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USA Today Bestseller List, Week Ending June 24, 2007


I didn’t have any doubt that Janet Evanovich’s most recent Stephanie Plum story would be number one. I am just glad that I have not even the slightest desire to read this book. It was a struggle initially to kick the Plum/Morelli/Ranger habit but as time has gone on, it’s been easier and I am happy to have left the series behind, particularly after having read that Evanovich plans to write Plum in continual stasis, never learning, never growing, always vascillating.


Lean Mean Thirteen, Janet Evanovich (St. Martin’s Press), $27.50, No. 1 (debut).
Twelve Sharp, Janet Evanovich (St. Martin’s Paperbacks), $7.99, No. 3 (debut). Paperback release of hardcover
Angels Fall, Nora Roberts, (Jove), $7.99, No. 11 (Peak 1 – as a hardcover release). Paperback release.
Double Take, Catherine Coulter (Putnam), $25.95 No. 14 (Peak 10).

The Harlequin (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 15) by Laurell K Hamilton (Berkley) $25.95, No. 35 (Peak 26).
Vanished, Karen Robards (Signet) $7.99, No. 36 (Peak 27). This is the paperback release of the hardcover.
Innocent as Sin, Elizabeth Lowell (William Morrow), $24.95, No. 41 (debut).
Never Lie to a Lady, Liz Carlyle (Pocket), $7.50, No. 42 (debut). This is Carlyle’s highest placement on the USAToday list. She has only made it into the top 50 (which is printed in the USA Today newspaper) one time before with Three Little Secrets.

The MacGregors: Robert & Cybil: The Winning Hand and The Perfect Neighbor, Nora Roberts (Silhouette Special Releases), $7.99, No. 45 (Peak 13).

The Man From Stone Creek, Linda Lael Miller (HQN), $7.99, No. 50 (Peak 8).
Summer Pleasures: Second Nature\One Summer, Nora Roberts (Silhouette Special Releases), $14.95, No. 51 (Peak 31).
Sleeping with Fear, Kay Hooper (Bantam), $7.50, No. 57 (Peak 9).
The Devil Who Tamed Her, Johanna Lindsey (Pocket), $25.00, No. 57 (Peak 43).

Desperate Duchesses, Eloisa James (Avon), No. 93 (Peak 27).
Last Look, Mariah Stewart (Ballantine Books), $6.99, No. 96 (Peak 28).

Abandon, Carla Neggers (Mira), $7.99, No. 111 (Peak 24).
Beware a Scot’s Revenge, Sabrina Jeffries (Pocket) $6.99, No. 120 (Peak 26).

Sins of a Duke, Suzanne Enoch (Avon), $6.99, No. 127 (Peak 40).

Lady Beware, Jo Beverley (Signet), $7.99, No. 133 (Peak 66).

Susannah’s Garden, Debbie Macomber (Mira), $7.99, No. 137 (Peak No. 4 ).

Master of Dragons (Mageverse, Book 8 ), Angela Knight (Berkley), $7.99, No. 145 (Peak 34).


Out of the list:

Changeling, Yasmine Galenorn (Berkley), $6.99, No. 116 (Peak 73). Last week I thought about buying this book and then I read the reviews at Amazon and decided I don’t really enjoy witch stories.

Yep, it is just one that moved out of the list. Mostly this is due to the fact that there were very few new releases last week. Next week, though, we should see a big shift.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Angie
    Jun 28, 2007 @ 08:57:40

    It was a struggle initially to kick the Plum/Morelli/Ranger habit but as time has gone on, it's been easier and I am happy to have left the series behind, particularly after having read that Evanovich plans to write Plum in continual stasis, never learning, never growing, always vascillating.

    *groan* she does? Where did you read that. Maybe it’s time for me to give up on them to because these past few books I’ve experienced huge frustration that nothing ever changes. Nothing! I want my characters to grow and move forward and DO something.

  2. sherry thomas
    Jun 28, 2007 @ 08:59:07

    I remain a Ranger slut. But I usually read the books when I’m sitting in B&N, supposedly on a writing marathon.

    I started on book 4, and immediately fell for Ranger. Then I went back and read the earlier books where he was described as having Arnold S’s body and screamed and promptly removed that knowledge from my mind. My Ranger has Brad Pitt’s body.

    That’s what’s so special about books. My own imagination. :-)

  3. jmc
    Jun 28, 2007 @ 09:04:34

    I have broken myself of buying Evanovich; I may pick a copy up at the library if I see one on display, but I’m not bothered enough about the series to put it on hold. The mystery of Ranger is gone and Joe is domestic and Stephanie is a clueless klutz. The story will be some sort of Three Stooges-like affair that Stephanie manages to stumble into. Meh.

