Book Reviews

Visions of Sugar Plums: A Stephanie Plum Holiday Novel (Stephanie Plum, #8.5) by Janet Evanovich

Visions of Sugar Plums: A Stephanie Plum Holiday Novel
(Stephanie Plum, #8.5)
By: Janet Evanovich
Narrated by: Lorelai King

Published: March 2003
Published By: MacMillan Audio
Format Read: Audio, Library Book, Libby App
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Series

Rating: 1/5

Synopsis


It’s five days before Christmas and things are not looking merry for Fugitive Apprehension Agent Stephanie Plum. She hasn’t got a tree. She hasn’t bought any presents. The malls are jam-packed with staggering shoppers. There’s not a twinkle light anywhere to be seen in her apartment.
And there’s a strange man in her kitchen.
Sure, this has happened to Stephanie Plum before. Strangers, weirdos, felons, creeps, and lunatics are always finding their way to her front door. But this guy is different. This guy is mysterious, sexy-and he has his own agenda. His name is Diesel and he is a man on a mission. And Diesel is unlike anyone Stephanie has ever met before in her life. The question is, what does he want with her? Can he help her find a little old toy maker who has skipped out on his bail right before Christmas? Can he survive the Plum family holiday dinner? Can he get Stephanie a tree that doesn’t look like it was grown next to a nuclear power plant? These questions and more are keeping Stephanie awake at night. Not to mention the fact that she needs to find a bunch of nasty elves, her sister Valerie has a Christmas “surprise” for the Plums, her niece Mary Alice doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, and Grandma Mazur has a new stud muffin. So bring out the plastic reindeer, strap on your jingle bells, and get ready to celebrate the holidays-Jersey style. “Visions of Sugar Plums”-the world of Plum has never been merrier!

-Goodreads

My Thoughts

Visions of Sugar Plums is the second of the “in between” novels from the Stephanie Plum, series that I have read. And the second one that included a supernatural character by the name of Diesel, who stars in another one of Janet Evanovich series. Unfortunately I do not enjoy these crossovers due to their paranormal element. Even though Stephanie’s shenanigans are often wild, I just don’t think that it fits in with her world. In the future I will skip these crossover novels and stick with the regular series.

This is the first time I have listened to the Stephanie Plum in audio format. For the most part, I enjoyed Lorelai King’s narration with the exception of the voice she used for Lula. I was also curious as to why she didn’t give Stephanie a New Jersey accent, as that is where she was born and raised.

Unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend Visions of Sugar Plums and would suggest that readers stick with the regular series.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

A Lancaster County Christmas (Lancaster County Secrets) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

10426868

A Lancaster County Christmas
(Lancaster County Secrets)
By: Suzanne Woods Fisher 

Published: October 2011
Published by: Revell 
Format Read: eBook, Kobo
Genre: Amish Fiction, Christian Fiction 

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis


Jaime and C. J. Fitzpatrick began their married life as most couples do–in love and looking forward to a bright future together. But four years later they’ve drifted apart and are almost ready to call it quits.

Mattie Riehl was hoping to give her husband Sol the Christmas gift they have both longed for–news that a baby was on the way. But as usual, she is disappointed. The holidays bring an acute awareness to Mattie that her dream of a big family isn’t likely to become a reality.

Then a winter storm raging outside blows the Fitzpatricks into the Riehl home–and into a much slower pace of life. Can these two couples from different worlds help each other understand the true meaning of love this Christmas?

With her trademark plot twists and attention to detail, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers readers a beautiful Christmas story of love, forgiveness, and what truly matters in life.

Goodreads 

My Thoughts 

Over the past couple of years, Amish fiction has become the genre I turn to when I’m in the mood for a warm, inspirational story. Suzanne Woods Fisher has become one of my go-to authors. 


A Lancaster County Christmas follows Mattie and Solomon who are characters from the Lancaster County Secrets series. Set during Christmas, this story explores the differences and similarities between the Amish and English.


I found Matties mental health struggles to be quite relatable. Although it was her young son Danny, who was the true shining star. He was a curious child with a heart of gold. Danny was such an endearing and memorable character. 


Unfortunately at times the story felt rushed and predictable. However it was an enjoyable novel that can be read as a stand-alone. I would recommend it to fans of Amish fiction 

Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: December 2018

Total Books Read in December: 8

Total Books Read in 2018: 41

25057909

A Christmas Cracker by Trisha Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3/5

10426868

A Lancaster County Christmas (Lancaster County Secrets) by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Christian Fiction, Amish Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

16638445

Visions of Sugar Plums: A Stephanie Plum Holiday Novel (Stephanie Plum, #8.5) by Janet Evanovich
Genre: Audio Book, Mystery, Contemporary
Rating: 1/5

162085

Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1) by Sara Shepard
Genre: YA Lit, Mystery
Rating: 3/5
Quick Thoughts: Pretty Little Liars was a quick young adult novel that wasn’t exactly as suspenseful as I anticipated. Although I enjoyed it well enough, I found some parts to be somewhat lame. Still Sara Shepard set the stage for a mystery I am interested in uncovering.

402013

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #1) by Louise Rennison
Genre: Young Adult Lit
Rating: 3/5
NOTE: This was a re-read.

40680965

The World’s Best Jokes for Kids Volume I: Every Single One Illustrated
By: Lisa Swerling & Ralph Lazar

Genre: Childrens, Humour
Rating: 3/5
NOTE: Sent for review.

1074833

The Tea House on Mulberry Street
By: Sharon Owens

Read by: Caroline Winterson
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Audio book
Rating: 3/5

35059208

Summer Baby: A Novella (The Summer Series, Book 3)
By: Beth Labonte

Genre: Novella, Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3/5

The Stats


Total Number of Books Read: 8
Total Number of Fiction: 7
Total Number of Non-Fiction: 1
Total Books Sent for Review: 1
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 3  
Total Library Books Read: 3

Formats Read


Physical Books: 2
eBooks: 3
Audio Books: 2 

January TBR

From my TBR Jar:

Follow me on Instagram @melissaleesredhousereviews to see the video I posted where I chose my January TBR jar book.

The Years Before Anne: The Early Career of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Author of Anne of Green Gables

I also plan to read:

36576096
40590406

I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and wishing you a very happy new year.