Pros: I like the guys even more; the subplots thicken
Cons: Carlotta and her brother are still pretty stupid.
The Bottom Line: It's got some fun, the guys are the best, and I'm interested enough to go into book 3. At least I didn't threaten to toss this one out the window.
In my last review, I hope for at least 4 things to happen in this book. I got about one and a half. I guess that's about what I actually expected.
This is Stephanie Bond's second Body Movers book (A Sexy Mystery, it says on the cover - is that supposed to be a new genre or something?). In a nutshell, Carlotta and her brother Wesley were abandoned ten years ago when their parents skipped town on investment fraud, leaving them to pick up the pieces. Carlotta works retail and somehow always ends up around murdered people, and Wesley gets into loads of trouble (loan sharks, gambling, hacking computer databases in hopes of finding info about their father).
This time someone who looks like Carlotta has also stolen her identity before taking a dive off a bridge. The question now is whether or not the killer really wanted to take out Carlotta, and can the DA lure in her parents by going with the false report of Carlotta being dead. (once again the back of the book lies - Carlotta is not and never was under suspicion of murder, get it right for God's sake).
I wobbled about reading this book, mostly because Carlotta was totally stupid in the first book. Now, I'm all for strong female characters and stubborn girls that aren't afraid to tell people to stuff it. However, I would like to point out that stubborn does not have to equal stupid. Yet for some reason it frequently does in the books I read these days. Carlotta again makes several dumb decisions, though thankfully not as many by far as in the first book. Here she's sort of stuck as the victim - she simply cannot go out and snoop around like some sort of Scooby Doo episode. And she actually gets a little nookie (but I won't say from who). I still think she needs to tell her brother a thing or two or he needs to get his face broken because now I'm starting to tire of all his stupid decisions, but I'm still willing to ride with his dumb self a little longer because he's 19 and has been without actual parents for the last ten years.
However, Carlotta is still completely stupid when it comes to money, which I don't understand. She and Wesley are so far into debt it's ridiculous, yet how many credit cards does she have? 37. Yes. You heard me right. And she gets all fussy when she has to cut them up. And when he brother comes home with a big screen TV worth ten grand, does she have him take it back and give that money to the loan sharks that hound them? Nope. They keep it. And guess what happens to it? It gets trashed. I'm sorry, but it's really tiring to hear about their money problems throughout the entire book when they both keep acting like morons about it.
While the subplots are all fun and games (though it sucks that there are 6 books so far and I'll probably be stuck going through all of them in order to find out what the heck is going on with her parents - that and I really want to see her reaction when they come back. I hope she yells at them and maybe even throws something), the main plotline about the ID theft is sort of weird. Kind of like the mystery in the first book. And when you find out who's behind it all...well, I don't know. It just didn't work for me.
Still, I'll keep reading in hopes that the Wren family gets brighter, though my real motivation is seeing Wesley learn his lesson (which he should at least be closer do doing considering this book's events, but alas, he has not), the wrap up of the parent fiasco, and because I really do like the three guys Carlotta has to deal with. Peter is an interesting Prince Charming, Coop is a tall drink of yummy water, and Jack is a good time. I still like Coop the best and think Carlotta ought to just get with Peter and leave the other two characters to find women better for them.
(do I like anything about Carlotta? Well, I do like her name...)