|Reviews for Reading the Clues|
| PhillyGirl27 chapter 27 . 9/13/2016
What a treasure this story is! Love your Woody and Steph pairing. He's adorable and loving and just so sweet. Having loved her for so long, and finally getting the chance to make her his own is powerful. And Steph blossomed and grew, basking in the light of his love. Enjoyed all of your exciting plot elements. Glad that you didn't kill off any of the good guys! Great tale, start to finish. Thanks for keeping this posted, Jennifer! -Kathy
| Steph3 chapter 27 . 1/4/2015
I'm not usually a Tart fan, but every one of your stories that I've read have been incredible. I wish I could find a man like Woody! And, without fail, any time I read your version of Ranger and Steph's conversation on why they aren't together, I cry. You're amazing.
| melanie.campbell.3348 chapter 27 . 10/7/2014
I loved your story! One of my favorites. :)
| melanie.campbell.3348 chapter 1 . 10/6/2014
Wow! Slutty Steph. hehehe
| MerryMenLove chapter 27 . 9/1/2014
I love how you do Steph with the Merry Men its freaking adorable. I am about to do the Lester ones lmao. It's going to be a little hard cause for some reason I see them more like siblings. But you have such a magical way of doing it, I am sure I will love them.
| AcctClerk23 chapter 7 . 6/28/2014
"FIST PUMP" YES! I KNEW IT!
| AcctClerk23 chapter 5 . 6/27/2014
Baaaaah too tired to think through the clues you've provided thus far, but I'm betting my money on Vince or Woody.
| AcctClerk23 chapter 3 . 6/27/2014
"Doing the Italian hand thing" This is so RAWR! One sentence has me thinking I know which MM it was and then in the next I'm second guessing!
| Guest chapter 27 . 1/22/2014
For some reason, my first attempt at leaving FB disappeared into the ether. My apologies.
Now that that has been said, I must tell you that I was literally unable to stop reading even though I didn't start your novel until quite late in the evening. I loved the way that you were able to provide such depth of character to Woody, his family, and the MM.
Whilst I am a "Babe" at heart, I genuinely enjoyed reading about Stephanie's romance with Woody as well as her close friendship with Lester. I literally laughed aloud when both Lester and Tank felt compelled to teach Woody a lesson due to his failure to protect Stephanie at all costs. The way in which you wrote Stephanie and Ranger's conversation about the babies and her relationship with Woody was quite touching. It certainly made up for his apparent lack of concern for her when he left for Miami in the beginning of the story. Finally, you also have my gratitude for giving my favourite of the MM, Lester, a HEA as well. Well Done!
| alix33 chapter 27 . 8/28/2013
"I went back to work when the babies were twelve weeks old and they never had to stay with a nanny. I suggested it just before I resumed my job and the guys were horrified about "their kids" being with a stranger all day. Instead, anyone who wanted to volunteer was put on a rotating schedule and they sat with the kids in four hour shifts while I worked. To be considered for the shift you had to complete a two hour baby care training with Bobby. Outwardly I laughed about it, but I attended twice to appease Bobby that I approved of his methods, and to learn from him because there was no doubt he had done his homework on the best way to care for an infant." - Hehehe, so the RangeMan kids had mannies (the male form of a nanny).
"I decided to try and really fix it today so I began with a little of Mr. Alexander's special gel. The gesture wasn't missed by Bell and her eyes got big when she realized I was going to make it look like mine. Then she ruined the moment by asking, "Can I wear some mascara too?" I couldn't help but laugh at her as I gently told her no, but offered her some light lip gloss as a compromise. I brushed her hair and used a large curling iron to slightly straighten her hair adding loose waves in place of tight curls. For once she watched mesmerized, as her hair seemed to change in the mirror." - AW!
"and Ella's dining cart she saw Lester come off the elevator one day and let go of Bone's hand to walk across the hallway to her Tio Lester who picked her up," - "let go of Bones' hand".
