Customer Reviews: Kill the Competition (a humorous romantic mystery)
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on May 28, 2006
I was under the spell of IN DEEP VOODOO by about page 5. The setting immediately drew me in, and the characters and storyline soon after. At first, I was afraid that there were too many characters to keep them all straight, but everything added up in the end in a satisfying, if darker-than-expected conclusion. The most confusing part of the book, for me, was the tone. Lots of light humor inter-mixed with some pretty dark stuff, like a murder and a grisley conclusion. Still, I enjoyed reading it very much and will probably read the next in the series too!
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on August 29, 2011
I love this book. I first read it when I was a teenager, and I always thought it would make a great movie. I bought it again because I lent out my copy and never got it back and I read it again, and it was like meeting the characters for the first time. It is fun and fast and exciting and sexy and sweet. But it's also a murder mystery, so there is a little something for everyone.
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on October 31, 2012
As a fellow mystery writer, I hesitate to write this review, especially because I really enjoyed the first half of this book. But I was profoundly disappointed in the ending. Half way through, it became clear this was a romance novel dressed up as a mystery, complete with pretty explicit sex scenes that pulled me right out of the story. The proof was in the ending. The author breezes right past the resolution of the crime, and then glosses over an even more horrendous crime than the one which fueled the entire book. The villain(s) are just dumped into the ending and/or not identified at all, but sure enough, the romance is wrapped up with a neat little bow. I believe that when you spend more than two-thirds of a book building up to a big ending, you need to deliver. Too bad. I thought I was going to love this book.
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on February 3, 2002
This is my first Stephanie Bond book but it won't be my last. This is the kind of book I love. . .hunky, alpha-type hero, smart heroine, complicated but well defined characters, a smart story line, a mystery that is actually difficult to figure out, action, humor, sexy love scene. . .Hey! This one has it all! A definite keeper and I can't wait to order OUR HUSBAND and any other book I can find by SB. Great!
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VINE VOICEon September 3, 2002
I had thoroughly enjoyed OUR HUSBAND, Stephanie Bond's earlier book, so I expected to like I THINK I LOVE YOU. Yet I more than liked it, I was awed by it.
The story was far more detailed than one expects a genre romance to be. Ms. Bond lets the reader know right from the beginning that she was inspired by the Nancy Drew mysteries of our collective youths, and I THINK I LOVE YOU is very much a Nancy Drew book for the modern woman.
The tension among the three sisters who are the focus of this novel is altogether plausible, and its history is well-explained. The separate plots concerning each of the three sisters also are compelling, and the backstory of small town Southern life is extremely interesting. I was awed by Ms. Bond's imagination and I cannot wait to read the sequel that the final pages of this novel promise already is in the works.
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on May 6, 2002
I really enjoyed this book, but it's not much of a romance. It's full of sexy and sinister secrets, compelling hints and lots of humor. I found Roxann and Joe completely likeable and respectable. Unfortunately, there is such a little part in this book for Joe and she is so good at blocking the few advances he makes that when she and Joe fall in love, you find yourself asking, "Where was I?" But buy the book, anyway. Stephanie Bond moves the story forward at a good clip and with firm control, keeping you reading and wondering and feeling fairly satisfied that all the pieces of her complex puzzle fit so nicely together. All but the romance.
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on March 8, 2014
I chose one word, WOW, for my title because this is I how I felt after reading this book. Every one of the organizations the authors wrote about are all amazing and are doing magnificent work. I never knew any of them existed but thank you Harlequin for enlisting the 3 authors to write such beautiful stories to enlighten people such as myself. I am reminded that one small act of kindness can change a child's entire world. I recently retired from 37 years of child welfare, investigating and making a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. I know how the small things can alter a child's life. My hat is off to Brenda Jackson, Stephanie Bond and Maureen Child!
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on September 28, 2005
Penny Francisco came home early only to find her husband attorney Deke making love in their bed to Sheena "litigator" Linder; making it worse is that she had dirty feet. The divorce settlement left Penny with her health store, The Charm Farm, and some adjoining land that she plans to use to grow herbs; Deke got their house across the street that he paints an ugly pink, but he also hid valuable assets in the name of his now fiancée.

