by Janet Evanovich

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Single mom Lizabeth Kane isn't exactly carpenter material — she's never picked up a hammer in her life. But she desperately needs the construction job that builder Matt Hallahan is offering. And even though he knows trouble is ahead, Matt can't refuse Lizbeth's irresistible smile.

Matt Hallahan isn't exactly relationship material — he has always been too busy working on other people's houses to make a home of his own. And even though she knows better, Lizabeth can't stop thinking about the rugged carpenter.

Is the relationship Matt and Lizabeth are building solid — or more like a house of cards?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061119941
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/25/2006
Edition description: Large Print Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

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.


Hanover, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

April 22, 1943

Place of Birth:

South River, New Jersey


B.A., Douglass College, 1965

Read an Excerpt


By Janet Evanovich

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Janet Evanovich
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060598875

Chapter One

When Lizabeth Kane was five years old she wanted to grow up to be a fairy. She wanted skin that was as smooth and white as milkweed silk. And she wanted hair that cascaded halfway down her back in a luxuriant cloud of waves and curls that shone a sunny yellow by day and silver when washed by the light of the moon. She thought she'd wear a buttercup blossom when she needed a hat, and she'd go rafting on curled magnolia leaves.

At five Lizabeth understood that she was a human child and it would take some doing to shrink herself into fairy size, but she had confidence in falling stars and wishbones and birthday candles. She knew that fairies were tiny creatures, no bigger than a man's thumb, but it seemed to her that if a girl could grow up, then she could almost as easily grow down. And if she could eventually grow breasts, then probably if she tried very hard she could grow wings instead. Almost all fairies had lovely gossamer wings, and Lizabeth wasn't sure how comfortable that would be when she wanted to sleep on her back or lean against the gnarled trunk of an enchanted tree to daydream. She supposed that would be part of the price she would pay for growing up to be a fairy.

In fact, that was about the only price exacted on an adult fairy, becausefor the most part, fairies did just as they pleased. They weren't stuffed into panty hose and sent off on a bus to earn a living staring at a computer screen. They weren't polite to incompetent employers for the sake of career advancement. And they weren't expected to prepare gourmet feasts for boring men who had only one thing on their minds . . . lasagna.

Fairies were indulgent, playful creatures, and even though two decades and several years had gone by since Lizabeth first decided to be a fairy, even though Lizabeth Kane now stood five feet six inches tall in her stocking feet, even though she was thirty-two years old -- she still had aspirations of growing up to be a fairy.

She no longer cared about whittling herself down to the average fairy height of five inches, or having milkweed skin or gobs of fairy hair. Lizabeth Kane wanted the pluck, the joie de vivre, the perfect thighs of Tinkerbell. Think positive, Lizabeth told herself. If she just put her mind to it she could be plucky, she could have joie de vivre -- and two out of three wasn't bad.

She folded the morning paper under her arm and looked at the half-finished house looming in front of her. She had to be positive about getting a job, too. She was a single parent now, and if she didn't get a job soon, meeting her mortgage payment was going to be more elusive than obtaining Tinkerbell thighs.

She read the crude Help Wanted sign stuck into the front yard and took a deep breath. She'd been on fourteen job interviews in the past five days, and no one had even given her a second look. She was overeducated. She was undereducated. She was inexperienced. She was unskilled. She was virtually unemployable. Okay, Lizabeth, she said to herself, pulling her shoulders back, this is a new day. This is your last shot. And this is the perfect job. Perfect hours, perfect location, decent wages. Go for it! she told herself.

Matt Hallahan had been looking out an upstairs window. He'd watched Lizabeth fold her paper and chew on her lower lip while she stared at the house. Not a buyer, he decided. Buyers came in pairs and usually had a real-estate agent in tow. This woman looked as if she were peddling vacuum cleaners and he was her first customer. She was nervous, she was anxious -- she was cute as a bug. Even from this distance he could see she had big blue eyes, a little nose, and lots of curly brown hair that hung almost to her shoulders. She was small-boned and slim. Not skinny. Her pink T-shirt stretched tight over full breasts and was tucked into a pair of formfitting, faded jeans. He didn't know what she was selling, but he admitted to himself that he'd have a hard time not buying it.