"When Marina tells you to go then you walk down the isle," - "walk down the aisle".
"the vows were the same as the ones we said and as they repeated after the priest I caught Woody's eye and smiled when he winked at me. We continued to look at each other, oblivious to the happenings around us and it only took seconds before I felt the familiar spark between us ignite. I wondered how rude it would be to leave the kids at the reception for a while to find a place to celebrate privately with my husband. I took a deep breath willing my stubborn hormones to calm down. We had hours before we could slip away, but I made up my mind to call Ella as soon as we were home to see if the kids could have a sleep over with her and Louis tonight. Looking at Woody in his suit made me aware of the fact that I was going to need hours of uninterrupted time with my husband." - Hehehe.
"Woody grabbed my arm to get my attention and pulled me to him to whisper, "Talk to Ella before we leave the church to see if they can go home with her for a sleep over. That service was just long enough for me to come up with all kinds of ideas of things that I want to do to you tonight. We're going to need hours without them at home, and I think you should arrange for a late morning too so that you can rest in to recover." I would have made a witty come back about him thinking pretty highly of his skills, but I knew Woody never over exaggerated in this area and if he set his mind to it, he could darn well make it impossible for me to walk the next morning so I held on to him while waiting for my balance to return and then I dumbly nodded my head that I understood and would take care of it." - Hehehe.
"To think we could have been doing this for seven years instead of five is mind blowing." - "mind-blowing" gets hyphenated.
| alix33 chapter 26 . 8/28/2013
"we'd drive home today and would be there in time for dinner in case they wanted to go to Shorty's for pizza to celebrate our return. According to a text I got from Les this morning, most of the guys wanted to meet us since they had only been told that I had an announcement, so they brought in a couple of contract workers to cover the monitors and most everybody would be there for dinner. This would be the perfect opportunity to tell them of our marriage and the fact we were going to be welcoming two babies instead of one." - What an apt place for those announcements.
"then he handed me a key. "Are you sure?" I asked him. "Of course I'm sure. You need a key to your home Stephanie. This isn't my place anymore, it's ours and I want you to feel like you can come back anytime you want," He explained pressing the cold metal into my good hand." - AW!
"He volunteered to take me to my parent's house for dinner," - "my parents' house".
"I can see it," Ranger finally said breaking the silence in the room. "See what?" I wondered. "The connection to Woody," He offered. "He's a good man, and his past with his family isn't that different from your own. Plus, he's loved you for a long time. I think you'll be happy with him." I sat up a little to look at Ranger. "You knew and never said anything to me?" "It wasn't my place to play matchmaker. But I noticed how he always volunteered for shifts with you and how he would trade duty to be on your detail when you needed extra coverage. And there were a few nights when Joe went out drinking with his friends that I know Woody intervened and sent him home to you before Joe could step out into trouble." Ranger explained. Thinking back I had come up with similar stories of things I had not noticed at the time but now could see as signs of how he felt about me. I opened my mouth and said the truth, "I'm a very lucky woman." Ranger shook his head slightly, "No Babe, I've got to tell you that I think Woody's the one who won it all on this one." - AW!
"while we were away I had a few check ups with a midwife and we discovered that not only is my pregnancy moving along smoothly, but we are having twins. So there will be two little RangeMan babies running around at the end of May." At this the guys openly cheered and most of them stood up to hug me, put a hand on my stomach and speak to the babies" - AW!
"while we were away I had a few check ups with a midwife and we discovered that not only is my pregnancy moving along smoothly," "checkups" is one word.
"She'll be in her cubicle by 10:00 in the morning." The last comment got a few laughs because the starting time around the office was usually 8:00. When the guys starting picking on me I called out, "Hey you try growing two babies inside of you and see how early you want to wake up." - Hehehe.
"I laughed when Woody locked the door and then moved a chair to block the way in as well. "What?" He asked seeing my expression. "Do you really want to make it easy for the guys to sneak in to check on you?" Seeing his point I asked if he thought one chair was enough." - Hehehe.
