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BATTERIES REQUIRED
by Jennifer Apodaca
Kensington Books, May 2005
297 pages
$22.00
ISBN: 0758204515


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

There is a phrase that goes "Dying is easy, comedy is hard." Well, it appears that nobody told this to Jennifer Apodaca, author of (so far) four novels featuring California single mom, matchmaker, amateur sleuth and romance book reviewer Samantha Shaw.

Samantha Shaw is the type of person who always goes to bat to help her friends in whatever situation they may find themselves, but always winds up getting in way over her head. She is the bane of Detective Logan Vance's existence, as not only does she know that he is the author of several steamy romance written under a pseudonym, but she also always manages to find herself in some compromising position at a crime scene.

Gabe Pulizzi, her PI boyfriend, wants to train her to get her detective's licence but she is committed to her job as proprietress of Heart Mates, a matchmaking service that helps lonely people find their heart mates. Then there is her family -- her grandpa and her two sons. They can be a handful at times but they make this series fun and after reading this book you will see why.

In BATTERIES REQUIRED, Samantha teams up with her friend Angel Crimson, owner of a lingerie business, to create an open house for Heart Mates and, at the same time, sell some underwear. During their business meeting Angel is being courted by a sex toy manufacturer offering his products for the open house. He provides them with 'samples' inside a sealed wooden box. Angel then passes the unopened box to a mortified Samantha for safekeeping until she can get a chance to see it.

The next day Angel disappears under mysterious circumstances and Sam fears the worse. Through a bunch of humorous situations she believes that the answer is inside the box, but she dares not open it. She's not a prude, but the box is filled with . . . you know . . . And she doesn't want anyone to see because . . . oh, how awkward this is.

Anyway there is also a subplot involving a possible psychofan looking for RV Logan (aka Detective Logan Vance) pestering Sam for information. Those books make her feel like a woman; RV Logan is her heart mate. Sam has reviewed his books. She must know where he lives. Could this get any worse for Samantha?

Readers are exposed to the hilarious world of Samantha without having to tell dirty jokes or even being offensive (yes, I know about the box). Granted this is not a book for children but it is not an X-rated novel. It's a laugh-out loud PG-13. Jennifer Apodaca is great because she does not try to be funny -- she just is and each book keeps getting better. If you have not read NINJA SOCCER MOMS, you are missing out. I am looking forward to reading her next book.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, May 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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