  4. Jane
    Jun 28, 2007 @ 09:26:04

    Angie – the interview was on a booksale website I think, like Powells or Barnes and Noble and the interviewer asked her whether Stephanie will ever learn to like her gun, and Evanovich replied something to the extent that these are characters that aren’t going to change. I’ve tried to find it but I can’t locate it. I would have read it in the past year.

  5. Sarah Frantz
    Jun 28, 2007 @ 09:48:11

    I gave up on Stephanie at book 8 or maybe 9 when not only didn’t she change and grow and the whole Ranger/Joe thing was so boring, but she didn’t do anything in the mystery. She kind of stumbled over the ending and it was so pointless because at least in the first few books, she actually solved the mystery. At least with Anita, things change — the men around her, her relationship with the ardeur — even if she doesn’t actually grow much. There’s progression there, if you can find it through the sex. Not that I’ve read the last three of those, either.

    I’ve figured out that I read romances because I like the narrative structure. I like a beginning, middle, and end. I like climax and denouement. I don’t like cliffhangers. I won’t read Anne Rice, because she never actually ends a book. I gave up on Gabaldon as well, because the books were so damn big, but also because the story never ended. I don’t actually want to know what happens to my characters after then end of the story, because I assume that they live, well, happily ever after.

    Hrm. Maybe this should be a blog post. ;)

  6. Robin
    Jun 28, 2007 @ 10:03:07

    I am a Morelli girl, and I actually like the continued vacillation, the painful delayed gratification. Partly I like it because Ranger and Morelli each give Stephanie something different: Ranger accepts and facilitates the bounty hunter work, supplemented by lust, while Morelli is the comfort of long-time love and the possibility of commitment. Because they’re not in a committed relationship, Stephanie and Ranger are both able to be independent (and let’s not kid ourselves: Ranger has said on numerous occasions that if they were together, he’d make Morelli look liberated). Morelli hates Stephanie’s job. Stephanie hates her job too, much of the time, but she’s too stubborn to give it up, especially at the behest of a man. I also like the vacillation because I think it breaks some rules for women characters in books that border on Romance — SHE’s the one who’s been unfaithful to her boyfriend, no matter how she tries to justify it, and she’s always in danger of going there again. On one level it makes me crazy because I want her to be with Joe, but on another level it still fascinates me to see her get away with it. For someone who never feels in control, IMO Stephanie manages to keep things exactly where she wants them in terms of her men and her overall independence.

    Maybe in a few more books it will start getting old, but not yet, not for me.

  7. Tara Marie
    Jun 28, 2007 @ 10:20:52

    I kicked the “Plum/Morelli/Ranger habit” after book 10, it was enough for me. Though I do like Robin’s take on the relationships, I wanted to see some sort of relationship and growth going on. Since that’s not likely to happen I’ll save my $.

  8. readerdiane
    Jun 28, 2007 @ 14:29:58

    Sorry, but you are missing a funny book. Not every book or series has to have the character grow. I admit that that is usually one of my criteria, but they all don’t have to be alike. Sometimes it is good to read a book that takes you away and makes you laugh until you almost cry. My husband said I was obnoxious laughing out loud so much. Three other people who have read the book have said the same. I like this one better than the last and I will keep on reading them because I can always use a good laugh.

    I totally agree with Robin about the dynamics of Stephanie’s relationships. I like the bad boy-Ranger but Morelli isn’t bad. ;)
    I love mysteries and I think these characters are a hoot.

  9. Jackie L.
    Jun 29, 2007 @ 10:01:19

    I love to giggle and Janet and Janet only can make me giggle out loud. Well, Jon Stewart’s America, but that’s not a romance, exactly. I don’t care that Stephanie doesn’t grow or change, how many adults do, in real life? Most of my patients are dealing with the same issues that they were dealing with 13 years ago when I moved home. So stagnation seems like reality to me. But I am a Morelli slut and will read and buy them all on the release date.

  10. DeeCee
    Jun 29, 2007 @ 17:46:28

    I quit after 12. I bought it full price last year (STUPID!) and hated it.

    I don’t know who I want to be with Steph, but I know that If this series continues there won’t be anymore mystery for me.

    My favorite will always be one….one with the introduction to a bad boy Morelli and the mischief they made. But after nine and the Ranger-Stephanie sex….no. The series stopped working for me.

    I might read them later on. In a few more years when I can get them all at the library sale for $0.50 each. In my mind that’s all they’re worth now.

