billie Pearce and millionaire Nick Kaharchek in Loudon County, Virginia.
It starts with some fun as Nick explores the concept of Billie Pearce, a housewife who smells of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. It’s a nice set-up that helps explain his own childhood memories. The same kind of memories in Max’s head — it explains how Billie gets to him.
As for Billie’s motives, she’s tired of her ex looking like superman. She’s also prouder than heck and looks at Nick’s every action with suspicion. It gets a bit tiresome. She is doing a great job raising her kids, making them the most important part of her life, paying attention to them, giving them time.
Max is one of the conflicts — he’s prone to blowing things up to catch attention, and Evanovich/Hall/Hughes are stringing Max’s identity and reasons out. Deedee is a whole ‘nother conflict with her perspective on how life should work. Oh. Boy. Although I do have to say she’s a good-hearted ditz.
Nick’s attraction to Billie is so confused. He’s used to a more sophisticated woman, but there’s something about her that pulls his heart in. And he is fighting the attraction even as he slides into her mom-in-the-suburbs life.
That comment about Billie lecturing her horse about polo when the horse probably knew more than she did was such a crack-up.
It’s a collision between Nick and Billie’s expectations and her children’s reactions. I gotta say her kids’ emotional flips are suspiciously easy. Mmm, then there’s Max. Having moved too fast, Max still has a lot to learn — those field rations, lol.
The fun and red herrings include those bombs, car and cake explosions, “gifts” left behind, and Sheridan’s meanness — we do get a bit of back story on her. I think the funniest part is the “clown” parade at the end, swerving in for the rescue, lol.
There is a chill in the background as Evanovich/Hall/Hughes drop niggling bits of terror as neighbors are broken into, and Billie experiences those night chills — and I am not talkin’ temperature!
Evanovich/Hall/Hughes use third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Billie’s and Nick’s perspectives.
It’s a very easy read with typical romantic characters that Evanovich/Hall/Hughes put together in a unique, fun way. I’m looking forward to re-reading Full Tilt.
It’s a month without her kids, well, five weeks actually that they’ll be with their dad, and Billie is determined to do something that will amaze her kids.
What happens is not what Billie was planning. Especially when her ex breaks his leg.
Billie Pearce, a school teacher at Purcellville Elementary, is a divorced mom with two kids: ten-year-old Christie and eight-year-old Joel. Buffy is their cocker spaniel; Spot is the cat. Her father had been a small-businessman; Mildred is her mother. Her siblings include Mary, Margaret, and Richard — all married with kids. Annie had been Billie’s collie in childhood. Aunt Kate, Aunt Flora, and Uncle Henry are part of the family.
Nicholas Kaharchek is a playboy millionaire who owns the local paper, loves to cook, and teaches polo for fun. His parents were more interested in their own lives, not their sons. Fong is “mother, father, tutor, and tyrant”; he’s primarily retired but still works for Nick. Nick’s dogs include Spike, Snuffy, Otis, Daisy, and Beans. Zeke is a smart horse but lazy. The seven-year-old Ryan’s Velvet is as smooth as his name. Arnie Bates is an older stable groom. Jake and Ida Duffy are in charge of the house and grounds.
He has two cousins staying with him: the flighty Deedee Holt, an ex-model who’s about to get married and has been through four husbands in five years and the brilliant sixteen-year-old genius, Max Holt, with a heart full of causes, who’s currently at MIT. Nick’s Uncle Henry is in a nursing home.
The seven-foot-tall Frankie “the Assassin” is a professional, admired wrestler engaged to Deedee. I love this guy! Bucky is Frankie’s manager. His wrestler friends include Killer who prefers to wear a gorilla suit (and is Frankie’s best friend), the Greek Gods, Slimeball, Dirty Deed Dan, Hammerhead, Harry who is not sober, and Big John. The thick Carl runs a health spa and is thinking of becoming a wrestler.
The manipulative Sheridan Flock is Nick’s ex-fiancée. Clementine is the horse she boards at Nick’s stable. Daddy is a retired three-star general who has spoiled Sheridan.
Local police include Officer George Scanlon and Detective Ferrell/Farrell. Dwight Hawkins is an FBI agent.
Billie’s current possibilities include the manager of the Kroger store and the chemistry teacher. Raoul Hernandez is the local exterminator who has endeared himself to Billie’s neighbors, who include the Callahans with their German roaches; the Sherringtons, who are on a cruise; and, Mrs Cartwright, who runs the grocery store. Lisa Marie, Molly, Doris, and Jody are some of Christie’s friends. Emma Glebe, an IRS auditor, is the new owner of the dress shop. And with her approach to customers, I don’t think she’ll last long. Gloria is supposed to jump out of the cake at the bachelor party. Julie Favor is a little girl who lives down the street. Reverend Bennett is Billie’s preacher.
Edna Kuntz had been a mean third grade teacher. Sonny Moyer had been the postman at the time — he hated her too.
The Cover and Title
The cover has a softly gradated yellow background providing a simple yet cheerful canvas for the text. An info blurb is at the top in black with the primary author’s name in a royal blue with a white outline. Immediately below is an epigraph in black with a chrome toaster and its popped-up toast immediately below that. The winding cord leads us to the title in pink with a lighter pink shadow.
The title is the end result, a Full House of love and life.