Gestational diabetes means the twins are going to be big as well, as all that sugar in Stephanie's bloodstream has to go somewhere, and it goes into the babies' bodies (or baby's body if it is just one baby in the womb).
The plans for that apartment in the RangeMan building and a little yard are fantastic.
| alix33 chapter 25 . 8/28/2013
Yay! Lester is going to be at Stephanie's and Woody's wedding!
"Bones came back yesterday and told us all about it. You were amazing…you always are." He said before laughing a little and adding, "Bones has been bugging Ranger to have him hired on and permanently assigned to work as your partner. That drew a lot of complaints that if you were going to get a partner some of us with more seniority wanted the chance to be considered over a contract worker." "Don't I get a say in whether or not I'll get a partner?" I teased. "You certainly do, but if you're going to work in sales the way Tank and Ranger want you to, you will definitely have a partner whenever you go out so that you can focus on the task at hand and your partner can watch out for you." Les explained." - Hehehe, I now see Bones and Hector duking it out over who becomes Stephanie's partner…
Yay! for Lester and Marina.
"Does Ranger know about me and Woody?" I asked not sure what I wanted the answer to be. "No, at least not definitively. He most certainly doesn't know about the baby. He probably suspects something on Woody's part, but I doubt he has any idea about how you feel. Seeing you married will be a shock to him." Les told me. "Is that fair to him? I mean, shouldn't someone tell him so that he doesn't freak out when he sees that we're married and I'm pregnant?" I wondered. Les spoke quickly, "I'm sure someone should tell him, but none of us want to be there when he reacts to the news. We all agree that it will be best for you to tell him in person when you come back home. I mean, he can't call you to the mats and he can't do anything to make you change your mind." "I guess you've got a point, but it still fells wrong somehow. Like we're all sneaking around trying to keep him out of the loop," I countered. "You can feel free to call him, but I'm not going to tell him," Les summed up like he was issuing a playground dare. "Thanks, but no thanks," I replied. "At least not now; today I only want to think about Woody and my friends that are here to celebrate with us." - I already feel sad and angry on Stephanie's behalf over that conversation, as Ranger is sure to contract a sudden, debilitating and possibly devastating bout of foot-in-mouth disease during it.
I know so little about wedding couture that I had to Google "princess sleeves" to learn what they looked like.
I agree with Stephanie: Ella was a better and more loving mother through the actions in this chapter than Helen Plum has ever been to Stephanie.
"I wanted to be sure she was feeling the same was as Les was." - "feeling the same way".
"I told Bobby, "I'm so sorry about the nights you were downstairs. I had no idea you could hear so much." Bobby erupted in laughter before saying, "Well, I did call Gina this morning to be sure we could get together as soon as I get back. I told her after having to listen to the two of you if I couldn't see her soon I was sure I'd go blind." We all laughed at his reference to having to take his needs into his own hands," - Hehehe.
"I confess that even Louis and I have argued over who will get to the hold the baby first." - "get to hold the baby".
Ella's letter is SO sweet and moving.
"and I did a self wax to be sure I could wear the skimpy panties Ella sent along." - Yet one more instance IMO where Stephanie proves her prodigious courage: I would never be able to do a Brazilian or even a far more timid little bikini wax on myself, even though a fair few beauty therapists have told me they perform their own, so technically it is possible.
That nail polish colour sounds very pretty.
I have heard - never tried it myself due to starting to wear contact lenses in my early 20s and any and all eye makeup made the subsequent dry eyes even worse, so eye makeup was given up in favour of being able to see - that blue-eyed women should use brown eyeliner pencil (or whatever form of eyeliner) and brown-eyed women blue eyeliner pencil (or whatever form of eyeliner) to really make their eye colour stand out.
"I had some lipstick that nearly matched the polish I used earlier so I used that." - I now SO covet that lipstick, as I have always been a lipstick or lip-gloss girl.
Excellent plan, with the lace doilies over the brace!
