A couple of weeks ago I came across the third book in Janet Evanovich’s series on Netgalley (for those that don’t know, this is where a majority of my review books come). I had attempted to read the first book in the series a couple of times a few years ago and could just never make it through. I thought it was too much like Stephanie Plum and set it aside, completely forgetting about it. Then I got an email from Netgalley with approval to read this newest book and I thought “Hmmm…now’s the perfect time to read these books!” And I was right 😀 I highly recommend this series to anyone who likes a little fantasy, a little mystery, a little romance, and an easy read. These books are cupcakes people!Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
Series: Lizzy & Diesel,
Published by Bantam on 2010-09-14
Length: 313 pages
Reviewing eBook Rating:
For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long — Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues’ gallery of power seekers. He’s an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.
That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She’s freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston’s North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle’s bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it’s suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.
Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She’s not sure about Diesel. He’s offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.
The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that’s fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.
I need to be completely honest for a second. This is the third time I’ve attempted to read Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich. I bought it in 2010 when it was first released and I was so excited because hello! I love Stephanie and I love Diesel in the Between the Numbers series. So yes I was very excited to read a series featuring a new girl and Diesel, but I never was able to make it more than half way. I found the book boring and just way to much deja vu with the By the Numbers series. So I set it down. Now five years later (plus over a year since I’ve read the last Plum book) I was able to sit down and truly enjoy Lizzy and Diesel and people I read it in one sitting, sacrificing sleep to do so.
Lizzy is just your average girl. She has the girl-next-door thing going on that I just loved and made her extremely relatable to me. She’s a pastry chef in Salem, Massachusetts and lives in a house (which is falling down around her) that she inherited from her Aunt Ophelia. No guy in her life, she really doesn’t seem to need one. She’s self-sufficent and most importantly she’s happy. Then Diesel comes in and turns everything on its head!
Diesel happens to be one of my favorite characters and my secret ship from the Between the Numbers series (you know the ones that covered the holidays). He’s just Diesel with his beach-bum sexiness going on, a little boy-next-door qualities, and a lot of mystery!! Diesel drops into Lizzy’s life unexpectedly. He’s there to protect her but also to use her powers (more on that in a sec) and can we all just agree that we wouldn’t argue if he showed up on our doorstep to protect us 😉
So the premise of this series is set around the SALIGIA stones. Each stone represents one of the deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. Supposedly the keeper of all the stones can raise hell on earth. This book is about finding the gluttony stone…appetite…get it 😉 I kind of like that each book will be centered around a different stone. This one cracked me up as the people who had contact with the stone took on the attributes. So you had people who couldn’t stop eating or collected too many things or practiced other activities.
Overall I enjoyed this book, especially once I was able to separate the similarities to Evanovich’s other series. Yes they are similar, yes some of the characters are similar (you have Diesel and Wulf his evil cousin to represent Morelli and Ranger, Glo for Lula, etc.), but it’s easy to overlook as there is an overarching theme to the series. This book is what I saw one reviewer refer to as a cupcake: easy to enjoy, quick to consume, leaves you satisfied. I would easily recommend this book to anyone that enjoys the By the Numbers series, a little fantasy, a little romance, and of course a lot of laughs!
Series: Lizzy & Diesel,
Published by Bantam on 2012-06-19
Length: 299 pages
Reviewing eBook Rating:
Whether it’s monkey business, funny business or getting down to business, Janet Evanovich's Lizzy and Diesel series proves that there's no business like Wicked Business
Lizzy Tucker's once normal life as a pastry chef in Salem, Massachusetts, turns upside down as she battles both sinister forces and an inconvenient attraction to her unnaturally talented but off-limits partner, Diesel.
When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the-wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Following clues contained in a cryptic nineteenth-century book of sonnets, Lizzy and Diesel tear through Boston catacombs, government buildings, and multimillion-dollar residences. On their way they'll leave behind a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and general mayhem.
Diesel's black sheep cousin, Gerwulf Grimoire, also wants the Stone. His motives are far from pure, and what he plans on doing with the treasure, no one knows...but Lizzy Tucker fears she's in his crosshairs. Never far and always watching, Grimoire has a growing, vested interest in the cupcake-baker-turned-finder-of-lost-things. As does another dangerous and dark opponent in the hunt - a devotee of lawlessness and chaos, known only as Anarchy.
Treasures will be sought, and the power of lust will be unmistakable as Lizzy and Diesel attempt to stay ahead of Anarchy, Grimoire, and his medieval minion, Hatchet, in this ancient game of twisted riddles and high-stakes hide-and-seek.
Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich picks up about a year after the events of book one. Lizzy is still working at the bakery, her life has about returned to normal when Diesel shows up and whisks her away to a crime scene where a history professor took a swan dive off his balcony. Apparently the professor was looking for the Luxuria stone, or the lust stone, has a handprint burned onto his neck and a few keys to finding the next stone.
I adore Lizzy! Not only does she not take crap from anyone, Diesel and Wulf included, she’s smart, can be brave if the situation calls for it, and she still finds time for her day job. She’s awesome 😀 Diesel isn’t too bad himself, but he does have a bit of a one-tracked mind. He’s so focused on the stones that sometimes he misses what’s right in front of him, I mean Lizzy of course!
I didn’t mention Wulf in my review of book one, but I kinda adore him! He’s Diesel’s evil cousin who is also hunting down the stones. He’s described as looking a bit like a vampire and he has this really cool ability to control fire! It’s a little terrifying!! He makes a good villain for our Lizzy, but if I’m being completely honest I would like to see more of him.
So in this addition to the series, Lizzy and Diesel are hunting for the Luxuria stone (doesn’t that sound so much better than lust stone?!) and it’s like they are chasing a needle in a haystack. It’s funny, a bit predictable, but a great read! I enjoyed every minute of it. If you like easy reads with lots of humor and a little mystery, this is the book for you!
Series: Lizzy & Diesel,
Published by Bantam on 2015-06-23
Length: 308 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Lizzy and Diesel return once again in an all-new adventure in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Janet Evanovich and her co-author, Phoef Sutton!
Murdered and mummified more than ninety years ago, bootlegger Collier “Peg Leg” Dazzle once found and re-hid a famous pirate’s treasure somewhere along the coast of New England. A vast collection of gold and silver coins and precious gems, the bounty also contains the Stone of Avarice — the very item reluctant treasure seeker, Lizzy Tucker, and her partner, Diesel, have been enlisted to find. While Lizzy would just like to live a quiet, semi-normal life, Diesel is all about the hunt. And this hunt is going to require a genuine treasure map and a ship worthy of sailing the seven seas . . . or at least getting them from Salem Harbor to Maine.
Greed is eternal and insatiable, and Lizzy and Diesel aren’t the only ones searching for the lost pirate’s chest. There are people who have dedicated their entire lives to finding it, and are willing to commit murder or make a deal with the devil, just to hold the fortune in their hands. One of those people may even be Wulf, Diesel’s deceptively charming and enigmatic cousin. Wulf desires the Stone of Avarice. He also desires Lizzy. It’s hard to say how far he’s willing to go to gain either one.
It’s a swashbuckling adventure full of raiders, monkeys, minions, and mayhem. Lizzy and Diesel are going to have to do everything they can to keep their heads above water and hope they are living a charmed life.
I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich and co-autho Phoef Sutton is the next book in Lizzy and Diesel’s search for the SALIGIA stones. After a bit of an encounter at the beginning of this book, Lizzy is upset with Diesel and with good reason. So when he shows up three weeks later, unannounced, ready to drag her away yet again, she refuses. Can’t say I blame her! He shows up when Glo has set her up on an impromptu date with the coroner they met at the pirate museum after they discovered the prop wasn’t a prop, but an actual dead guy.
Lizzy has a bit of a crisis in this book. She’s been attempting to publish her cookbook to make some much needed money without success. So when Diesel sends her cookbook, along with a batch of cupcakes to Martin Ammon, a megalo-millionaire who decides he likes Lizzy. Turns out though Diesel didn’t do it out of the kindness of his heart. Oh no! Martin is the key to finding the next SALIGIA stone, the stone of Avarice or greed.
Wulf turns up more in this book which made me all kinds of happy. Plus there’s pirates, Glo, and Hatchet to ramp up the comedy.
The plot of the book centers around finding the stone but also branches out a bit and develops the characters a little more. I enjoyed this, along with learning more about the “Unmentionables” (this is what Diesel and Lizzy are) and then there’s also the cult that worships the stone.
This book is fast-paced, more so than the last two and kind of saves the series in my opinion. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the first two books, but this one sets the series off! It’s fun, a bit quirky, and in general I just had a good time reading it. Also there was a nod to the By the Numbers series that had me squealing with delight 😉 If you enjoy a little fantasy, a little romance (which by the way is a bit hotter in this book than the previous two), and a touch of mystery, add Lizzy and Diesel to your TBR!
Series Review Conclusion: