If you like hot men, hot action and hot attraction you're going to love this HOT new series! HOT STUFF introduces Cate Madigan, a Boston native from a large and crazy Irish family. Cate has far too much going on to get involved in extracurricular activities, like men and marriage. She spends all day in school, earning her teaching degree, and all night working as a bartender in Boston's South End. Ex-cop Kellen McBride has decided to make Cate's bar his nightly haunt. He likes Cate's sassy Irish spirit and wild red hair. He also has an ulterior motive for getting close to her. Cate has sworn off all things romantic, but when she comes home to a ransacked apartment, a roommate who has flown the coop, and a sleeping bullmastiff named Beast, Cate has no choice but to ask Kellen for help. Can Kate resist the charming Kellen McBride while keeping herself out of danger? Or will Kellen turn up the heat on Cate and everything in her life?
Evanovich fans will be delighted with this new novel, co-written with relative up-and-comer Banks. Working her formula to its fullest, Evanovich conjures the large, close, gently eccentric Madigan family that 26-year-old college student Cate calls her own. An aspiring teacher, Cate studies by day and bartends by night, living in the arty South End of Boston with an often-absent drag queen named Marty (Marta) Longfellow. The perfect living arrangement-"a big strong roommate...not interested in women," plenty of alone time and low rent-turns wholly suspicious when Marty disappears, leaving behind a lovable bullmastiff. Cate's sexy love interest, barroom regular Kellen McBride, is an "independent recovery agent" who believes that Marty is responsible for a string of one-of-a-kind jewelry heists; after Marty's place gets tossed, Cate teams up with him to track down the missing Marty before whoever's after him comes after her. Like other Evanovich novels, there's a madcap race to the finish while mysteries are solved and hearts are stolen; also like other Evanovich novels, it makes a highly satisfying read.
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St. Martin's Paperbacks
April 01, 2007
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Excerpt from Hot Stuff by Janet Evanovich
Cate Madigan had mentally stripped the guy across the table from her, and he'd come up short in every possible way. Cate hadn't actually wanted to see him naked. The image had just popped into her head. One of those awful moments of too much information! The guy's name was Patrick Pugg, and he was the Madigan family's pick of the week for a boyfriend for Cate.
Cate and Pugg were seated at the Madigan's chaotic dinner table, where the rule had always been every man for himself. Things had calmed down some since Cate's brothers Matt and Tom had moved out, but dinner here was still a harrowing experience . . . in a good Boston Irish kind of way.
There were eight people at the table tonight. Cate, Patrick Pugg, Cate's parents Margaret and Jim Madigan, Cate's older brother Danny, Danny's wife Amy, and their six-year-old twin girls, Zoe and Zelda.
The Madigans were all stereotypical Irish. Milk-white skin sprinkled with freckles, red hair that curled with length, brown eyes, a stubborn streak, and a natural bent toward practical jokes. The men were chunky and fought flat-footed. The women were slim and preferred getting even to getting mad.
Amy was the single frosted cupcake in the box of jelly doughnuts. She didn't look at all like a Madigan. Amy was the all-American cheerleader with blond hair, blue eyes, and smiley personality. Amy grew up half a block away and, from what Cate knew, Amy and Danny had been together since they were two years old.
"You look all wrinkle-head," Zoe said to Cate. "What are you thinking about?"
"I was thinking about work," Cate said. "I need to go in early tonight."
This was a big fat lie, of course. Cate had been unconsciously grimacing at the thought of a naked Pugg. At five foot six inches he looked eye to eye at Cate. He wasn't bad looking, but he wasn't great looking either. Mostly he was . . . hairy. The hair crept from the cuffs of his shirt and spilled over his collar. He had long sideburns and a pompadour on the top of his head with a single curl pasted to his forehead. He was a car-crash cross between Elvis Presley and Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley. And he had a horrifying habit of referring to himself as Pugg.
"Pugg likes this pot roast," Pugg said to Cate's mother. "Pugg would like to find a woman to marry who could make a pot roast like this."
Cate's mother beamed at Cate. "Cate makes a wonderful pot roast," she said. "Don't you, Cate?"
Cate blew out a sigh and forked up some mashed potatoes. She'd gouge out her eye with a rusted spoon before she'd make a pot roast for Pugg.
"Green beans," Cate's father said at the head of the table, and an arm reached across Cate for the bean bowl.
Food was circulating at warp speed around the table: the gravy boat, the dinner rolls, the butter dish, the green beans, the meat platter, the monster bowl of mashed potatoes. This was normal behavior at the Madigan dinner table, and over the years Cate had perfected the technique of passing with her left hand and simultaneously eating with her right.
"I heard the Sox are trading five guys," Danny said.
Cate's dad shoveled pot roast onto his plate. "Bull crap."
"I got something brown on my dress," Zelda said. "It smells like dookey."
"It's gravy," Amy said. "Don't worry about it."
"I don't like it. Make it go away."
"Dookey dress, dookey dress, dookey dress," Zoe said.
"Patrick sells tires," Cate's mother said to Cate. "He's the top salesman at his dealership."
Patrick Pugg winked at Cate. "Pugg is good at selling. Pugg is good at lots of things, if you know what Pugg means."
"No," Cate said. "What do you mean?"
Danny was seated next to Cate. You're baiting him," Danny said. "This is going to get ugly."