Penny's assistant Marie Gaston hosts a divorce celebration for her boss. One of the guests secretly gives Penny a voodoo doll of Deke; Penny stabs the doll in the heart. The next day she goes over to see Deke who had frantically called her several times, but was not answering his phone. She finds him dead with a weapon stabbed through his heart. Everyone else thinks Penny either killed Deke with voodoo or as crime of passion. Penny plans to prove otherwise by uncovering the truth with the help of a donut lusting private investigator as her only ally.

Stephanie Bond provides a terrific amateur sleuth investigative tale with a heated romantic subplot to enhance the bewildered but delightful lead female protagonist. Penny is the fabulous center to the strong story line as her antics will amuse the audience. Her efforts to prove she is innocent though everyone in Mojo, Louisiana believes otherwise while making side comments about pink houses, replacement females, mayoral ex mother-in-laws, hunks, and voodoo make for a fine time. Still the bottom line means diving IN DEEP VOODOO as she has a slight doubt that just maybe her jab with the pin killed her former spouse.

Harriet Klausner
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on July 11, 2001
Because cross-references reviews for books by authors with the same name, other reviews for this book that are displayed here imply that this is a time-travel book by Kimberly Raye called "Midnight Fantasies." Rather, this one (the one with atmospherically-lit embracing unclothed figures on the cover) is a compilation featuring novellas by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Stephanie Bond, and Kimberly Raye.
Writing a novella is an art form all its own, and one I think is more difficult and demanding than writing a novel. In a novel, an author has time to develop characters and plot -- to make the characters and the developing relationship between them believable. In a novella, the author somehow has to establish decent characters and a believable romantic conclusion in a much shorter time.
This is a superior collection of novellas, because all three authors manage to meet the demands of the novella. The characters and relationships are believable and well-developed, and (as the title implies) all three are incredibly erotic, with well-done love scenes.
MYSTERY LOVER - Vicki Lewis Thompson - "When an unexpected storm hits, rancher Jonas Garfield takes cover in a nearby cave . . . and finds himself seduced senseless by an enigmatic temptress who refuses to tell him her name. All he knows is that this sexy woman wants him. And for Jonas, that's enough - for now . . ." The writing was smooth, the characters believable, and the love scenes were not only hot and well-done, but also unbelievably imaginative and adventurous.
AFTER HOURS - Stephanie Bond - "Michael Pierce has always considered costume shop owner Rebecca Valentine no more than an associate - until he drops by her shop one night and witnesses the mousy wallflower's transformation into a seductive siren. Suddenly, he's desperate to know her much better. But which woman is the real Rebecca?" This was the weakest of the three stories, although it's still above-average for a novella. The Michael character was, I think, better drawn than the Rebecca character. The writing is good, the love scenes erotic, and the story itself was very atmospheric. But I think the characters were less well-developed than in the other two stories, and the relationship between them wasn't quite as believable.
SHOW AND TELL - Kimberly Raye - "A naughty lingerie party. A forbidden fantasy. When Texas bad boy Dallas Jericho finds a slip of paper left over from the party, he is surprised - and aroused - to discover that he is good girl Laney Merriweather's wildest fantasy. So what can he do but show the lady what she's been missing . . ." The characters of this story were particularly well-developed, with good explanation of their motivations. The theme of the story (two long-time adversaries fight secret attraction) is an old and popular one, but it's handled well. The love scenes are well-done and imaginative and the writing is smooth.
All in all, this particular compilation was of better-than-average quality. It's unusual to find one of these compilations with stories of relatively consistent quality. It's an enjoyable and interesting read!
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on October 29, 2005
I'm usually a 5 to 10-pages a night reader, but on this book I read more than 100 pages each night and had to force myself to turn off the light. This was an extremely well crafted mystery. The dual heroines were likeable; there was a nice romance; and the intrigue never let up. You can bet I'll be reading more of Stephanie Bond's romantic suspense.
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