The Rocky Road to Romance

( 58 )

Overview

Her tall, dark, and deliciously dangerous boss . . .

When the delightful, daffy Dog Lady of station WZZZ offered to take on the temporary job of traffic reporter, Steve Crow tried to think of reasons to turn Daisy Adams down. Perhaps he knew that sharing the close quarters of a car with her for hours would give the handsome program director no room to resist her quirky charms. He'd always favored low-slung sportscars and high-heeled women, but that was before he fell for a free ...

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The Rocky Road to Romance

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Overview

Her tall, dark, and deliciously dangerous boss . . .

When the delightful, daffy Dog Lady of station WZZZ offered to take on the temporary job of traffic reporter, Steve Crow tried to think of reasons to turn Daisy Adams down. Perhaps he knew that sharing the close quarters of a car with her for hours would give the handsome program director no room to resist her quirky charms. He'd always favored low-slung sportscars and high-heeled women, but that was before he fell for a free spirit who caught crooks by accident, loved old people and pets, and had just too many jobs!

Loving Daisy turned Steve's life upside down, especially once he adopted Bob, a huge dog masquerading as a couch potato. But was Daisy finally ready to play for keeps?

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Editorial Reviews

Romance Reviews Today
“It’s funny, has great characters, and is an entertaining love story.”
Washington Post Book World
“Do yourself a favor and read this one.”
Washington Post Book World
“Do yourself a favor and read this one.”
Romance Reviews Today
“It’s funny, has great characters, and is an entertaining love story.”
Pamela Regis
If you have ever sneered at a "supermarket romance," do yourself a favor and read this one. It will tide you over until the next Stephanie Plum.
— The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060598891
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/31/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 292,425
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet  Evanovich

Bestselling author Janet Evanovich is the winner of the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Award and multiple Romantic Times awards, including Lifetime Achievement. She is also a long-standing member of RWA.

Biography

When plucky Stephanie Plum lost her job as a lingerie buyer, she had little other choice than to take a position working for her cousin Vinnie's bail-bonds office where she'd spend her days and nights hunting down fugitives, solving mysteries, and falling ass-backwards into adventure. Come to think of it, Ms. Plum has more than a little in common with her creator Janet Evanovich.

Much like the panty-pushing Plum, Evanovich once made her trade in erotica as a romance novelist for the trashy Bantam series "Loveswept." Tiring of the genre and finding herself increasingly fixated on crime, mystery, and the kind of adventures she came to love through comic books like Uncle Scrooge, she decided to ditch steamy stories in favor of off-the-wall humor and feats of daring. As Evanovich said on her website, "after twelve romance novels I ran out of sexual positions and decided to move into the mystery genre."

The resulting Stephanie Plum Mysteries reflect Evanovich's love for comics, toys, shoe-shopping, Cheez Doodles, and beer. Evanovich also created a memorable character that shares many of the author's distinctive traits, such as her self-effacing, dirty-minded wit. The Plum Mysteries, while often rambling and thin on plot, are never anything less than entertaining, hilarious, and refreshing in every way.

Stephanie Plum made her debut in 1994's One For the Money, in which she tracked down Joe Morelli, an ex-cop and murder suspect who'd also been guilty of taking Stephanie's virginity when she was 18. The novel's sly mix of sexiness and childlike playfulness made for a sort of young adult novel for adults.

Since then, the red-hot bounty hunter and a crew of misfits that includes retired hooker Lula, aging bail-jumper Eddie Decooch, and Plum's own hipster granny have romped their way "through the numbers," establishing Evanovich as one of the best and most inventive writers of "Strong Woman" mysteries and guaranteeing her a place on the New York Times bestseller list.

In 2004, Evanovich introduced a smart, savvy new series featuring Alexander "Barney" Barnaby, a sexy Baltimore car mechanic, NASCAR nut, and amateur sleuth with her own posse of delightful eccentrics. She's not Plum, but she's definitely a peach. Hey, what else would you expect from a Janet Evanovich heroine?

Good To Know

Evanovich's motorcycle-riding daughter Alex has created an online comic about her hamster called "Batster," which her mother proudly displays on her web site. With episodes like "Batster vs. Beerzilla," it's clear that wackiness runs in the Evanovich genes.

