TL;DR: Meet Annie. She moved from Texas to New York to become a supermodel and she’s just about to get her first big break when her arch nemesis gets in the way. No sooner has she dealt with that than she finds herself mixed up with kidnappers and an infuriating private detective… all she ever wanted was to be a model.

Annie’s an enjoyable heroine and it was a fun read, though I’m not sure I need another (potentially) long series in my life. I would have preferred if it had just stuck with the sabotage, but maybe life threatening peril is part of the genre? ♥♥♥♥/5

This is the first book in the (so far) four-book Annie McCauley series and is currently available as a free ebook.

Rayanne McCauley left the Texan trailer park she grew up in to go to New York and pursue her dream of becoming Annie, a famous cover model.

This being a comedy series, her path from struggling model to nabbing a position as a spokesperson is filled with obstacles thrown from both her lifelong nemesis (who she unfortunately didn’t manage to leave behind in Texas) and a centuries-long family feud her boss’s family happens to be a part of.

This being a romantic comedy series, the private detective she goes to for help just so happens to have an extremely attractive son. A son almost as attractive as Annie’s boss, if only he weren’t so annoying. How’s a girl to choose?

Annie MCauley vs. Stephanie Plum

When I read the reviews before reading (don’t pretend I’m the only one who does that), I  noticed a lot of people comparing these to the Stephanie Plum books. It isn’t an unfair comparison, unless these just happen to be the staples of romantic comedies:

A love triangle with the woman torn between the “safe” choice and a sexy dangerous one.

Stephanie wins here. Maybe it’s because I’ve only read 1 Annie book to 20 Stephanie books, but Stephanie’s men feel better defined and I don’t even know who I want her to end up with. In Annie’s case, one is great and funny and mysterious and sexy and the other is… sexy and with a good sense of humour? And the endless patience to not have blacklisted her from the industry?

A woman struggling in the career department.

It’s a tie, depending on if you’re more interested in reading about a model or a bounty hunter. Model is more realistic – and Annie is at least good at what she does – but this is fiction and there’s nothing wrong with books about a bounty hunter.

Damsel in distress.

Depending on how you define “winner” here, Stephanie is the one that needs more help. Not in an offensive way, but we have Annie, a capable model who falls victim to her nemesis’s sabotage and then accidentally becomes a part of her boss’s family feud, and Stephanie, who is technically useless at her job and has needed quite a bit of help from the love interests to hang onto it for so long.

Verdict

I don’t read much romance, which is why I’m willing to admit that I might be seeing “similar story” where I should be seeing “standard cliches.” Perhaps if I had read Annie first, I would have felt differently, but as it is I feel that Stephanie and her men are the more in-depth characters, and that Annie could have stuck with the funny and different nemesis sabotage and left the gun-toting kidnappers to the bounty hunter.

I am going to read the second book (partly because it’s currently available as a freebie to readers of the first) and give it another chance, but right now I’m on book 21 of Stephanie Plum and I feel that I don’t want to get sucked in to another long series.

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