Outside, Lizabeth stiffened her spine, pushed her chin forward, and tiptoed through the mud to the front door.

"Yoo-hoo," she called. "Anybody home?" She gasped and took a step backward when Matt appeared at the head of the stairs and ambled down to her. He was big. He seemed to fill the whole stairwell. He was half-undressed, and he was gorgeous.

She felt her heart slam against the back of her rib cage while she made a fast assessment. At least six feet two inches, with broad shoulders and a flat stomach and slim hips. No shirt, jeans that rode low, a red heart tattooed on his left forearm. He had muscular legs. Great quads. And he was tan -- everywhere.

When she finally dragged her eyes up to his face she found he was laughing at her. Smile lines splintered from deep-set blue eyes that were shaded by curly blond eyelashes and a ferocious slash of bushy blond eyebrows. His nose was sunburned and peeling.

"Lord, lady," he said, "last time someone looked at me that close was when I thought I had a hernia and the doctor told me to cough."

Lizabeth felt the flush spread from her ears to her cheeks. Get a grip, she told herself. Thirty-two-year-old mothers do not blush. She'd delivered two children, she'd learned to pump gas, she'd seen Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. on screen in their underwear. She could handle anything. She ignored his remark and plastered a smile on her face.

"I'd like to speak to whoever is in charge of this construction project."

"That's me. Matt Hallahan." He held out his hand.