If you think the Stephanie Plum novels are zany, wait till you hear about what Evanovich was writing before she started getting published. As she explains on her web site, "The first story [I ever wrote] was about the pornographic adventures of a fairy who lived in a second rate fairy forest in Pennsylvania."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Steffie Hall
    2. Hometown:
      Hanover, New Hampshire
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 22, 1943
    2. Place of Birth:
      South River, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., Douglass College, 1965
    2. Website:

First Chapter

The Rocky Road to Romance

Chapter One

Daisy Adams was an enterprising twenty-six-year- old graduate student. She'd written a cookbook called Bones for Bowser, and somehow, through sheer tenacity, she'd managed to turn a gimmick into a five-minute slot on WZZZ every Monday morning. She filled her airtime with dog stories and gave detailed directions on how to make homemade dog biscuits, dog soup, and dog stew. She'd become the darling of the morning DJs on the FM stations, who made her the brunt of their jokes, referring to her as the "Dog Lady of Snore," hitting on a tender subject for Steve Crow and his unfortunate luck in call letters.

A few wisps of bangs straggled over her forehead, tortoiseshell combs held her blond hair swept back from her temples, and big, loose curls tumbled in a luxuriant mass down the back of her head and neck to an inch below her shoulders. Her eyes were big and blue, her nose small, her mouth wide. She had a gamine quality to her face that was completely misleading because there wasn't an ounce of gamine in her personality. Her ex-boyfriend had compared her to Attila the Hun, but most people thought she was more like the human version of the Little Engine That Could.

At ten-fifteen Daisy swung into the newsroom. She waved hello to the anchor in the glass booth and gave the Capitol Hill correspondent a bag of experimental snacks for his beagle. She adjusted the strap on her oversized shoulder bag and dropped into a seat beside the editor. "What happened to Frank? I heard him giving the traffic report while I was driving in. He said a rude word and that was the last of him."

"Rear-ended a garbage truck and got buried under half a ton of Dumpster droppings. He's okay except for a broken leg."

Daisy pulled a five-by-seven card from her pocketbook and glanced over a recipe for dog granola. "That's too bad. Who's doing traffic?"

"Nobody's doing traffic. Steve's offered double Frank's salary plus a year's supply of Girl Scout cookies, but nobody'll take it."

Daisy felt her heart jump. Double Frank's salary! "I could do it," she said. "I need the money."

"You need money that bad?"

She bit her lower lip to keep herself under control. This was the chance of a lifetime. She had enormous school expenses, a big rent payment due, a live-in little brother who was eating her out of house and home, and a car that drank a quart of motor oil a week. She was determined to make it on her own. Besides her dog lady job, she worked as a school crossing guard, a cab driver, a waitress on the dinner shift at Roger's Steak House, and delivered newspapers. She'd written Bones for Bowser to give herself additional income, but she wasn't due a royalty check for three more months. If she took the traffic job, she could drop waitressing. Maybe she could even give up the newspaper route. She was doing the dissertation for her doctorate, and she could work on it at night.

She swiveled in her seat and looked across the room at Steve Crow. She'd always been a little frightened of him. With his jet-black hair, dark, piercing eyes, and slightly aquiline nose, he was an intimidating figure. His complexion was dark, his shoulders broad, his hips narrow. The scuttlebut at the station said his father was pure-blood Native American; his mother was Hispanic.

Nervously, Daisy waved at him with just the tips of her fingers. He scowled back and immediately averted his eyes to some pressing piece of business on his desk. She sighed. Stubborn, she thought. She'd nagged him for a month before he gave her the five-minute Bowser spot. She wondered what she'd have to do to get the traffic job.

Nothing ventured nothing gained, she told herself, pushing the hair out of her eyes. She might as well give it a try. "Excuse me," she said, knocking on Crow's open door. "I'd like to talk to you about the job of traffic reporter. I'd like to apply for it ... just until Frank's leg is better. I wouldn't want to steal his job. Even if I was wonderful, which I'm sure I'll be, I still wouldn't expect you to keep me on. Actually, the timing is perfect because I'll get a royalty check in three months and then hopefully I won't need so many jobs."

Steve looked beyond her, to his secretary eavesdropping through the glass window. He watched Charlene mouth the word "perfect" to him, watched her eyes fill with suppressed laughter. He lifted an eyebrow, and she scuttled away.

Perfectly awful, he thought. Putting Daisy Adams in the WZZZ traffic car was like committing broadcasting suicide. The woman was cute, but her specialty was baking dog biscuits, for crying out loud. True, she received more fan mail than everyone else combined, but that was one of those freak things. She was entertaining. Kind of earnest and goofy all at the same time. Unfortunately, he had no other option. He'd gone through six traffic reporters in the past year trying to find a backup. At least she wouldn't be doing rush hour, he told himself. How bad could she be?

