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
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