The only reason I finished reading Sizzling Sixteen was because a good friend gave me the series up through book 19, and told me that the books get better in 18 & 19. Also, because once I read the books, I can clear the space on my bookshelf for other, more deserving books. The only reason I can think why Janet Evanovich wrote these books, however, other than money, is as a spoof of her own writing. This is some of the weakest writing, or story telling in general, that I have encountered in a long time. At some point I lost count of the ridiculous plot elements. Wondering into a slaughterhouse factory lot and letting loose a stampede of cows? Sure, why not? Finding a pet alligator in someone’s home and accidentally letting him loose in a neighborhood? Sure. Hobbits? Why not. Shooting at someone because they ate your doughnut? Of course. I had to stop rolling my eyes, or I was going to have a headache.
I think that if you removed descriptions of characters’ (even the most minor, incidental characters) clothing choices and any writing pertaining to food, there would be about 20 pages left in the book. I appreciate a vivid setting, and Lula does need to be described to be believed…but come on! Also, Lula, aside from being really annoying, is completely unrealistic. Anyone who fired off their gun so recklessly and so routinely would lose their gun, and possibly be in jail. Especially if the offender were a minority with a criminal record. There was one moment in the book where, were there any reality in this book, Lulu would have been killed or seriously injured, and honestly, I was hoping that she was. But no, not even a hint of realization from the characters or author that being knocked down in front of a stampeding herd of cattle might be dangerous.
By contrast, Stephanie has become really boring by this point in the series. There’s constant teasers of sex, and lots of crazy schemes, but no actual action on her own part, because the only thing Stephanie does anymore is react to people. She hangs out with batshit crazy Lulu and Connie, saying “no, we shouldn’t do that. oh, all right.” and spends the rest of her time moping about whether she should be with Ranger or Morelli, and describing what everyone is wearing, and eating enough junk food to make her obese many times over. I don’t care which romantic interest you choose. Just pick one and settle down. Any man in his right mind would have moved on by now, much less two very attractive and eligible ones. Of course, any real person who was in a career as long as she is supposed to to have been a bounty hunter, would have learned a few skills, not to mention some common sense and self confidence, by now, instead of screwing up the same way every time, time after time after time…
All of which leads me to conclude that this is a spoof. Must be a spoof. Can’t imagine that any self-respecting publisher would print this otherwise.