Without waiting for his reply, Daisy added, "And don't worry about my Bones for Bowser spot. I can do it on the road!"

He managed a small smile. "Terrific."

Ten minutes later they were in the Shulster Building parking garage.

"Wow!" Daisy said, looking at the station's auxiliary newscar. "It's got enough antennae to get Mars. This is going to be incredible. I think I'm going to like this." She cracked her knuckles, looked up into Steve Crow's face, and felt a shiver run along her spine. She wasn't a shy sort of person, and she wasn't usually uncomfortable with men ...

The Rocky Road to Romance. Copyright © by Janet Evanovich. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Interviews & Essays

A Message from Janet Evanovich

Dear Readers,

Once Upon a Time there was a stay-at-home mom who thought she'd write a book in her spare time (every day between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.), sell it to the movies, make a lot of money, and get famous. Turns out writing a book and selling it to the movies isn't all that easy, and it took the stay-at-home mom ten years to sell her first book (which the movies, by the way, couldn't care less about).

Okay, so I'm the stay-at-home mom and I'm multi-published now. I'm famous in a not-so-famous kind of way. And I'm having lots of fun writing full time since, in my opinion, writing beats the heck out of ironing.

I'm writing mis-adventure stories these days, filled with action, some sex, some cussing, and pizza. But prior to the adventure stories, I wrote romances, filled with action, sex, and pizza. Hold the cussing.

I'm excited to tell you HarperCollins is reprinting nine of those early romances. They've been out of print for years, and they're now being brought back intact -- with the exception of minor editing to get rid of some embarrassing bloopers.

The Rocky Road to Romance is the first of the nine books to be re-released. Rocky has been sitting neglected and unread on my bookshelf for over ten years. When I went back to reread and edit, I was relieved to find it's pretty good. Hey, I'm being modest. I actually loved it. And I hope you love it too. It's a romance. It needs love.

Janet Evanovich

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 58 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 58 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Evanovich's early works clearly don't stand up to her later piec

    Evanovich's early works clearly don't stand up to her later pieces of writing; like the Stephanie Plum series and the wicked series, but they are still fun and quite funny. If you are looking for a quick beach read then I would suggest this novel or one of her other pieces of earlier writing. You can get through this book in one reading just as I did! C+

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Loved it!

    LOVED IT! not only is this classic, zany Evanovich, but the female character wasn't a total ditz that couldn't take care of herself, and it takes place in DC. Laughed outloud every time she did the WTOP traffic report, because I listen to those every day and they're never as entertaining as Evanovich's!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great fun

    I've not read a lot of Janet Evanovich's work, but I'm sure to try more after this one. Absolutely a laugh a minute and mystery abounding. Who's really out to get the girl? Our hero, an irate drug lord, a wronged assassin or another injured yet unknown party on the receiving end of her unwitting one woman citizen against crime movement? With Daisy being such a flighty handful, is it any wonder Steve is out of sorts? What can a man do to keep tabs on a girl and impress her at the same time? Why, get a dog of course and hire her a guard detail. Enter one of the most hilarious body guards of all time, a 60 yr old Dirty Harry in a Caddy. Well, her little brother the bottomless pit needed a buddy, right? Friendship, fun, humor, off the wall action, it's all here in one wild ride.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Early work

    You can tell this is Evanovich's early work but it is still fun and humorous.

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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A fun, if not "deep," romantic read

    Daisy Adams, a graduate student taking care of her younger brother, has too much going on in her life. She’s got schoolwork plus several jobs to pay her bills and feed her brother, who, it seems, eats non-stop. One of her jobs is as the “Dog Lady” of the local radio station, WZZZ (and yes, many people do joke about those call letters – not the most exciting station). Daisy gives daily suggestions on making delectable treats for listeners’ canine friends. It’s not the most glamorous job, but it helps pay the bills. When Frank Menken, the midday traffic reporter, is injured in a car accident, Steve Crow, the operations manager, needs a temporary replacement, and quick! Unfortunately, the only employee interested in taking on the tedious job of traffic reporter is Daisy. Steve has his reservations, but out of desperation, he gives Daisy the job. This puts Daisy and Steve in daily contact, as Steve oversees Daisy's job training. Daisy is a knockout, and Steve has had his eyes on her for a while. Likewise, Steve would be described as “wickedly handsome.” Alas, Steve makes Daisy quite nervous, with his rugged good looks, confident air, and, oh yes, the fact that he is her boss. It doesn’t take long, however, for the two to begin a hot and heavy romance. Things are going fairly well until Daisy has the misfortune to hit a drug dealer while the police are chasing the man. Lauded as a hero by the local community, it appears not everybody is happy with the drug dealer’s arrest. Somebody wants to hurt Daisy – is it one of the drug dealer’s friends and can Steve protect her? The Rocky Road to Romance is a fun, quick read. There is humor, and some suspense mixed into the romance, and the star of the book would have to be Bob, a big sheepdog that Steve gets to impress Daisy. While the dialog and events might stretch believability a bit (I smell a lawsuit if a boss talked to his employee like Steve did to Daisy), as long as you “check your brain at the door,” this will make for an entertaining, somewhat daffy afternoon read. Quill says: Don’t look for the next great novel here, but if you’re looking for romantic fun, you’ll enjoy The Rocky Road to Romance.