I am a bit sad too, that more of the Merry Men, are not there.
"Bobby and Hector each took a moment to touch my hand and compliment how I looked. I thought it was interesting that no one but Woody seemed to want to get very close in the way they normally would. The guys were usually eager to hug me or pull me to them when I was dolled up for a distraction. But even I could tell the difference in how I appeared for a distraction and the way I looked right now. I knew there was a glow about me that I'd never seen before, and I knew it was there because of Woody. Perhaps the guys recognized that too and out of respect for their friend they were keeping a distance." - AW!
"After I took my first bite of the cake Stella had prepared, I told her how impressed I was that she managed to make a wedding cake with three layers: the top and bottom were laced with pineapple and the center layer was a banana cream combining our two favorite desserts. She had iced it with a whipped cream icing to give it a traditional look. I moaned my way through every taste of it making Stella beam and all the men shift uncomfortably." - What a fantastic wedding cake, and the men's reactions to Stephanie's moans are as always, very funny.
"We walked everyone to the front porch and I kissed my guys goodbye thanking each of them for everything they had done for me. Of course, that caused the tears to pool up that I had expected earlier. Woody came over and did a man hug with each of his friends practically glowing as they walked away with Robert and Stella." - AW!
| alix33 chapter 24 . 8/28/2013
"Everyone seemed to be staring at me so I picked up my fork and tried to get some of the white rice up that wasn't Mothered in the thick gravy." - "rice up that wasn't smothered".
"I was thrilled by the combination of tastes in my mouth. I hastily took another bite that had rice, meat and gravy in it and moaned as soon as my teeth sank into it. I looked over to Woody and noticed him look at his watch before whispering, "You've got less than an hour to get that plate clean and make your excuses or I may take you right here." I nearly choked when Liddy said, "None of that, if you have something to say you can tell us all." I suddenly realized what he meant when he told me his sisters were like little Mothers too. I turned red instantly at her comment but Woody just smiled and shook his head." - "Big rude, loudmouthed, untactful dictators" would be my description of his sisters instead of "little mothers". I am liking Woody's sisters less and less every millisecond they are around.
"I was struck by just how much Woody and I had in common. My Mother and his Father were a match made in heaven." - Their heaven, the seventh level of hell for the rest of their unfortunate relatives.
"His Mother seemed kind enough, but she didn't stand up to his Dad and seemed to just keep quiet to avoid confrontation. The resemblance between her and my Father was striking as well. Of course Valerie liked to boss me around but that isn't the same thing as treating me like a child so I couldn't really relate to his sisters except that I had plenty of people in my life who seemed to think their opinion of what I should do was the most important one." - EW!
"When his attention shifted from me I noticed something moving to the side of the porch but before I could panic or get up I realized it was Hector with his finger over his lips telling me to stay quiet. I relaxed instantly knowing he was there. Theoretically there was not a threat to my life any longer, but I still felt better knowing there was someone trustworthy to watch over me. By the time a smile came to my face Hector had disappeared from my view, but I knew he had not gone anywhere. I could feel his protection close to me." - A very relieved Phew! from me that Stephanie ahs Hector close by.
Only come home five days after your son's birth and then be pissed-off your wife named him after her own father? This guy has no idea of cause and effect or consequences of his actions!
I fully understand banks are kind of needed in the society we have nowadays and banks need staff, but jeez, not even I have ever wanted to work in a freaking bank! Why the hell should Woody?
"Guilt as a motivator seemed to be something else my Mother and Woody's Father had in common." - GR!
"Woody guided me back over to where his family said eating something out of little bowls. "My Mom made some banana pudding and I saved you some." I remembered sharing some banana pudding with Woody on our first date in his apartment. I loved it and wondered if his Mother's version would be that good. Woody must have noticed my silent thought because he handed me a bowl and a spoon and said, "It's better." I took a bite and moaned, realizing he was right. This could give my Mother's pineapple upside down cake a run for its money as my favorite dessert. It only took a few Moments for my spoon to begin scraping the bottom of the bowl leaving me wishing for more." - This woman needs to grow a freaking backbone, not skills at making freaking banana pudding.
