Series or Stand Alone: Stephanie Plum series, book one
Synopsis: [from bookcover]
Trenton native Stephanie Plum is out of work, out of m oney, and her car's in repo-hell. So who does a hardly working girl turn to when the going gets tough? Meet cousin Vinnie, bail bondsman. Stephanie figures it's nice work if you can get it - shagging bail jumpers for $10,000 a pop. So she joins up.
Her first assignment: nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one. There's also a cranky ex-prize fighter dogging her and a nasty habit she has of leaping first and looking later. If Stephanie doesn't wise up fast, the first dead body in her future could be her own.
I've seen these books everywhere for years and have never picked one up. I don't really know why I decided to do so now, but I'm very glad I did. And I'm a little miffed I waited so long.
Set in Trenton, New Jersey, the "burg" to be precise, Stephanie Plum is seriously down on her luck. Losing her job as a lingerie buyer she's desperately looking for a new job - any job really. Her Miata is being repossesed and she even has to sell her furniture to pay her bills, basically she's more than broke. So why not pay cousin Vinnie a visit? Stephanie ends up
blackmailing convincing Vinnie to let her join him in his bail bondsmen business. It doesn't matter than she has no idea how to be a bounty hunter, what matters is the 10% cut she gets after bringing in a FTA (fail to appear).
Her first case? A $100,000 bond which will give her a nice $10,000 to help her get out of the debt pit she's in. The bad thing is who that bond belongs to - a one Joe Morelli, a former vice cop running from a charge of muder one. Now Stephanie and Joe go way back and she's not necessarily all warm and toasty of her thoughts of him. He's the type of man Stephanie's mother warned her about and still she didn't listen. After a hot and steamy night behind the pastry counter of her teenage job, she hasn't seen or heard from him since. That is if you don't count that one time afterwards when Stephanie hit Joe with her car. He was definitely in the way, even if she had to drive up on the sidewalk to strike him.
With some help from her new buddy and fellow bounty hounter, Ranger, she learns a few tricks to help her along the way. But the number one thing that saves her butt many a time is pure and simple luck! Stephanie's got a lot to learn in this new world. Joe is smarter than a crook, he used to be a cop for crying out loud. He's not just gonna let Stephanie take him into the waiting arms of the police.
While on the hunt for Morelli, Stephanie encounters Benito Ramirez, a heavyweight prize fighter that doesn't know how to take no for an answer after expressing his interest in Stephanie. Known to get a little (okay a lot) rough with women, Ramirez soon shows Stephanie what it feels like to be hunted down.
This book is jam-packed with hilarious and unforgettable characters. From her quirky and crazy family, to Stephanie and Joe, I totally should have started this ages ago. If you haven't picked up a Plum novel, why not start with the first one?? I promise you Stephanie's down to earth character will grab you and not let go. I'm really looking forward to continuing in the series.