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  • Posted April 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Janet Evanovich Style

    Laugh out loud FUNNY!
    I found myself laughing out loud so much while reading this book. Good thing I was not out in public!
    I loved it!
    I love Janet's style of writing. Even this is pre-Plum you can feel her writing style in the characters.
    It was a fast, funny and easy read.
    Just the kind of book you need for a quick pick me upper.
    It features just the types of characters you have come to expect and hopefully love from Janet.
    The dog, Bob, is so much like the dog named Bob in the Plum series.
    Great book for vacation or the beach.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2005

    not a very interesting story.

    good writing, but the story is kinda old.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2004

    Poor repetition of Plum series

    The themes are all the same as the Plum series (independent woman meets man with instant chemistry, man tries to protect woman) but not nearly as well developed. Overall felt implausible and forced.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2004

    A Breath of Fresh Air!

    The author's rich ability of storytelling is passed on to the reader. Her characters added entertainment to my routine day!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2004

    Laughed Out Loud

    What a fun read. It had me laughing out loud. A nice escape and easy going. Great library candy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2004

    Not a good read

    Character development and plot are very weak. I would not recommend this book at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2004

    Fantastic

    This book is a great read. This is my first Janet Evanovich book and I will deffinetly be reading more. I loved all the characters. I loved all the humor. This book was just great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2004

    Same story - Different names

    I like Janet's books and style but I crave a different story. Girl meets boy, they are not sure if they should get together, guy has dog, not ready for marriage, girl needs protection but doesn't want it. How original. I think I read this story already.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2004

    Another Excellent Novel from Janet Evanovich

    I just really love this author's writing style and her wit. The stories are interesting and deep, yet fun, and the characters are three dimensional. One sentence runs into the next smoothly for a pleasurable and entertaining reading experiece. I find myself waiting excitedly for her next novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2004

    Who is 'Bob'???

    If this is really the reincarnation of Stephany Plums' erstwile omnivorous canine companion, then she's in for a lot of fun. Imagine, romance with a furry Duena as chaperone! Great work, but when does Stephany get resurrected??????

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fine contemporary romance

    In DC twenty-six years old Daisy Adams brings youthful exuberance to her five minute spot as the ¿Dog Lady of Snooze¿ on WZZZ twenty-four hour radio station. To pay her bills including her school loan and to feed her teenage brother, Daisy holds a host of other jobs such as delivering papers, crossing guard, waitress, cab driver and a graduate school counseling internship. When the station¿s traffic reporter Frank Mencken is injured in an accident, Daisy asks manager Steve Crow for the position. He agrees because he sees this as an opportunity to score with this enthusiastic flake that has cornered his heart and libido not in that order.--- As he spends time ¿training¿ her and feeding her sibling, Daisy accidentally stops a notorious drug dealer from escaping the law. To keep her safe, Steve hires a bodyguard, but she chooses elderly Elsie Hawkins. As the two women butcher the traffic reports to the joy of listeners, Daisy and Steve fall in love, but how to fit him into her busy schedule?--- Contemporary romance readers will feel they read a plum of a tale with this delightful story starring a likable young woman who holds so many low paying jobs she skews the government statistics on employment. The story line is at its best when it amusingly winks at readers through Steve employing Herculean levels to obtain a few minutes with his beloved while Daisy will tire out most of the audience with her daily routine. The drug dealer subplot adds unneeded suspense, but her brother, Elsie, and a matchmaking canine provide more humor to a fine tale of love if the female protagonist can fit it in her schedule.--- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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