Lizzy Tucker’s life finally seems to be back on track. She has a cute nose, a job she loves baking cupcakes, and she just inherited a lovely new house in Marblehead near Salem, Massachusetts. Sure, the house is all saggy and needs a new foundation and no one is eager to publish her cookbook. But things are normal. And normal is good.
Normal is good while it lasts, anyway.
Things go sideways when a man named Gerwulf Grimooire shows up at Lizzy’s work and burns her skin. With his bare hand.
Turns out her encounter with Wulf is just the beginning.
Before she can say “buttercream icing” another man with weird abilities (and really good looks) named Diesel has wandered into Lizzy’s life and enlisted her to help find a a magical stone before Wulf can get his hands on it. Then she also acquires a one eyed cat. And a monkey.
Wicked Appetite is the first book in Evanovich’s new Unmentionable series. Diesel was previously seen in the author’s “Between the Numbers” novels alongside Stephanie Plum.
My mom is a huge fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books. I like them but I stopped reading after the latest one*. When I heard she had a new series out, I got the book immediately for my mom. She enjoyed Wicked Appetite but thought it might be more my kind of book. She was right.
Wicked Appetite has all of the things readers loved from the Stephanie Plum books including humor, romance, wacky situations, and a clever story. But it also has fantasy elements. The premise isn’t the best (I cracked up every time the word SALIGIA appeared in the story) but it’s pretty good. So far there’s not an annoying love triangle although there is a massive amount of tension between Lizzy and Diesel. The side characters are funny and not quite as cartoon-y as the crew from the Stephanie Plum books. It feels strange to say it about a fantasy but in a lot of ways Wicked Appetite felt like a subtler, somewhat more plausible (except for the magic parts) premise.
If you don’t like Stephanie Plum, you won’t like this book. If you don’t like “soft” fantasy where magic bleeds into an otherwise normal world, you won’t like this book. If you don’t like snappy writing that is all about the story and less about coming off as literary prose, you won’t like this book.
If you want an exciting story with fun characters, you might like it. If you want a book that will leave you not just smiling but laughing out loud, you might really like it. If you want a book that does all of that and is a good bridge into the wider world of fantasy books, you might love Wicked Appetite.
*I was also rendered apopleptic after hearing that Morelli–the Italianest Italian in New Jersey–is being played by an Irish-from-Dublin actor. But that’s another story.