Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum, #19)

Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum, #19) - Janet Evanovich 2 - maybe 2.5 starsRecommendation: If you want to read this book DO NOT BUY IT. Get it from your library or a friend. It's simply not worth the money.Hmmm... In books 16 & 17, Stephanie walked the wild side, with uninhibited language and sex; lots of rude, crude, crass, and over-the-top, even for Stephanie Plum. In book 18, it took forever to get the story of what really happened in Hawaii - especially between Ranger and Morelli. And the story left us hanging - me with the idea that Steph was going to end up pregnant and unsure who was the father. I swore that if that happened, I was DONE with this series forever.So, in a huge way, this book was a deciding factor for me as to whether or not I continued with the series. I *loved* the early Plum days and most of the in-between books. I was hoping that Evanovich would scale back and bring the laugh-out-loud funny, the swoon-worthy sighs, and the ditzy Plum that we've come to know and love.Evanovich scaled Stephanie Plum back, all right. Into an almost dry, boring, non-entity. Suddenly, Steph is trying to be a one-woman gal to Morelli, despite lots of Ranger temptation. Oh yeah, I guess the not-so-subtle hint in Ranger's note left with the bottle of champagne is supposed to keep us hanging once again. 'Cuz with Morelli injured and on pain pills (not much of a spoiler, since Morelli seems to get injured a lot these days), we're led to believe that Ranger's going to try to change Steph's mind and give in to him. Gee. What a nice guy, huh?I don't remember laughing once while reading this book. I definitely didn't laugh-out-loud. I think I did several eye-rolls. You see, this story is just... boring. There's the weird subplot with a skip and a stolen Hawaiian tiki named, originally enough, Tiki. There's a missing skip who went missing from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy, which is supposed to be the main mystery. And then there's Ranger, who "needs" Stephanie to pretend to be his date at a dinner that turns into her becoming the Maid of Honor for someone she barely knows; Ranger and his groom-to-be pal are receiving coded threats from someone who has to be a member of their former secret military group. So of course, only Stephanie can assist Ranger. *eye roll*The solution to the main mystery is so easy and so obvious that it was hard to keep reading. I mean, c'mon, how clueless can these people be? Even Morelli, who ends up involved in the case, is clueless. Morelli is so much wallpaper, fading into the background. He's become the "safe" choice for Steph - settled into his aunt's house with Bob, his dog. Making lots of noises about not liking how dangerous Steph's job is, which is SO original for him. Not like he's not made these same noises since book 1? And taking Steph for granted. He's not pummeling Ranger for using Steph; yes, they've come to some understanding about keeping her safe. But Morelli, just sitting back and allowing Ranger to sidle up close to Steph? Making lots of comments about perhaps loving her and proposing to her... talk about sex & heat between them, but no real sex scenes - just later mentions of gorilla sex. WHAT HAPPENED? How did Morelli become so... boring? Staid? Almost unsexy?The funniest stuff in the book has to do with Tiki, who supposedly talks and influences people for the worst. And trust me, it's not all that funny. OK, maybe THE funniest is when Morelli's car gets blown up. Still... not that funny.Ranger's pal? The one who's after him? Lots of incidents, but only a very brief, weird, and very quickly over scene with a tiny bit of torture and lots of just plain insane. Over. Just like that. Huh? And another HUGE eye roll for Ranger and his Rangeman crew. With all the sophisticated toys they have, they can't find this guy? And Ranger's supposed to be some super-bounty hunter? Really?Even Lulu, who can usually be counted on for the funniest lines and actions in the books, is boring. A lot of Cluck-in-the-Bucket and donuts get eaten. And that's different because....??? Hardly a mention of her wardrobe. OK, the funniest Lulu lines are when she's advising a skip busted on soliciting on how to be a better 'ho. Still not all that funny.What can I say? I almost wish the book would have been controversial... made me angry... made me laugh... made me CARE! The story was dull. Dry. So-so.I read in an online article that there are supposed to be 3 more Plum books - this one being the 1st in a 4-book contract. Can I put up with 3 more stories like this? NO WAY, especially not at these prices.I refuse to purchase the next book. I might read it, ever hopeful, but I won't purchase it.IMO, Evanovich was done with this series at book 15 or so, maybe earlier. Why it continues is beyond me. Lizzy & Diesel are much more interesting, at least for now. And Evanovich has started at least 2 more new series, 1 book in the late 1800s and one involving an FBI agent - each series co-written with someone else.So give us ONE LAST BOOK and let the Steph, Ranger, and Morelli fade into the background. ENOUGH ALREADY!