Cons: Things are waaay too convenient for Carlotta.
The Bottom Line: I'm still reading, so it's not that bad. It's just not that great either.
It wasn't until a few moments ago that I remembered the plot to the second book. That's due to part of the plot in this one. As usual, Stephanie Bond has multiple threads going, and as usual, some are more interesting than others.
Carlotta is stuck between three men (sort of). She's trying to keep her brother out of trouble (and failing). And now even more problems are cropping up. A famous celebrity is attacked in her store. Something is up with Coop (is he drinking again?). A wack job from a previous book is out and gunning for Carlotta. Carlotta is jealous of Jack's new (hot) partner. Peter wants her to move in. And the icing on the cake, a serial killer dubbed the Charmed Killer is on the loose. Sounds like a good time to move to Atlanta, wouldn't you say?
The majority of these plots are interesting. Seeing Wesley dig himself in deeper with unsavory characters sort of screws him out of making dumb decisions. He's pretty freakin' close to that rock bottom I want him to hit. Coop's bit of distress is highly intriguing and I really want to see what's going on with him. The serial killer bit could be anyone, though I know it'll be a few books before I find out. The wack job part was disturbing once you find out where he goes. And poor Peter is trying so hard and getting left behind every time.
And why on earth is Carlotta jealous of Jack's partner? Because she's hot? I have two problems with this. 1.) Why are women cops in books hot? I'm not saying hot women can't be cops, but this thing just seems very cliché to me. Of course Jack's partner is a total bombshell. *eyeroll* 2.) And Carlotta is jealous? Seriously? She has Coop and Peter fawning all over her and she's all huffy that Maria looks good and is Jack's partner? I might add that Jack makes it clear he's still interested in just Carlotta (and that is proven in this book), but does that matter? No. Carlotta, sweetheart, grow up.
And the whole Nancy Drew thing Carlotta does is fine with me - that's the whole deal behind this book (she doesn't actually move bodies...just from time to time. I thought it was a full time deal when I first started the series, but I was seriously mistaken). But the "case of the missing bracelet" is a bit I just didn't buy. I'd have to say that Carlotta got extremely lucky with all that. Very, very convenient. So much so that I didn't buy it. But hey, maybe she got lucky because of all those charms on her bracelet.
Some of you might be saying, "Geez, Nicole, if it's that bad, why do you keep reading?" I keep reading because it's not bad, per se. It's just not awesome. I really do enjoy all three guys (and have a crush on Coop), and many of the subplots are intriguing and the only way to see them play out to their full extent is to keep reading. So I do. Besides, these books are very fast reads anyway. No joke. I've read some in a single day. So it's not like they're taking time out of other books that I intend to read.
By the way, I've noticed something that Stephanie Bond tends to do in her wrting. A lot of her men tend to wipe their mouths or pull a hand down their face. I hope her editor or someone catches that, otherwise she's going to do it all the time and this is going to turn into an R.L. Stine thing.
Another tentative recommendation. But that means you'll have to read the first three books. Hah.
When she receives a surprise visit from her father, who is on the run from the law, Carlotta Wren must decide if she should join her former fianci in proving her father's innocence, while a close friend's behavior spirals out of control, her brother has a new vice, and a serial killer terrorizes Atlanta. Original.