Excerpted from Smitten by Janet Evanovich Copyright © 2006 by Janet Evanovich. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Smitten 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really liked this story from the beginning. Down-to-Earth and funny characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great beach read, fun story!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have every JE. This was fun light read, needs more character development. Recommend Stephanie Plum series to any new J.E. reader
Guest More than 1 year ago
Janet Evanovich is the best in the business! Smitten was adorable - the characters feel real and the story line engaging. Now I'm checking out the builder who's adding an addition to my neighbor's house nextdoor! He looks just like how I imagined Matt stuff!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love reading ANYTHING BY EVANOVICH!!! I am so addicted to Stephanie Plum, but am ecstatic that Evanovich writes other stories to tide me over 'til my next 'fix.'
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars Smitten is a pre-Plum novel by popular American author, Janet Evanovich. It is the second book in the Elsie Hawkins series, on whom, Evanovich says, Grandma Mazur was modelled. Fans of the Stephanie Plum series will also be interested to know that the precursor of Uncle Sandor’s ‘53 powder-blue Buick features in this instalment: Elsie drives a virtually indestructible ‘57 powder-blue Cadillac. Divorced mother of two, Lizabeth Kane needs a job. None of her last fourteen interviews has been successful, so now, with her Aunt Elsie looking after Billy and Jason, she’s answering an ad for a carpenter. Matt Hallahan’s partner has a broken hip and he’s snowed under with work. Lizabeth, sweet and pretty, does not fit the bill at all, but the attraction between them is immediate, and he can’t help himself. It starts out as lust but soon becomes more, on his part. For Lizabeth too, but she’s wary after the first man she picked to marry couldn’t keep it zipped around other women. This fluffy romance has a flasher, a delinquent dog, a hunky hero, two cute kids, a nasty ex-husband, some sexy bits and plenty of laughs. A fun read.
JCD2 More than 1 year ago
This is a cute romance about a divorced woman trying to make ends meet while raising two young boys.  She takes a job as a carpenter although she knows nothing about carpentry.  Of course, her boss is a young, handsome, wealthy hunk who falls for her, the kids, the crazy aunt and the dog.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
had me laughing non`stop,wish more books were this entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smitten is one of the best feel-good books I've read in AGES. The characters are loveable, believable, and completely zany. Great, fun read! The only problems I have with it are the same issues that most 'romance' novels have: the POV changes too much, and the man gets all sappy in love and decides to marry the woman within the first day they've known each other. But this is a romantic FANTASY folks... people don't read books about long boring courtships and the boring death of passion after eons of marriage. They read these to be enchanted by a perfect fantasy relationship - and this story delivers in spades.
pfPF More than 1 year ago
I was a little disappointed. I expect more from Janet Evanovich. Smitten was just so so at best.
bitemeeric on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very cute love story a bout a mother with two kids who bravely knocked on Matt Hallohan's door inquiring about the wanted add he placed. Immediately he was smitten with her and hired her. Thier relationship grew from friendship to lovers. It turnes out each found something valuable in the other. Together they make a perfect team.
tipsister on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cute! Ok, I think I use that word for all of her little romances but they really are. I enjoyed this one because there was a bit of a realistic situation.A single mom buys a "fixer upper" and decides to try her hand at construction in order to learn how to fix her own home. She gets a job mostly out of pity and just her luck her boss is single, handsome, charming and drives a motorcycle! Lizabeth (I'm not sure what happened to her "E") fights her attraction to Matt because she is trying to make it on her own. She's also concerned what kind of an influenced the tattooed Harley rider might be on her boys.Add Elsie (her goofy great aunt), a food obsessed dog, a neighborhood flasher, and a prissy ex-husband to the mix and you've got a fun story. Again, not a prize winner but all in all, a good way to pass the time.
ConnieJo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't really read these types of light romance novels, but a coworker recently made me a loan of all the Janet Evanovich romance books. Evanovich is very funny, so I thought it might be fun to try her romance.This was incredibly cheesy, but it did everything I expected of it. Single mom tries to find a job, winds up in construction, she and owner of construction company hit it off. Additional points of contention for background mismatch - she grew up in a wealthy family and he - gasp - rides a motorcycle and has tattoos.Evanovich is great for humor, though. Things are spiced up along the way with a persistent flasher that keeps showing up at the woman's house at night. Nobody seems all that concerned with him. There's a large dog that will run up and steal any food left unattended. The woman's great-aunt is living with her and her two sons for the summer, and she makes for an awesome old lady who is all for high-speed car chases, flashers, shotguns, and other things. The characters themselves also quip back and forth at each other the entire time, and the jokes are surprisingly funny.It only took me a couple hours to read this, but it makes for a good palate cleanser between heavier doses of fiction.
onyx95 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Knowing she needed to find a way to support herself and her children, Lizabeth Kane made the rounds applying for jobs. Majoring in history was not a big help, so she took a chance and decided to apply for a job as a carpenter at Matt Hallahan¿s construction site. Matt knew she wasn¿t qualified or built for the job, but he couldn¿t find it in himself to tell her no. He quickly found himself completely consumed by her, her kids, her frustrating dog Ferguson, and even her ever observant Aunt Elsie. The presence of a neighborhood `flasher¿, that seemed to take special interest in Lizabeth, gave Matt the excuses he wanted to become more a part of her life.Classic early Janet Evanovich, sweet and touching while still fun and sexy (and I am not talking about the flasher). Just the right combination of macho garbage and sissy stuff that make these characters realistic enough to be any ones neighbors. The addition of the sons (10 and 8), was also well done, sometimes kids don¿t get written in the right age group, but these did (I have a 10 and an 8 yr. old), right down to their reaction to Matt¿s kitchen `re-model¿ project.
tngrant on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite Evanovich work!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GREAT! Laugh until you cry....
singersdd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very funny early Janet Evanovich. You can see a lot of Granma Mazur from the Stephanie Plum novels in Lizabeth's Aunt Elsie. I read it in one evening. It's very fluffy, but fun.
hjjugovic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Before she started writing the excellent Stephanie Plum mysteries, Evanovich wrote some simple, short romantic comedies that are now being reprinted. These are great if you want something funny and sweet to cheer you up. There's not much too them, but I've been enjoying them due mainly to Evanovich's great sense of humor. They're all really similar to each other. Plum fans will like them because they contain the seeds of many of her best characters. Smitten is the story of the romance between a spunky single mom who becomes a carpenter and falls for the boss.
DebR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Since I sort of trashed another of these early Evanovich reprints ("Thanksgiving") I want to be sure to say here that I enjoyed this one very much.I still don't think any of these early novels are up to the level of quality shown in the best of the Stephanie Plum books, but this one was enjoyable enough for me to give it three stars and a place on my keeper shelf.
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