Visions of Sugar Plums, by Janet Evanovich

The “Stephanie Plum” series of thriller/comedy/romances has been going strong for over twenty volumes since One for the Money first introduced bounty-hunter Stephanie and her romantic entanglements with police detective Joe Morelli and ex-special forces mystery man Ranger. Back in 2002 Evanovich began a side series of shorter novels or novellas about Stephanie, with themes tied to holidays. Unlike the books in the main series, which stick strictly to the real world, these holiday novels plunge into the lighter side of the supernatural and humans with minor superpowers. They also throw a third (sexy, of course) man into Stephanie’s life, Diesel, who has the irritating habit of showing up in Stephanie’s locked apartment to disrupt her already chaotic life with missions of his own. Visions of Sugar Plums is the first of these. Stephanie’s after a toy-maker named Sandy Claws who skipped out on his bail; Diesel claims he’s been sent to bring her the spirit of Christmas, which is sadly lacking in her life, but he’s taking quite an interest in Sandy Claws and wild Grandma Mazur’s electrifying new boyfriend too, and not to bring them the spirit of Christmas. (Diesel was then spun off into his own series about cupcakes and a quest for seven magic stones …)

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