"I kept one hand on the counter and put the other over my stomach, even with the brace between us I felt like I was more connected to them with a hand over their home. Damn it, I'd tried so hard to protect the babies from the danger over the last few days and it seemed like I was the one who was failing them anyway. Woody shut the door to the bathroom effectively blocking Bobby's view and pulled me to him. "Stop it, Steph," He demanded getting my full attention. "Let's go downstairs and stretch out on the couch together. Bobby can put a line in and you can have some dinner with us while we watch a movie. By the time the movie is over you'll feel better and see that this is what you needed to help you and our little guys in there." He finished while putting a hand on my stomach. I chose to believe his optimistic words and challenged him by saying, "What if they aren't guys? What if they're girls?" His sexy smile took over his face and he replied, "As long as they are just like their Mother, then I'll be a happy Daddy." I loved how he used the tender term Daddy to refer to himself." - AW!
"I thanked Bobby for his care, stopping his work to put my hand over his. "This is far beyond just watching out for an employee of RangeMan." Bobby touched my face and admitted, "I don't do this for RangeMan; I do it for you. It would break my heart if something happened to you. And now that there are babies coming that are a part of you, we're all excited about how that will impact us and pull us even more into a family." - AW!
"We don't need to you cover the first floor for security reasons anymore," - "need you to cover the first floor".
"I've had to put the breaks on so many times over the last few days I'm not sure I can do it again," - "put the brakes on".
"I answered realizing I'd probably agree to let the minister in right now if he would just keep him mouth on my neck." - "keep his mouth".
"How soon do you want to get married?" He asked with his warm breath blowing against my skin. "Soon," I answered realizing I'd probably agree to let the minister in right now if he would just keep him mouth on my neck. Then he decided to play dirty and moved one hand up to my neck rubbing those irresistible circles and moving his lips to the shell of my ear. "Stella said there's a justice of the peace that's a good friend of hers and he could come over to the house tomorrow afternoon and marry us here before the guys leave for home." "What time?" I asked, causing him to pause as though he hadn't expected that response. "How about 5:00? We could get married by sunset, and then have a nice dinner to celebrate," He offered. I considered it briefly and couldn't think of a single reason to say no. More important than that, I could only think of reasons to say yes. "That sounds perfect." "Are you sure you want to do this here? Are there people in Trenton you wish could be here?" He offered. I stretched my neck to the side as an invitation for him to keep up the sensual kisses he was planting on my skin. "I definitely don't want my family there. I'll miss Les, but he'll understand as long as he's one of the first people we tell when we get back." Then I spun around to put my arms around his neck. "I'm ready to be your wife. I don't care about the ceremony, I just want the world to know you're mine and I'm yours." - Yay!
| alix33 chapter 23 . 8/27/2013
"As long as you are alright, then I'm okay." "Si," Hector replied. "I okay." I smiled at him and then moved his hand to my stomach to tell him, "We're okay too." His face lit up at my sentence" - AW!
"Do we have anymore of Stella's soup leftover?" - When used in that sense "left over" is two words.
"pulse and even pulled out a Doppler receiver to listen for the babies heartbeats." - "babies' heartbeats".
| alix33 chapter 22 . 8/27/2013
"The idea of the world being able to see it as evidence of our love is a total turn on." - "turn-on" gets hyhpenated.
"then Bone's shoulder must not be too badly injured." - "Bones' shoulder".
"I briefly remembered how much a body guard's presence used to bug me," - "bodyguard" is one word.
"Woody's father stayed in the barn and I heard him complaining about how things were stored followed by the loud sound of him rearranging things to suit his own opinion of how it should be. Did this man understand what a boundary was?" - About as well as Helen Plum understand that.
"I was desperately trying to come up with a change of subject for Woody's Mom when I heard a single gun shot." - "gunshot" is one word.