  11. Aqua
    Jul 29, 2007 @ 09:02:21

    I didn’t like Morelli much at first, but, as time goes on, I like him more. I still like Ranger as much as I ever did. If I were Stephanie, I’d have a really difficult time choosing either man. Joe, because he’s so…ITALIAN and down-to-earth, and he loves Stephanie enough to keep her in the real world, doesn’t let her have illusions. And Ranger… Ranger, because he loves Stephanie, too, and accepts her as she is (unlike Morelli, who wants a traditional wife). Ranger doesn’t expect her to change for him, although he has hinted at being something of a sexist. But I think he would indulge Stephanie if she really wanted to keep doing bounty hunter work, or whatever it was she wanted to do. In fact, I bet he’d give her just about anything she wanted–and he apparently can afford to do it. That Stephanie is rather shallow regarding the material world hints at one subconscious part of her attraction to Ranger. He lives well, and Stephanie has repeatedly made remarks indicating that she wants to live the good life (she’s always whining for a Lexus, for instance). Ranger is the best chance she has at having all the goodies she wants.

    There’s a LOT of mystery left with Ranger. We don’t know why he had to have Tank guard him against assassins–just that he did. We don’t know what it is he did in Special Forces, really. Ranger is the gift that keeps on giving in plot twists. At some point, probably the final book(s), Ranger’s Special Forces past will come back to haunt him.

  12. Aqua
    Jul 29, 2007 @ 09:46:28

    I found the concept mentioned upstream of Stephanie “getting away” with sleeping with Ranger curious. What was there to “get away” with? She and Morelli had broken up. They weren’t together. What she did during that time was her business. Yeah, it would be nice if she would have told Morelli when they reunited, “You know when we broke up? Well…” But, honestly, most people can’t handle hearing that, and Morelli is too dysfunctional to hear it without going nutso.

    But it won’t be the night of passion that will have him reaching for a gun. That will be the natural follow-up question: “Has anything else happened with Ranger since then?” Steph’s in big trouble there. Very big trouble. They haven’t done the nasty again, but Ranger has been all over her in a lot of other ways. Perhaps Stephanie hasn’t instigated the contact, but she hasn’t resisted much, either. That will be her big mistake, especially since she’s stayed at Ranger’s place more than once after the Big Night. And the longer she says nothing, while Ranger plays loose with his hands and lips, the deeper she digs her grave with Morelli.

    At some point, I think JE will have Stephanie tell Morelli the truth. I’d like to see Joe mature enough to say, look, I don’t like that, I think it was wrong, and I won’t tolerate anything like it, of any kind, ever again–understand?” But I don’t think he will, despite how he’s the only character in the series who’s grown and matured (Ranger has grown, but he was mature from page one). Morelli’s become so darned lovable that I hate to see his heart broken. But I think it’s gonna be.

  13. Aqua
    Jul 29, 2007 @ 10:14:54

    One last comment:

    Someone upthread mentioned “stasis,” but clearly misinterpreted what Evanovich meant by it. Yes, she said that Stephanie would stay 30–but that’s the only thing that won’t change. She intends for her characters to grow (and believes they have). I don’t think they’ve grown all that much, but they have a little. Besides, she’s really in a bind with this series. If she makes Stephanie a bad-ass bounty hunter, Stephanie might lose a great deal of appeal, and the series could lose the laugh-out-loud hilarity that has made it a hit. I’m not saying that is definite, or that it couldn’t be done; I just don’t believe JE can make that leap. She’s a fun writer, but she doesn’t seem to have what it would take as a writer to do it. Call it confidence, or call it risk-taking. Whatever it is, i don’t think she could find the way to do it, much as I enjoy her books.

    One way JE could show some character development without taking away the fun is to have Stephanie telling her mother to back off and leave her alone about (fill in the blank). Criminy, what an annoying passive-aggressive bully that hag is! Yes, I said that about Mrs. Plum. At some point, when The Hag is ragging on her, she needs to look her mother square in the eye, and tell her, “Mother, that’s uncalled for. I’m sorry if it annoys you that I’m not doing things the way you think I should, or living life the way you think I should, but it’s my life, not yours. This is what it means to grow up. Please accept that I have.” Instead, Stephanie caves to The Hag’s whining, far too often. Just standing up to The Hag, in a real and meaningful way, would take Stephanie into some deeper waters.

  14. a different Stephanie's Mom
    Jan 11, 2009 @ 19:07:10

    I’m waaaaay behind – I just finished hot six – but I’m glad to know she eventually sleeps with ranger – I woudl have done it in high five….

    I’m with the girl who dislikes his description in the first couple of books – my version of ranger is way hotter than my vision of morelli…..

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